Breakin’ from break

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There are few feelings I can describe as pure relief, and finishing exams is one of them. I’m chillin.

They took me out of commission for a little, but now I’m back to the BB. And there is so much damn stuff to talk about. FinReg. Supreme Court. Innovation funds. Oil. Open Source. Immigration.

stay tuned.

Posted on May 11th 2010 in Uncategorized

Dear Lady Gaga, Stop Telephoning Me


Not that I don’t like the song..cuz I love it! But I’m sorry, the Telephone video is just plain whack:

I was out of town, so I missed the early review, but let’s just start big picture and narrow in.

First, if you are going to make an epic 10-minute video, it better be mind-blowing. One component you might want to consider is novelty. Coming from someone as starkly original as Lady Gaga, this video is glaringly cliche.   Girl walks into an all-female prison to a chorus of heckling inmates.  She gets womanhandled by some butch guards.  Requisite makeout and girlfight scenes.  Talk about Lezploitation!  And the rest is just overt Tarantino ripoff, down to the P-Wagon, only to be stifled by painful dialogue and even more painful delivery.  Basically, this thing could’ve been written by a child that had once seen Kill Bill and any number of prison scenes.

In addition to creativity, Gaga’s also lacking a lot of clothes in this video. I understand the urge to flaunt your shit since shrinking down from the girl once known as Stefani Germanotta, but this is ridiculous. Every video since Just Dance has just been a progressive de-clothing of Gaga. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next video that comes out is indeed a snuff film.

And speaking of overexposure, the penis thing is just unnecessary. Ok, I get that your feelings were hurt by immature-assholes-hiding-behind-their-screen-names claiming you have a male appendage, but that doesn’t mean you have to go on all-out penis damage control.  Get over it.  I’m sure your millions of fans have.

Then there is the odd abundance of product placement: Virgin Mobile, Wonderbread, Miracle Whip, Polaroid, Diet Coke.  The nod is just random.  I guess Virgin Mobile is sponsoring her tour, and the song is about a telephone, but you wouldn’t even know that watching the video.  I guess that’s why they had to zoom in on the thing like five times.

And is it just me, or do Beyonce and Gaga always look funny dancing next to each other?  They just don’t fit well together, and the dance seems definitely choreographed for the less talented dancer of the two; I think you know who that is.

It’s not all bad.  The kitchen dance scene is cool and the colors are pretty awesome.  The cigarette glasses are, er…intriguing, but in this day and age, do you really want your strongest image in a video to be cigarettes?

I’m not trying to hate, you’ve just made a “very, very, bad, bad” video Gaga.  You’re better than that.

This Key of Awesome parody pretty much nails it, especially the idea that Beyonce was coerced.  What do you think?

Posted on March 25th 2010 in Uncategorized

Off to Morocco, then Paris

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Did you know that the city of Fes in Morocco is the largest contiguous car-free urban area in the world?

Posted on March 12th 2010 in Uncategorized

Weekend Special

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OMG.  According to the useful, but not-so-professional-looking idrink, there is a drink called the Benevolent Baron:

  • 2 parts club soda
  • 4 parts cranberry juice
  • 4 parts gin
  • 1 part lime juice

Not so much my flavors, though.  I’ll have to come up with a modified version.

Posted on March 6th 2010 in Uncategorized

Introducing: MikeyFigs

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My good buddy Mike Figura has elected to join me on the Benevolent Baron as a contributor.  We go back to UVA, where we were both loosely affiliated with the same fraternity, took a few urban planning and environmental science classes together, and had a quasi-band called Djambay.  I am pumped to have his input.

After graduation, Mike moved to Asheville, NC and got into the sustainable real estate development game.  He founded his own real estate company, Eco Concepts Realty, the first in Asheville to focus exclusively on sustainable real estate.  Using mixed-use development and energy efficiency, he has created properties that are allowing the people of Asheville to lead more sustainable lives.  You can see some of the properties, along with their green features, here and here.  His current project, the Westville, will be the first LEED certified mixed-use building in Asheville.

Please welcome Mike to the BB.  Look for his inaugural post shortly.

[Note: Eco Concepts Realty recently re-branded itself and is now known as Mosaic Realty]

Posted on February 12th 2010 in Uncategorized



This is only a test.  The first of many.  Tests of thought.  Tests of ethics.  Tests of will.

Are you a benevolent baron?

Posted on August 5th 2008 in Uncategorized
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