Tuesday, August 30, 2005


There was a period of about 4 years when I didn't own a TV. I used to roll my eyes whenever I overheard some ditz discussing reality TV at Blue Sky and then go back to reading my book by Edward Said (or any of a number of unreadable hacks whose names I've forgotten). But over the past year or so I've let TV back into my life, and I'm in love.

In particular, I love HBO's "Rome." The first episode had everything you could ask from junk TV: violence, intrigue, full frontal nudity (female). But it also has great writing and cinematography (it was filmed at Cine Citta in Rome, Italy). From the reviews, there is only more where that came from (including a few pickle shots for the ladies . . . or men as the case may be). So basically, it's like "I, Claudius", except not boring, or "Gladiator" except not stupid.

Watch it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

the shitty years

a little piece appears in slate today about this reality tv show, "brat camp." haven't caught it, but apparently it follows some troubled teens on an outward bound type trip.

anyway, it includes a nice little diatribe about teenagers. consider:

"Though I'm normally a pretty empathetic person, I hate teenagers with incredible fervor. It's nothing personal: I hate them categorically, like I hate injustice. I hate the way they roam around in packs, wearing floppy, Technicolor clothes, sculpting their marginal facial hair, slapping and tripping each other, shouting strings of banal obscenities as if they were delivering the "Gettysburg Address." I hate the way they express personal inadequacy through car accessories and vandalism. I even hate the word "teens," which sounds like some kind of infectious skin fungus. When a child I love becomes a teenager, my love for him goes into escrow for seven years. I know that there are biological excuses for their behavior—their amygdalae (the brain's anger and fear center) are ballooning, their exploding sexualities have only secret and shameful outlets—but that doesn't change my instinctive revulsion any more than knowing that sharks eat people because they need the protein. The cast of Brat Camp—a tribe of self-absorbed, violent, coke-dabbling, pimply rage-aholics—isn't an anomaly: It is the fullest logical expression of the genus teen, the platonic ideal of the species."

i enjoy that closing flourish. anyway, everybody go see our own dj mahogany play the early set at the forty watt tonight. and have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

from this week's onion...

a lampoon of the band i hated most in high school.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I Need Some Astra Men In Pubic Pants

Dolce & Gabbana have come under fire recently with this picture you're seeing above my mutterings. Apparently, D & G have created pants that purposely shows the burning bush so I've been calling them pubic pants. Esquire has refused to run the "racy" ad in their magazine because of the amount of pubes shown. When I read about this...it came to me what could solve this problem...ASTRA.

Couldn't you see the members of ASTRA in D & G's new "pubic" pants. Everyone would go nutz!!! There's no telling how many gigs they would get in Buckhead alone. Everyone in ASTRA would need a large supply of brown bags because they would need something to put over the ugly chicks' faces before banging them. I'm getting a little stiff just thinking of Jeremy and Josiah in those pants. Whew...I must go now to take care of a little business....

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

from last week's onion...

it's true: gravity is also "just a theory".

Monday, August 22, 2005

we need people who can hit that "mandalic transcendental state"

maybe ryan and that other guy got fired from astra for not being "spiritually evolved" enough.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Cheap Date

Recently I've been getting Friendster messages from quasi-attractive young women with suspiciously similar canned messages:

"Hey Il Gato, my name is Mandi and I'm new in town. I was hoping that a good-looking cat like yourself could take me out and show me all the sights!!!! Well, gotta run. Let me know if you're interested."

Now, I'm already familiar with some of the internet's adult-oriented uses, but I'm pretty sure I've never been personally solicited for prostitution.

But I'm trying to be more out-going these days, so I think I'm going to see if Mandi wants to go to a show at the EARL with me, or maybe just get some gelato.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

raise your glasses

tomorrow i'm off to amelia island, florida. 4KS amigo dave conley is marrying the lovely miss keri fielder on saturday. though i'm disheartened to see one of my all-time best buds pass into the shackles of matrimony, it is very much a time for celebration. i love them both. they are happy, thus so am i.

when you're drinking a cold one this weekend, say a toast to dave and keri: may they live long and happy lives together.

now that is a review.

the recent august 5 forty watt show was the first time i've seen phosphorescent. i thought it was an amazing set, and i may have a new favorite band in town. i should have expected as much, based on the words of praise offered by The Poet (who is close friends with the band's lead player, matthew).

i was looking up their tour dates, thinking i might recommend them to my sister (who lives in philly). unfortunately they're not playing there. but i did come upon a snippet of acclaim for matthew [pre band] that is so glowingly positive i felt i had to share it:

"...he may prove to be the most significant american in his field since kurt cobain" gushed the London Evening Standard after a show in London, adding "this twenty-one year old wonder kid squashed any concept that he's the new bob dylan in town by virtue of his own enormous talent."

sometimes reviews are very positive in a way that's revolting. but that appraisal is SO glowing that for me it somehow takes it back the other direction. the assertions are so bold that i'm genuinely impressed by the audaciousness of the reviewer who made them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

love me, melinda...

i think i mentioned a while back [here, or at least elsewhere] that i've become entranced by the new season of real world (austin). i haven't watched the show since season 3 or 4, but i've totally gotten roped in this year. it's abundantly clear that mtv decided to young down the cast, realizing that 20 year olds have even less impulse control than 26 year olds. as a result i think one cast member this year is 23 (the virgin), and the rest are 19-21. anyway, the show is obviously pretty dumb, and only a couple of the cast members are truly likeable. [for the record, i'll take nehemiah and melinda]. but i enjoy it, and i'm going to keep watching it.

anyway, all this is just a rationalization for posting the picture of melinda seen above. apparently all the girls posed for stuff magazine. though jo is scorching, i may have to give melinda the nod as the best looking real worlder ever. and i generally prefer brunettes. enjoy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

it smarts

hyperextended my knee last night playin some ball. luckily i don't think there was any ACL type action, but i will be walking with a slight limp the next week or so (i hope that's all). anyway, i'm thinkin about sportin a cane and pretendin i'm a pretty-boy pimp like josiah.

Monday, August 15, 2005

your hometown atlanta hawkz

well, it's time to kick some hoops ka-nowledge. if your not a sports nerd, you should probably save yourself the trouble and stop reading now. anyway, things are looking up for hawkz. it looks like belkin will be removed as team governor and the johnson trade will probably go through. also, the hawkz just signed a promising, physical young center in zaza pachulia. ergo, the hawks new lineup should be as follows:

joe johnson
josh childress
josh smith
al harrington
zaza pachulia

marvin williams
salim stoudamire
royal ivey
tony delk
jason collier

that lineup is strong to quite strong. lots of promising ballers, none of whom have revealed themselves to be dicks (with the possible exception of stoudamire). though i must confess that i personally think they should trade harrington; i like him, but i don't think his game is getting any better. plus he might draw undue deference from his teammates. i say throw williams in there and get him some experience; there won't be much pressure yet. tyron lue should also not be resigned. he played well last year, but he tries to command the game too much.

anyway, this team has tons of potential and i think they'll play unselfish ball. given a couple years, if these guys stay healthy (and together), they could be a top contender in the east. for real, yo.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

fuck "intelligent design"

i was reading an article in slate concerning the good old evolution v. creationism argument. decent read, take a look. anyway, one interested tidbit that was revealed:

"45 percent of Americans believe God created human beings in their present form 10,000 years ago, while another 38 percent believe that God directed the process of evolution. Only 13 percent accept the prevailing scientific view of evolution as an unguided, random process. Being right and yet so unpopular presents an interesting problem for evolutionists...."

is anybody else surprised by those figures? i'm not surprised that more people believe in god than not, but only 13% believe in unabashed evolution? i thought it would be around 30%.

on a sidenote, that article links another, where the author takes on a question on many have asked: is w genuinely stupid? the article gets beyond that basically trite query to give an insightful take on bush's intellectual view: the real question is "Why would someone capable of being smart choose to be stupid?" plausible answers are provided.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Go see Hustle & Flow

It won't be as good as the movie on Astra coming out in the fall, but it's close.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

the compound

following the wildly successful Burgeoning Mediocrity 2005 tour, the boys of astra are ready to take on the world. last weekend the sauce moved into josiah and wes's five points home, creating what will here-and-after be known as "the astra compound". with those three living together, the mandalas are really gonna start twirling.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

just play "fuck and run"

like most people, i've been critical of liz phair and her new polished sound. i stand by that. but even if i still don't want to buy her new records, this nytimes piece at least makes me think she's still cool. or at least i feel like i better understand where she's coming from.

Monday, August 01, 2005


i just noticed that a girl i dated "de-friendstered" me. is that as silly as i think it is? only dated briefly, no nasty breakup.... i would write her an email making fun of the move, but i'm afraid that might trigger a conversation i don't want to have. anyway, it just seems inane.

btw, this definitely seems like something that would happen on seinfeld.

the big cat descends to conquer

we are happy to welcome a sixth (and probably final) contributor: long-time 4KS commenter il gato grande has joined the team. along with deuce deuce, il gato grande will be part of our "keepin' it real in the ATL" committee.

a self-described "mild-mannered classicist turned personal injury lawyer," il gato grande brings witticism, learnedness, and occasional irascibility to the fold. 4KS welcomes him with open arms.