Sunday, December 7, 2008

SNL Digital Short - Jizz in My Pants

This is just hilarious.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

President Obama

Xen Master Congratulates President-Elect Obama... CP Time!

Throwback Joint

It's been a minute but I found a gem and had to post it. Anyone remember this track?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

McCain Gets Madonna Makeover

Though it's been awhile since I've updated the blog, after seeing this hilarious nugget, I felt compelled to brush off the 'ol laptop and put this video on blast. Its a perfect blend of brilliantly hilarious and frigheningly disturbing.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hell yes we can!

Please excuse our brief respite. The Xen Masters have not forgotten you, nor has history been lost on us. No! We have been in a perpetual state of breath-holding, followed by celebrating to the point of near-exhaustion. Our underdog has been named the official Democratic Party nominee. And, if you'll excuse my language, goddamn it feels good. Putting politics aside for a moment---for once in a long time (maybe the first time?) it feels fantastic to be black in the United States. Now, if you'll excuse us, we have some celebrations to return to.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Curse of Michael Jordan? (Part 2)

(part 1 can be found here)

Record: 30-52
Draft: Jay Williams (pick 2), Roger Mason Jr. (pick 31), Lonny Baxter (pick 44)
Key Contributors: Jalen Rose, Donyell Marshall, Marcus Fizer, Jamal Crawford, Eddy Curry, Jay Williams, Tyson Chandler
Transactions: Signed Donyell Marshall to a free agent deal. Jerry Krause announced his resignation and was replaced by John Paxson.
Commentary: The light at the end of the tunnel. Even though the results still weren't there (the team had a mind-boggling 3-38 road record), the Bulls had a decent amount of talent on their roster for the first time in five years. There were two key reasons for the newfound optimism among Bulls fans. One was the resignation of Krause, who lost the faith of the fan base by dealing away Brand, Artest, and Miller. The other was the arrival of Jay Williams, who had been compared to Isiah Thomas while at Duke. Williams had a difficult first season in Chicago, but his talent was undeniable. He was one of the most coveted draft picks in recent memory, and gave the Bulls their leader of the future. With Curry, Chandler and Williams (and to a lesser extent, Crawford and Fizer), the Bulls appeared to have one of the brightest futures among all NBA teams.

Record: 23-59
Draft: Kirk Hinrich (pick 7), Mario Austin (pick 36), Tommy Smith (pick 53)
Key Contributors: Jamal Crawford, Eddy Curry, Kirk Hinrich, Antonio Davis
Transactions: Signed Scottie Pippen to a free agent deal. Fired Bill Cartwright and named Scott Skiles Head Coach. Traded Lonny Baxter, Donyell Marshall, and Jalen Rose to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Antonio Davis, Chris Jefferies and Jerome Williams. Waived Jay Williams.
Commentary: Absolute disaster leads to the beginning of rebuilding effort number three. One week before the great draft of 2003, where they held the seventh pick, the Bulls learned that future centerpiece Jay Williams crashed his motorcycle into a street pole, severing a main nerve in his leg, fracturing his pelvis, and tearing three ligaments in his left knee. Needless to say, he hasn't played in the NBA since. This forced a drastic altering of their draft strategy, and also put an end to a rumored deal that had Williams going to the Denver Nuggets for the number three pick in the draft (which turned out to be Carmelo Anthony). Adding insult to injury, the Heat shocked everybody by selecting Dwyane Wade with the 5th pick, who most pundits thought would be available for Chicago at number 7. Instead, the Bulls selected their new point guard of the future in Kirk Hinrich, a steady, tough-minded player, whose skills simply cannot measure up to Wade's. Outside of Eddy Curry (who put up an impressive 17.9 ppg and 7.5 rpg), all of the young players seemed to regress, as injuries and poor play derailed Tyson Chandler and Marcus Fizer. All of this contributed to the firing of Bill Cartwright as Head Coach. Overall, this ranks as one of the two most depressing seasons of the post-dynasty era (along with the debacle of '07-08).

Record: 47-35
Draft: Ben Gordon (pick 3, NBA 6th man of the year), Luol Deng (pick 7), Chris Duhon (pick 38)
Key Contributors: Kirk Hinrich, Eddy Curry, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Tyson Chandler, Andres Nocioni
Transactions: Acquired the rights to Luol Deng from Phoenix for a future conditional 1st round pick, the 31st pick in the 2nd round, and cash. Signed and traded Jamal Crawford, along with Jerome Williams, to the Knicks, for Dikembe Mutombo, Othella Harrington, Frank Williams and Cezary Trybankski. Signed Argentinian forward Andres Nocioni. Traded Dikembe Mutombo to the Houston for Eric Piatkowski, Adrian Griffin and Mike Wilks.
Commentary: The most thrilling season of the post-dynasty era started with one of the greatest offseasons in franchise history. Paxson had a franchise-changing draft, picking up two potential stars in Gordon and Deng, along with a contributor in the 2nd round (Duhon). The rookie class got even better with the signing of Nocioni, who earned the nickname "Red Bull" for his energetic style of play. Then, instead of overpaying free-agent Jamal Crawford, Paxson orchestrated a sign-and-trade that greatly improved the team's salary cap situation. The team seemed like it was up to its old tricks early in the season by losing their first nine games, but by January, they were one of the most dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference. Injuries to Deng and Curry at the end of the year thinned out the roster during their first playoff appearance since '98, leading to a four games to two loss to Washington in a thrilling series. However, even the disappointing finish couldn't put a damper on a fantastic season, as the Bulls appeared to be set at every position for the foreseeable future.

Record: 41-41
Draft: no picks
Key Contributors: Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni, Tyson Chandler
Transactions: Signed and traded Eddy Curry, along with Antonio Davis, to the Knicks for Tim Thomas, Mike Sweetney, a 2006 1st round pick, the right to switch draft picks with New York in 2007, and 2nd round picks in 2007 and 2009.
Commentary: A sad end to the Baby Bulls era. After Curry refused to take a team-mandated DNA test for the heart ailment that sidelined him at the end of '05, Paxson dealt him to New York for a slew of draft picks. They re-signed Chandler for $10 million per season, and he proceeded to regress once again, averaging a paltry 5.3 ppg. Without their only low-post scorer, and with their best interior defender struggling to live up to his contract, the team stumbled, and lost six more games than the previous season. They again exited in the first round of the playoffs, and lost some of the momentum that they earned the year before. The team did, however, receive an unexpected gift from Larry Brown's Knicks, who went 23-59, earning the Bulls the 2nd pick in the upcoming draft, due to the stipulations of the Curry deal.

Record: 49-33
Draft: Tyrus Thomas (pick 4), Thabo Sefolosha (pick 13)
Key Contributors: Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, Ben Wallace, Andres Nocioni, Chris Duhon
Transactions: Acquired the draft rights to No. 4 pick Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa from Portland in exchange for the draft rights to No. 2 pick LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas) and a future second-round pick. Signed Ben Wallace to a free agent deal. Acquired P.J. Brown and J.R. Smith from the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets in exchange for Tyson Chandler. Traded J.R. Smith to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Howard Eisley and two 2007 second-round draft picks from the Nuggets.
Commentary: Even though this team finally got past the first round of the playoffs, and won the most games in the post-dynasty era, I will always look at this as a year of missed opportunities. First, they decided to spend all of their cap room on free agent Ben Wallace, and dealt Tyson Chandler for ten cents on the dollar as a result (we'll call the trade of Chandler, along with Curry's trade from the previous year, rebuilding effort number 4). It's entirely possible that Chandler would have never fulfilled his potential in Chicago. It was equally possible, however, that Wallace was past his prime, which proved to be the case, and made this a disastrous exchange for the Bulls. Then, during the draft, they selected LaMarcus Aldridge, but then sent him to Portland in exchange for Tyrus Thomas. Two years later, Aldridge is averaging 17.7ppg and 7.3rpg, while the inconsistent Thomas is averaging 6.0ppg and 4.4rpg by comparison. During the season, the Bulls were successful, but with the 2nd seed in the playoffs on the line on the last day of the season, Chicago lost to New Jersey and fell down to 5th in the conference. Cleveland, who earned the 2nd seed instead, went on to the NBA Finals, while the Bulls were eliminated by Detroit in the 2nd round. Once again, the Bulls were aided by the Knicks' troubles, and gained the 9th pick in the upcoming draft as a result of the Curry trade.

Record (as of March 27th): 28-43
Draft: Joakim Noah (pick 9), Aaron Gray (pick 49), JamesOn Curry (pick 51)
Key Contributors: Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah
Transactions: Fired Scott Skiles and named Jim Boylan interim Head Coach. In a three-team deal, Chicago traded Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, and a 2009 2nd round pick to Cleveland, and Adrian Griffin to Seattle, and received Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Cedric Simmons, and Shannon Brown.
Commentary: At least they realized that they had to end the Ben Wallace era, and give the clown in the picture above more playing time (despite this picture, he's actually pretty good). Other than that, this has been a shockingly awful season.

As seen above, every time this franchise has taken a step forward in the past ten years, they somehow follow it up with two steps back. Bulls fans like myself deserve no pity, as we've already experienced a lifetime of memories from the Jordan era. Unfortunately, we won't be adding to those memories anytime soon, as rebuilding effort number 5 looms in the offseason ahead.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hillary's Bravado

In an attempt to further bolster her position as the Democratic candidate that "passed the Commander-in-chief test" Hillary recounted her 1994 trip to Bosnia.

"We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady."

Eat that John McCain.

"We came in under sniper fire," she recently told the press. "There was no greeting ceremony. We ran with our heads down, and were basically told to run to our cars."

I must say that not since Baron M√ľnchhausen have I heard such a harrowing tale of suspense, action and adventure.

Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, it's not true.

The account has been proven false, both by recent press reports and old video footage that shows the senator greeting a child in a ceremonial procession at the Tuzla airport. She has since come out saying that perhaps she "misspoke."

The fact that Hillary thought she could get away with telling such a ridiculous story when she was surrounded by, literally, dozens and dozens of press is a question that's boggled the mind of many, but not me. It speaks to the air of invincibility and sense of entitlement that both Clintons have had since the beginning of this race - traits that are plentiful in our current commander-in-chief, I might add.

Truthfully, the whole thing would have been much funnier to me if it weren't for the fact that Hillary continues to espouse her claims of experience, when in actuality she:

1) Passed the same number of pieces of legislation as Obama
2) Has been an elected official for fewer years than Obama
3) Continually lied about her "experience" during the Clinton years (from brokering peace deals in Ireland to bringing about SCHIP)
4) Horribly failed in getting universal health care done while she was First Lady

Despite this, her "experience" argument seems to be working. Well, at least until now.

And now, for your viewing pleasure please enjoy the latest trailer fresh from the people who brought you Whitewater, Stained Blue Dresses, and Well-Timed Tears. . .

Hillary in Tuzla: The Tale of Bosnian Sniper Fire

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Curse of Michael Jordan? The Post-Dynasty Bulls Just Can't Seem to Get it Right (Part 1)

With the exception of the pathetic Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls (current record 27-41, two games back of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference) have been the biggest disappointment in the NBA this season. Coming off a 49 win campaign and an opening round sweep of the defending champions (the aforementioned Heat), the Bulls were picked to be a contender for the Eastern Conference Championship this year. But along the way, something went horribly wrong. Management failed to acquire the low post scorer that the team desperately needed to elevate into elite status. Luol Deng and Ben Gordon each turned down lucrative contract extensions in the preseason ($10 million plus per year), then struggled with the added pressure of playing for a better contract all season. Ben Wallace proved to be one of the most damaging free agent acquisitions of the past decade. And, perhaps most inexplicably, Kirk Hinrich devolved into a below average point guard, as seen in his precipitous statistical decline (from 16.6 ppg, .448 FG%, .415 3pt%, 17.09 PER in 2006-07 to 12.2 ppg, .414 FG%, .335 3pt%, 13.18 PER in '07-08). For Bulls fans like myself, the breaking point came at the trading deadline a month ago, when, after years of speculation about acquiring superstars like Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, the Bulls ultimately traded for Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden. The team is in complete disarray, and they once again face a long offseason of rebuilding.

Unfortunately, this pattern is very reflective of their recent history. Since Michael Jordan retired, the Bulls have been one of the least successful franchises in the sport, accumulating a .366 winning percentage, which averages out to 30 wins per season. Following is a year-by-year breakdown of their endless rebuilding efforts in the post-dynasty era:

Record: 13-37 (strike shortened season)
Draft: Corey Benjamin (pick 28)
Key Contributors: Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper, Brent Barry
Commentary: Jerry Krause famously forced Phil Jackson out of Chicago, and hired the overmatched Tim Floyd as his replacement. However, even the Zen Master couldn't do anything with this group, which was saddled with the departures of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Luc Longley.

Record: 17-65
Draft: Elton Brand (pick 1, co-rookie of the year), Ron Artest (pick 16)
Key Contributors: see draft
Transactions: Traded Toni Kukoc in three-team deal, acquiring a 1st round pick from Washington, along with John Starks and Bruce Bowen
Commentary: Rebuilding effort number 1. Jerry Krause famously decreed that Elton Brand would be his power forward for the next ten years after selecting him with the number one overall pick in a stacked draft. They also stole Ron Artest in the middle of the first round, and managed to get value in the Kukoc deal. They seemed to be on their way toward respectability, especially with Brand looking like a potential superstar in his first year.

Record: 15-67
Draft: Marcus Fizer (pick 4), Jamal Crawford (pick 8), Dalibor Bagaric (pick 24), A.J. Guyton (pick 32), Jake Voskuhl (pick 33), Khalid El-Amin (pick 34)
Key Contributors: Elton Brand, Ron Mercer, Ron Artest, Brad Miller
Transactions: Signed Ron Mercer and Brad Miller to free-agent deals.
Commentary: This was, without a doubt, one of the most devastating offseasons in NBA history. First, the Bulls had enough cap room to sign one of the major free agents that year, with their first choice being Tim Duncan (who didn't give them the time of day), their second choice being Grant Hill (who again didn't really consider them, which was the only good thing to come out of this offseason), and their third, and most realistic target, being a young guard/forward named Tracy McGrady. The Bulls were so convinced that he would sign with them that they wrote the press release announcing his signing. Unfortunately, he wound up in Orlando, and the Bulls wasted their money on Ron Mercer. Then, their draft was a disgrace (see above), as they picked the wrong year to have 6 of the top 34 picks. They did make one savvy signing by picking up little known Brad Miller in free agency. Overall though, all the money and draft picks that they accumulated ultimately led to nothing, and convinced management that further rebuilding was necessary.

Record: 21-61
Draft: Tyson Chandler (pick 2), Eddy Curry (pick 4), Trenton Hassell (pick 30), Sean Lampley (pick 45)
Key Contributors: Jalen Rose, Marcus Fizer, Jamal Crawford
Transactions: Traded Elton Brand to L.A. Clippers for the rights to Tyson Chandler. Signed Eddie Robinson to a free agent deal. Replaced coach Tim Floyd with Bill Cartwright. Traded Ron Artest, Brad Miller, Ron Mercer, and Kevin Ollie to Indiana for Jalen Rose, Travis Best, Norm Richardson, and a 2nd round pick.
Commentary: Rebuilding effort number 2. The Bulls completely reversed course and decided to build around two 18 year olds in Chandler and Curry. There will never be an adequate explanation for why they dealt Brand for an unproven teenager. The Bulls spun it by saying that Brand would not re-sign with them when his contract was up, but Brand later denied this claim. Also, in midseason, they made another terrible move, trading talented young players Artest and Miller for Jalen Rose. This was around the time that Bulls fans realized that Jerry Krause is completely clueless. The only hope for this franchise was drafting a superstar with their annual high lottery pick, and this dream appeared to come true in the next draft.

Click here for part 2

Friday, March 21, 2008

Throwback Joint

10 Points to the first person that remembers the name of the group that dropped this joint. No cheating!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Undiscovered Gems

A lot of great songs appear on albums and never get released (or are released in extremely limited capacity), leaving them very little exposure. I like to call these undiscovered gems. Check out these examples.

Dj Shadow - You Made It

This gem was hidden on the otherwise extremely disappointing DJ Shadow album, The Outsider. While it does sound a bit like a Coldplay knockoff, it still works. Don't bother getting the album, as it only has this song and a song by Phonte (from Little Brother) called "Backstage Girl." The rest is hot garbage.

N.E.R.D - Run to the Sun

Why this song was never released is beyond me. It's easily the best song on a very solid album. It sounds even better on the re-released version that was recorded with all live instruments.

Kelis - Glow

I think this album was disregarded because of its largely saccharine first single "Milkshake." Believe it or not, its actually a pretty good album. Combine "Glow" with the Andre 3000 produced "Millionaire" and this album could have gone triple platinum. Instead they went with the Nas collabo "In Public," as their follow-up single, a song which was catchy for about five minutes.

Nas - Doo Rags

Speaking of Nas, I guess his whole Lost Tapes album could fit under the title "Undiscovered Gems," but this joint has particularly potent because it's such a feel-good track that still manages to drop a lot of knowledge. Of course, it's done in a way that only Nas could.

Damian Marley - Move

Damian samples his father's "Exodus" but uniquely makes it all his own. This song must have been overshadowed by the smash that was "Welcome to Jamrock" but it certainly stands out on its own.

Mos Def - There is a Way

Okay so Mos Def released this album with no singles and no videos. The CD has no artwork whatsover and on top of that the Mighty Mos thought it would be a good idea to rap about Hurricance Katrina over a Juvenile beat. Needless to say, if you missed this album all is forgiven. Sometimes I wish I had. But then I listen to "There is a Way" and I think maybe there is a way...for Mos Def to revive his rap career.

Talib Kweli - Soon the New Day

I might be a bit early on this since this came out relatively recently. Hopefully the label will wise up and put this out and not the lame Kanye track. This is one of the tightest tracks on a very tight album.