A number of my friends are going through some challenging times. I know what that’s like, and for their benefit, I’d like to share this “bummed out” playlist that got me through the end of 2010 and start of 2011, when I was going through what I call “The Great Reset”.

OK Go’s This Too Shall Pass

Every “bummed out” playlist needs at least one song with this message. The Sufi poets were the first to come up with this gem, and it’s been used time and time again, by Solomon, Edward Fitzgerald, Abraham Lincoln, and alt-rock band OK Go. Their song was so nice, they made a video for it twice — once with a Rube Goldberg machine

…and once as a marching band with a brass section in Ghillie suits:

Digital Leather’s Blackness

If the Bloodhound Gang decided to write more serious songs, they might end up sounding like this. For some perverse reason, I like the verse with these two lines, one after the other: “I’ve got courage in my heart / Love is a feeling like warm black leather”.

Broken Bells’ The High Road

“‘Cause they know and so do I / The high road is hard to find…”

The Black Keys’ Next Girl

The chorus is a promise I made to myself when I was in the hospital.

Retro Trip

I added some tunes that I used to have on my “bummed out” playlist from early 1991, because there’s comfort in the familiar. My problems then seem so minor compared to early 2011.

The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Snakedriver

Yeah, it’s three-chord rock and roll, but it’s great three-chord rock and roll.

Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears

Ozzy was a real mess at this point, and this song was him letting it all out.

Faith No More’s Midlife Crisis

One of their best tracks. Did anyone see them when they played that roller rink in Mississauga in ’90? Now that was a show.

MC 900 Ft Jesus and DJ Zero’s Straight to Heaven

A great track off a great and underappreciated album, Hell with the Lid Off. They played at Alfie’s Pub at Crazy Go Nuts University, and DJ Jerome even let DJ Zero do a session after the show, which was stunning.

KMFDM’s Godlike

During my time as a DJ at Clark Hall Pub, this industrial dance single became a sort of pub anthem. Here’s a version they did live in 2004…

And here’s the studio version.

KMFDM’s Stray Bullet

You want angry? You got angry.

Nine Inch Nails’ Down in It

I like the rawness of this demo version — next to it, the version on Pretty Hate Machine feels overproduced.

Washed Out’s Eyes Be Closed

After all that angst, something a little more chill.

The New Pornographers’ The Laws Have Changed

You’re playing a new game, with new rules. Hence this song:

Classfied’s That Ain’t Classy

And while times may be rough, that’s no reason not to take the high road. Since I’ve already got a song called “The High Road” on this list, here’s an equally fitting tune:

Cee-Lo’s Fuck You

This was gaining momentum on the charts at the time, and if it weren’t for the lyrics about being broke (I was working at Microsoft at the time, and my bank account was super-flush), it would fit perfectly. I’m going with the full-on F-word version, not that “Eff You” or “Forget You” nonsense.

The Streets’ Going Through Hell

My personal anthem whenever I didn’t feel like getting out of bed at the time. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog,” as they say.

Digitalism’s Forrest Gump

And once I got out of bed, this musical biscuit from a German electronic duo in conjunction with the lyrics guy from The Strokes got me to full speed:

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It’s a trap!

by Joey deVilla on October 7, 2014

it's a trap

Don’t do it, officer!


prime minister gerbil

Faced with their growing unpopularity, Canadian Prime Minister, Control Freak in Chief, and seller-out of Canada’s sovereignty to Chinese oil interests Stephen Harper and his party, the Conservatives, are pinning their re-election hopes on a “give cash back to voters” strategy.

The bad news is that it’ll work, for the same reasons as those observed by Rick Mercer about Rob Ford’s fan base:

“We would rather have a guy on crack than a mayor who will raise our taxes. We don’t care if he drives his Escalade drunk through the city; we care that he wants to privatize garbage collection. We will vote for a gerbil if we get a dollar back.

In case you missed it, here’s the Rick’s Rant on Ford Nation:

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buying condoms

He should be happy that he doesn’t work at Hobby Lobby.


calvin and hobbes

How much damage did Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes do to his parents’ house and possessions over the comic strip’s ten-year span? According to this recent paper published in the Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science (PNIS), just under $16,000 in repair and replacement costs, based on present-day prices. The accumulated costs are displayed in the graph below, where you can see that most of them were incurred in the strip’s first year:

the cost of a calvin

Click the graph to see it at full size.

If the paper’s writing style or the acronym of the publication — PNIS — got your “science senses” tingling, give yourself a pat on the back. PNIS is a humor publication in the guise of a scientific journal in the same way The Onion takes on the form of a newspaper. According to their About & FAQ page, PNIS articles fall into one of three categories:

  • HARD, short for Honest And Reliable Data: “…the serious PNIS sub-journal. Papers published in HARD use actual data that were collected in some way by the authors (for example, data collected from an Internet resource (and properly cited, of course), or data from an experiment conducted by the authors).”
  • SOFD, short for Satirical Or Fake Data: “Papers published in SOFD use data that are fabricated by the authors for some purpose (for example, fake data from a fake experiment).”
  • Editorials: “…papers that generally do not have any associated experiments (real or fake) or hypotheses (real or fake). Mostly, their content is about science itself (and science-writing in particular).”

My inner 14-year-old was pleased to see this graph charting the projected readerships for HARD PNIS and SOFD PNIS in their introductory editorial:

hard vs sofd pnis


lisa simpson floreda costume

Click the photo to see the source.

To celebrate the first Halloween in my new home, I can’t think of a more appropriate costume than the one pictured above. In case you don’t get the reference, it’s from the Simpsons episode where Marge, deep in the throes of a gambling addiction, forgets to make a costume for Lisa’s state pageant where she’s supposed to be Florida. Homer ends up making the costume pictured above, and when Lisa tries it on, she says “I’m not a state; I’m a monster!“.

Here’s another example:

lisa simpson floreda costume 2

Click the photo to see the source.

Where in Tampa can I get this kind of foam?

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grinding away the bridal chastity belt

Found via Vault45. Click the photo to see the source.

I’m sure that the photo above depicts a performance art piece than the bride addressing her guests at the reception, but this being Florida (where no idea is a bad one), it wouldn’t be completely out of place.