I’m So Relieved, The Atlas Shrugged Movie is Fantastic

Atlas Shrugged Movie Poster - Who Is John Galt

A couple nights ago, at a private screening for Atlas Shrugged Part 1, I took my seat, closed my eyes, dropped my head, and for the first time in my life, I said a prayer. “Please don’t be cheese ball. Please don’t be cheese ball. Please don’t be cheese ball.” A vision flashed in my mind of John Travolta, on the cover of a Battlefield Earth poster. Petrified, my fingers hardened into a grip around my arm rests. “No!! Please don’t be cheese ball. Please don’t be cheese ball…”

No doubt, the excitement in the room was mixed with fear. The producers of this film had the balls to make a motion picture out of one of the most thought provoking and controversial novels of all time. A Library of Congress reader’s poll ranked Atlas Shrugged as the second most influential book of all time next to the Bible. Other prominent reader polls of Best Novels ever written have listed Atlas Shrugged as #1. It’s a 1000+ page classic epic packed with action, philosophy, adventure, politics, romance, mystery, and a whole lot of attitude. Back in the 1500s, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of a prominent Catholic church, sparking The Reformation. Ayn Rand nailed these 1000+ pages on the door of the world’s churches and state capital buildings, sparking what history might record as the beginning of the next renaissance. The next cultural movement to bring a focus on reality and reason and freedom and productivity back to the world.

FIRST TRAIN ACROSS NEW REARDEN METAL BRIDGE - Atlas Shrugged MovieThis novel isn’t about running a railroad. It’s about society crumbling. And what causes that. It is so ambitious and controversial because it dramatizes the different fundamental values of our culture, and how that plays out through people in a society in crisis. When times get tough, more is demanded and taken from the achievers and high earners. So they work harder, they try harder, but the chains pile on, until they strike. Yes, the business leaders strike, not the employees. The title references the Greek god Atlas, who strains to hold the weight of the world over his shoulders. The load gets heavier and he struggles through blood and sweat to keep the world up. Until he changes his mind, shrugs, and drops the world. Let it fall. Let the world burn. Let all the ungrateful leeches and apes have it to themselves and enjoy it. Atlas is done.
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Music Pick – Groove Armada: White Light

Groove Armada – White Light – Black Light

Music Pick of the Day - Groove Armada - White Light

Warsaw (White Light)
Time and Space (White Light)
History (White Light)
1980 (White Light)

(Click image for Amazon.com)
Music Pick of the Day - Groove Armada - Black Light

Paper Romance (Black Light)
Just For Tonight (Black Light)
Shameless (Black Light)

(Click image for Amazon.com)

If you feel like popular dance music has become a race to the bottom, I’d agree with you. Who can make stupider music than the rest? That race is raging full steam at the dance clubs. Ah, the Dance Club, a magical place where they not only are NOT embarrassed to play the dumbest music you’ve ever heard, but they make sure it’s so loud you can’t hear your friend screaming in your ear. Yeah, the dance floor isn’t a place to hold high level discussions; but when that “Like a G6” song comes on, does no one snap out of it to look around and wonder what they’re doing surrounded by all these monkeys?

Groove ArmadaThank god for Groove Armada. They make great dance music, the difference is it’s consistently interesting and brilliant.

Their new White Light album is incredible. It’s a companion to their Black Light album, but very different. The same songs are on both albums, just completely re-created and re-invented. Black Light is the dark version, White Light is the bright version. These albums have this surreal early 80s glam rock disco vibe, which totally caught me off guard; because it’s such a departure from their more accessible urban house past. This sounds like it’s from completely different musicians. In theory I’d usually be more interested in the darker version; however, except for a couple phenomenal songs, I’m just not so into Black Light, but I LOVE White Light. These songs are powerful, clever, unique, epic, and it’s still fun dance music. I already loved Groove Armada, but they have outdone themselves here.

To hear just how incredible they are at totally reinventing their songs into something else, check out this version of History and compare it against the one above.

[wpaudio url=”http://hustlebear.com/audio/groove_armada/white_light/09%20-%20Groove%20Armada%20-%20History%20(Love%20Mix).mp3″ text=”History (Love Mix)” dl=”0″]

[Videos from this album after the break]

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Why Net Neutrality Regulation is the Path to Ending Net Neutrality

FCC Boot - With A Light Touch

Let’s bring some perspective here. People have become hysterical. They are DEMANDING Net Neutrality. Now. Right NOW. But, wait a second… they already have it. Right now, we all enjoy a neutral net. It’s here. It exists. It’s alive. And it’s fucking fantastic.

Bless their hearts. Net Neutrality advocates have good intentions. They are typically very intelligent, sophisticated, and they obviously care enough to get involved in bringing about a better world. I hope that this article will help some of them realize that they are fighting to destroy their own goal. They are fighting for their enemy.

Our Enemy. We all have a common enemy here, because we all have a common goal. Everyone on all sides of this debate wants the same thing, an open and free Internet.

Just like Castro’s army and Lenin’s army gathered followers blissfully marching for their future freedom and prosperity only to later become shocked in horror, Net Neutrality Advocates will soon realize that they are marching and singing in support of The Boot. This boot stomps without precision, without emotion, without representation.

My friends, now is a time to stop and reflect. Before we continue fighting, let’s briefly go over this issue so we can understand the perspectives.

There is no truly free country left on this planet. That’s becoming less of a problem, because, we have the Internet. The Internet, as it is right now, is humanity’s last bastion of pure freedom. We plug in, we say what we like, we view what we like, we play, we connect, we share, we learn, we grow.

It is incredible how much the Internet has already changed our lives. And the possibilities for the future are astonishing.

The Internet is currently almost completely unregulated by our government. There’s no government regulating our content, our activity, or our Internet connections.

So what is Net Neutrality? And why is it so important?

Senator Al Franken has said that “Net Neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time.”

Moby is really concerned about it. He was crying about the threat 4.5 years ago.

Replace the word Neutrality with Equality and you’ll understand what this is about. Regulating equality. This is an old war. This has nothing to do with any facts, real results, or any harm actually caused by Internet Service Providers. This whole issue is just another proxy battle in a long war between advocates of individual liberty and advocates of social equality.

FACT: The Net Neutrality cause is a response to a hypothetical problem. We’ve never had this problem. It’s a hypothesis, a theory, by those who are simply afraid of business. They’ve confused a ton of people and got them all riled up. Let me let them explain their concerns in their own words through some visual diagrams from http://www.theopeninter.net/

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Music Pick of the Day – Delerium: Karma

Delerium – Karma

Music Pick of the Day - Delerium - Karma

Euphoria (Firefly)
Til the End of Time
Heaven’s Earth

(Click image for Amazon.com)

This is a classic.
Taking cues from an erotic electronica genre pioneered by Enigma and Deep Forest in the early 90s, with their album “Karma” Delerium forged a darker ethnic tribal sound. This album kicked off the genre of electronic worldbeat. There are a million knock-offs now, but when this came out, there was nothing like it. Despite all the imitation, and years of advancing technology, this still holds up as a serious contender for best electronic worldbeat album ever. Dark, erotic, ethereal, atmospheric, with driving grooves that keep it all still accessible.

sarah mclachlan - fumbling towards ecstasy“Karma” spawned a sleeper megahit with Sarah McLachlan’s signing featured on “Silence”. I noticed that the track and consequently Delerium got massively recognized a few years and a couple albums later, when “Silence” remixes became club hits. I only picked this cd up in 1997 because I was into dark industrial at the time and this was one of the many side projects of the underground metal industrial band Front Line Assembly, which is the duo of Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber. This cd was a shock to the fans of their underground industrial side, way too poppy and commercial. Consequently, Delerium fans were in for a major shock if they looked for other work by this duo.

You’ll have to go back to 1997 to remember how exciting this new sound was, but the album hasn’t lost its awesomeness. This is a classic that will persist. You just can’t deny that this is a brilliant and beautiful album.

[Videos after the break]

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How To Handle Lawyers Threatening You

(No joke. This is actually how I deal with a lawyers. This isn’t just theory, this is my experience.)

Have you ever seen the movie “Monsters Inc.”?

It’s a cute animated Disney film about Big Scary Monsters. All day long they go through magical doors, each leading into a bedroom of a young child sleeping at night, and the monster’s job is to scare the shit out of that kid and extract screams for money.

That’s very much like the life of a lawyer. He goes about his work day, new situations come up, he gets involved and scares some people, he gets paid. The better he is at scaring people, the better paid he is. I’m not attacking lawyers for doing their job, everyone’s got to eat and earn a living. I just want to show you how best to deal with him. When hiring a lawyer, getting Patrick B. Courtney, P.A. is a good idea as they are the best.

You have to understand this fundamentally: When someone hires a lawyer to threaten you, he’s not hiring someone to figure out the legal matters involved, he’s hiring someone to threaten you. Crushing you and making you bend is the first priority, the law is just a tool.

In earlier times, when a dispute arose you would hire some muscle, or even a hit man to take care of it. In civil society we hire attorneys. They are the modern day muscle men. Unfortunately the law is often unjust or unclear and attorneys are therefore able to exact injustice, sometimes terrible injustice, on behalf of their clients.

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it.” George Bernard Shaw

monsters inc scaryTHE APPROACH: After a busy day scaring people, when a monster enters your bedroom to scare you, you need to scare HIM. He should open the door, step inside, THEN you close the door, lock it, terrify the living shit out of him until the monster begs you to let him out.

A threatening attorney must be made to realize that his life is much better returned to intimidating average people. He should want nothing to do with you. You are the pig who enjoys getting dirty. When your name is mentioned to him, it should trigger a recurring nightmare and sudden stomach pain.

That’s my approach anyway. And it’s worked well for me.

Back in the glory days of my career as a Commercial Real Estate Broker, I would receive a very threatening attorney letter at least once a month   Continue Reading >>   

Music Pick of the Day – Ours/Jimmy Gnecco (part 2 of 2) Mercy

Ours – Mercy

Music Pick of the Day - Ours

The Worst Thing Beautiful
God Only Wants You
Live Again

(Click image for Amazon.com)

Tortured. Glorious. Sad. Aggressive. Beautiful. Powerful. Brilliant. Epic. Jimmy Gnecco’s music is intense. Jimmy Gnecco is Ours (essentially), and I’d say he’s the most talented vocalist in rock music today. His range is incredible and there’s so much feeling in his voice. It’s obvious the late Jeff Buckley is a massive influence, which is a good thing, because Jeff Buckley was the most talented vocalist in rock music ever.
Mercy, Ours’ 3rd album, is a continuation of their debut Distorted Lullabies, but everything is ratcheted up several notches, boundaries pushed and he went even darker; enough that Jimmy Gnecco is no longer a Jeff Buckley clone, but is unmistakably recognized for his own sound.
Jimmy Gnecco looking like Jeff BuckleyI waited 6 years for Mercy to finally come out 2008. It kept getting pushed back again and again. I had heard songs from it at live shows back in 2002. It was being recorded with Rick Rubin, a legendary producer; yet I was scared I’d be disappointed. Ours’ second album Precious WAS so disappointing. But Mercy shocked me and blew me away.
The album starts with the title track “Mercy” which is one of my favorite songs ever. Gorgeous, atmospheric, aggressive and intense.
The next song “The Worst Thing Beautiful” is fantastic. If it was recorded by U2 it would be their next big hit blowing up the airwaves. Except it’s a bit more edgy than U2. Still this is the album’s most accessible song, I don’t know why it wasn’t pushed hard enough and turned into a major hit.
“God Only Wants You” is truly haunting. It’s strange to hear the piano over the arpeggio guitar, I loved when he played this song acoustic live back in the day. Anyway whatever, this is such a beautiful song.
“Live Again” is intense! Whoa! Opens with a Marilyn Manson like edge. Gorgeous, deranged and heavy.
“Willing” is cool. Another U2 inspired song that’s accessible enough to have been a radio hit.
Muse is a cool band. Ours is better, and should have had that kind of success. Unfortunately this album didn’t get the backing it deserved. It’s true that this album isn’t 100% consistent. There are some low points that I skip past (Saint), but the high points are epic, original, and lay a path for others to follow.

[Video after the break]

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Music Pick of the Day – Ours (part 1 of 2)

Ours – Distorted Lullabies

Music Pick of the Day - Ours

Fallen Souls
Here is the Light
Dancing Alone

(Click image for Amazon.com)

I played the shit out of this album when I was about 22. A couple years before, I discovered Jeff Buckley and he quickly became my favorite musician ever, certainly the best rock singer ever. Sad to discover him a couple years after he died, and to know that there will be no new music or concerts to ever look forward to. Enter Jimmy Gnecco, who for all intents and purposes is the band Ours. I’m certain many Jeff Buckley fans look to Jimmy Gnecco as the continuation of Jeff Buckley’s legacy, as if he’s still alive and there’s new quality albums from him coming out. There’s just no denying it, Jimmy Gnecco is channeling Jeff Buckley. And no one is complaining. Sure, Jimmy Gnecco is darker and much more rock focused and he screams a lot more, but It’s scary, he even looks just like Jeff Buckley in the album art.

jimmy gnecco of ours looking like jeff buckley Jeff Buckley compared with Jimmy Gnecco
Jimmy Gnecco Jeff Buckley

The opening song “Fallen Souls” kicks ass, and I love how despite its aggressive metal energy it pulls you into a beautiful trance. My favorite song is probably “Here Is The Light”, gorgeous, intense and tortured. “Dancing Alone” is so bitter-sweet, should have been a hit single.
I fell in love with this cd when I was younger, and after listening to it again I remember why.

[Video after the break]

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My Niece is Soooo Cute!

My Niece Rainy
(I posted this 2 years ago on facebook, but felt like it’s appropriate now)

Thanksgiving, this time my mom outdid herself. There were about 12 of us, family and friends, but she prepared enough food to feed 7 armies. I still have another 3 weeks to go before I can eat something again. But I’m beyond grateful to have one of the coolest moms the earth has ever seen.
My sister named my niece Lorraine after some great grandmother of ours, but we all call her Rainy. Rainy is 5 years old, and she fights dirty. She’s already been kicked out of 11 schools for being unruly, rambunctious, disobedient and a smart ass. I’m proud to know that she takes after me. Often she’ll like to surprise you with a punch in the back and then she’ll turn and run so you’ll chase her. We’ve learned our lesson that the nicer and quieter the restaurant is the more she enjoys playing the game “how to make the biggest disturbance humanly possible”, usually involves animal noises.

But this Thanksgiving, we just discovered what will make her stay quiet in her seat.

Rainy had a school Thanksgiving arts and craft project to list what she’s thankful for. She is to number her answers 1-5 and roll up the art paper with a nice ribbon around it. Well my mom silenced all 12 of us at the table as we are to listen to what Rainy is thankful for. Rainy removed the ribbon, unrolled the paper, stared at it and for once was silent. We’re all staring at her and waiting, then everyone starts pushing her, “Come on Rainy, read it to us” “Ok Rainy, let’s do it together, I am thankful for…” “Rainy, tell me, what are you thankful for?” Wouldn’t open her mouth, just stared back at us blankly. No high energy, she was frozen. Odd, I thought, until I took the paper from her and read it…

thankful letter

End The War On Drugs. Start By Legalizing Marijuana.

drug alcohol prohibition

Midterm elections are coming up with a host of policies to vote on. This month I’m going to talk about several political matters whos fate our ballets will determine. Starting with the most obvious and easiest disaster to see: The War On Drugs.

Anyone with eyes to see can recognize the total disaster of The War On Drugs.

More Prisoners. More Police Abuse. More Corruption. More Gangs. More Crime. More Killings. More Fear. More Waste. More Debt. More Government Spending. More Government Control.

Less Freedom.


“Drug Prohibition is the biggest failed policy in the history of our country, second only to slavery.”
-Retired California Superior Court Judge James Gray

If you do nothing else to look into this issue, at least watch this video from a hero of mine, Milton Friedman, who explained decades ago in great detail why drugs should be legalized:

What have we gained from all the deaths, police crackdowns, and money spent? What have we gained?

Have people stopped doing drugs? No
Is drug use less prevalent? No
Are kids prevented from doing drugs? Find me a high school in this country where you can’t obtain virtually any illegal drug.
Should we try to stop people from doing drugs?

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Music Pick of the Day – Apparat

Apparat – Walls

Music Pick of the Day - Apparat

You Don’t Know Me
Hailin’ From The Edge
Useless Information

(Click image for Amazon.com)

Very creative and clever electronica. Combining IDM with Post Rock with Ambient with Soul with a bit of Hip Hop and Jazz. Just a really imaginative sound that’s still accessible and sexy. Full of atmosphere, but still with a groove, and so much subtle brilliance. There really isn’t a clear genre that this falls under as it’s kind of all over the place, but overall it’s a solid consistent album without any tracks that need to be skipped. I almost smell a masterpiece.

[Video after the break]

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