Number 1

"The minimal repetition produces the maximal difference."



The snub-nosed monster rises to the surface and spouts through his blunt nostrils two columns of water, which, fiery-white in the centre, spray off into a fringe of blue beads. Strokes of blue line the black tarpaulin of his hide. Slushing the water through mouth and nostrils he sings, heavy with water, and the blue closes over him dowsing the polished pebbles of his eyes. Thrown upon the beach he lies, blunt, obtuse, shedding dry blue scales. Their metallic blue stains the rusty iron on the beach. Blue are the ribs of the wrecked rowing boat. A wave rolls beneath the blue bells. But the cathedral’s different, cold, incense laden, faint blue with the veils of madonnas.

V. Woolf -- from "Blue and Green" -- http://bartleby.com/85/6.html


Word of the Day: MEWLING!

Why women don't win reality shows, or presidential campaigns (maybe)

This morning, I realized that the presidential campaign is basically a big game of Survivor, and that Hillary probably isn't going to win, and that we'll be able to write her political epitaph using basically the same premise as this Twop recap of the show's last season:

Amanda -- in the great tradition of women who play well, feel obligated to either pretend to be sorry or actually try to feel sorry, and who fall into the ravine between "keep it real" reality-show expectations and "don't brag" socialization-of-women expectations as a result -- receives one vote, [despite]having played a smarter strategic game than anyone.

The key difference here is that Hillary isn't playing like she's sorry, and we can't cope with it. Fundamentally, we still don't know how women are supposed to behave in mixed-gender competitions; we have no idea how they are supposed to win while still seeming "nice" and "likable". And that's why, honestly, I think that sexism is a bigger obstacle than racism. I don't mean to trivialize Obama's obstacles, but I honestly think that we, as a country, are more comfortable watching a black man compete than watching a woman, of any ethnicity, do the same. That socialization of women, to be "likable", to be "pleasing", always, always also means learning to be diffident, learning to be non-confrontational, learning to FOLLOW rather than LEAD, at least publicly.

Hence, we have this election, we have Chris Matthew's jaw-dropping sexism, the acceptance of "bitch" in commentary, and this:

Another study, by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, found that 58 per cent of stories on Clinton on the main ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News Channel newscasts from the beginning of October to mid-December were dominated by negative comments. By contrast, 61 per cent of the comments about Barack Obama were positive, and so was 67 per cent of the John Edwards coverage. (AP)

And even tho all of this was covered in the news already, a few weeks ago, and Matthews has since "apologized", that doesn't make it any less true. Hillary may not get elected because she's not likable enough, and she's not likable enough because she's a female leader. It's just so... so... augh. So augh I can't even talk about it anymore. Augh.


"Diddling" -- Poe

"What constitutes the essence, the nare, the principle of diddling is, in fact, peculiar to the class of creatures that wear coats and pantaloons. A crow thieves; a fox cheats; a weasel outwits; a man diddles. To diddle is his destiny. "Man was made to mourn," says the poet. But not so:–he was made to diddle. This is his aim–his object- his end. And for this reason when a man's diddled we say he's "done.""

from -- http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/eapoe/bl-eapoe-diddling.htm

Solar Hot Water -- the Way of the Future?


Jay-Z "Guess Who's Back Sample" -- The Originals -- "Sunrise"


Thanks to "souled on" music

On Bladerunner, Or: Chasing Down that Danged Unicorn

Bladerunner gets a lot of ink in cultural studies circles.
I think the key thing you have to remember about this "cyborg manifesto" is the concept of the fetish...............what does it mean to be cyborg/replicant?
A: it means to have made the world and everything in it a fetish object. see nietzsche and deleuze on "the overman".

The clown/toy motif
L.A. as B-movie set
The asian scientist that make only eyes
the kiss of harrison ford and rutger hauer
the origami, esp the unicorn
ford's/deckard's gun
the "snake woman"/replicant
theatrical performances from the replicants -- all their movements look like gymnastics competition
hauer's stigmata of the hand

in fact, the whole movie's fetishization of all the symbols contained within it leads logically to the fetishization of goth culture and bladerunner's consequent influence on goth/punk. Goth as B-movie?

the central moral dilemma of the movie -- the question of mortality (e.g. "four more years") becomes fetish in itself in the finale where hauer manically attempts to kill ford/deckerd, then poetically resigns himself to death.

i think you take bladerunner and watch it next to "city of the lost children".........they seem to read similarly.


On Cortazar

The language is fairy tale, allegorical, a way of saying that he's going to teach us an important lesson w/o being at all teacherly or threatening about it.

The fun part of the allegory for adults angle is that there's no clear moral. Do you side with the Cronopios (the underclass, the outsiders, the immigrants, the Indians, the hippies), in all their dampness and sadness and chaos and confusion, because the ultimate reward for being like Lambs of God is that you are the closest to nature, to the Truth? Because it's admirable, and desirable, but not very rewarding, really, in this lifetime anyway.

Or are you more sympathetic to the Famas (upper-class, bougie), all of this earth, all organized and with it and beautiful? Because you may be participating in a corrupt system, and you may be stifling variation, but you are BEAUTIFUL and BELOVED and LUCKY and SUCCESSFUL. Not so magical, not so close to anything other than the rest of the famas, but... fun, for now, and rewarding.

Or are you siding with the esperanzas (cogs, middle-class, strivers) who are admirable in nothing except that they are safe safe safe?

If all the world is this way, and to some degree it truly is, how do you make a life for yourself?

And how do you justify the appeal of the cronopios? I feel like I've done a poor job above.

On Cortazar

so the important thing to remember about cortazar is that he writes in hieroglyphics......these cronopios and famas fables are just an extraction of his style.......cortazar will take a moment, or a series of moments, otherwise ordinary and cut like a surgeon until he finds subliminity. you can only half-understand the meaning of any sentence, because meaning is being unbounded and inverted. so what is cortazar writing about in the cronopios and famas? how does he move from mysticism to full-on fanatsy and still retain his "touch of the real" that allows these stories to take on life? i am probably only touching on the importance of the cronopios and famas and maybe yoyo should weigh in.



from Stories of Cronopios and Famas by Julio Corta'zar

When Famas go on a trip, when they pass the night in a city, their procedure is the following: one fama goes to the hotel and prudently checks the prices, the quality of the sheets, and the color of the carpets. The second repairs to the commissariat of police and there fills out a record of the real and transferable property of all three of them, as well as an inventory of the contents of the valises. The third fama goes to the hospital and copies the lists of the doctors on emergency and their specialties.

After attending to these affairs diligently, the travelers join each other in the central plaza of the city, exchange observations, and go to a cafe to to take an apertif. But before they drink they join hands and do a dance in a circle. This dance is known as "The Gayety of the Famas".

When cronopios go on a trip, they find that all the hotels are filled up, the trains have already left, it is raining buckets and taxis don't want to pick them up, either that or they charge exorbitant prices. The cronopios are not disheartened because they believe firmly that these things happen to everyone. When they manage, finally, to find a bed and are ready to go to sleep, they say to one another, "What a beautiful city, what a very beautiful city!" And all night long they dream that huge parties are being given in the city and that they are invited. The next day they arise very contented, and that's how cronopios travel.

Esperanzas are sedentary. They let things and people slide by them. They never take the trouble.


On ODB's Mom

"And maybe the Germans have a word for it: the smile you get when you're standing on a stage in front of a few thousand white people and your dead son's rap group is performing his song celebrating unprotected sex, passing you a mic so you can sing along. She looked a little embarrassed and a little heartbroken, but she also looked truly, glowingly proud."
from: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/statusainthood/archives/2008/01/post.php

Upload Text to Novel = Bloodied Thumbs



On Bojangles' Biscuits

"You can't just come in off the street and make them," Mr. Raspanti said emphatically, "You have to understand the dough in order to relate to it."

--- From Bill McKibben, "Bojangles'", New Yorker, Talk of the Town, 1982

Traffic ticket solution?

I recently got stopped at one of those lovely NC checkpoints - you know the ones where they check your driver's license, and it may not TECHNICALLY be racial profiling but you can't help but notice that 99% of the people who have problems are Latino?

Yeah, I got stopped at one of those waaay the fuck out of town, and my registration was expired, so I got a ticket. But I called the county DA's office and explained that I'd fixed the problem, and they said that if I just fax in a copy of my new registration I don't have to drive out to appear in court in Bumfuck in February.

This doesn't work in Orange County, sadly, but it apparently works elsewhere. I got the idea from a friend of Chey's in NY who gets the occasional speeding ticket upstate but, so far, has always managed to get off with an apologetic letter to the court instead of a real appearance and fines paid.

Also, more tips on getting out of speeding tickets are here on lifehacker.com


more rape! "disgrace" by j.m. coatzee (he's a nobel prize winner, so he must be smart)


chey: i'm a start this one, i'm tempted not to give coetzee the time necessary, but the guy won the nobel, so that legitimates this whole enterprise. is the novel racist, sexist? david lurie, the main character, is an aging lothario who sleeps with several women through the course of the book always with pretty demeaning language (in the first person).

yoyo: yep, and the women are never developed beyond being victims or persecutors, despite the fact that female characters outnumber the males.

chey: but this is not a new critique of the book. however, in doing our thourough research of the work beforehand, we saw that the amazon, salon, and other reviews had no problem with this stuff. so let's get down to the heart exactly about what was so offensive.

yoyo: thorough research. totally. offensive: women/blacks used only to drive home political points while a misogynistic (and possibly racist) main character garners all the available sympathy/insight (however paltry the supplies of both may be...)

chey: but does this make it really offensive. if it was just some black on white rape porn, would it be all that much different? moreover, if it was told in the 3rd person, would it then be ok. it is offensive and difficult for me to read exactly because we not only have to read about an offensive man, we have to essentially be him in adopting the 1st person. every time he says "i", we say, "i..."

yoyo: i think that's a totally valid point. we want to justify his actions because we feel them as if they were our own. my prob is justifying my criticism of this book, which i loathed, against lolita, which i loved. i think maybe HH was so much more self aware, and was so clearly and unambigously a monster?

chey: so it is the ambiguity that makes you see the sexist/racist in yourself, even if only projected onto you by the book? i think the thing is pretty despicable, it's like reading porn at several spots; it describes essentially a facist politics, a politics of evil, a lack of remorse, so many things that we accuse leaders of endorsing.

yoyo: i'm not clear on what you mean here. can you explain more?

chey: it is a philosophy of agression, and repression. the women have no voice. when lurie, the professor is accused of sleeping with a student, he doesn't admit guilt, no because he is not willing to admit that he did it, but because he refuses to see anything wrong with that equation.

yoyo: TOTALLY. but how did that show you sexist/racist stuff in yrself?

chey: i'm just saying that it does by proxy whether we like it or not because every time we read the word, "i..", it is as if we are speaking, we adopt lurie's character as our own whether we like it or not, we commit his crimes, we, for lack of a better metaphor, are the baby jesus.

yoyo: it's like... i understand how he makes you experience being sexist/racist, but did it illuminate any s/r that you hadn't noticed in yrself before? do you know what i mean? like, did you finish it and go, 'well, i never expected to be called out on THAT value' or whatever?

chey: no, i already knew i was kind of sexist....for all those other folks who had no idea, i don't think they take that step away from the text and realize that it's fucked up to be getting off on a borderline child rape scene.

yoyo: yeah. i think that sort of identification really lingers w you, too, even if on a conscious level you are going"i don't agree w this. this guy's a fuck." and he really beats you over the head w it. chey was reading the part where Lurie fucks his unwilling student, and midway thru he was like "DUDE WE GET IT!" but Coetzee had to really linger over the scene and go on for a good bit longer.

chey: so the other reading is that through the course of the novel, the character is disgraced, his daughter is raped, his face is burned, he loses his professorship, his living, and possibly his daughter's farm.........so bad things come to those who are too careless to identify their fascist politics.

yoyo: i like that last bit. even in that reading, it's sexist bc why shld lucy have to be raped and lose her farm just so that this guy can be punished? and what about the student and her family who are traumatized - is that ultimately redeemed by his push towards a better life? also, another reading wld be that all this shit falls on a guy who didn't do anything wrong, bc the world is set up to favor women and blacks now as retribution for crimes that were never really committed...

chey: so fucked up on a bunch of levels......but politics aside......is the language and structure and ideas, etc. nobel-worthy. coetzee has a great attention for detail, and he certainly gets inside lurie's head, if no one else's.

yoyo: yeah, but as fun as it is to read for the first few chapeters, technique-wise, after that i found it a bit repetitious - the playing w near-synonyms, the tendency to describe a few sensory details and then a snarky opinion, the long lectures david gives about whatever the fuck. it felt like the same format over and over again.

chey: true. should the nobel committee have been more responsible for supporting his politics -- that s africa is now an unsafe place for mr. white man?

yoyo: i'd have been happier w a book that noted that it's not a safe place for mr/ms white man, that's fair, but gave a more balanced view of why that might be. and also touched on how it's not exactly a safe place for mr/ms black man either. that's another grating thing... the black characters seemed so priviliged and unlikable.

chey: true. but what if s africa is really unsafe and effed up? if disgrace brings light to the deficiencies of the post-apartaid gov't, is that a good thing, or does it necessarily have to be seen as racist, or is it all in the way it was done?

yoyo: i think it's all in the way that it was done. i didn't feel that it showed anything about the gov't, really, except in the vaguest most tangential way. as for the nobel - i have a hard time believing that this was the best written book that year, or the one that explored the most troublesome or important political issue.

chey: personally, i think coetzee is confused, he knows his politics, he knows what he is doing could be seen as sexist/racist, but goes through with it anyway bc 1. he agrees with lurie on some level and 2. he gets off on it. that's enough for me to see him as detestable.

yoyo: well said. i'm not sure what to add to that.

chey: i would say that if you had a story of some bigot who was obviously a bigot, it wouldn't be that different........only in our postmodern age can we take a bigoted book and look at it so "objectively" that any authorial intention is thrown out the window; if this is what it means to "read text as text", i ain't for it.

yoyo: yeah, it feels a lot backlash-y to me. I sort of imagine the most patriarchal member of the committee being like, "we're doing something for ME this year!" you know? like the old white dudes get their turn again (in a blatant way, as opposed to having to be sneaky about it)

chey: well i think coetzee might have had his turn coming due to his other books. were his politics at the forefront in those? i think the apt comparison here is to "storytelling" by todd solondz -- which has a bunch of ugly detestable scenes, including a rape scene, but it's a black comedy, and it plays like one; disgrace, on the other hand, does not play for irony -- it reads entirely like drama.

yoyo: hee. way to keep yr one sentence going waaaay after yr minute is up. i think you nailed it... it reads like drama. i'm so sleepy.

Orgy Fun


yoyo: how seventies is this whole thing? don't you just picture the men w longish hair and mustaches? and everybody has lots and lots of body hair? even the sandalwood soap and the Calarts reference... plus the whole "child rebelling against authority" marx/brando namechecking of it all. the political/sociological applied to the group/person in kind of a grody, sexual way.

chey: yeah, maybe this guy is really old and wrote this on a dinner napkin when he was 21, thinking about a couple of girls he met....let's look him up:

yoyo: hahahaha you spent yr whole turn fact checking yr name check and now it's over! LOSER!!!!!! (ok, this really is an incredibly nerdy undertaking, chey, you were right.) (oops, meta again) I did like the part where he said being naked felt innocent somehow...

chey: we'll save the fact-checking for later..........i thought it was ridiculous how he intercut shower orgy scenes, and the prospect of some hot shower sex, with references to a boring-ass movie and some stuff about marxian revolution.

yoyo: yep, overall self-indulgent and pretty wasteful. what were we supposed to get out of that? I liked the Cary Grant piece on acid better (not by the same author, but next in the mag) even tho it suffered from a lot of the same flaws.

chey: i think this is the guy: http://johnhaskell.home.mindspring.com/sound/quinlan.mp3
at least i hope so, otherwise i'm giving some random writer like a million hits. the dog was just knocking at the screen door. hounds are so smart!

yoyo: hee. He was scratching at his ear and hitting the floor accidentally. a walking purina commercial this dog is not. he is smart as... a smart thing, tho. hmm. i've got nothing here. next time i will follow that link before i type.

chey: i think there is stuff to talk about with the story though. you're a professional writer....you can't do the the back-and-forth in and out of scene thing for like a 1200 word story (or less).....that's like for an undergraduate writing exercise.

yoyo: i took a minute to listen to that, and in the middle chey said "Maybe Vice really is sexist" which: WORD. word word word word. Also: I agree that the structure is weak, but I appreciate the boiled-down nature of the language, the way he doesn't waste a lot of words...

chey: yeah, was vice doin this guy some kind of favor? some of the other stories are weak, some this probably isn't even a valid comment in the first place. yoyo had a problem with the talking baby corn cartoon, which i thought, though derivative, was inspired.
but back to the story, what is this guy's problem, titleing the thing "Orgy" and no sex happens?

yoyo: he's fucking w us, cuz he's so much smarter than we are. we are rapey mouthbreathing frat boys who just stopped by to read the "babes/not babes" i mean..."do's and don'ts". chey is a much harsher timekeeper than i am. i think it's cuz he's insecure.

chey: thanks.......................jerk. (laughter) he's not smart, i get the irony. every well-done hamburger deserves another, as i always say. so i guess we were writing about this story because it was close enough to porn to hold our interest. is that is all we can say before dismissing john haskell?

yoyo: hamburger joke: totally over my head. but isn't that the other 1/2 of the vice readership? the ones who are smart enough to be "in" on the joke and like feeling smart about it? it's like that half of the readership who also comment on gawker.

chey: yeah i guess......i don't read gawker...what does that say about me. have you ever seen blazing saddles? i don't know why that felt relevant, but i guess it's the same determination of taste by the culture that we imbibe. by the way, for the haters out there, f you!

yoyo: yeah man, FYOU! (wait, were you tlaking to me? or is this like us against the world? i really need clarification on that at some point in our relationship) i think gawker is snarky like vice but less porn-y, less lastnightsparty and more cobrasnake damn that thought fell apart on me. fuck.

chey: who said we had a relationship? we (yoyo and i) are simply two mount olive pickles that were separated at birth and are now writing by IM from australia and new zealand, respectively. no, i really want to hear why you care for gawker..........

yoyo: um, mount olive pickles from back in the day, before they started refusing to pay their workers and stuff. chey and i are totally union made and proud. and it's true about our non-relationship and subcontinental separation, tho i can still smell his farts from here; i like gawker bc it's... i don't know. i find it funny.

chey: go on.

yoyo: aw, such a gentleman. i'm not a religious reader of gawker, but i sort of like seeing what they pick up on and how people react to it. like, i don't really care for the scorn they heap on julia allison... i don't care about her... but i do find enough of the articles funny enough to check in every now and then.

chey: great................i think that wraps things up?

yoyo: yep, i'm done here. i did want to say that i think it's really impressive that you knew who john haskell was. you have this whole grasp of culture that amazes me. (chey has just informed me that he didn't know who jh was) ohhh. well, i'm still impressed by yr harper's reading and general grasp of culture. and that you cared enough to google it, whereas i was just ready to go back to reading Rock of Love recaps on televisionwithoutpity. ok, i'm out.

One Rape to Go?


(team effort)

chey: i'm being timed so here goes, this articlke is a totally misogynist piece of trash,, egan should be drugged, and dragged out into the street and taught many PC things, like that her slutdom might bring down the feminst "cause", not embellish it. where is walter benjamin when you need him, i bet he scrawled faster than i type.

yoyo: hmm. is that tongue-in-cheek, about the dragging her into the streets and all? I can't tell how I feel about this piece. Like, I get the argument that we've advanced the dialogue to the point that women can say they fantasize about rape w/o that automatically undermining the whole concept, but is that true?

chey: no.

yoyo: no what?

chey: yes, she does undermine it. she is making herself an easy target for feminists. she even says she identifies with feminists in the opening, which shows how meaningless the assignation of feminism has become. i would rather eat a chocolate brownie than work on this.

yoyo: i think that last bit is like, so true. But: 1. why is yr reaction to her piece immediately violent, image-wise? and 2. isn't part of feminism women taking control of their sexualtiy and being free to express it regardless of the political climate at the time? cldnt' we say it's vice's fault for featuring this over something more 3rd wave-y?

chey: it's violent bc i'm a violent person, and i imagine cavement dragging this wannabe cavegirl out the cave, because that's exactly how she will get treated as she gets older and less hump-able -- no i guess that was sexist...........but don't you worry for her safety in the future? on 2. true, but if they are inviting violence, that strikes me as foolish. no, it's not vice's fault, it's great that they featured this, sparks discussion, etc., they're not responsible in my eyes, have been publishing stuff out at the borders since the inception of the mag.

yoyo: so it's not vice's fault for publishing it but it's her fault for writing it?

chey: this is bogging down into semantics, but i think there is no fault in any of it.....she really did it, wanted to do it, which is a product of her drives and fantasies and that's her business...............but the problem obviously would be to tell the horny guys who read the mag that in fact, yes, some girls have rape fantasies or worse,,,,,,this gets them horribly confused, and when drunk probably helps them pin a girl down when she says no, don't cha think?

yoyo: well, obviously that's the fear. I think we're debating whether that risk is so big that she shldn't have written the piece in the first place. you start out saying she shld be dragged thru the streets, but vice isn't responzible, it's just being edgy. i think that's a more interesting double standard, cuz the rapey guys aren't reading this anyway.

chey: 1. every guy is a rapey guy. i was being facetious when i said she should be dragged out into the street. i hate how our conversations get hopelessly meta. i think she's perverse (but aren't we all).........................she really felt the way she did........i feel sorry for her. but at the same time, yes, no the image that any woman should want for herself; she doesn't come off as powerful, she comes of as a lunatic slut.

yoyo: ok, i'm ignoring the meta comment (and almost, almost resisting the temptation to comment on my not commenting in a paranthetical. Damn.) I think she cultivates the lunatic slut image, and seems to see it as a feminist statement. Which is troublesome, bc it seems like a short term personal gain at the expense of the larger goals of the movement....

chey: totally. i don't want girls to be all prim and ish. but isn't it kind of disgusting when you roll up on a pack of frat boys at the mall wearing aeropostale and talking about "pussy" in the abstact....not that dirty words nor fantasies don't happen, but is it better for society for us to demarcate the bounds of good taste? am i getting all FCC on you?

yoyo: but isn't it vice's job (and egan's as a vice correspondent) to test those boundaries? isn't htat their bread and butter? also, sexuality is a crazy thing. isn't it better to let guys know that up front rather than keeping it "in the bedroom"?

chey: so values do change over time, and most people couldn't think of forgo-ing the skin they see now on network television. re: yoyo -- there is a line between keeping it up front and advertising that a little rough stuff is ok. not that many happy couples don't enjoy the rough stuff.........i fear coming off like some reaganite miss manners. but really, what is our responsibility? this conversation is getting circular and i think it's my fault.

yoyo: hmm. our responsibility is to NOT get all "yr a slut" on Ms. Egan; not fart or make annoying sounds or flash lights in the other's face during his/her turn to "win" whatever the hell we are OMG WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? I CAN"T WORK THIS WAY AAAAAAAAAAH.

chey: to let our dutiful readers know, we are typing one after another, and trying as hard as we can to break each other's concentration. i can see how this tangent is a good commentary in itself on the death of the feminist movement. i don't understand, yoyo, how you can read my comments so fast.

yoyo: WE are trying to distract EACH OTHER? WTF? NO. I do read fast. it's one of my two major gifts. Feminism's not dead, it's just that as it confronts more complex issues it has to break into more divergent channels. DAMN THE TIMER I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY.

chey: what is left to say? vice is not at fault, egan is a psychoslut (can you see how irresponsible i am in getting off on that word?), but her voice should not be silenced..........

yoyo: yeah, it's the heaping of abuse on egan and not on vice that's troubling to me. There is a OMG CLD YOU SHUT UP? I HATE YOU. GOD.

chey: you're not allowed to use g-d's name in vain. yoyo's asking me, "have you ever________?"

yoyo: "seen yr parents naked"? yeah, that's right. shut you down. I think the point here is that Egan is allowed to do what she wants, but we wish she wld stop. and take care of herself. and... like, get a more constructive hobby. i'm out.

chey: my feelings are hurt. oh, good, you're back in. well, maybe i don't have anything left to say either, i guess we'll end it........well foreclosed, yoyo.

yoyo: i wld like to note that Ms. Egan has adorable bangs. ok, really i'm done. foreclosed and sold at state auction, this entry is.


Lester Bangs and the Nature and Purpose of Rock n Roll: A Eulogy for My Imaginary Deadbeat Boyfriend Who Willl Never Love Me

fun essay from goodreads... kind of an extended riff on the "we're fans! we'll never be cool!" speech in Almost Famous. It's long and a bit circular... If you just start w the premise that "Leaster Bangs is the ultimate fan, but fans and rock stars are totally different animals" then you cld probably start at the 5th or so and be fine...


One night last year, I had a long, horrible conversation at a bar with a man over whom I was at the time absurdly heartbroken. After the conversation (or possibly during) we got in a cab and the most maudlin, heartbroken, self-pitying pop-rock ballad currently on the airwaves came onto the cab's radio as though cued to our entrance. "Yes," you're thinking. "Yes, stuff like that happens to me ALL THE TIME! Why does that always happen?!?"

I'll tell you why: BECAUSE ROCK N ROLL HATES YOU. And by you I don't just mean myself, or a general audience. I mean you, specifically, singled out, in particular. ROCK AND ROLL DOES NOT LIKE YOU. Rock 'n' roll does not want you to be happy. It does not want to be your friend. It does not want to hold your hand. It wants to make you cry, and then tell all its friends about it. It waits around corners, listens to your confessions, documents your break-ups, your losses, your failures. It dogs your steps when you walk home from the subway, it notices who comes and goes from your life, who you want gone but keep around and who you want back but don't call. It records your childhood traumas like Freud in a smoking jacket. It chronicles your past lovers like a backward version of Homer naming the ships. It hoards all this information in a sweaty much-thumbed pants pocket and it waits, like the thing under the bed with its red eyes drooling vemon out onto the carpet. It has infinite, terrifying patience, and then at the precise worst moment it lunges for your heart and that's how we end up having more meaningful relationships with songs than with people. It's what comes on the radio, what comes on the shuffle, what some regrettably sincere lover played for you without thinking about the intractable truth that the song will still exist when your relationship does not. This is why there is a whole website dedicated to ruined music. Music is semi-permanent; relationships are doomed. And then that same song ambushes you in the middle of a perfectly all right day when you thought you were finally over it and then you're lunging for the off-button, the next track, the ipod at the end of the headphone cord, oh fuck, why can't I get it to turn off, why is the computer being slow now no, no, I can't listen to this oh fuck oh fuck.



Two Free Starbucks Drinks, Any Size

In a week, both my mom and sister wrote these folks complaining about poorly-made espresso drinks. They both received coupons for 2 free drinks, any size, no questions asked. Amazing to me that this type of thing doesn't invite abuse......or maybe it ends up generating more business for Starbucks due to the high margins on any individual drink.


On Alchohol Use and Long-Term Neurotoxicity




Remember how back in the early 0t's Chan Marshall showed up with bangs and long layered hair, and it looked kind of weird? And then a few years later it caught on and now if you, like, go to the cobrasnake or look around chapel hill or whatever that's all you see?

You know? Like this:

(The girls on the end are not in a band, they are just illustrative hipsters.)

So, if that pattern holds true, does the fact that Chan is now apparently kiping a bit of Maya A's south asian/80's/grrly style and attitude mean that, by the end of this year, we'll all be kiping it as well?


On the other hand, I just realized that this exact equation totally hasn't worked out with pink hoodies, as far as I can tell, so maybe not...