There will no installment of “Politics is a unicorn” tomorrow, despite my best efforts, due to the unexpected acquisition of what I believe is called “paying work.” The series will resume Friday with an entry on the media. Also, I know part 2 was overly dense and long, but I took care with part 3 to make it readable and interesting. Seriously, half of it is about puppies...
Wavves took a shot at the New York Observer last... →
(via leoncrawl) Mr. Williams indicated that he did not want to be interviewed by The Observer, which is too bad because it would have been rad to find out whether he got to hang out with The-Dream at all. Here’s the thing that people who are getting reviewed constantly don’t get about critics: we’re either fans, or we don’t care. We have too much shit to do to harbor...
Politics is a unicorn #3: The government
Politics is a unicorn, but government is not. Government actually exists. But we still have a unicorn called “government,” a set of ideas about how things “really” work. You will not be surprised when I say that these things are mostly wrong! They are a kind of mish-mash of outdated civics class basics and the conventional wisdom of pundits, and it is just awfully destructive to how we pursue...
(They don’t even have the Disneyland Skyway... →
Maria Bustillos on chaperoning Grad Night at Disneyland. As someone whose Disneyland was Enchanted Forest’s weird plastic storybook houses, I appreciate this explanation of the particular pull of that park.
Politics is a unicorn #2: The public
Yesterday we talked about unicorns, and at some length. We also talked about politics, and how it was kind of imaginary but kind of real. Maybe I convinced you? Probably not, but that’s OK, because we forge ahead today by talking about the public, or “the people,” or citizens, or whatever you want to call them. (“Those idiots!”) They matter because when I say “politics” I mostly mean...
Scissor Sisters, "Night Work": Yay for Sex and... →
I wrote about the new Scissor Sisters’ excellent new album (which is out today, btw) for the Awl! At some length! It starts on kind of a downer but goes on to talk about transgression and appropriation and Shortbus.
clap clap blog: Just got back from seeing Courtney →
Since there seems to be some interest in stories about crazy Courtney Love concerts today, here’s my account of a show I saw in 2004. This was in the midst of a rampage that saw her get arrested for beaning a fan with a microphone stand at a secret show at Plaid, flash David Letterman, and let a random passer-by suckle her breast outside the Union Square Wendy’s.
way over yonder: The Roadshow Experience →
Going to the Antiques Roadshow was a girlhood dream come true, and I am only kind of joking, because hot damn I love the show and seeing the operation in person was amazing. My junk wasn’t worth anything and I didn’t get the chance to groupie out on my favorite appraiser, but it was still a whole… Click through to read the whole thing, including anecdotes about the Keno brothers! I saw...
Politics is a unicorn #1: Introduction
Hello, patient reader! I talk about many things here, and one of those things is politics. Over the course of the last year or so, I have come to realize that the way I think about politics (which I had quite naturally assumed was the way all intelligent people think about politics) is not exactly normal, to the degree that when I write something coming from my standpoint, people seem confused...
Louisiana Wants U.S. Help, and Its Own Way →
Couldn’t pick just one quote, so let’s go with “WHOOPS.” To paraphrase Dean Wormer: reeling from crisis to crisis via ragegasm is no way to go through life, Bobby Jindal.
Op-Ed Columnist: The Age of Nancy →
First, think about if this was the title of a Maureen Dowd column and what the “nancy” would mean. Now, go read it, because it’s a Gail Collins column about how Nancy Pelosi is awesome! She is, at any rate, a person who combines the high ideals of politics with a sure grasp of the very practical realities. Some progressives will never forgive Pelosi for caving in to the...
Elisabeth Donnelly: On Fashion →
- I had a meeting last week in the city, and tore through my closet trying to find something that looked professional and cool. But far, far too much of my clothing is…flowy. Ruffled. EVEN MY PENCIL SKIRT HAS RUFFLES. And you know what the problem is? ANTHROPOLOGIE. Ms. Donnelly has lots of interesting things to say about FASHION, particularly the weird effect of what happens to the way you...
Waves of Wavves
I got the feeling that all the “pssh, who cares if you don’t like Wavves” reactions were to Lucas’ post rather than to mine (or, at least, I prefer to get that feeling!), but nevertheless, I’d like to refer you to a previous thing I wrote where I talked about what protestations of “why does everyone like this thing I don’t like” really mean. ...
The skong: it exists. →
Tremble in fear: “The most special nights of your life call for some special surprises. Satin and mesh ruffled skong features a crotchless thong underneath and detachable tulle train and bow. Polyester/spandex. Imported.”
Be Your Own Pet - Becky I listened to that there...
The pop critic's version of getting emo
Look, here’s the deal: I was driving back from the airport (my parents’ flight back to Syracuse had gotten delayed, so I took them out for dinner) and I was listening to the “mixtape at 8” on KUBE 93 and a song came on and I was like, “WHOOOOA, what the fuck is this, this is awesome” and then… “I know way too many people here right now that I...
Whoever adds albums to the Library of Congress'... →
David Brooks broke in Maureen Dowd's closet and is... →
Today’s David Brooks, the Times right-of-center moderate columnist, writes a Dowd-ian piece that reads to me not as broader political insight, but rather as a piece that reveals his own struggle to find a comfortable ideological and political home in the aftermath of the Bush years. I don’t know for sure if Brooks voted for Obama, but I assume he did, as did many East Coast intellectual...
Hey, guess what?
Haiti is still fucked! I know we’ve moved on to only caring about BP and the gulf oil spill, but in case you were wondering, Haiti didn’t get better just because we stopped paying attention to it. There’s rampant crime in the refugee shantytowns, and people are still living under “leaky plastic tarps” five months after the quake. “Haiti has made little...
The Runaway General →
The Rolling Stone story that’s causing such a fuss is worth a read, because there’s a lot more going on there than just Biden jokes. McChrystal comes off like the John McCain of Afghanistan, an avid creator of his own self-image (his command team - the leaders of combat operations in Afghanistan, and probably some of the most powerful people in the world - seem to sincerely think...
My resettlement plan
One thing is now clear: God hates New Orleans. He has sent two elemental disasters to ravage the city, and while it still stands, it may be time to think about giving up the ghost, lest the Lord send some sort of tidal wave of radioactive locusts to cover the Latin Quarter and eat any joy that remains. Let us recap: the first disaster destroyed New Orleans physically. When that didn’t...
Lady Power →
The tension in Gaga’s self-presentation, far from being idiosyncratic or self-contradictory, epitomizes the situation of a certain class of comfortably affluent young women today. There’s a reason they love Gaga. On the one hand, they have been raised to understand themselves according to the old American dream, one that used to be beyond women’s grasp: the world is basically your...
Christina Aguilera - I Hate Boys Xtina’s...
Secrets of SEO
18 months before a major motion picture starring Michael Cera comes out, become the #1 Google result for the first phrase he says in the trailer for said movie.
The death of Ferdinand de Saussure
About a month ago, I couldn’t sleep, and so I did what I tend to do in these situations: go through my bookshelf for something light and familiar to read. In this particular case, I ended up with Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel David Boring. It was one of those things that I think had a real effect on me when it came out in 2000 (along with, I dunno, Paul Auster and Hal Hartley and shit...
As a political leader, Barack Obama seems to know what he’s doing. His...– Gail Collins, The Boring Speech Policy
If you write like a troll, you will be fed.– Blue Lines Revisited: Marco.org: Comments Tom Ewing on the relationship between a writer’s tone and the tone of comment boxes. Please do read the whole thing.
The Retro Valley: Frank Black - “Los...
Touch of Evil is, maybe, my favorite film ever, and A.O. Scott’s piece does a good job introducing its appeal, including the thematic centrality of the permeability of borders. This is, almost entirely inadvertently, a unifying theme in much of the art I’ve consumed lately. Some of it takes place across different borders, like Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Jane Gardam’s Old...
The Retro Valley: Dirty Three - Sue’s Last...
Tea Farty →
pterodactyls: I feel like some of you here would be interested in this. If you were wondering what my sense of humor is like, this pretty much sums it up. The only thing that would make it better is if it also played a clip of Margaret Dumont pronouncing the site’s name every once in a while.
How each generation deals with getting old
The greatest generation: Dying. Baby boomers: Pretending they’re still young. Generation X: Ironically dressing up in “old people” costumes, throwing themed parties, moving to Boca. Generation Y: Freaking out that they’re not good enough at being old.
Frank Rich: Why would America’s right-wing radio king hire an openly gay entertainer to star at his wedding? And why would one of the world’s foremost AIDS activists sing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” for a gay-baiting provocateur who has trivialized AIDS and speculated that same-sex marriage could lead people to marry dogs? Sir Elton’s fee was reported to be a cool $1 million. Which goes...
I was happy being the retarded cousin of rap. Now I’m the retarded cousin...– M.I.A., in Billboard (via Carl Wilson)
You may want to watch the pre-world cup show on ABC. Here it is on from 8-10. It...– An e-mail from my dad. We had a Very Important Father-Son Moment when I made him watch Eurovision while we were in London last year. Also, when did the Black Eyed Peas become this weird sort of stateless multinational entity, like Dethklok? (Will.I.Am = Nathan, Apl.De.Ap = Pickles, Taboo =...