If you are suffering from a massive hangover or some kind of generalized nausea but happen to be one of those people that can’t stick your finger down your throat and “push the button” so to speak, I have a perfect solution to your problem: The new single by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Abracadabralifornia.”
This release is seemingly being timed to coincide with Super Bowl Sunday, where the Chili Peppers are set to perform at the halftime show and complete their 30-year journey from weird, wacky, totally original funk-punk hybrid with socks on their cocks to sanitized, boring, AOR crap machine. It’s been a long, strange trip, and this song is the perfect end-zone spike to drive it home.
EXCEPT: A little Googling reveals that this song is actually a parody by comedian (and obvious genius) Jon Daly. But the fact that it’s so easy to believe that it came from the actual band — it’s note-perfect, right down to the totally crass website festooned with corporate sponsorship — is more than a little disturbing, and it raises the question: What the hell happened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
Everybody knows that the Internet and its surrounding technologies have created a new economy: new industries, new jobs for people to develop and implement those industries, new things for consumers to spend their money on, new ways for them to literally transmit that money to merchants. This is hardly breaking news.
I have noticed that it’s also created two different, very strange kinds of a phenomenon I’ll call “value distortion.” Since this is a term that I just made up and means nothing to anyone not sitting in this chair, I will explain.
I have never started a post with such trepidation before — I’m terrified that I’m about to alienate a lot of people who I dearly love by stating an opinion (any opinion) on the topic of the changing face of San Francisco.
In case you’re unfamiliar with what’s been going on: with the ascendance of Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and other tech companies based in the Bay Area, San Francisco real estate, long the most expensive of any city in the U.S., has climbed once again to heights affordable only to the affluent. The situation seems to be exacerbated by the fact that the aforementioned tech companies are a) in a hiring boom and b) offering free commuter service to their employees via giant, wifi-enabled luxury bus. Thus, the city has been flooded with well-paid 20-something software engineers, longtime residents are feeling the squeeze of increasing rents and evictions, people are throwing rocks at the buses, the people on the buses are saying ungallant things about SF’s out-of-control homeless problem, and no one is coming off well in the comments sections.
I have been following this subject with great interest from a distance. I used to live in SF, I love the city and had some, probably most, of the best times of my life there. So take all this in the spirit I intend it: great affection.
Cannabis enthusiasts have spent the last few months checking real estate listings in Colorado, where the naturally-occurring substance finally became completely legal (to adults) at 12:01am on January 1, 2014. Legal pot shops have opened across the state, prompting a whole new round of debate about whether or not this is a good idea.
Some people seem to believe that legalization will automatically turn the entire populace into couchlocked zombies, American productivity will plummet, the welfare rolls will multiply with layabouts spending all their food stamps on microwave popcorn and ice cream, and we’ll all be watching Chinese TV by the end of the decade (but won’t notice it’s in Chinese).
I don’t have much to add to the debate, mainly because I don’t think there’s any changing anyone’s mind on this topic. Nobody who thinks that smoking pot is inherently dangerous and life-destroying is likely to be swayed by the mountains of evidence to the contrary, and no one who has any actual experience with it is likely to believe that it can or will set you on a path any more ruinous than a wasted evening looking at ’80s videos on YouTube. And anyway, this argument is going to settle itself, because it’s entirely generational.
There are only a few points I would make.