30 April 2009

By Day or By Night

Good news come in the form of a new partnership with ABC and Hulu. That's right. Just when you thought you were running out of content on Hulu, ABC announces that it will start having Hulu upload several ABC shows and entire seasons to the site.

This summer we can expect shows like Lost and Jimmy Kimmel Live to be accessible any time you like. This is the future, folks. No need to ever turn on the tv again. Well, maybe for Ace of Cakes and Man vs. Wild.

29 April 2009

Be Our Vision

On this day everyone should watch this and enjoy. This is Sigur Ros performing Hoppípolla live in Iceland from their amazing DVD, Heima.

This song still holds up to me as one of the most beautiful and well-composed songs I've ever heard.

28 April 2009

Dance on Our Graves

Photo by Jeremy Cowart

Tuesday brought us a long-awaited record from Nashville's own Paper Route. The album, Absence, is 12 tracks (13 if you buy on iTunes) and is an amazing blend of pop, new-wave and rock. I would mention the stand-out tracks, but most of them stand out in unique and awesome ways.

Go get it. It's great and you won't be disappointed.

27 April 2009

Authorizing the Mission

Today, five members of congress were arrested, not by police, but by Secret Service agents for protesting outside of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington DC.

Secret Service charged them with crossing a police line, which, in lay terms means that they stood about two feet on the wrong side of a yellow line. Wow, what a huge national threat that the secret service should take them in along with a former Civil Rights leader and a rabbi.

And all of this because they were simply protesting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s expulsion last month of 16 aid groups from Darfur. And rightly protesting, as dismissal of this aid is further causing death, disease and government-sanctioned rape and torture that are proving to be almost as horrible as the holocaust.

What can you do? Check out Save Darfur. Talk to me. Talk to anyone. The media seems to put this at the bottom of the list. The Obama Dog, Bo, gets more press than the painful truth of what is occurring in Sudan.

Please be aware that this is happening and when people are trying to bring local, national or global attention to it, big men with big guns seem to show up and take them away.

Thought from me right now:
From Micah 6:8 (NIV)
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

26 April 2009

You Are Not Permitted To Leave

The film Hunger is unreal. Under the bold direction of the British Steve McQueen, the films takes you through life in a Belfast prison in 1981 and follows the prisoners' protests for the IRA to be heard by the British government.

The use of still life and camera movement told the story as there is very little dialogue. That is, until mid-film when a nearly 20 minute conversation take place between the film's centerpiece and IRA legend, Bobby Sand, and his fellow IRA priest. The conversation stands out not only in the length of the dialogue, but the fact that the camera never breaks shot, leaving these two men to have a memorably passionate conversation about Sand's decision to lead a hunger strike among prisoners.

There's much that can be said about this film, but it would sound a bit like gibberish to hear it. It's definitely worth watching and is a film, while hard to watch at points, is very easy to appreciate.

25 April 2009

Go. Throw Yourself Into the Sea

Nashville's annual, Country Music Marathon took place this morning, starting at 7:00 am just outside of Centennial Park in downtown. While it's certain that many are still running right now, for few the race ended after insanely fast times.

Kenyan, Amos Matui, finished the full 26.2 mile run in only 2:13. This is nuts. He ran 26 miles with a pace that would smoke most novice runners trying even to run a single mile. The physical capacity to do something like this really is amazing.

It promises to be a fun weekend in Nashville. Be safe out there.

24 April 2009

I want to be yours

I know I was late on yesterday's post, but my laptop died. So today is a two-for.

And we go

I had been hearing about One for some time and I would see it around and never really dig into it. Well, I decided to dig a little deeper and I found an amazing organization with an awesomely ambitious. They are doing so many amazing things to pursue justice, health and provisions for truly everyone in the world.

They're also encouraging a petition be signed to persuade the IMF (yes, that dirty giant) to use the revenue from gold sales to create as much funding as possible for developing countries and ensure that this doesn’t create new debts or have harmful conditions attached. The petition can be signed here and I really do encourage you to have a look. I used to not really give a crap about petitions until a year or two ago, when I saw them starting to work. I saw that voices and signatures en masse can truly open peoples' eyes to the fact that people actually care about issues.

So, please check out the site and sign that petition. And let's talk a little more about what we can do to help out.

22 April 2009

It's Crazy How This Life Unfolds

Some sad news hit the wire today. David Kellermann, CFO for bailed out home underwriting giant, Freddie Mac, was found dead in his own home this morning in what authorities are are calling a suicide.

It really is hard to see news like this, but I'm honestly thankful that we haven't seen more of these stories with the likes of AIG, Fannie, Freddie, Citi, etc... I can't even imagine what some of the folks in power positions have been dealing with. And, yes, they dug themselves into this mess, but it's still not an easy pill to swallow.

This quote really rung a bell today:

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
-- Thomas Jefferson

21 April 2009

We Want The Airwaves Back

It seems that Google is pushing more new features out the door. The features, Similar Images, Timeline and a new and improved Google Labs are are supposed to make things more streamlined. In the case of Timeline, it strives to make search items more chronologically organized. And Google Labs will keep people in the know of what the mad scientists at Google are crafting up

Now, I'm not sure if any of these features are *really* worth a crap. But their new and they'll definitely keep me engaged with Google. It's like the new restaurant in town. It doesn't matter if it's really all that great. It's new and you just have to go check it out.

20 April 2009

The Best Thing

Thanks to Art over at Quanstrom Physics, I was recently introduced to Great Northern: a band that (to me) seems completely and universally like-able. Maybe even love-able. A stand out track is "Low is a Height" and it's been one that I keep going back to many times a day. It's on their myspace via the link above and it deserves your attention.

Aside from sonic pleasure, you can really sink into the depth of their music. Something that many attempt and few actually succeed at doing. And that's using many layers to create art or music so soothing and calming and still hold an iota of intensity.

And it's really rare that I find an entire album like I did with their album "Trading Twilight for Daylight" and immediately want to immerse myself into every track. Well, not since Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet.

19 April 2009

Shot Fired

Everlasting Moments. It's Swedish. It's set in the first couple of decades on the 20th Century. And it's awesome.

The film follows an ever-growing family with an alcoholic and abrasive father and a mother simply seeking solace in seeing a beautiful world. After finding a camera, Maria begins taking beautiful photographs much to the opposition of her husband.

Despite his calls for her to cease taking photos, Maria continues taking wonderful photos and even uses the art to help support her family.

The film is wonderfully shot. The use of lighting is really amazing. And since much of the film is set in a pre-electricity world, the use of natural light is fantastic. The story is intense and will fully, emotionally attach you to the story and to the family. This one is worth seeing. It may never end up in anyone's DVD (BlueRay?) library, as it requires an immense investment - both in time and emotion - to view the film. But, nonetheless, it's worth it.

18 April 2009

Put me in

I saw a special on ESPN today that was talking about the rising cost of premier seats in MLB baseball stadiums, particularly the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field: home of The New York Mets.

I was shocked to see costs of tickets creep upward of 2,500 in Yankee stadium. And that's per-game. Sure, there's lots of great perks that come with those seats, but it's sad to see that happen in down economy.

One season ticket holder since 1973 with the Yankees chimed in since the cost of his season tickets doubled. It basically came down to the fact that he could get cheaper seats and cut a couple of tickets or simply fire two of his employees. It's no secret that he cut three tickets - which over the course of the year could have added up to over $100,000. Yikes.

Me...I'm ok with the outfield bleachers. Nothing a little sunblock and cold brewsky can't help to make more comfortable. Plus, you get to catch batting practice home run balls before the game. When you sit right behind home plate you have that cute little net to stop balls from hitting you. Cowards.

Well, all this to vent that it's ridiculous to have tickets cost that much. I'm sure there's still a paying market out there, but to gouge like that is not a part of what the true heart of baseball is all about.

17 April 2009

Heavy....It's Heavy

Remember these? Well you should and you should spend at least 5-10 minutes on the site, because you will find yourself reminiscing, laughing out loud or both.

Never say I didn't do anything for you.

Oh, and sorry for the pathetically short blog. It may be a cop out, but you'll thank me for reminding you of some of the best humor out there.

16 April 2009

Napalm Love

The Gnome. Weird, right? I think it's weird, but it's also mythical, mystical and awesome. My new gnome, Peter, is about to take habitat in our new backyard garden. And I think it's appropriate that everyone know a little more about the gnome.

A gnome is a mythical creature characterized by its extremely small size and subterranean lifestyle. Some view or deem them as a type of fairy, but nonetheless, they are supposed to be a companion of good luck and earthly prosperity. Well, in the sense that you are to have good earth. And in most American's case, a nice flower bed.

Many in Iceland refer to the gnomes - as well as the fairies and trolls - as the hidden people. Kind of weird, but understandable. The Icelandic also believe that the dwelling place of the trolls/gnomes and fairies is under rocks and hold to the truth that rocks and formations of rocks should not be moved as to never disturb the ones that bring you good fortune.

Me...I'll just keep Peter looking out so that my new rose bushes and box hedges don't get too dry.

Stop Telling Me The Right Way To Go

This is actually one of the funnier headlines I've read in quite some time. Four snakes escape aboard a passenger plane in Australia.

The flights were canceled, but the snakes were never found. I guess when you don't have Sam Jackson on the flight, you're pretty much doomed, right?

14 April 2009

In the back of my mind

I've never claimed to be a "Ron Paul Guy" and I'm in no way a zealous Republiberatarian. But, objectively, Ron Paul is one of the few sound voices for logic to creep into a violently illogical political system. So, in honor of April 15th just hours away, I thought I'd share an excerpt from Rep. Paul's The Case Against the Income Tax.

Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker's paycheck....

The harmful effects of the income tax are obvious. First and foremost, it has enabled government to expand far beyond its proper constitutional limits, regulating virtually every aspect of our lives. It has given government a claim on our lives and work, destroying our privacy in the process. It takes billions of dollars out of the legitimate private economy, with most Americans giving more than a third of everything they make to the federal government. This economic drain destroys jobs and penalizes productive behavior. The ridiculous complexity of the tax laws makes compliance a nightmare for both individuals and businesses....

Is it impossible to end the income tax? I don't believe so. In fact, I believe a serious groundswell movement of disaffected taxpayers is growing in this country. Millions of Americans are fed up with the current tax system, and they will bring pressure on Congress....

And you know what's funny is that the US Federal Income tax is ultimately unconstitutional. Originally our government said that citizens were only to be taxed on gains or profit, of which income is not. And even deeper, the own IRS book on taxes only goes as far as stating that it's a citizens "responsibility" to pay income taxes. Not a federal requirement. Yet many still get hauled in each year for not paying the personal income tax. Crazy, huh?

It's worth digging deeper into.

13 April 2009

Hey, we're part of it

I want you to know that I cannot recommend the documentary "Flow" highly enough. HERE IS THE TRAILER. There's no excuse. It's a well made documentary about an issue that affects everyone from the third world to you right there. Yes, you. And me, of course.

I encourage you all to head to Netflix and watch it. It's on demand, meaning that you can watch it right from your laptop. Please watch it or ask me about it and we'll come up with something.

At the very least, appreciate a film maker who did an amazing film about something very powerful. It's not propaganda. It's a matter of true life and death.

Let's chat.

12 April 2009

In Past and Present

I know this comes a week late, but after some late Sunday perusing of Spin.com, I was reminded of Phoenix's amazing performance on SNL last week.

One of the better SNL music acts I've seen recently and definitely the show stealer (sorry, Seth Rogan). And they actually played a third song as the credits rolled. Not something you see often on SNL. Actually, I'm not sure that has ever happened.

Their new record is going to be amazing and, I know I've encouraged this before, but give it a listen. Click the link above to check out the live performances and let me know what you think.

11 April 2009

Tusk And Temper

Stephen Colbert - probably the best personality on tv today - is still at it with NASA. For some time he's been pleading with his Colbert Nation faithful to vote it up with NASA for a space module to be named after Colbert.

I'm sure he's done it, because NASA is coming on The Colbert Report to announce to official name. And, after all, if he can take Kanye West out of his predicted No. 1 spot on iTunes and get his face on the cover of a Spider Man Comic, the man can pretty much do anything.

10 April 2009

You could be a part-time model

It was a blessed night at Nashville's famous Ryman Auditorium. The odd balls from Auckland, Flight of the Concords, played to a packed house and kept everyone in stitches the entire time.

Aside from funny accents and goofy looks, these guys know how to keep people engaged and write some terribly funny songs. And with much animation and often times robot voices, Bret and Jermaine made the show worth the nearly $50 a ticket paid.

Do yourself some good and CLICK HERE and spend some time really soaking it in.

09 April 2009

Somewhere over the rainbow

Bullet Points:

* Somali Pirates took over US ship Maersk Alabama on a route to deliver food aid to Kenya. The Captain of the ship is held. The NAVY is involved. It's not cool, but sounds like a cool movie.

* Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was tragically killed in a hit and run accident. This happened after Adenhart pitched six, no-hit innings. A tragedy, indeed.

* Obama is spending more in Iraq. Increasing troop presence in Iraq. Sound like change?

* The Masters is on. It's nice to see the likes of Arnie Palmer and Greg Norman around. Legends. That's what it's all about.

* Kim Jong-Il takes another term in North Korea. Un-opposed, of course. He's a crazy little man. Much like this man.

Wow....I'm like a virtual news feed. Or an actual news feed. But these are some items that I'm very interested in. Let's talk about them.

08 April 2009

After all we've earned it

It's nice jumping into a film like The Last King Of Scotland without knowing much of the fictional or historical content. An amazing performance by both Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy. And an amazing dynamic between the two, as well. It's a film that discourages and encourages at the same time. It unveils the corruption of government and builds the inspiration that, in each of us, there is a person who longs to do the right thing. The just thing. The action that stares the unjust in the face and says that you will not take what I have (dang, that's deep).

The only qualm with the film was the very abrupt edits which take you from one scene to an entirely different scene in the blink of an eye. But, aside from that, it's a film well made. Rolls perfectly acted. And a story told with much gusto and much humility. Thumbs up, indeed.

07 April 2009

I always feel like...

Jack White is at is again. And it's called The Dead Weather. Why am I not surprised that it's really good and overtly punk rock.

There's always an easy-to-swallow rebellion with Jack's music and I must admit that I really like it. Not that it's always his music exclusively, but you must admit when he's involved that magical things happen.

Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

06 April 2009

I hear a cry

Pay no attention to the awkwardness of the above image. It is, indeed, awkward, but it's also simply the promo poster for the French film "Shall We Kiss?" (the English title, of course). We saw the movie this weekend at a nice independent theater in the West Village of NYC (name droppin') and left the theater pleased that we saw it.

In the quirky vein of "Amelie," "Shall We Kiss" is back and forth take on the the story of two long-time friends who, in the midst of otherwise healthy relationships, decide to, well, kiss. Kissing turns to you know what and you know what turns to the things the Bible tells us we ought not do outside the bonds of marriage. And all of that "you know what" makes life a little complicated for the two main characters.

I won't try to offer too much plot or insight, but I will reiterate that it was well made, quirky, funny and easily enjoyable. I'm not sure if it will make around Nashville, but if you can search it on Netflix, I encourage you to.

05 April 2009

Honestly, I believe

Remember Nine Inch Nails. It's not a question, rather a declarative. Remember how great and fully revolutionary they were/are. I missed the boat early on, honestly. Maybe I was sheltered. Maybe I liked too much Green Day and Weezer at the time. Who knows?

Regardless, check out some of what they're doing these days. It's great and will make you re-think a lot of things, musically.

And while you're at it, listen to some Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins and remember when alternative music was good.

04 April 2009

I'm sure you've heard it all before

I have nothing else to say after reading the study that shows that people who browse YouTube and Facebook at work are nearly 10% more productive. Don't believe me? Read it here.

Not to defend the actions of straying from your daily work needs, but it makes sense. People who can comprehend many bits of data on many pages or tabs are probably more efficient. And here's your proof. I say, let's keep it up, right?

03 April 2009

The advent of a miracle

In a softer side of the world (New York City, yeah right), two veteran baseball teams - The New York Metropolitans and The New York Yankees - are stepping into rookie stadiums this year. Many think the unfamiliarity with the new digs will cause some issues, but The Mets especially, needed something new so dearly. And I think they'll be better for it.

And considering how The Mets have been completely dominating my beloved Cardinals in spring training, I think they have the chops this year to (maybe) not choke in mid-September.

Anyway, it'll be fun to see two old-school clubs in their new houses. I wonder if the new stadiums will come with the HGH that the old ones did.

02 April 2009

Turn your ears, you musicians, to silence

The g20. Truly a global theatre. A dance. A masquerade. A performance. Am I skeptical? Of course. And so should you be. The 20 wealthiest countries in the world coming together to bitch and moan about how bad the other countries are doing and whining about covering each others' debts.

The conclusion? A $1.1 trillion deal to help countries with troubled economies. $1.1 TRILLION. Or - for those keeping score - about one-third of our own national deficit. And, not only could the 20 richest nations only muster $1.1 trillion, but they've tripled their giving to the IMF for a total of $750 billion. And that's because the IMF will certainly give that money right into the socio-economic center of literally starving nations? No. That's not what they do. They provide watchdog financial and practice surveillance to countries not doing so well with the case. Well, that and they provide/fund research for how these countries can better run themselves.
Don't believe me? Check it out directly from the IMF site. The world's largest holder of gold needs $750 billion as much as I need a new Porche 911 Roadster.

Ok, sure...$1.1 trillion is a nice chunk of change, but can we as level-headed people sit back and be comfortable with the US giving $800 billion to Fannie, Freddie, AIG, etc... while Sudan, Niger, Sierra Leone literally starve? It has nothing to do with rescuing our economy and keeping us from depression.

Friends of mine, I encourage you to really do some research as to what our nation alongside these 20 others are really doing to better this world and how if immediately effects you. I urge you to seek the true details of what the US and other nations are actually doing. These are no theories, folks. These are things actually taking place and ruining what the US, as a true republic, was meant to stand for.

Check these sites:
BBC News
Campaign for Liberty (even if you're not a Ron Paul kind of person, *most* of the stuff on here still holds a lot of objective truth)
Free Press

My apologies for such a rant. I welcome a less-intense and more personal conversation with anyone interested in digging in a bit more.

Such is the way of the world

There's been a long strand of pretty heavy and often-times dark films and documentaries that I've viewed recently. Not sure if I'm glutton for feeling deep and intense after watching films, but that's what I've been drawn to. All that to say that it was really refreshing to head to Nashville's wonderful Belcourt Theater to see The Amazing Buck Howard.

It's a no-frills kind of film with a great performance by John Malkovich and a great balance in character with Colin Hanks role as Buck Howard's road manager. And I'll be danged if Colin Hanks is not the spitting image of his father (Tom Hanks, just in case).

The film walks the viewer through Buck Howard's return to the stage as a mentalist/comedian/illusionist. Finding his way through towns like Bakersfield, CA and Wassau, WI, Buck gets right into his element every night and wows the crowds of mid-70s, overweight simpletons.

It's funny, quirky and, to be honest, I wouldn't mind seeing it again. I was just simple to enjoy. So check it out, won't you?

01 April 2009

Last Night I Lost The Will To Fight

April 1 brings a new challenge to The Copeland Blog. Several co-workers and I have decided to partake in a blogging challenge during the month of April. The goal: a blog a day (at least) for the 30 days of the month. And I think this will be good for me.

Now, for you newcomers to this particular blog of irrational thought and opinion, here's a couple of things to know:

A) I try to be mostly objective (most attempts fail) except in cases when I say, "Personally, I loved it." that's not really objective.
B)Most blog titles are song titles or song lyrics. Occasionally, you'll see one that's from a TV show or movie of interest.
C) Most blog titles have nothing to do with the content of the blog
D) Disagreeing with me is oh so welcomed. That's the point...to open up a conversation.

Good. That's all clear. Now, onto the point of this post. In the midst of a blogging challenge, I want to pose a challenge to all of you. The challenge is to watch and/or read BBC World News as much as possible during this much. No excuses for those who don't have cable, because it comes on NPT at 9 PM CST.

The reason for the challenge is to see how drastically daily conversations change and how much broader or view and scope of the world becomes.

So, the challenge(s) are on. It promises to be fun.