Blogsizer The online journal and website of Tim Hulsizer


Obama From the Train


Someone needs to confiscate my Photoshop.


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Tim's 'Rock & Punk Meet Reggae' CMP  

In the mid-20th century, jazz & rhythm-and-blues influenced and gave birth to many other genres.  Ska reggae and rock 'n' roll came into their own as they solidified a set of basic ideas in sound, look, and lyrical content.  Cross-pollination of sub-genres all over the world produced some very interesting experiments that still continue to this day.

While most popular music fans are aware of modern ska - now a hybrid of rock, punk, and a brass section - not everyone realizes the extent to which reggae and ska influenced the punk and rock scene of the 1970s and 1980s, even outside of the "2-Tone Ska" bands like Madness and The Beat.  This collection is mainly about exploring those little forgotten musical pockets and one-off singles, where rock musicians borrowed a reggae beat or guitar upstroke here, or a ska-influenced organ riff there.

There's very little to be found here in the way of saxophone or trumpet and that's intentional.  I had a lot of fun poking through musical history to put this together.  You may notice some missing tracks that seem like glaring omissions (“Hey, where’s Dylan’s ‘Man Gave Names To All the Animals’?”  “What about Blondie’s “The Tide Is High’?”).  That’s just personal preference; feel free to add them yourself.  That’s half the fun of homemade music collections.  They can always keep changing as the years go by.

Hope you enjoy this compilation.

--Tim H., 2014


01 - Paul McCartney & Wings - C Moon (1972)

02 - Led Zeppelin - D'yer Mak'er (1973)

03 - J. Geils Band - Give It To Me (1973)

04 - Patti Smith - Redondo Beach (1975)

05 - Rolling Stones - Cherry Oh Baby (1976)

06 - Elvis Costello - Watching the Detectives (1977)

07 - The Modern Lovers - Egyptian Reggae (1977)

08 - The Stranglers - Peaches (1977)

09 - Coventry Automatics, The - Wake Up (1978)

10 - 10cc - Dreadlock Holiday (1978)

11 - Members - Offshore Banking Business; Pennies In the Pound (1979)

12 - Joe Jackson - Fools In Love (1979)

13 - Killing Joke - Turn To Red (1979)

14 - Nina Hagen - African Reggae (1979)

15 - Police, The - Walking On The Moon (Live 1979)

16 - Scorpions - Is There Anybody There (1979)

17 - The Ruts - Jah War (1979)

18 - The Terrorists - Happy Man (1980)

19 - The Plugz - Electrify Me (1979)

20 - Slits, The - Man Next Door (1980)

21 - Angelic Upstarts - I Understand (1981)

22 - The Clash - Guns of Brixton (Live 1981)

23 - D.O.A. - War In the East (1982)

24 - Nick Lowe - Heart (1982)

25 - Cutting Edge - Lonesome Cowboy (1983)

26 - Spliff - Carbonara (1982)

27 - Newtown Neurotics - Newtown People (1983)

28 - David Bowie & Tina Turner - Tonight (1984)

29 - Subhumans - When The Bomb Drops (1985)

30 - Hitlist - High Treason (1986)

31 - Beats International - Dub Be Good To Me (1990)

32 - Tim Armstrong - Hold On (2007)


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Fact Check: Target’s Rotten Tomatoes Display


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QUIZ: 1980s Punk Song or New Wave Band?


A quiz by yours truly.

          The music of the 1980s blended social awareness with raw emotion like never before, resulting in some very memorable song and band names.  Can you tell which of the following is a 1980s punk song title and which is a 1980s new wave band?

1. Weatherbox

2. Reverse Heck

3. No Sorrow

4. We Became Snakes

5. Coup D’Etat

6. Koo De Tah

7. Life’s Process

8. My Father’s Dream

9. Ack Ack Ack

10. Picnic At the Whitehouse

11. Straightline Thinking

12. Kiss the Blade

13. Riding With Mary

14. Memories Past

15. Piece de Resistance

16. This Beautiful Place

17. Classified Info

18. Roaring Boys

19. Sub-Liminal

20. Wheedle Dee

21. Serene Danker

22. No Right No Wrong

23. Kids of the Black Hole

24. Kissing the Pink

25. President Reagan Is Clever



1. Punk song by Mission Of Burma (1982)

2. New wave band

3. Punk song by Legal Weapon (1982)

4. Punk song by Saccharine Trust (1986)

5. Punk song by The Circle Jerks (1983)

6. New wave band

7. Punk song by Nihilistics (1983)

8. Punk song by Articles of Faith (1982)

9. Punk song by the Minutemen (1985)

10. New wave band

11. Punk song by Subhumans (1985)

12. New wave band

13. Punk song by X (1982)

14. Punk song by Government Issue (1986)

15. New wave band

16. Punk song by Flag of Democracy (1988)

17. New wave band

18. New wave band

19. Punk song by Nihilistics (1989)

20. Punk song by Articles of Faith (1985)

21. Punk song by Flag of Democracy (1985)

22. New wave band

23. Punk song by The Adolescents (1981)

24. New wave band

25. New wave band


19 Suicide-Inducing Facts About the Class Of 2073

(This might not make sense unless you're familiar with useless articles like this one from Buzzfeed)

In just a few short weeks, humans born in 2056 will be graduating.  Let’s take a look at how their experience on Earth is different than yours, and therefore to be minimized and scorned.

1. They never got to drink Pepsi Magenta®, Cranberry Shitzz®, Jurassic Chocolate-Lime Vape®, or Urine®.

2. The lyric “Terrorize the gibbering hordes / Make ready the grave with clotted blood” doesn’t mean anything to them.

3. They still click this image in their retina to start a holo-vid but have no idea what it is:


4. They have always lived in a world with seven “Titanic” film sequels.

5. They were born the same year as Now That’s What I Call Music! Volume 182.

6. Vice-President Justin Bieber, Jr. and the reanimated liver of Buzz Aldrin have never not been a couple in their lifetime.

7. “Open the door” has no meaning for them.

8. They never had to do this to make a video game work:


9. To them, “mutton shunter” is just a Victorian slang term for “policeman.”

10.  None of these names means anything to them:

                Ben Dunstable

                Chalk Winstrum

                Fallopian Axelrod

                Pedro Muncey

                Shaun Ecclesiastes

                Kev Callahan

                Frida Garcia Maxwell

                Zib Crizz


11. They’ve never lived in a world with language or human speech.

12. They think the Black Death never happened before the one that wiped out 8/9 of the world’s population in the 2060s, whereas we know it happened in 1348-50, 2049, and 2053.

13. They’re only as old as Norville’s Sexbots, Market the Donkey, The Espinoza Family, and T.U.R.D.S.

14. They have no idea what this is:


15. They are younger than us.  Their cells have died and been replaced fewer times than ours.  Their eyesight and hearing have degraded less than ours has.  They are the enemy and must be destroyed.

16. Their 30-year reunion will be in 2103.

17. They’re already writing a list like this for the class of 2077.

18. William Shakespeare has never been the guy in this picture:


19. Their cyber gills are merely vestigial. 

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Music Mix: Songs With Women’s Names

I'll have a mix full of men's/boys'/guys'/dudes' names soon but for now, please enjoy this collection of songs with women's/girls'/ladies'/gentlewomen's names.

01 Jamiroquai - Angeline

02 The Fratellis - Henrietta

03 The Zutons - Valerie

04 The Pipettes - Judy

05 Pink Martini - Lilly

06 Weezer - Susanne

07 Modernettes - Barbra

08 The Dickies - Rosemary

09 Blur - Tracy Jacks

10 Bill Cosby - Ursalena

11 Stephen Malkmus - Jenny & The Ess-Dog

12 Material Issue - Valerie Loves Me

13 Frank Black - I Heard Ramona Sing

14 Elvis Costello - Veronica

15 Man Or Astro-Man - Sadie Hawkins Atom Bomb

16 Spookey Ruben - Rachel

17 Of Montreal - Chrissy Kiss the Corpse

18 Lloyd Cole - Jennifer She Said

19 Jane's Addiction - Jane Says

20 John Lennon - Oh Yoko!

21 Bjork - Isobel (Deodato Remix)

22 Beck - Debra

23 Shel Silverstein - Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout

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Law & Order: SVU, one of many guilty pleasures

"In the criminal justice system, gastronomically-based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these delicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victuals Unit. These are their stories."



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A few thoughts about True Detective’s attitudes about women now that’s it’s over.

[Yarrr, here there be spoilers, matey]

That’s it, we’re finished!  I watched the last episode of True Detective season 1 last night.  Fun stuff.

If you hang out on the internet much, you might have noticed that after a few of the 8 episodes aired, people started discussing the lack of any compelling female characters.  There was Marty’s wife Maggie (Michelle Monaghan), Marty’s mistress Lisa (Alexandra Daddario), and…ummmm, not many others.  You had small roles for Marty’s two daughters and a backwoods trailer park brothel full of prostitutes.

Some viewers never noticed or cared about this, as evidenced by the high rating on imdb(9.5/10 as of this writing). For those who did have opinions, the two opposing points of view appear to be my camp (“Why does the show necessarily have to be a Boys’ Club?”) and the other side (“Why not?  It’s a story about two dudes solving murders, fully realized female characters wouldn’t fit.”).  If I misrepresent the opposition, I’m sorry.  That’s just the main viewpoint I gleaned from reading online discussions.

I’m not here to change anyone’s mind.  If you think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion by feminists or something, that’s your right.  I’m just frustrated that a show so well-written with regard to dialogue and the day-to-day work of crime investigation would give women such short shrift. Rust (Matthew McConaughey) is a pretty fascinating piece of work. For heaven’s sake, the show’s killer has a complicated mythology centered around a real book from 1895.  Clearly the writer isn’t a disinterested hack.  So why are the women in True Detective sex objects or laundry harpies?

One of the things that bugged me was the show’s treatment of Lisa.  She’s in an affair with Marty, a married man.  Okay, well Marty’s right there in that situation too.  When she spills the beans to Marty’s wife Maggie (Oh no!  She broke the Bro Code!), Marty goes ballistic on her and the best Rust can say is something along the lines of, “I saw the crazy in her eyes at the bar that time. Watch out for crazy pussy.”  UH, excuse me??  Marty’s the asshole who started an affair and he’s stringing his wife AND Lisa along while he does what he wants.  I don’t fault Lisa for taking home another guy at the bar to thumb her nose at Marty’s bullshit.  Marty is then the crazy asshole who busts into Lisa’s apartment and beats the other guy to a pulp.  Yeah, that Lisa, how dare she hurt poor little Marty.

To be fair, Marty doesn’t live happily ever after.  In the years after the 1990s part of the show’s storyline he ended up divorced and alone.  Rust calls him a lying shitheel in the final episode.  Okay, that’s cool.  But I can’t give the show a pass just because it allowed Marty to flame out like we logically knew he would.

In the week preceding the final episode, I was reading various articles about the show’s stance on women.  A lot of them had an interesting take on it, this sort of wait-and-see attitude.  They thought maybe the show had been giving us the lousy treatment of women as a comment on that macho culture, and that perhaps the final episode would have some grand revelation that tied murder and misogyny into a broader commentary about the world.

What we got was one more female character: the bad guy’s half-sister / sex toy played by Ann Dowd.  I can’t even seem to find her character’s name so far.  We also got a pretty standard ending for a serial killer plot: the cop(s) go to the weirdo killer’s place, he decorates his place with weird folk art & other symbols of his belief system, they end up having to shoot him to stop him.  In a lot of ways, Silence Of the Lambs drew the blueprint in 1991 and everyone’s been building the same house ever since.  But I digress.

The show’s tagline was “Man Is the Cruelest Animal.” It refers to humanity but I guess some of us were hoping that the word “man” was a double meaning thing, and maybe it was slyly referring to the killer’s and Marty’s various types of cruelty to women.  It wasn’t.  We got a standard cop show.  And that’s absolutely fine I guess, just a minor bummer.  I think some of us saw the thought put into the criminal’s inner world, and we saw McConaughey’s excellent performance in a different type of damaged cop, and we hoped we were getting something a little deeper.  We’d lost Breaking Bad and hoped the Next Big Well-Written Crime Show was here to obsess about.

I’m just sorry I need to temper my expectations for season two with the knowledge that True Detective is basically just another TV cop show.  Looking for another HBO detective show where women get to play in the sandbox too?  Check out 2008’s underrated No.1 Ladies Detective Agency.


Day Of the Crows (2012)

Just watched this French animated film <Le jour des corneilles> and enjoyed it quite a bit.  Gorgeous visuals.

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How To Tweet Funny (But Not Original)

I wrote this last year for my friend's newspaper but he ultimately couldn't use it.  So here it is on my blog, because I can.


        When the website Twitter opened its doors in 2006, few could have guessed how popular it would become.  In case you’re somehow unaware, tweets are now widely quoted in news stories around the globe, and various news agencies and websites annually post lists like “The Funniest People On Twitter” and “25 Twitter Accounts Worth Following.”  Twitter accounts have been licensed for books, television shows, and films.  Twitter celebrity now has actual cache in our society, for better or worse.  On Twitter, Popularity is the currency that buys Celebrity, and Funny is one of the fastest ways to popularity.  Life sucks and people want to forget it for five seconds by laughing at a tweet.  It isn’t right, it isn’t wrong, it simply IS.

            So you’ve got a Twitter account and you want to be funny.  But how do you do it?  You look at all those popular accounts and you think, “There’s a secret code I can’t break.  How do I step into the velvet shoes worn by the likes of Patton Oswalt and @dogboner?"  I’ll tell you how.

But why those pesky three words at the end of the article title, “But Not Original”?  We’ll get to the subject of originality eventually, but it simply comes down to this:  funny isn’t just an algorithm.  You can’t fake the funk or the funny, and people will know when you try and fail.  However, if you use some of these ideas, at least you'll have a starting point.  Put tab A into slot B and see what happens.  Why not?  Come on, it’s only fucking Twitter.

Hashtag Riffs / “That Awkward moment When...” / Anti-Pickup Lines / RT If…

@THEKarlaPacheco: Shit grits on Tuesday, buy a baby coffin on Thursday. #newfolksayings

@ShittingtonUK: Imagine a small hammer. Something a pigeon could use. Now ask yourself: Why does your character fear change? #confusingwritingadvice

@IamEnidColeslaw: That awkward moment when I tried starting a slow clap in the hospital after my uncle died.

@mattytalks: Girl did it hurt when you fell from heaven? No, cool. Then let's talk about who's going to pay for my fucking roof

@MarloMeekins: RT if you admire the restraint people have around you because of your insurmountable sexiness

These are the bread and butter of funny tweeting, the most basic level.  If you’ve been nervous about making your humor move, try these on for size and see how it feels.  They are the comfort food of funny tweets, like mom’s macaroni & cheese.  They won’t challenge you or your readers too much, everyone’s familiar with them.  They’ll take you back to those halcyon days of 2009, when funny tweets still seemed original and the world felt full of promise to you instead of walking around looking up all the time for that casket lid that’s slowly covering you in darkness.


@MarloMeekins: someone un-retweeted me. I'm going to take a walk, skip some stones on a lake, stare at the lake and reflect on this grim experience

@tartpop: No more applications or resumes, just tell your prospective employer your twitter account & go back to bed.

@RexHuppke: Guys, stop "friending" me: Twitter is for people I like but don't know. Facebook is for people I know but don't like.

@LarryBlanken: My parents didn't retweet me enough.

@HoneyUnhinged: Hey, elite Tweeters: Please be sure to rotate your body's lying position on the couch every few hours to avoid bed sores.

Once you’ve been on Twitter for awhile, you’ll really start to see the patterns, the generic tropes, and the things that make Twitter what it is.  That’s what led me to write this stuff in the first place.  You may want to address some of these things in tweet form, like the people above.  The difficulty ramps up every year, however, as more and more people become jaded to the system and they’ve probably seen dozens of Twitter-specific gags over the years.  I’m not saying this comedy well is dry, but the water level is dangerously low.  If you’re going to tweet this kind of thing, really polish that joke until it shines.

Toying With Corporations:

@NeilHamburger: Intermittent Explosive Disorder. RX: mood stabilizers "@Aeropostale: Hitting something that's broken and expecting it to work again."

@fart: some people have prosthetics you ass “@BurtsBees: Our lip balm is 100% natural, just like the people who use it! How are you 100% natural?”

Some of you reading this may be corporate drones hoping to “spice up” your Twitter account to get more followers who will spread the word about your product, blah blah synergy blah.  This article isn’t really for you because of a very important truth:  Corporate accounts are neutered.  They can’t swear, they can’t tweet controversial opinions, and they can’t attack other accounts without raising the ire of the hive-mind.  You can hurl abuse at McDonald’s on Twitter and they’re not going to bite back because it means bad publicity.

As you can see from the tweets above, corporate accounts want to interact with consumers but they’re so afraid of offending people that they frequently just post some inane question in an attempt to foster a “dialogue” (by which I mean, someone will answer the question and naturally have to re-tweet it with their answer, which means getting the brand into other people’s consciousness).  As you can see above, @NeilHamburger and @fart have technically helped the corporations by reminding their own followers that the companies exist.  But so what?  It’s fun to rattle the cage and run.  Anytime you can make corporate Twitter accounts look stupid, there’s no reason not to.  There really isn’t a downside and if your retort is even vaguely humorous, you’ll give your followers a chuckle.

Fake Facts / Fake News:

@nedroid: Geography Fun Fact: Canada was founded by John Candy

@FREE_FACTS: Fish never sleep because they are so full of rage

@barfcaptain: science finds birds to be dickheads. "fuck them" a scientist exclaimed

@ChaseMit: Scientists say men who drink beer daily reduce their risk of heart attack. As for livers, scientists said "fuck livers" and then high-fived.

As you can see from these false facts and from Karla Pacheco’s hashtag riff above, you’re going to need to let your hair down a little bit and get silly.  Well, not completely silly, exactly.  People are going to hate you if you just tweet in Baby Talk.  “Wisten evewyone, I just wuv to hug wadishes and womaine wettuce!”  When I say silly, I mean non sequiturs.  I know we’re jumping into the advanced stuff pretty quickly here, but you’ll have to master it eventually if you really want to turn heads in the crowded nightmare hellscape called Twitter.

Pro Tip: Try tweeting drunk.  Did it come out funny or just super sad?  If you wake up the next morning and discover that you got a bunch of retweets and likes because you tweeted funny observations about the people around you at the bar, or you hurled foul-mouthed insults at your houseplants, cool.  Alcohol seems to be your friend on Twitter.  But if you wake up and see that you just sent tweets to your various exes, pleading for another chance and included pics of your sobbing face?  Then you may want to avoid the drunk tweeting.