bschaller at ltoa dot com
Friday, February 06, 2004

Get Excited...

In the effort to infect as many people as possible with my ideas I have become a BlogCritic. That's right, the sinister cabal of superior bloggers has selected me to contribute to their wonderful blog. You can find my first post here. We here in the Congo are very happy. I have always wanted to be a critic and now I have a chance to pander my views to the masses. Do not worry, the content here in the Congo will not suffer. You can be guaranteed the same quality and quantity that you all have grown to love. Please continue to post your comments on both sites, you know I love to hear them. Until next time please enjoy my new expansion in group blogging. B

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I Don't Like Country Music...

At least I think I don't. Some how I am slowly getting drawn in. It all started with At first it was too twangy for me, and then I started to really like it. I still said that I drew the line at though except for George Jones, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard. Any more though I am not so sure. Last night I was over at Brie's waiting for some people to show up. We had just finished watching the latest episode of Sex in the City and were flipping channels. Thanks to the wonders of the menu guide on digital cable I saw a show called "Morning After: The 40 Greatest Drinking Songs of All Time". The only problem was that it was on CMT. I decided to throw caution to the wind and flipped to it. I watched the entire show. It turns out I really enjoyed it. My top three country artists were all on it multiple times as well as some other songs I enjoyed. Of course Garth Brooks took number one with "Friends in Low Places" but I really think the number two spot Hank Williams Jr. with "Family Tradition" was more deserving of the win. The show link above has the complete countdown. Maybe in my old age I am growing less bigoted about my musical choice or maybe I am just getting soft. I'm not quite sure. Maybe I just like drinking songs, I am German-Irish. All in all I would recommend watching it if you want to expand your musical horizons, it is playing all this month. Enjoy. B

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Blame the Puritans...

For some reason Americans are under the false impression that our country was settled by a bunch of freedom loving, democratic, and tolerant people. Nothing could be further from the truth. With all the craziness this week about the media and obscenity I am glad that we can look back and find one group of people to thank. Those people are the Puritans. Our county was basically founded by a group of people who were so heinously intolerant they were kicked out of their own countries. That is a scary thought. When I think of one thing that a lot of people like and want it is sex. Most people like nakedness. Why is part of a breast on national television such a big deal then? TiVo has said it was the most paused live television in their history. People obviously enjoyed it, then why the big fuss? In Europe and most of the rest of the world nakedness on television in no big deal at all. Why do we care? We don't. They do. They being the Puritans and crazy religious folks. My favorite thing so far has been this post from Optimus Crime. MTV was just trying to give people what they wanted. I say that this oppression is nothing less than the tyranny of minority. As of late we have been trying to get back to what our country was literally founded on, not the hidden meanings. This should be no exception. B

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Reviews: Sarah Vowell's Partly Cloudy Patriot and Patty Jenkins' Monster

Partly Cloudy Patriot: This is with out a doubt one of the best books I have read in recent memory. Sarah Vowell and I are on such the same page it is uncanny. From the small personal things like being in marching band in high school and being active participants in political email discussion groups to the really big things like being Jeffersonian Democrats and liking the same TV shows. She gets upset at the same things I do, like someone putting a flag on her lawn on the 4th of July and not asking her permission. She even goes as far as explaining Al Gore by sighting a conversation between Jordan Catalano and Brian Krakow on My So Called Life. By the way I am a huge MSCL fan. If you look up "Byron Schaller" on Google two of the responses are high scores for an online MSCL trivia game. She also talks a lot about Giles versus Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I thought that was neat too. She has great politics and likes the same stuff I do so it is kinda hard not think this book is great. It was also very funny and made a lot of sense. Any true patriot will enjoy this book, but for us on the nerdier end of the spectrum this is a real treat. A must read.

Monster: This is one of the most intense films I have ever seen. I am not new to cinema extremes and I have seen this all before, just not quite like Monster. I have seen the rape/revenge/mass murder plot line before in I Spit on Your Grave!. I have seen Florida white trash true crime before in Bully. I have seen clandestine lesbian relationships in both Bound and Mulholland Drive. And that's not even considering foreign films. Yet something about this movie really struck a chord. I think a lot of it has to do with the score provided by BT. The background music really drives the high power intense scenes. Most of the movie it is hard to tell who to feel sorry for. Do you feel sorry for Lee or her johns? There are a couple that a very hard to tell and a couple where the decision is far easier. The real mark of this film is that you leave feeling like you have been hit by a truck. The experience is so intense and overwhelming that forming a valid response as the credits roll is almost impossible. For someone who is shockproof and seen it all, this kind of impact says a lot. A must see and award worthy all the way. B

Monday, February 02, 2004

Big Winners...

Superbowl XXXVIII (38) is now history, so how has it effected the world. Let's see: The Patriots are the big winner in a battle of who could care less, Tom Brady is all of sudden being compared to Joe Montana, Jake Delhomme has made a name for himself, and I am a whole fifteen dollars richer. I says a lot about a game when you have to gamble on it to make it even a little fun. Last night was all about a total lack of quality. The game was barely entertaining. The commercials were sub-par. And the halftime show sucked, aside from Janet of course. I mean what do you get when you combine P. Diddy, Kid Rock, and Nelly and they all sing old songs. Fuck me, it was horrible. In fact NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a statement about it: "The show was offensive, inappropriate and embarrassing to us and our fans." Something tells me he was not talking about Janet at the end either. That was the best part. Loving football and music however, I was offended by the incredible lack of actual talent on display. Hasn't U2 played a halftime show? It is a sad day when the biggest day in sports amounts to this... B

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Bloggin with Words...

1.21 Gigawatts
Pressure Drop
Pretty Girl in the Corner
BenWa's World
Blogcritics Dot Org
Business Casual
Tequila Mockingbird
Being Homeless
Blog for America
Boing Boing
Emo Kid
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Indiana Blogs
Information Pollution
Oliver Willis
Rebecca Blood
Wil Wheaton
Little. Yellow. Different.

Bloggin with Pictures...

Photoblogs Dot Org
Human Clock
Chicago Uncommon
Gaping Void
Blue Jake
[daily dose of imagery]
Chromogenic Dot Net
A Visual Notebook

Congo National Gallery

Leroy Neiman
Ralph Steadman
Salvador Dali
Edward Hopper
Dale Chihuly

In Heavy Rotation

Pernice Brothers: Yours, Mine & Ours
Air: Talkie Walkie
The Bens
Johnny Cash: Cash Unearthed
Squarepusher: Big Loada
Gomez: In Our Gun

The Screening Room

Mystic River
Swimming Pool
The Cooler
Big Fish

Summer Reading List

Don DeLillo: White Noise
Tony Morrison: Beloved
Jack Kerouac: On The Road
Sarah Vowell: Partly Cloudy Patriot

Radio! Radio!

NPR (try it, it's good)
Pacifica (God Damn Hippies)
Fresh Air
This American Life
WOXY FM Cincinatti

Fun Places to Go

Google News
Senses of Cinema
Home Star Runner
Film Threat
Okay Player
Group Hug
Exquisite Corpse
Poetry Slam Inc.
The Criterion Collection
The Digital Bits
DVD File
The Onion
80's Cartoons
Fifty Word Fiction

The Way-back Machine
10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 / 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 / 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 / 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 / 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 / 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 / 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 / 12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003 / 12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003 / 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 / 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 / 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 / 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 / 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 / 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 / 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 / 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 / 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 / 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 / 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 / 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 / 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 /

Staff Art Selection...

Edward Hopper: "Rooms By The Sea"

Things To Do...

Open a Record Store
Take up Digital Photography
Take up Kayaking
Buy a Sail Boat
Start a music site better than these guys
Start a Band again...
Start a Leroy Neiman collection
Take up Yoga

My Most Recent BlogCritics Posts

Thirteen: Teen Vice in Inde Film
The Bens: 4 Track EP
Johnny Cash: Cash Unearthed
Don DeLillo's White Noise
Mystic River: A Real Contender
On The Road With Dean and Sal
Learning Modern Classics from Penguins

Congo Tribal Council

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