Saturday, February 23, 2008

Gilded Ages

I've been laughing my a** off at Wendi McLendon-Covey's shorts on 60frames. She plays a character not unlike her trashy Reno 911 persona, improving a 37 yr old grandmother with a wildly inappropriate sense of self-entitlement. It got me thinking today how 'American' this persona is and how this is truly great comedy: she's going after the contemporary people who think the book "the Secret" actually works. This is truly a gilded age that we've gone back to the Dale Carnegie school's of rhetoric where we just push people to their desires and all will manifest itself. The in joke (of these shorts) is of course that reality and perception are two different things. Case in point, see how the "Law of Attraction works here:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Powerpoint Rocks!!! more awesome realms, someone actually went to the trouble to create graphs and charts for pop songs. Yes, it's webtarded, but extremely gratifying (once you get what song they're doing)...

Thru Being Cool?

So -- Gawker today gawked at the NY Observer's claim that Williamsburg has finally seen it's day: So, with its mix of hipster residue and tragically suburban folk, Bedford Avenue finally completed its transformation into the new Avenue A.... Me being no resident of NY saw of course the same "No Duh" parallels with our own beloved Capitol Hill. We've got our Bridge (520) and Tunnel (i90) crowds coming in, as well as people who have decided they want that 'artsy urban livin' that is pushing my friends out of overpriced neighborhoods and causing all kinds of tensions, criminal and otherwise.
I caught myself thinking the other day -- where did the party move to? It seems that right after the Belmont/Pine Block blew up, there isn't anything on the hill that's spectacular. Things are starting to lose their luster... (case in point, Septieme's new color change). I started to think about maybe there is some surburban enclave where bohemians are actually doing things (versus buying things). I hypothesized if I were to open a really interesting bar in someplace like Renton, would I get the hip, single-somethings or the burb-family's looking for a night out?
But maybe not... A few interesting coffee shops and bars will just bring in the same people. And the whole issue of "gayborhoods" going the way of gentrification. And not just in Seattle... There seems to be a drying up of interesting places. I've heard the death knoll for neighborhoods like Silverlake, all the way to cities like Berlin which are unfathomably huge and too big to sustain the influx of bland-minded urbanites.
Maybe the creative class is too big. Maybe it's inclusive of too many people who appreciate the arts, but not enough. Maybe the lure of moving to somewhere for the 'interesting people' ends up enveloping itself with imitators. Maybe the people who do stuff are people who have a low profile, live in obscure corners and acknowledge noone. Maybe the party isn't. Maybe it's all hermetically sealed and not allowed for public consumption. I know this is elitist, but hey - i would group myself in the team that's probably not doing alot... so maybe I am one of the boorish masses who spills out onto the pavement at 2am and breaks my beer bottle against a parking sign, gets in fights and then wakes up on monday to do it all over again.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Close to the Knives

So, today I get my usual email update (spam) from Vice mag, included in their do's and dont's is a picture of a young AM'd out hipster with the quote "There isn’t much more of a DO than looking like a freshly reincarnated David Wojnarowicz (but this time around without the AIDS)", and I just thought - hmmm, really, Vice? Do you wanna go there with me?" Lord knows they've said worse (wayyyy, wayyyy worse) but this comes off as praise for an artist they've given little thought to.
Wojnarowicz had an anger that is still apparent today and while he seems a bit didadatic (I had watched a short film in the Butt Shorts festival this past November and the film techniques were dated, and thus it did seem to drag), it's all still relevant. Homophobia and AIDs are still tearing through America like a divisive knife, being used by the angry right to drive up votes and justify hate-crimes like the outrageous death of Lawrence King (as boys will be boys).
Wojnarowicz was angry - he took the downtown NY art scene to the death and disease that was killing his peers, the gay bashings that were happening with regularity throughout the crime-ridden city (and not acknowledged) and showed them how bad it was... I had his NEA picture (the one w/where his lips were sewn shut), on my college dorm-room door in protest of censorship. I admired his honesty, his fire and fight with the AFA with his virtually last breath.
So -- when a stupid hipster journal decides the look is "Wojnarowicz without the AIDS", it's like the "Think Different" campaign from Apple back in 97: Too stupid to be heresy. It just makes me wanna call the cultural authorities and have their 'irony license' revoked is all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Doctor Fish

18th Century cures like cupping and leeches are back in vogue apparently - there are a few places in the world, mostly in Asia, that use Doctor Fish to help treat dermatological disorders like Psoriasis. The fish eat affected and dead areas of the skin leaving the healthy parts alone. More recently a few spas started touting this service as a means to clean dead skin from your body. Courtesy of Coolhunting.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hauntology and Home Taping

I've been blind for so long - how could I not know about or ignore Ariel Pink? I've seen the name pop up, noticed he played a few shows up here and haven't really bothered to listen to his music until just recently... A young man who basically records perfect/yet-distorted anti-fi pop songs on a 4-track so relentless that they sound always in context of something else. Hauntology is the word I best believe is used to describe this effect and the effect is amazing... Listening to his recordings, I feel like he's capturing any of the following:
1) You're driving late at night listening to AM radio in rural towns and due to the strange static, it all sounds like Captain Beefheart trying to sound commercial (but doesn't).
2) An Alternate Universe in the 70's where Bowie and president Nixon never existed and the arrival of the moog happened 30 years earlier.
3) You're in a recently democratized country and they're playing their local pop music (which was filtered through Eurovision contests).
4) You find a VHS tape with the following video