Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11/28/07- Paul Scheer talks to me about the Writers Guild of America strike...

(left to right) Aziz Ansari and Paul Scheer on the picket line.

Writer, star of such shows as Human Giant and Best Week Ever, Upright Citizens Brigade alum, and good friend of the blog, Paul Scheer took some time out to talk to me this week about the W.G.A. strike and is here to break down just what exactly this whole strike actually means for the writers and you.

1. Most people have no clue what this writers strike is actually about. Quite frankly, what is it all about?

It's kinda complex but at the same time pretty simple. The Writers Guild protects the Writer's rights and helps create programs for residuals, payments, health care etc... and the Producers Guild represents the producers, they want to make sure that they get properly compensated for the projects they invest in.

The big hot button issue is that the producer's guild doesn't want to pay the writers for any of their projects in new media (mainly the internet). For example something like "Webisodes" from your favorite shows are written by writers and so far their hasn't been a program to compensate them for rendering such a service. The same is true for internet downloads. The writers believe that they should share in the revenue of these new types of technology but the producers keep telling the writer's it's too soon to tell if the internet is going to be profitable. However they are simultaneously telling their share holders that the internet is the future for new additional revenue. So something doesn't add up.

In 1988 during the last writer's strike the Producers made the same case with Home Video. They didn't believe Home Videos would be profitable and the writer's believed them and they saw very little revenue from the Billion Dollar DVD and VHS market. So this time the writers were cautious not to get screwed over.

For more detailed and better analysis of the situation check out and

2. What will the strike mean for people's favorite t.v. shows?

Well daily scripted Talk Shows were affected first. Shows like the Daily Show, Letterman, Colbert, Conan, etc...All have been in repeats for the last 2 and 1/2 weeks since the start of the strike. As far as scripted shows go right now people aren't really going to notice a big difference right away but in a few weeks scripted shows will also be going into repeats because the scripting of new episodes stopped when the strike started and once they run out of scripts shows go dark. Hypothetically if the strike was to continue for a long time. The only new shows you'd see would be REALITY SHOWS. Which would suck.

Movies are also being affected, for example The Davinci Code Sequel stopped Pre Production because of script problems that can't be fixed because of the writers strike. Even work on the new Star Trek Film has been compromised because JJ Abrams who is a WGA member as well as a director can't script any new lines while filming because doing so would violate the WGA stance on writing during the strike. Those are just 2 examples from a wide array of problems in the feature film world. So as you can see the problem is BIG.

3. Do you see the strike coming to an end anytime soon?

On Monday, the Producers and Writer's Guild have agreed to return to the table to continue negotiations after 2 weeks of silence. So that is a really good sign. But no one can be sure about when exactly this will end. However once both sides can agree to a fair deal and TV and Films can start again.

4. What is it like out there on the picket line? Are you finding it to be a suprisingly good place to network with other writers?

The Picket lines in NYC are a lot of fun actually unless it's raining, then it kinda sucks. But we do get to march around one of those one of those big inflatable pigs, that is pretty awesome. Obviously we are there with a defined purpose but it's great to see familiar faces and hang out with people who normally are swamped with work to do anything. I'm just really impressed and honored to be in a community who have come out in such a big way to support each other and this strike through picketing, viral videos, blog posts and even fund raising shows, like SNL and 30 Rock's live UCB Theater performances for the production staff of their shows.

5. What will be the impact of the strike on people who have roles other then a writer(such as producer, camera man, tech guys...etc)?

Production staff unfortunately is taking the biggest brunt of the strike because they are being fired from their jobs as shows and films stop production. Essentially many people are going on unemployment and unfortunately at the end of the strike these people won't benefit either way. The WGA and Producers Guild recognize that and it's in their best interests to get people back to work. I know this is one of the most troubling aspects of the strike for me. But luckily many of these people in production have been supportive of the writers and their stance, which is great.

A skit by Fred Armisen dealing with the strike:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

11/27/07- VAF89 Mailbag...

This month's hatemail:

Jordan from Westchester, P.A. writes:

"How can you say such things about Kanye West so soon after his own mother died?"

Well Jordan, it would seem as if you have a rare case of mental retardation with a slight outbreak of down syndrome, so i'm going to spell it out for you: I can say these things because they are based in logic, proven true by example, and wrapped in a blatant display of ego. Besides, if Kanye West, for some godawful reason, actually cares about what some seventeen year-old douche like me thinks about him on the internet, then he really is a bigger narcissist then i'm painting(and proving) him to be.

Dave from West Palm Beach, Florida writes:

"Why isn't Radiohead on your stupid list of the top 5 greatest bands of the 90's?"

First of all, if my list is so stupid, then why did you care about it enough to write me a letter? Second of all, as I have explained in a previous post, Radiohead has been getting way too much credit lately for releasing their album for free online(which I am calling a desperate move on their part to garner publicity). Go on Wikipedia and check the facts. "Creep" was a big hit in the mid-90's here in America, but was never topped. If you really want to get technical, they can be considered a one-hit-wonder. Before people go e-mailing me yet again, yes, I realize that they have maintained popularity in England, but as is the case with many one-hit-wonders. Shit, half of all of those 80's one-hit bands have seen some form of continued success across the pond, but have never been able to top themselves here in America.

Dana from Hoboken, New Jersey writes:

"At then end of your post about radio sucking so badly in a politically correct world, you said "Fuck Opie and Anthony". Why? What the fuck did they ever do?"

"What the fuck did they ever do?" Well, besides stealing ideas and bits from Howard Stern, not a goddamn fucking thing. They are one of the main reasons why radio sucks, because they are a prime example of how unoriginal and stale regular radio has become. They can't come up with interesting shit to say on their own, so they "shock" their audience with bits and gags that Howard Stern has been doing for years. Also, they are screwing their fans over big time. Why would someone who paid for a subscription to XM, just to hear Opie and Anthony, keep paying their monthly fee when they can hear most of the show on regular radio for free?

11/26/07- State of the Blog...

The Rundown:

* I'm back. After stuffing my gullet with piles of the most delicious feast that you can imagine, and subsequently becoming ill with the flu because I was forced to deal with anemic, sickly customers all weekend at my job, I am back(you know you missed me).

* Interviews. Yeah, I know. I dropped the ball on the whole interview thing the past month. But I actually did make an effort to get people, it's just that when I threw out a line, no one bit. I'll try harder this month. But I was also a little sidelined by my next bullet point.

* My radio show. Yes, it is indeed true. I finally have my own radio show. It is broadcast once a week from 4:00pm-7:00pm every Wednesday on WSIA 88.9 fm New York. I know that 90% of you do not live in the radius of the station's broadcast signal, so come Wednesday, be sure to listen online at Also, call me up and make a request, toll free, at: 1-(718)-982-3060.

* Christmas blowout. I made mention of this in the last S.O.T.B. This Christmas, I will be taking an extended Christmas break. Instead of leaving just a "Best-of", I will be leaving you an entire year-end blowout ensemble that should make you forget all about the fact that you got clothes for Christmas instead of an X-Box 360.

The following is a list of treats and rarities that you will find in the aforementioned "ensemble":

- A "Best of the Blog 2007 edition" highlighting links to some of the best posts of '07.

- Rare message board posts made by me.

- An exclusive "failed interview" that makes my interview with Patton Oswalt look like my interview with Human Giant.

- Slightly humorous essays from my High School era.

- B-side material that was too lengthy to cut it as part of just a cutting-room-floor montage at the end of each month, yet lacking large amounts of the normal dry wit and slight humor that would constitute me posting it on it's own.

- And much, much more(ok, not too much more, but maybe a few other things).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

11/21/07- Californication vs. Californication...

You may have heard that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are suing Showtime over the title of their latest hit show: "Californication". Some un-informed douchebag posted this on AOL NewsBlogger:

"The Red Hot Chili Peppers have sued Showtime over the title of the network's show "Californicating," claiming that the word is associated with the band. This seems foolish. First of all, they aren't the first band to think of it. There's a J. Geils Band song called "Californicatin'" from all the way back in 1984, from an album called "You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Odd" (now, that's original). Second of all, isn't this just a ploy by the band to get more publicity?"

This shithead could not be more wrong. There are many things wrong with that paragraph. The first being that the show is called "Californication"(like the Chili Peppers album and song) not "Californicating".

Second, the J. Geils reference is moot because their song is called "Californicatin'" NOT "Californication". Not that anyone even knows of "Californicatin'".

Third, the fucking word "Californication" IS associated with the band. It was their biggest selling album and their biggest selling single to date. They have excellent grounds to sue. When I first heard of the show "Californication" I thought that the band had an input in it somehow(something along the lines of the show using their music as a soundtrack). Also, I guess that this very informed "news writer" forgot to mention that there is a character on the show named "Dani California". Oops!

As for this putz claiming that this is a way for them to get publicity, I say this: Why would they need it? They've been around since the late 1980's and are still making commercially successful albums that are also beloved by critics.

Let me put it to you this way: if you were a band, and the titles from two of your songs as well as your most successful album were being used to sell a T.V. show for profit, wouldn't you want some fucking royalties?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

11/20/07- Karma's a bitch...

Back in September I posted my thoughts on Kanye West and how he has a huge, Trump-esque ego(see here: I had a strong feeling that Karma would find it's way into his life one way or the other, and I was right.

Last week his mother died from plastic surgery malpractice. While in any other case I would feel sympathetic, in this case I can only just stand back and say that Kanye has finally paid for his big, overblown ego with his mother's life.

Why? Simple. Kanye and his mother grew up poor, humble people. Once Kanye got a little cash from his record sales, he was bitten by greed. In turn, his mother was also brought into the equation because she was his manager. She used Kanye's money to get the plastic surgery that killed her. So, in a way, Kanye West killed his own mother because if he never made all of that money off of stealing other people's instrumentals, his mother couldn't have taken his money, and couldn't have gotten plastic surgery, and wouldn't have died.

Also, it was reported that he broke down and cried on stage during a performance the other day. This further proves that Kanye West has a huge ego. Even though his fucking mother just kicked the bucket, he somehow still found time to perform instead of being with his family.

And don't fucking e-mail me saying: But Vin, he has contracts to obligate, he can't cancel all of his shows. Bullshit! The White Stripes canceled an entire leg of their tour last month because Meg White had a cold. If you can cancel an entire tour schedule for a fucking cold, I think that you can cancel a few performances because your own mother died.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

11/17/07- Saturday Night Live...

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This week's live cut is of Wolfmother performing "Joker and the Thief" live at the Rock AM festival on June 6, 2007. Enjoy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

11/16/07- Top 5 Rock Bands of the 90's...

#5- Pearl Jam:

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The importance of Pearl Jam can't be ignored. It seems like there were dozens of Eddie Vedder rip-offs running around after Pearl Jam jumped on the scene. Their sound is, quite simply, one of those things that is often imitated, never duplicated.

#4- Red Hot Chili Peppers:

While Pearl Jam hasn't seen very lucrative record sales with their recent albums, Red Hot Chili Peppers have seen very consistent sales dating from 1990 up until today. Hell, "Stadium Arcadium" is one of their highest selling albums yet. While I don't see a whole lot of bands trying to steal their style, this may be due to the fact that it is pretty fucking hard to duplicate. When you hear a Chili Peppers song on the radio you can always tell by the first words out of your speakers that it is them.

#3- Green Day:

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They have everything needed to make a legendary discography. The underground success, the hit album, the follow-up album that sells 4,000,000 copies but somehow still doesn't equal the success of their last, the next album that is considered solid but not as good as "Dookie", the quintessential flop album that becomes nothing more then a blip on the musical radar, the near death sentence of releasing a "Greatest Hits" album and a B-Sides album at the same time, and their latest resurgence at the hands of a rock-opera with political undertones and a plotline that is strangely reminiscent of something by J.D. Salinger. While they've won and lost and won back some fans along the way, there is no denying their staying power and ability to adapt to the times yet remain true to their music at the same

#2- Weezer

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After the death of Grunge(a.k.a. Kurt Cobain) Weezer was the first big band to emerge and set the tone for the next wave of Alternative music. But their impact, while big at the time with their revival of the "geek rock" style, would not be felt until a distant twelve years later when the entire genre of "EMO" would be attributed to them. ??? What? Well, apparently all of these "EMO" bands of today were really big fans of the album "Pinkerton"(which had emotional and raw lyrical content) and they took that to mean that by complaining about every little problem in their songs that they were somehow following in Weezer's footsteps, despite the fact that Weezer actually did have legit problems that they were making songs about, unlike all of these knock-offs that have dubbed themselves "EMO". So for better or for worse, Weezer comes in at number two for influencing an entire genre of music a full twelve years in advance.

#1- Nirvana:

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I know, you saw it coming a mile away. You already know the story. A band from Seattle makes it big, influences every aspect of the youth culture, makes two great albums, Kurt Cobain kills himself, big legacy, Generation-X, Dave Grohl starts Foo Fighters, Foo Fighters become huge, there's a happy ending after all. But in all seriousness, while Weezer influenced a genre of music twelve years in advance, Nirvana created a genre of music in their own time. For that, they have more then earned the top spot.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

11/14/07- Asshole of the Month...

This month's asshole is:

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Salvatore Roberts of London, England.

Our man Sal invited some friends from the States over to jolly old England for some tea and crumpets last summer and wanted to make damn sure that it was a trip that they wouldn't soon forget.

So, on the last night of his friends coming to visit him, Sal decided to make brownies for desert. But not just any brownies. No, these brownies were carefully laced with a potent mixture of Hashish and Peyote.

Upon ingesting the brownies, his guests started to hallucinate and become relaxed. This was mainly to distract them from the fact that he also put extra-strength laxatives in the brownies. When everyone woke up the next morning and the drugs started to wear off, they were all stunned to find that they had been sleeping, the entire night, covered in their own feces.

Naturally, they freaked out and left Sal's house vowing never to return. The closest thing they could get to revenge was contacting me and allowing me the distinct honor of awarding Salvatore Roberts as the "Asshole of the Month".

Be sure to send your submissions to

Monday, November 12, 2007

11/12/07- Radio killed the radio star...

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The past few years have not been good for radio(unless you're Sirius Satellite, in which case, you currently hold the world of radio by it's balls).

It seems like you can't say anything anymore. These big corporations such a Clear Channel and Emmis broadcasting hire interesting personalities from smaller markets, tell them to mix it up on-air and be interesting, and then when they actually say interesting and controversial shit they get thrown out on the street with nothing more then a blacklisted career and a voided contract.

Also, this whole deal about radio stations flipping formats needs to stop. There is absolutely no reason why New York(market 1) should be getting rid of their only modern rock station to make room for another talk station, just so they can spite Howard Stern and load the whole station with watered-down versions of him.

But while they're getting rid of their only modern rock station, there are at least six different variations of dance/hip-hop stations. On top of that, these stations don't even play real dance music. They play remixed versions of pop songs.

Terrestrial radio better pull the reigns back soon. Because while Clear Channel has it's head up it's ass, Satellite radio is becoming the fastest growing new technology in history(beating out cell phones). Why? Because there are no limits on Satellite radio. You can actually be interesting and not have to worry, on a daily basis, about if you will live to work another day.

Fuck Clear Channel, Fuck the FCC, Fuck Opie and Anthony, Fuck Free FM, and Fuck the 6 stations here in New York that play pop/rap/hip-hop remixes!

11/10/07- Saturday Night Live...

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This week's live cut is of Jimmy Eat World performing "The Middle" live on Conan back in 2002. Enjoy.

Friday, November 9, 2007

11/9/07- WSIA 88.9 fm...

If you just so happen to live in the New York City area, then you might have heard of WSIA 88.9 fm(Alternative). It is one of the most listened to college stations in America with a reach of over 2.5 million people.

I will be doing an on-air demo this Wednesday night from 8 until 9. This means that, barring some massive on-air meltdown, by the end of November I will be hosting my own show. More details on that to come in time.

As of now, I am already a part of "The Coach and Face Sports Show" that airs every Thursday from 7:00pm until 9:00pm. The show is primarily NFL based, but spreads out into other sports after the NFL season.

You can listen 24/7 by going to or, if you live in the New York metro area, by tuning into 88.9 fm. The on-air request line is 1-(718)-982-3060.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

11/7/07- You're not cool(or original)...

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I've had it up to here with Myspace. Sure, I respect the fact that it allows you to carve out a small niche for you to express yourself and keep in contact with friends. But I've had just about enough with all of these Myspace whores and their oh so generic and annoying profiles.

About 99.9% of every Myspace whore's profile can be described in the following paragraph:

Annoying profile song by some shit-head rap artist who will fade away just as fast as he appeared. Bright, sparkly, pink backround layout. Avitars of Boy Meets World, Family Guy, and Dane Cook. A big sign that reads: Beer pong champion. An "about me" description that contains more misspelled words than an essay on the Louisiana purchase written by a five year old with down syndrome. A bunch of comments by her other shit-head celebutard wannabe friends that say nothing more then "Yo U CuMmiN 2 Da PaRTy dIs WeEKeNd???". And of course, those oh so clever Myspace whore display names.

I swear to fucking God, there is actually a girl who has the display name: "they feen for her statuS- quO<3"

The only "status quo" this bitch is aspiring to achieve is drinking enough to not realize the fact that the condom broke, and now she's a 19 year-old college drop-out who now has to take care of an unwanted child while getting fat off of a diet of Funyuns and dog food because she was too fucking dumb to get a real job because she dropped out of college because she got pregnant because she drank to much because she was trying to achieve her idea of a "status quo".

I must stop here because if my whole "status quo, Myspace whore" rant didn't just prove my point, then nothing will.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

11/6/07- "In Rainbows" in the red...

"That pot of gold at the end of Radiohead's Rainbows may not be as full as thought. The band's ballyhooed In Rainbows, available only online at a price set by individual fans, may not be the paradigm-changing, label-killing force it's been hyped to be. A new study says nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated they didn't pay anything for the download." -Josh Grossberg, E!-News Online

I for one knew that this was going to happen. Why in God's name would someone willingly pay for music that they have the option of getting for free? It makes no sense whatsoever.

First of all, the media at large has been giving Radiohead way too much credit lately. This whole plan of theirs to release their album for free on the Internet isn't clever or inventive, it's desperate.

I mean, come on. Have you seen the sales of their last five albums? They sucked. I'd be surprised if Radiohead bought Radiohead's last five albums. It might just be me, but I always considered Radiohead a one hit wonder from the 90's. They had that one big song "Creep" and then dropped off of the face of the earth, until now.

Why now? I don't get it. This fucking band went into oblivion for ten years and all of a sudden are being treated like geniuses. For what? Releasing a shitty album for free?

A shitty album is a shitty album no matter how much it costs.

Monday, November 5, 2007

11/5/07- Crock of shit...

Have you seen the latest trend in footwear lately? It's something called "crocks": shoes that are made of a Styrofoam-like stuff that have holes in them and (supposedly)reduce odor.

As you can tell by the photo above, they are quite possibly the ugliest things anyone could possibly wear. You may be saying: But Vin, you don't know shit about fashion or any of that faggot stuff. What gives you the right to judge others appearance?

Well, I may not be gay, but I know enough to realize when something looks ridiculous. And these "crocks" look like half-melted Styrofoam beer holsters. I was also alerted by someone that you can buy a cream called "crock butter" that you rub on the shoes in order to diminish odor.

This is a typical case-and-point about this fad-footwear. The company claims that the shoes are odorless, yet you have to buy a separate cream to rub on the shoe in order to get rid of fucking odor.

It's just a huge scam. They sell the shoes fairly cheap, but rip you off by making their profits on the "crock butter". Dear God, even the name "crock butter" sounds so obviously lame and contrite that people should be immediately suspicious.

This country's gone to shit. No, this country's gone to crock butter.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

11/3/07- Saturday Night Live...

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This week's live cut is of Green Day performing "When I Come Around" at the now infamous Woodstock '94. Note the amount of mud. Enjoy.

Friday, November 2, 2007

11/2/07- Drive my car(off a cliff, you bitch)...

If I were to tell you that Paul McCartney's ex-wife, Heather Mills, wanted $100,000,000 from their divorce settlement, what would your reaction be? Let me answer that for you.

You: What the fuck? That gold digging slut. How dare she ask for more then $3 million, let alone $100,000,000. I hope Mark David Chapman kills her and is given a knighthood by the queen. Get AIDs and drop dead, you whore.

All good answers. The fact is that not only is she asking for an insane amount of money, but she's taking it from Paul McCartney. What kind of person has the balls to take that kind of cash away from the most beloved and respected musician in history? Apparently his ex-wife.

Now she's going around complaining that the media is painting her to be a gold digger and a bitch. Whaaaaaaaaa! Cry me a fucking river. You claim not to be a gold digger, but at the same time are trying to fleece $100,000,000 from Paul McCartney. Did YOU write "Abby Road"? Did YOU write "The White Album"? NO! So, therefore you are entitled to nothing.

I like how she claims to have been well known before marrying an ex-Beatle. Yeah, right. Because her charity work was the reason she was on "Dancing with the Stars"(and i'm using the term "stars" very loosely).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

11/1/07- The fun machine took a shit and died...

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The past week has been quite a jolly fucking mess. No, I did not take a break or contemplate getting rid of this site. The reason I have been gone for the past week is because, for some unexplained reason, the server broke down.

I apologize deeply from the bottom of by blackened, cynical, obnoxious heart. If this ever happens again I will be forced to switch to a new domain address. But for now, the show must go on.

Instead of taking Sundays off, I will put up posts for, at least, the next few weeks in order to make up for lost time. In fact, expect another post later today.

Once again to reiterate: My server broke down, I'm now back online, I'm sorry for the inconvenience, regular programming to continue tonight.