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The Spot Magazine | December 2011


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Table of Contents


Keeping up with Sustainable Roots - 8 A Spot For Poetry - 11 Sextrology By: Jyoti - 16 Spot On The World - 20 La Tee Da Model of the Month - 22


Must Have New Music - 36


Movie Throwback - 46


Someone Pissed in the Pabst. Why South Park Won’t Get Any Better Than Its 15th Season - 28




Nostalgia: The Pain of Holiday Films - 40

“MIND Craft?” .... “Nah MINE Craft.” A beginner’s introduction to online crack. 44


Youtube Artists That You Should Know About - 13 A Photo Lookback at our First Two Years - 48


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The Spot Magazine | December 2011


Keeping Up With Sustainable Roots On November 17th at 9:45 am, the R5 SCS club (Spanish Communication and Service Club) embarked on our first Main Street Cleanup! The students were wonderfully enthusiastic as they sifted through the flower beds on Main Street in a competition to see who could pick up the most trash. Some of the less wary students visited some of the stores to introduce themselves and explain what we were doing. It was a great way to spend a morning, and ended with lunch at Pablo’s Pizza. Last month, below the Equator in Ecuador, Amanda Stahlke left Consanga and boarded an airplane in Quito en route back to the United States. She was there for six months and completed positively inspiring work. She eventually formed a marvelous friendship and found a colleague in the other volunteer, Eliana Socha, who will be returning to the United States in December. Eliana described the growth in their friendship by blogging “We hated each other, then we tolerated each other, and now everyone asks if we’re sisters. We’ll have someone to reminisce with once everyone else is sick and tired of hearing about Cosanga, Cosanga, Cosanga. Struggling through a new language and culture together, just the two of us, for months on end, is a pretty powerful bond. Of all the things I’ve gained here, this friendship may be the best.” The two girls arrived in Cosanga within two weeks of each other. When they started working together, whether they liked it or not, they only had a few things

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The Spot Magazine | December 2011

to do compared to the workload they eventually made for themselves. They taught elementary school one hour each weekday and worked with the high school program in the evenings. Although the construction of the first greenhouse had just been completed, they helped the six families to maintain their spaces of the greenhouse. When Amanda left Ecuador, she and Eliana had expanded the English program in the schools to one hour and a half for each grade in elementary school. She and Eliana started an adult English class and an after school program for elementary students. Also, they organized families for the next two greenhouses, and began construction on them, all while helping maintain the first greenhouse. In between these events, they found time to schedule class outings for the high school program including camping, day trips into the jungle, and to the biology station located near Cosanga. These two women have worked exceptionally hard, and have accomplished an inspiring amount of work. They are going to be missed in Ecuador, but I do know that we, in the United States, are eager to see them again. Toni Walters, one of the founders of the organization has found her way to Cosanga, after finding herself stuck in limbo in her search for a visa for a few months. She has been staying in the rented house for the first time. During her previous trips she stayed at the biology station or the hostel. She will be staying for three months and will be joined by Talya Dewey in January.

Written By: Sara Witsken


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A Spot for Poetry

The Spot Magazine | December 2011


The Music There is a song for you Lying in my bed; One that waits To be written. A music – Shivering to be found.

Images A picture just in my hand – A feeling as caustic as That slick paper Between my fingers. A moment in time – The words we said Fell like weighted glass And only the image remains.


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The Spot Magazine | December 2011


Artists that you should know. Over the last year we have noticed a new trend in the underground music industry. A lot of up and coming underground artists are using YouTube. There is a ton of money to be made from YouTube hits. On average an artist can make thirty dollars for every ten thousand hits their video receives. So when these artists are getting millions of views, the YouTube money really starts to add up. In no particular order here are some of the top earners of 2011. If you have not heard them, then you need to check them out and make them some more money. First on the list is MTV Riff Raff out of Houston Texas. Riff has an unusual sound for hip hop. Maybe that is why SODMG Records, Soldier Boy’s label, picked him up. It is hard to figure Riff Raff out. You don’t know if he is a parody, a parody of a parody, or if he is just plain serious. With that said the man does not write his lyrics; all of his songs are freestyles that he remembers. The first song you should check out is Jose Conseco, and then explore his wide variety of tracks.

Slim the Mobster is the new protégé of Dr. Dre. Has a cool style in the fact that he is not out to be known; he just wants his music out there. In his first video “War Music” his face is covered by the bill of his hat for most of the video, as not to let people recognize him in public. His style is one like and better than 50 Cent. And if Dre likes him, then you know the guy has a future in the rap game.

Snow the Product is the other lady of underground rap. Snow is also out of the Bay Area of California. This girl is a very fast lyricist with not very long tracks. This is mainly because she does not have hooks in her tracks, but her style and execution is second to none. Snow the Product is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Mac Miller is the next big one on the list with millions of hits on YouTube. This twenty year old out of Pittsburgh has brought back the essence of hiphop. With many styles under his belt, this kid has studied his trade from a very young age, as shown in his “Best Day Ever” video where the beginning of the video has him rapping Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”. Mac Miller has a whole collection of tracks and underground albums along with many YouTube videos that you are sure to dig.

There are a few girls on this list as well, the first being Kreayshawn. Straight out of Oakland, California, this raspy voiced white girl put out the hit Gucci Gucci. Kreayshawn was brought up by the man on top of this list, Riff Raff. Kreayshawn and her DJ, Little Debbie, have been touring up ever since the release of Gucci Gucci. Kreayshawn’s follow up single “Bumpin” shows a completely different side of her talent with more of a dance track. She has millions of hits for a reason, so check her out.

Yellawolf, who is Eminem’s newest product out of the south, has a very unique style and is a great lyricist. You will immediately see why Eminem picked him up with most of his tracks being about white trash and a troubled upbringing. The newest member of Shady Aftermath Records will really come into the limelight over the next year.


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The Spot Magazine | December 2011


sextrology by Jyoti

Aries March21-April20- Travel may be in store for you this month, have an overnight bag ready! You may be mixing work with social pleasures at this time. Enjoy it. Now is an important phase of learning how to communicate your feelings more effectively with others. Nothing is more sexy than being direct. Time to dig old hobbies out of the closet!

Taurus April21-May 21- Charisma is your keyword for this month! So, deck the halls. Be frugal in your creative expansion to avoid undue stress. Giving up bad habits is important to you. Make adjustments in social circles if needed. Be patient in delicate conversation and remain calm. Now is a good time to make romantic and financial investments. 16 The Spot Magazine | December 2011


Gemini May 22-June21-Time to hone in on your people skills. This will be vital in friendships, work, and romantic interactions. You may feel yourself drawing closer to a special someone in your world. Slow your inner pace a bit by taking short walks. Now is not a good time to take any kind of short cuts. Enjoy taking the scenic route. R.S.V.P. to ALL holiday parties.

Cancer June22- July22- Big changes are happening in your personal relationships, work routine and diet. Focus your energies into “feeling good”. Romantic relationships will require extra time and interest on your part this month. Show appreciation whenever you can and enjoy the blissful returns. Host a fun holiday party for ten of your closest peeps and do it up!

Leo July23-August22- You are feeling quite playful right about now, good Kitty! “Let’s go!” is your key phrase this month. Enjoy many fun social events as you seem to have more invitations than you know what to do with! Remember to take personal time to stay grounded and keep your head clear. Take advantage of any free time and go for a hike.

Virgo August23-September22You may be making a move from a current living situation and possibly work space, as well. These changes will occur mostly to personal security issues. Love relationships will be dramatic and exciting this month. Remember, it is always good to speak the truth, but it’s not always good to speak. Assert yourself CALMLY.

The Spot Magazine | December 2011


Libra September23-October22You now have a strong desire to relate with others on a more intimate level. Domestic life is more fun than usual at this time as you may be expanding your world with an additional home/retreat space. It will seem to appear out of thin air. Stay active during this demanding time of year to keep Sagittarius November22- Deyour energy level up to par. Host a cember21- Who are you? Who weekly hike for your friends. are you, really? You find yourself seeking this in a whole new way. Be open in your quest. Your humanitarian heart expands at this time as you begin to appreciate yourself more. Others see this and want to feel the glow that you seem to have. A hug a day keeps the Doctor away, so does drinking more water. Be aware.

Aquarius January21-February19Time to get back into the social swing again. You have been missed. Love comes in the form of mystery this month. Go with the flow on this. You will appreciate the sensations of being pleasantly surprised and reminded that life can be juicy. Spread the holiday cheer by flashing that beautiful smile to all.

Scorpio October23-November21It’s time to stand up for your beliefs and convictions, now more than ever. Friends and loved ones matter most to you at this time. Enjoy spending extra time with them this month, they will LOVE you for it. Help those who come to you for help now with your very generous heart. The returns on Capricorn December22-Januthese investments will be amazing. ary20- It’s good to know your limits. Exercise this to avoid getting stuck in situations with others who would limit you. To create closeness with a special person in your life, use a calmer tone when speaking and really listen to what they say. This a period of personal renewal for you. Many surprises are in store

Pisces February20-March20- You may find that you are looking inward for deeper understanding of yourself and the world you are a part of. Seeing the differences between you and others will help broaden your ability to communicate with people important to you. Accepting these differences is what creates interest in love relationships. Spark it up!


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The Spot Magazine | December 2011


Spot On The World

Looking Forward: The Tea Leaves for the 2010’s

The Case for Hope: The 2010’s Will More Than Compensate for the Last Decade The U.S. Gets it Right – The United States has, for the last eighty odd years, proven itself the most socially, technologically, and economically innovative nation on the planet. There are plenty of reasons to interpret this history as an outlier, a bubble, and in several important ways it was. We were the first developed country to operationalize a couple of organizational and technological tricks that, it turns out, are more easily copied than not. We are no longer the only economic game in town, and will struggle as our competencies are challenged, manufacturing continues to flee for cheaper foreign shores, white collar jobs are replaced by outsourcing and technology, and downward pressure on wages intensifies. A workforce whose skills and education lag most of the developed world, and a troubled youth that is unaccustomed to hard work and unprepared for a robustly competitive world, will see their expectations frustrated. Yet there is plenty we can do to prove that the American Dream still lives, and is relevant to this new century. Our renaissance, however, requires a political process and a robust public sector than can make the critical investments in our competitiveness, ensure that the social consequences of the radical changes we confront are addressed, and align our civilization with ecological realities. In the early 2010’s, nascent movements like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have brought new vigor to our public life. Before the decade’s end, the tide they started will expand in the form of a

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broad-based, centrist coalition that will reform the worst aspects of our politics: campaign finance laws that enable the powerful to control our system, spend vast sums of money to deceive the public, and neuter wellintentioned reformers; a lack of term limits at the federal level that makes our legislators lazy and diminishes representation; gerrymandering of political districts such that many, if not most, are one-party fiefdoms; and a judicial history that has bestowed upon corporations the same legal standing as natural citizens. With these reforms, the types of leaders that currently cause so much harm and distraction through their manipulation of divisive social issues, virulent anti-governmental rhetoric, unwillingness to tackle big problems, and 20th century solutions, will find it much harder to continue peddling their tired wares. As Carlyle said, no lie can live forever. Revolutions Rock the Middle East – Following a long and torturous history of colonialism and native dictatorship, vast swaths of the Middle East will see popular movements topple leaders that have crippled economies, appropriated vast wealth from their people, and obstructed the realization of democracy and human dignity. This process will be neither quick nor easy, and the transition to more open political systems will inevitably be sometimes hijacked by counterrevolutionaries, military interests, and Islamist movements that will actively, and perhaps violently, oppose our foreign policy interests. Yet for the majority of countries in the Middle East, the endgame is one of greater freedom and opportunity for the region’s billion long-suffering people. Humanity Comes On-Line –

The 20th century was revolutionized by technological innovations engineered by a small handful of countries in North America, Europe, and East Asia that together represent less than a third of the global population. As development spreads at a lightning pace, the internet links researchers, innovators, and businesses across space and time, and more young people are graduating universities in the developing world than in the Global North, vast swaths of the human race are entering the innovation economy as creators and producers. The addition of these new and ambitious minds will transform civilization, from scientific breakthroughs in medicine, materials, computing and chemistry, to business innovation and new cultural production, beginning this decade. A New Guard in China? – The Chinese economic miracle has operated on a tenuous bargain between the Chinese people and the Communist Party. Iron rule by the party continues as a historical anomaly in the 21st century precisely because party apparatchiks have proven so successful as delivering growth and improving quality of life. Yet, with rising incomes and expectations, a youth able to outsmart Internet censors and secret police, and a growing consciousness of the effects dirty, industrial growth is having on people and the environment, widespread demands for political and social reforms are ripe to emerge. Protests will likely be sparked by demonstrations of the banality, injustice, and corruption of the Communist regime, and will be easily as sophisticated as those today in the Arab World.

The Spot Magazine | December 2011

Slowly but surely, the old guard dinosaurs that have long lead the party are falling prey to young reformers raised not in the crucible of Mao’s reign, but in the age of global integration and rising power. Whether these leaders will prove more or less expansionist and geopolitically aggressive than the old guard remains to be seen. Run for the Hills: The Case for the 2010’s as a Disaster The Bubble Bursts – However you slice the pie, there are strong arguments to be made that rabidly progrowth policies the world around have created an integrated global economy laced with land mines. From the housing market in China to indebted Western governments that are printing sizeable sums of money, or the project of European integration now facing a mortal crisis, the potential for painful economic contagion will linger through the decade. While capitalism has proven a remarkable system in many ways, among its less desirable traits is an uncanny ability to pass the buck on structural imbalances, and translate crises from one region to another overnight. The World Fails to Act – When the International Panel on Climate Change published its flagship report in 2006, it represented the largest scientific collaboration in human history, with 2,500 core participating scientists. Given the vast sums of money spent by the powerful interests backing climate change deniers, the paltry number of scientists they’ve managed to rally to support their arguments should leave no sober person wondering if climate change poses the biggest threat civilization faces today. Given the cost and difficulty of, and long-term thinking required by, efforts to dramatically curb carbon

emissions, green our built environment, and engineer new transport and energy technologies, and the international blame game these inspire, I expect world leaders will fail to muster the will for concerted action and sacrifice. Outbreak – It won’t be anything as mediagenic as a zombie apocalypse, but we are overdue for a global pandemic. Populations continue to grow, crowding countries and entire regions. Air travel and globalization have rendered borders mute. Billions of the poor live in close quarters with livestock that encourage disease mutation and transmission. The World Health Organization, and governments generally, have proven their chops in fighting SARS and the flu’s of the last decade. Whether their successful streak of preventing the spread outbreaks will continue remains to be seen. The last big global pandemic to run rampant was the 1918 “Spanish” flu, which infected 500 million – 1 in 4 people on the planet - and killed between 50 and 100 million people. Food Supplies Imperiled – There’s no way around it. Modern industrial agriculture, reliant on fossil fuel inputs, intensive land use, and mechanization, is damaging soils, mismanaging water, throwing out thousands of years of crop diversity and local knowledge in favor of sterile chemical monocrop production vulnerable to new pathogens, and occupying what would otherwise be a vast labor sink. As populations grow and a booming middle class in Asia and elsewhere demand more meat, a world where almost all productive land is under cultivation will see increased competition for food, and soaring food prices, as environmental degradation and urbanization meanwhile deplete the healthy land available.


Over the Edge – The list of strategically vital countries on the precipice today is troubling. From Mexico to Pakistan, North Korea to the Philippines, rampant violence and social dissolution, discredited and inept governments, or a lack of opportunity and basic human safety threaten spirals into chaos that would reverberate widely. Things I Don’t Lose Sleep Over Oil – You’ll hear a lot about Peak Oil these days. It’s not that these theories are unfounded, or not worth our consideration, but they do needlessly discount the ability of energy companies to innovate, find new sources, engineer solutions, and make economical the energy-rich fuels that are the lifeblood of civilization and our biggest distinction from the Dark Ages. Whether we can afford to continue relying on these polluting fuels, or will be able to weather the effects of higher prices, are other questions entirely. International Terrorism – Terrorism defined the course of the 2000s in the West and Southwest Asia. It continues to pose a real threat to people throughout the world, and must be condemned for all its reprehensibility, as with any other form of organized violence. Along the vast arc from Marrakesh to Jakarta, violence by minority groups remains an important security concern. So much of terrorism’s impact, however, comes from the ways we react to it, through which we empower its perpetrators. Our capacity to weather most conceivable attacks is far stronger than we realize. In the scheme of things, terrorism is not likely to be remembered as a mortal threat to 21st century civilization a hundred years from now.

Joel Dyar

model of the month

Shonda Laurelee Mackey age? 24 where are you from? Grand Junction/and Florence What pushes your buttons? Ignorance and Inconsiderate People. What makes you wake up every day? Everything, I love my life and appreciate every day! Even in the hard times! Who do you admire? Marilyn Monroe. If you could tell the whole world one thing, what would it be? Never give up on yourself! Keep pushing forward everyday and believe in yourself and your dreams, they WILL come!!!!

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The Spot Magazine | December 2011


Someone Pissed In The Pabst:

Why South Park Won’t Get Any Better Than Its 15th Season By: Rick McDowell

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The Spot Magazine | December 2011

It has been fourteen years, and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone still manage to make us shit our pants on a regular basis. Since the shows premiere in 1997, South Park has received many prestigious acclaims; an Oscar nomination, a Peabody, four Emmy’s, and profanity-laden criticism straight from the mouth of American Catholic League head, William Donahue. Despite its lewd content, South Park manages to maintain an extremely devout following. Without question, it has maintained its razor-sharp satire, and, for the most part, kept a middle-ground approach in its own war against overall fanaticism. Evolving from a crude love letter to Monty Python written on cardboard construction paper to Generation Y’s answer to the Saturday Evening Post’s political cartoon section, fans are extremely finicky about which era truly embodies what the show is all about. There are those who appreciate the simplicity and punk rock attitude of the first three seasons and there are some who argue the refinement and logic that All In The Family creator Norman Lear brought to the shows’ forefront in the seventh and eight seasons. No matter what, opinions will always differ as to what makes South Park definitive. Despite any amount of debate among South Park fans, this much is certain: when the fifteenth season was sub-labeled “the season of the fan”, it was done with absolute sincerity, and consideration at the creator’s expense, in terms of

generating buzz within the fan base. Ask any South Park resident (for lack of a more flavorful term for South Park’s fan base), and they will tell you that there is always a particular “gimmick” in effect every season. These gimmicks aren’t usually intended to increase viewership, or generate media attention, although both have happened at times. Season five saw more exposure of the Butters character, in an attempt to establish him as a “5th Wheel” to the core group. Season ten saw its share of mud-slinging at the expense of some of South Park’s biggest contemporary critics, including former cast member Isaac Hayes, and Family Guy creator Seth McFarland. Last season stirred its own debate, as to whether or not the 2-parter “200” (which in itself was a revisit on several of the most notorious South Park plot threads), actually irked death threats out of religious extremists, targeted at the show’s creators. So, this last March, when fans sat down to watch the latest season, many were caught unaware to the amount of meta-humor taking place at the expense of the show itself. While not evident in every episode, many episodes included many recurring themes and jokes which only furthered the overall setup of this season’s theme. Starting with the second episode “Funnybot”, South Park managed to take some serious jabs at the behind-the-scenes politics at their own network, Comedy Central. With some help from a


Dr. Who-inspired antagonist, the episode manages to show South Park’s own nuts and bolts (no pun intended), by summing up the fact that everything that makes a Comedian great can be interchangeable, and still reverent. The viewer learns this can be obtained by establishing a system of interchangeable punch lines, based on current events permeating the human collective consciousness in a means that invokes laughter, , and a sense of awkwardness afterwards, by those meant to enjoy it. One of the overall recurring jokes of this season was a series of jokes that were aimed at Native Eskimo peoples. Normally, the writers of this show are never shy about making fun of any ethnicity, culture, religion, or orientation. As long as it was at the expense of a group’s over-zealous nature to push an agenda at the expense of others, that was OK. But the recurring Eskimo jokes that popped up in several episodes stem from the fact that the show is almost admitting that they have run out of special interest groups to make fun of. So, instead of nosing out new extremists to mock (which they managed to do anyway), now they were going to make sport of an indigenous group of people with no stake in global politics as a means to show how far along the show has come in its massive public service crucifixion campaign. Perhaps the most talked about episode this season, was the midseason cliffhanger “You’re Getting Old”.

South Park’s humor has usually been aimed at outward sources, special interest groups and individuals who loved something too much, and needed addressed. In a rare instance, “You’re Getting Older” managed to remind everybody that despite the fact that South Park is very good at having a laugh at others expense, it wasn’t above taking a good look at its own reflection, and noticing its own flaws. After turning 10 years old, show protagonist Stan starts developing an early on-set of cynicism. Everything that seems new or different to him culturally is starting to look like shit. Literally. The classic debate of music as an example of cynical taste is presented, as well as a mock-up of what nerds affectionately refer to as “Fan Boy Rage”, when the boys take a trip to see X-Men: First Class. The episode ends on an unfathomable down note, with Stan’s parents divorcing over their lack of agreement over anything. Subtle clues laced throughout this season fueled gossip amongst the fans and media that suggested Trey Parker and Matt Stone may had finally grew tired of their Magnum Opus, and were considering moving on. Following the episode’s broadcast, NBC’s The TODAY Show ran a piece suggesting that the show was on the ropes, due to Parker and Stone’s recent success with their Broadway musical, The Book Of Mormon. Central was returning shots back at South Park’s criticism with a series of advertisements promoting the station’s 30

other hit show, Comedy Tosh.0, taking some below-the-belt jabs at South Park’s expense. Some fans were even speculating that the show was setting up another notorious prank on its viewers, which they did at the end of the first season 2-parter “Cartman’s Mom Is A Dirty Slut”. This particular ruse has remained notorious among South Park fans, as it set up the first part during the season finale, as to the true identity of who character Eric Cartman’s real father. After three long months of patient waiting, South Park fans tuned in for the season premier, expecting answers. What they got, was a throw away Terrence and Phillip story that aired on April Fool’s Day. Some fans were extremely disappointed, however, in the true spirit of what South Park is all about, this ploy was a pretty innovative comedic move on the show’s part, at the time. Fans weren’t sure if the show was even going to come back in the fall. However, upon the show’s return in October, the follow-up episode “Assburgers” managed to quickly return the show to its status quo. South Park managed to throw the fans for another loop. However, this time, it was in a very unexpected way. The tension that was built up with “You’re Getting Older” came from watching all the main characters of this show go through serious life-changing decisions, which very well could have been permeable, and changed the way people watched the show from that point on.

What “You’re Getting Older” did, was remind the audience that despite all its wit and humor, at the core of this television show were a bunch of characters that everybody connected with, and cared for. These themes were eventually revisited again toward the end of the season, first crudely, and satirical, in the throw-back episode “Bass to Mouth”, then emotionally in the season finale “The Poor Kid”. “The Poor Kid” managed to show viewers how long-time show staple Kenny, despite his shortcomings and many deaths, also has come to serve as an emotional rock for some instances, as him and his siblings are forced into an abusive foster home. Kenny manages to shelter his younger sister’s trauma of the situation, by switching to his super hero identity Mysterion, and protecting her from various threats that incur. Fans rarely get a chance to see Kenny take an active role, due to his silent nature. Anytime he does, it’s an extreme treat for the viewers, and in the end, this episode in particular really put that extreme to good use. All tear-jerkers and cliffhangers aside, South Park had plenty of people to poke a stick at this season. Apple Computers, Wikileaks, the NCAA, and the Occupy Wall Street movement were all fair game. Surprisingly enough, South Park’s biggest complaint wasn’t from the mouth of a jaded politician, or an outspoken public interest group, or even from their own bosses at Comedy Central. It seems that this year, South Park’s

The Spot Magazine | December 2011

biggest offense was taken by the Milwaukee beer makers who produce Pabst Blue Ribbon. After portraying the Hipster choicebrew as the official bear of domestic disturbance-causing white trash (in an ad campaign sponsored by rival Schlitz, none the less), Pabst issued a statement on the wires calling for an apology, stating that Pabst prides itself solely, on its merits that it has been around as an award-winning beer for over a hundred years. Pretty ironic, since the only reason Pabst has enjoyed any resurgence of popularity, can be attributed to the fact that young drinkers mainly drink the beer in an ironic statement based on the observation that Pabst is the stereotypical beer enjoyed by domestic disturbancecausing white trash. Makes you wonder who Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to piss off next year. Proving that a large amount of money conquers all, South Park has been renewed for another 5 seasons, up through the year 2016. Between now and then, it would be impossible for the writers to pull another stunt off the same way they did with this most recent season, with the possible exception of any plans for the final season. In the meantime, we can still take solace in the fact that we can’t wait to see how much more morally deprived Eric Cartman can actually get, at this point…


Rick McDowell is a former DJ at KMSA, an avid blogger, and is part of the Grand Junction-based hip hop/punk project MACBASTARD. You can write him love letters on FaceBook, tweet him on Twitter, read his stuff on Tumblr, or just go click like on his band’s fan page (


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must have new music

Group: Hail Mary Mallon Album: “Are you gonna eat that?” Label: ryhmesayers Release Date: May 3rd. 2011 Genre: Hip-Hop


Group: Asking Alexandria Album: “Stepped Up and Scratched” Label: Sumerian Records Release date: November 21st. 2011 Genre: Metalcore

Group: Atmosphere Album: “The Family Sign” Label: Ryhmesayers Release Date: April, 2011 Genre: Hip-Hop

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The Spot Magazine | December 2011



The Pain of Holiday Films By: Brad McGinty

As we turn our eyes to the holidays (admittedly with Thanksgiving now past) it’s time for Hollywood to start churning out crap that sells, not just selling tickets to the films but also products based on the films and home videos. Yes, I just used the term home video even though it has long since become an antiquated idea, but with the current market fight between Blu-Ray and DVD formats it seems appropriate to throw time for a loop and look backward for an all-inclusive term. Turning time back is truly at the heart of this Holiday Film Season and looks to be a mixed bag in terms of profitability. “The Muppets” poses this question both inherently as a franchise re-boot of sorts and also as part of its central plot.

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The Muppets (who, for the love of all that is holy, are NOT puppets) find the title characters in a bind: they are about to lose the rights to their studio and themselves and must band together again to restore and reclaim all that they once had. It makes sense that this film would be written by a fan of the franchise. It talks clearly (and in a derogatory fashion) of the current bent of film and TV programming and calls for a return to greatness. Here’s the interesting bit to me: kids don’t seem to care. The film just isn’t aimed at them. I took the opportunity to see this film twice in the week that it was released and noticed something truly amazing. Parents and grandparents laughed at the antics and jokes provided but the children just took it all in stride. Why would they?


They know no difference. They have no stake in the argument knowing only what has been placed before them in their short lifetimes. While some may have a connection to the characters on Sesame Street, they don’t have that relationship with The Muppets who behave like adults in an Aaron Sorkin script by comparison. They speak at a normal speed and don’t have lengthy explanations of numbers of letters; they don’t care if you are keeping up, much like adults holding a private conversation in your presence, and just keep going about their own business with or without you. I cannot deny that there will be a handful of kids clamoring for a Kermit watch or some such attached merchandise.

The Spot Magazine | December 2011

But I can say that it will surely be in the minority from what I’ve seen in my experience and conversations with others. An anecdote: the best part of my viewings was a young girl about 12 or 13 leaning over to her father and asking him to stop laughing because he was embarrassing her. So why does it matter? Well, The Muppets has already made its original cost back and some. It marketed itself to adults as Disney did little in the way of promotional support on television, choosing instead to use social networking as the primary avenue for marketing. This method captures teens and adults but leaves out most children that you would think Disney would target. This is also extremely cheap (or maybe just cost-effective). On the other hand we have the holiday release of Martin Scorcese’s children’s film Hugo. If you’ve seen TV in the last month or two you’re surely aware of this film’s release. It is based on another style of property, a (gasp) book, and is filmed in the currently so popular 3D. This film had “holiday blockbuster” stamped across its face. But, yet, across the 5-day Thanksgiving weekend Hugo grossed only $15.5 million compared to The Muppets’ $41.5m. I have no doubts that some executive is sitting at a desk this very moment trying to find a reason for this in order to save his job. The reasons are simple though. Hugo just isn’t a movie for children and was marketed horribly. Hugo suffers from horrific

pacing issues (by which I mean that the film drags in areas and makes you wonder if, perhaps, just to take a break from its barrage of adequacy, you should go buy a soda from the concession stand and, you know, not come back). Hugo is visually strong but there is little need for the 3D technology. And, finally, it is set in 1930’s France which, checking... checking, kids don’t care about at all. Oh, and most adults don’t either. And the small market of people who do will be put off by the fact that the French characters in the film spend most of the time (note: “most” being the operative word) speaking in an English accent. This might have been lost on me had it not been for the single child-less bearded gentleman sitting behind me, in the otherwise empty theater, bringing it up every ten minutes. I should thank him though as I probably would’ve drifted into a boredom-induced slumber without his perpetual noting of this and the chance spilling of his large soda (or urinating quite loudly onto the floor, I did not turn around to check). This isn’t to say that Hugo is without charm. It is to say that Hugo is completely flat and has negative charm. Scoring on a scale of 1-10, with a score of ten being the highest, the emotional connection I felt to the story or characters, it would score a “whatever happened to Burmashave?” Seriously it is just a train wreck (oh, the train wreck scene was very well filmed). In this reviewer’s mind the film is still worth


watching though. Scorcese has a habit of integrating shots or scenes that work as homages to films and directors that he loves in most of his movies (I still catch stuff in “The Departed” that I previously overlooked). He must have been practically giddy to film Hugo. Hugo has, contained within its plot, a discussion of early cinema and I audibly gasped more than once to see some of Scorsese’s shots. It serves as a personal love letter to these early works that Scorsese probably signed with an unnecessary amount of X’s and O’s. I could write pages and pages listing these scenes but instead encourage you to use the Internet to your advantage here as this has been done already by every other reviewer (and, in some cases, more exhaustibly than I could hope). The one thing that many other reviewers failed to mention or notice is that Scorsese doesn’t just reference early cinema but also slips in homages to films spanning up to the 1980’s (and that’s just what I caught, there may be more). So, in summary, “Hugo” fails and “The Muppets” succeed because of the ability to capture an audience based on properties and nostalgia. Parents wanted to know what the Muppets themselves had been up to all of this time. Film buffs would be the target audience for Hugo but parents seem to have decided that they don’t care and children, having already read the book, were apparently

Nostalgia: The Pain of Holiday Films

So, in summary, “Hugo” fails and “The Muppets” succeed because of the ability to capture an audience based on properties and nostalgia. Parents wanted to know what the Muppets themselves had been up to all of this time. Film buffs would be the target audience for Hugo but parents seem to have decided that they don’t care and children, having already read the book, were apparently looking for something new and shiny to be excited about. Neither of the films are causing kids to drag their parents to the film (which doesn’t bode well for property-based toy futures). But “The Muppets” caused parents to drag their children in tow to relive a moment from their lost-to-age lives and that is why it has been a monetary success. “The Muppets”: A delightful film that plays itself tongue-in-check. This reviewer came close to crying at least once (and wasn’t the only adult to do so in the screenings I attended). While I don’t believe it to hold a candle to the original “The Muppet Movie,” it holds its own well enough. It will not stand the test of time because it works hard to place itself in the current environment (a sign of slipshod writing if there ever is one). However, it is a great reminder of a property with promise, long abused by the people at Disney in such horrific titles as “Muppets From Space” and, may God have mercy on their souls, “The Muppets’ Wizard Of Oz.” This is an attempted return to greatness that focuses on the most adult element of the original

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of the original Muppets concept, “The Muppet Show.” To grade on a scale of 1-10 Pastadogs with 10 being the highest available rating: 8.18 Pastadogs. “Hugo”: Fails to establish any sense of connection between the characters’ plights and the audience. It’s a story about an orphan that made “Annie” look like a work of Cormac McCarthy. It lacks subtlety, surprises, and emotional content. The film has horrible pacing and the visuals go between flat and grand. However for old-movie buffs or the extremely pretentious, like myself, it is sadly a must-see. Some of the classic footage inserted within is great to view in such scale and the inserted Scorsese homages are worth noting. This reviewer imagines a possible drinking game where shots are taken each time the director lifts a scene or shot whole-cloth or shows/recreates a classic piece of film. Sadly, everyone would die of alcohol poisoning within the first half-hour. No viewer of any film will ever have more chance to lean over and say things like “oh, he’s replicating that from xxx (where xxx is the title of a very obscure film that you probably have never even heard of).” On the Pastadog Scale: 5.67 Pastadogs. To grade on the Pretentious Monocle-Wearing Pastadog Scale: 8.64 Monocles that come from a rare factory that only made them for a short time before getting into the Beet farming business, you wouldn’t understand how much better their monocles are.


Brad McGinty

The Spot Magazine | December 2011


“MIND Craft?” .... “Nah MINE Craft.” A beginner’s introduction to online crack. By: E.B. Ricky Stauken Wiki Says “Minecraft is focused on “Minecraft is focused on creativity creativity and building, allowing and building, allowing players to players to build constructions out of go anywhere they want on an open textured cubes in a 3D world. Game- Multiplayer/Classic server and make play in its commercial release has crack. Gameplay, in its commercial two principal modes: Survival, which and free release, has two principal requires players to acquire resources modes: Make crack and Play some themselves and maintain their health lame-ass RPG shit. In “creative/make and hunger; and Creative, where the crack mode” you are given the ability player has an unlimited supply of to fly, and no concept of health or resources, the ability to fly, and no hunger, and unlimited brick materials concept of health or hunger. A third with different skins like “brick” and gameplay mode, named Hardcore, “teal”. Also Glass.... to see through. ratchets up the difficulty of surviving Like Crack. and forces the player to delete his or her world upon death. An outdated Making crack is the obvious choice of Classic version is also available for modes. Survival is what I already do, free, although it is no longer being in the real world. developed. Creative Minecraft re sembles Classic, but with many more A third gameplay mode, named features.” Hardcore, ratchets up the difficulty As far as the basic discussion of surviving and forces the player goes, this is a good summary of to delete his or her world upon what Minecraft is about. For the death, which is lame and on some creative individual, I will now give “AlphaBoy” based “I spent 1 million the “E.Bikipedia” description of the hours playing a stupid game” type “game” ish. An outdated Classic version that is free on MINECRAFT.NET, has a multiplayer server list for creating crack on other peoples server’s....that

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they get to keep.” End of definition. Making crack shouldn’t take a million hours, and on the free Classic version of Minecraft, it doesn’t. Skipping “survival mode” all together, and spending a few hours at a time getting lost in a FULLY 3-D environment that you can BUILD in..... is where it’s at. When first arriving to, you will need to sign up for a free account and pick your user name. The nice thing is the classic version runs in a JAVA based environment, so you don’t have to download anything, IF you already have Java (Most do and if you don’t, the , the game links you to get it). The bad thing is that in runs in a Java based environment, and REQUIRES patience for loading. REMEMBER you are playing on server’s that are often HOME based so linking takes a min. When you click a server name off the “multiplayer” list, you need to just back up, and let yer P.C. load up the platform. Depending on the machine, it could take up to a full 2-3

The Spot Magazine | December 2011

It almost brings me back to waiting on loads in the 80’s. Commodore 64/128 Bard’s Tale anyone. Er even Baldur’s Gate ANYWAY. Once in said server, you are usually put into the Main room of the server’s “world”. You will need to click the center of the screen first to activate Java, and then hit the “t” button for text or “command entry”. You will then type in “/worlds”.... this should show a list of available building rooms, and most of the time they are in color titles that corresponds to your builder level. Depending on yer rank, you can type “/goto” and the name of the world. THIS is where it gets interesting: See in the world of MINECRAFT, you are only allowed to build where the server OVERLORD is going to allow you. Most of the time you are thrown on a trashed level that you have to find a space a build QUICK. You then beg a “mod” through the “text” feature to come and “review and rank” yer work, so you can “rank up” and get the hell outta these trashed rooms, and be allowed to build in the upper worlds that have AMAZING structures that obviously took DAYS of return visits to build. For a creative person, THIS to me is the REAL beauty of this game. The idea that each one of these servers is like personal “virtual” art and architectural museum that they the server OVERLORD (and you/us if the server stays online) gets to keep and see WHENEVER he wants to. NOW..... I don’t wanna totally dookie on the “survival” side of the game. There are multiple modes within survival that allow it to be peaceful with ZERO monsters and ALL mining yer stuff to build with. I have to say that, as an “adult”, the time consumed to “mine” yer blocks is what scares me off, but is what I am SURE attracted my 11 year old to it. Yes..... This was brought to me...... PURE CRACK ..... by my son. See, he has all the time in the world to mine: gravel, sand, wood, silver, gold, diamonds....... for making: swords, armor, switches, doors,boxes to keep loot and blocks in, and a bed for that matter. I, on the other hand, have a couple hours at a time and choose to create with that time. It’s logic really. If yer a “maker”, skip being a “miner”. Once you have totally lost yerself within this “game”, you are then to realize that if you pay 20 bucks you can get a better version and have access to RIDICULOUS amounts of servers. With building rules, zoning, and economies ( YES.... you can sell buildings and trade things you mine for ACTUAL money.......) I will personally stick to the free


free version and just build stuff, BUT, it sounds lucrative for say..... An 11 year old who already knows how to open a server on his own P.C. I gotta keep an eye on this little MineCrack dealer. Also look up (via WIKI): Terraria, a 2D action-adventure/RPG with sandbox building elements v Ace of Spades, a 3D first-person shooter with sandbox building elements Dwarf Fortress, an indie game that combines aspects of roguelike and city-building games and is primarily known for its unique level of complexity and difficulty.

Movie Throwback

Movie: Bio-Dome Year: 1996 Director: Jason Bloom Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin After Bud and Doyle find out they have been dooped by their girlfriends. They stop at a “mall” to use the bathroom. As they are using the facilities they are oblivious that just outside there is a ribbon cutting send off party for the Bio-Dome 5. A group of scientists that are locking themselves in a sustainable living dome for one year. When Bud and Doyle come out they find themselves locked in for one year. They become the “chaos Factor” of the experiment. Bud and Doyle take the chaos to the extreme making the Bio-Dome their own personal playground. With everything from golf to bungee jumping. And with their Shana gins comes consequence. The irresponsible duo kill the Bio-Dome experiment one day when they find a window that is not secure and throw an epic party inside the dome. The next day they find out how bad the damage is and they relock the Bio-Dome and plan out a way to fix it. At the end the two come out a little bit more aware of the environment. One of the epic comedies of the 90’s that is a must watch even a decade later. 46 The Spot Magazine | December 2011


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