Thursday, December 31, 2009

Noughtie Pine Retrospect

So with everyone wrapping up with a focus on the decade that's yet-to-be named (no "me"-decade as much as a "Generation OMG" or if you're over 30, the "I'm Still here-read my tweets!!!" decade).  It is, as Carrie Fisher described in an interview "googling yourself w/out lubicrant" - we're self-obsessed and self-promoting, so this is the decade where everyone has a medium of some kind where they go and "address their public" or "the haters....
it's been surprising that I've managed to hold onto this blog for nearly 10 yrs (having lapsed only once to the dark recesses of Livejournal between 2005-2006).   Like all things, I tend to go emphatically for a few months, lose the momentum due to real-time issues (aka - "real life"), so I won't do what alot of bloggers are doing in a "best of" because technically - this isn't a 10yr anniversary.   However, I will highlight my own milestones this year (if it's any interest):
  • Started this blog and proceeded to join every single social app that was ever marketed to me in an attempt to get me to connect, sell, hookup, or just say a random hello.   However, as of this date - I have not tweeted once.
  • I have had a dichotomy of work technology (all PC) and home/pleasure (all MAC).  This year, I  buy an iPhone and bridge the two - I get work email on my phone and have become 'one of those people'.
  • Traveled to 2 major continents - Asia (JP) and Europe (UK, DE), went to NY, Chicago, LA a few times.
  • Watched the twin towers fall on TV - visited ground zero a year later.  Still wondering why we've this paranoid nation of PTSD officials using it to justify everything from wars to wiretapping.
  • Inspired by Stephen Merritt - start a band w/my friend Lyle.  Doesn't quite take off.  But it was fun.
  • I buy a condo during the "bubble" and have knocked on all wooden surfaces for good equity at some point down the line. 
  • I see Seattle boom, bust, boom again.  I see Broadway go vacant, Pike/Pine go hetero, 12th street go yuppie.   I see the Pine/Belmont block implode but not until a 5 month party of decadence makes it mark (and smart bars like Pony and Bus Stop return).  I see Ballard become hip, Georgetown and Columbia City places I want to visit more than Capitol Hill. 
  • I see my own hometown become more cosmopolitan - almost in a strange capraesque nightmare, but also in some progressive areas as well.
  • After years of being a skinny minnie my metabolism kicks in somewhere in early naughties, I gain 20 lbs of post-relationship/beer weight and in 2006 make an attempt to reclaim my youth.  I slim down to 150 with 8% body fat. 
  • I also use bicycling as a means to both relieve stress and acheive said body weight goal.
  • I returned to my theatrical roots and started doing crazy, exhibitionist things like this.   
  • I still marvel that we don't have flying cars and we're not colonizing mars like they did in the 2010 of Blade Runner.   That said I still do suspect we're living with robots who emote better than we do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Acceptable Abuse Policies

My fave femigossip site, Jezebel, linked to this sad, but interesting article in the Guardian about the cyclical return to misogynistic lyrics/narratives in pop music. Deborah Finding has been tracking various memes in pop music over the last 50 years and found a disturbing trend that emerges every so often in the lyrics: some form of acceptable domestic abuse. She site's the early 60's Crystal's "He Hit Me (and it felt like a kiss)" as a jumping off point and then tracks the social awareness and political stance through to the 90's with Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman, Tori Amos (etc), and then see's a recent re-emergence of the "Gosh - I was surely asking for it" narrative again from recent UK winners, Florence and the Machine in the Post-feminist era. If anything is a canary in the coal mine how we're doing socially - attitudes toward women are a warning sign that we're not empowering generations to realize this shit is bad: we tolerated Slim Shady in the early 0ughties. Ladies and Gentlemen: civil discourse has left the building.
And now we're seeing in addition to this an 11% increase in hate crimes in the US - not to overlap issues, but usually when there's hatin' on the ladies, there's sure to be hatin' on the queers as well. I won't be one of those greying hipsters who condems rap in one breath and then says' they embrace the irony in the second - no, because it's not just hiphop: it's pervasive in quite a few music genres. I won't be banning anyone soon - but I will - as Lady Gaga suggests, shout them down as much as possible.
I guess, as Jezebel suggests - one strategy is to take the song and recontextualize it. Kinda like Tori Amos did in "Bonnie and Clyde 97" where she reduces Eminem's misogynistic rap to creepy element: Eminem is f'd up and creepy. In a similar vein, we've got queerish Grizzly Bear covering "He Hit Me". This is questionable if they're recontextualizing the meaning or simply enjoying a song's 4-part harmony (*that was written by Carole King after learning that one of the Crystal's was in fact abused by her boyfriend). I don't know. You be the judge.

(BTW - Hole covered this a while back and it, uh, kinda... well - you know.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Popular Resistance

File from a "Future that never happened" circa 1999 (as intrepeted from 1982): I love this video mashup of post-punk group Family Fodder's "Film Music" with a 1982 BBC sci-fi drama "Play for Tomorrow". The low-brow neutral patina of what is supposed to be a minimalist future (complete with a pop-history that is hyper-linked by flat screen TV's) is nothing short of a brilliant advertisement for youth rebellion as choreographed by American Apparel. Description of the short as follows:
Shades By Stephen Lowe. 1999 again: A tower block contains youths ‘bought off’ by the government, in a climate of microchip-created endless leisure, who experience (often pornographic) virtual reality-style fantasies by donning the titular ’shades’, until a 1980s theme party (they predicted that right, at least) leads to ideology and political thought seeping in under the dazed lifestyle.
How can you go wrong with wrap-around shades and a belted lame tunic, I ask?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Norman Rockwell Conquerors

The crispness in the air, the leaves changing and my civil rights are up for a vote in a few weeks. Gosh, I love fall. It really is great to have to remind the confused, out-of-touch voters in remote areas that Ref 71 has nothing to do with taxes or (god forbid) the children... And I can't tell you how much I trust the virtual hoards of these voters like I would if they were carrying torches and pitchforks. I'm picturing a Norman Rockwell mob here - a well-meaning lynch mob decked out in Pendleton wool plaids; civil, optimistic, and helping to start a bonfire where we're all chained... Gruesome, yes - but pastoral and in fall colors.
Sorry for the dark cynicism - but this whole thing is like the annoying children's game "Perfection" -- we run around plugging the oddly shaped pegs into manic small holes with seconds to pass, and then boom - our rights are thrown asunder and taken away and we're three steps back. I try to think bigger picture here - that maybe there is some paradigm shift around the corner where people realize it has nothing to do with them. That there is some point where where you're not the manifestation of years of dogma coming at you, that there might be a few more advances toward enlightenment. But then again, there are still people who believe in witchcraft and cosmic forces, so there you go... we've not advanced...

Thursday, September 03, 2009


The air is artificially crisp, movies are slower-paced, and the poly-wool blends are hitting the racks at H&M. That can only mean one thing - FALL ARTS (which I'm hoping to condense into a new phrase: FLARTS... workshop it around, etc). Flarts means more art than we can shake a stick at. Instead of foliage, we hibernate into big buildings with theme-shows... Like we have SAM anticipating "Target Practice", and who better to intro this but Paul McCarthy here in all his goeyness at SAM ... I share the same fascination with him as the Stranger, but alas, his talk is happening as I type this and had i known, i would have cut my cardio-20 minutes short and walked down there from the gym. Oh well. I can only hope they can stop things like this from happening:

Also - my perennial fave Ryan Trecartin has posted new videos from his Younger Than Jesus Show on UbuWeb. K-corea is bit too blond and shrill (but the themes are global credit which is both blond and shrill), but i do like the Sibling Topics (which you can tell he filmed at the PDX Eagle of all places).
Sibling Topics (section a) from Ryan Trecartin on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Peel slowly...

Randomness (or this is how I spent my summer vacation while the world spun out of control...):
  • 500 Pine Party - You can't return home. Even for a night. We've tried, but good attempt.
Idea for a reality TV series: Dinner Party Disorder - 2 people are given a mystery ingredient and a celebrity guest list. They are given one hour to clean their place and create a meal using the ingredient. They then have to entertain celebrities for approximately one hour. Merriment ensues. Guests leave. Last 20 minutes features the cleaning up in silence as waves of melancholy wash over the hosts.

  • Ed Varga featured for Homo-a-go-go (*which I quasi-attended this year in SF) on Butt.
  • Also featured - Sissy Nobby shows you how to do that thing (that i need to learn how to do by Saturday Night)...
  • And while we're on the subject of freak dancing, is there such a thing as too much freak
Ways that my life currently resembles a Wes Anderson film:
Working out to Ziggy Stardust on my MP3 player next to a father and son in matching unitards.
Brightly colored zip covers on book jackets in Viet Wah.
The cab that takes me uptown.
A montage of various activities accomplished over the course of 3 months.
Ways that my life currently resembles a Hal Hartley film:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I lost it at the movies... quote the late film critic Pauline Kael. Not that there's any major cultural void with the passing of John Hughes, however you can't deny that he recreated our teenage years (if you were part of last century) and had an impact on modern movie comedy. Time will only tell if he'll be seen as prolific as Capra (maybe - even with cheeze-doodle fare like Home Alone), but he did give us some moments and lines that still come out from time to time. Plus - his protagonists were usually those boho-80's nonconformists and freaks that we were at one time (Ducky does not fall from anyone's tree...) In any case - this is honor of the late mr Hughes, the BratPack mashup:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Beacon Hill Aquarium

More light rail enthusiasm, which will probably soon give away to boredom, and later anger - Beacon Hill's station which is impecibley cute and twee: an undersea world 167 feet down beneath the surface...

Monday, July 20, 2009

If they can put a man on the moon...

...then they should be able to solve [insert social injustice or economic inequity here]. Yes, I celebrated the 40 year old anniversary of the first (staged?) moon landing by having a day of anti-gravity surreal proportions (mostly bad, small hellish bursts], but the highlight was finally getting chance to ride Seattle's own entrance into spage-age transportation... No, not the monorail, sadly - but the LightRail... Yes, finally - our 20th Century urban development has arrived - in the 21st Century Ladies and Gentlemen (applause, applause - ribbon cutting, fanfare, end scene).
Having lived above the tunnel boar-er for a good 5 years, I finally got to go from downtown to Mount Baker in less than 20 minutes flat. I can't tell you how gratifying that was. No stops on every other block. No (intentionally) having to knock elderly grandmother's out of my way to get out the back door. Pleasant arrivals, chimes and a friendly voice advising you where to exit.
The stations are cute in that playful NW post-millenial-design and art-commissioned kind of way - the Beacon station has gleeful sea creatures and Bill Bell's subliminal art in the tunnels is kinda cool (and I realized that one benefit of having the downtown bus tunnels all this time is that the art and design from late 80's makes it all seem like we've had light rail all along for the last 20 years). What made the trip? Having a car full of small children who were loving every minute of the ride and kept reminding us how, even though it's a mid-century too late, our eagle has landed... (PS - photo of my metrocard for proof of concept).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Precious Moments (in History)

I know that in many ways, it's a cardinal sin to go after people who completely do not have any sense of irony (with your own), and I also know that you should not track-back to someone's site unless you're 'pro' whatever freak flag they are choosing to raise at a given moment, but for some reason, I totally realized that this site here will explain everything to you about white people. No need to sign million dollar book deals from your own blog, or hijack the nation's attention through gay-baiting pranks. This site explains everything: Red States, 2004, Mythology, Creationism, Sense of Empire, Decay, Deliverance and Death. It is a symposium of all that is terrible and terrific in this county and exemplifies the true meaning of Christmas.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sequins: Sequence: Sequinsissential

Ok - the last gasp from the spectacle that was the Jacko Memorial, and no more jokes: I point you to the quote from my more succesful doppleganger below (in his 96 reaction during the brit awards):

...and this quote from Momus:
Michael Jackson is not just the King of Pop, but the Last King of Pop. Three major factors will prevent there ever being another one: digital culture and its fragmentation of the big "we are the world"-type audience into a million tiny, targeted audiences; the demographic decline of the "pigs in the pipe" (the Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y, who made pop music's four-decade-long pre-eminence possible); and the decline of the influence of the United States...
"I think we're seeing the re-appearance of class and caste. Michael Jackson's fame comes from a cultural period -- postmodern global consumerism -- when the distinction between high and low collapsed. When Pierre Bourdieu surveyed French cultural tastes in the 1960s, he found that blue collar and white collar workers had completely different cultures -- classical music for the brain workers, cheap pop for the hand workers. A few decades later, postmodern consumer culture had leveled that, at least superficially: now, people with college degrees spoke about Michael Jackson "intelligently", people from lower class backgrounds spoke about him "passionately". But everybody spoke about him. Now that postmodernism is coming to an end, and now that narrowcasting and social networking limit our encounters with "the class other", I think we'll see different classes embracing different cultures again. Things will settle back into the kind of cultural landscape Bourdieu described in "Distinction"."

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sometimes the air isn't so fresh...

Yesterday, while enroute to meet up w/peeps to watch the fireworks, i witnessed a vehicle combust from inside. The driver seemed nonplussed as flames reached up inside his windows, and he circled while talking on his cellphone. It became one of those surreal moments because you can't really explain why someone's vehicle is on fire - and the lack of soundtrack makes the whole thing long and drawn out while each of the pedestrians make the obligatory 911 phone call to give a head's up... I waited to make sure there's no assistance needed (or if anyone was in the car - which didn't look likely at that point), so I resumed walking... and I started to notice the amount of exhaust from other cars well. In fact, the whole city seemed to become this worst representation of global warming (the crappy vintage dautsun with a bad muffler, the obnoxious harley rider with the tail pipe spewing noxious gas)... It was like watching a PSA of all the things that are quickly corroding our planet, later that night replaced with the rocket exhaust of a million illegal fireworks.
In approximately 2 weeks, the Light Rail will start and with it a small victory for the South end that's been continually shunted by suspect transit issues (there's a reason why the #36 is not running on time) and an easier way to get downtown. A little too late as we gulp the last decent air...

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Happy July 4th, 2009... And remember, if it's lit and has a fuse - LET GO.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Objectivism of the Hair Flip

So - i'm kinda sick today (*actually, strike that - I honk when talk, and have the taste of 2hr old smegma in my mouth, so i'm major illin) - and i'm having those not-so-lucid Nyquil moments (on the bus, in the can, etc) where my mind wanders on strange things and was literally thinking a really funny burly-drag number for stage would be Ayn Rand reading plot points from "The Fountainhead" while Male Underwear Models from a 1970's catalog would perform tableaux's of the book. I don't know how or why this meme came to me (*however note, i've long wanted to do a number that involves models from various old apparel catalogues reenacting certain works of literature) and i'm not sure why i even chose "The Fountainhead" (I've never been a fan of Rand and for the life of me can't figure out how my nyquil addled brain settled on her)... but I was floored when I read this:

Q: Why did Rand say she was so determined to see you in the role of Dagny Taggart, the female heroine in Atlas Shrugged?

Farrah:I don’t remember if Ayn’s letter specifically mentioned Charlie’s Angels, but I do remember it saying that she was a fan of my work. A few months later, when we finally spoke on the phone (actually she did most of the speaking and I did most of the listening), she said she never missed an episode of the show. I remember being surprised and flattered by that. I mean, here was this literary genius praising Angels. After all, the show was never popular with critics who dismissed it as “Jiggle TV.” But Ayn saw something that the critics didn’t, something that I didn’t see either (at least not until many years later): She described the show as a “triumph of concept and casting.” Ayn said that while Angels was uniquely American, it was also the exception to American television in that it was the only show to capture true “romanticism”—it intentionally depicted the world not as it was, but as it should be.

And "Farrah" - by the way, is none other than the late FARRAH FAWCETT... Isn't it odd that I think about posing male models in super 70's sexy underwear poses to a Rand novel and then I read this? Oh well, I found it oddly comforting to read in lieu of the Jacko-mania of late.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gay Fried Day

Ok, this is posted after the fact, but whatevs... here's what I did on my summer vacation: Went on the "Goth Pride 09" float, sauntered over to the Seattle Center, then caught "Hunx and his Punx" at the Funhouse along with the Onono's...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

King of Never

Yeah - i heard, and somewhere there is a million punchlines that are not worth uttering... Sufficeth to say however, Jacko's death is unreal, in the kingdom of the unreal, much like his life. It doesn't take some coked-out cultural theory grad to see the inherent ironies of his success and persona against race, gender and orientation, and I'm sure the blogs will be speculating this at this posited time and place - just what does it mean now that we've not this troubling infantile, video-age gender-queer Peter Pan figure? Also, seeming that he had a hard time keeping the (cough - child-sized - ahem) skeletons in the closet, will even more details arrive to the surface to distract us from real horrors (uhm, Iran where they pretty much have no tolerance for anything between male or female)...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In heaven, everything is fine... got your good thing, and I got mine."

Civilization by Marco Brambilla from CRUSH on Vimeo.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wha??? Awww, Hell no!!!


"...However, until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system."

#($%ING God#$%&* and *#$%ing %*(#!!!! In otherwords, No comment.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Arts v. Letters

Sci-fi author Bruce Sterling recently had some compelling reasons on why the death of print is immanent, 18 to be exact. Some obvious (new media), some not... but the argument itself is as old as books vs " "(insert painting, theater, movies, tv, videogames - and in that order). Interesting because much of what he does say was kind of the utopian spin of Wired in the 90's... Now it's somewhat like a eulogy (as in gosh - we printed mags for a while and now our relevance is well... y'know... dwindling)... I do find it also interesting that it's Sterling who is delivering this eulogy as he was on the cyberpunk gleewagon end of things (while dystopian, i found his novels were somewhat macho in the embrace of technology, not the other way around...) but I guess not so ironic that technology he embraced would inevitably lead to worldwide ADD. But again, this argument predates electricity. At some point, i will become a grumpy old man of letters screaming at the youth... (Already am to an extent - don't get me started on Grand Theft Auto)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Dog Planet

I'm a bi-pet-ual, meaning I like both cats and dogs - I neither vacillate toward one over the other, but i often think about getting a dog over a cat simply out of their goofy aptitude and the fact one will stay in funny costumes longer than the other. I don't think either species is any closer to us in terms of intellegence, that is until I read awesome shit like this:
Russian scientists say that Moscow stray dogs became much smarter. The four legged oldest human’s friends demonstrate real smartness such as riding the Moscow metro every morning to get from their suburban places of living to the fat regions of Moscow center. Once they arrive to the downtown they demonstrate different new, previously unseen for the dog skills...Among some more amazing skill those Moscow dogs are the ability not to miss their stop while going on the subway train. Biologists say dogs have very nice sense of time which helps them not to miss their destination. Another skill they have is to cross the road on the green traffic light. “They don’t react on color, but on the picture they see on the traffic light”, Moscow scientist tells. Also they choose often the last or the first metro car - those are less crowded usually.

Pretty soon they'll be taking over, getting jobs and gentrifying neighborhoods (I say that because they'd opt for a lot more parks). However, maybe they'll all just fall victim to all-too-human stereotypes:

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Summer Soundtracks, pt 1

I am absolutely in love with the new Erik Blood cd. Local lead singer of the Turn On's, he's done this amazing loving tribute to all things shoegazery (My Bloody Valentine, Ride, any soundtrack by Kevin Shields)... "To Leave America" is an awesome, running track that captures the sense of escape (*especially from about 4 years ago when patriotic sentiment was at an all time low and everyone was wanting to emigrate to Berlin). Other tracks have that driving wall of bending sonic distortion sound from MBV and makes me want to dance in a whirling dervish of plaid and self-referential irony from the early 90's...

In other music news - how awesome is this small-budget video from Peaches? I would love to have someone come clean with me in this fashion:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Winter Kisses, Summer Tears...

Well, even though the warmer temperatures bring about an explosion of flowering trees, beachy surf-inspired patterns, flip-flop casual optimism, I can't help but return to this series I kinda half-watched on Tuesday night (*Ok - big lie: i had it on with the sound off on because i was busy gabbing on the phone about other life-breaking issues such as expensive footwear, the state of my bedroom and the status of certain single guys in town)... But anyhoo, I am engaging in Enviroapocolypse Porn. It's known that if you present any kind of future dystopia with Sigourney Weaver narrating in the background, you've immediately got a buy-in. From here on out, I will shower less and recycle more.
And in my own ecosystem, my top floor dwelling is the fractional representation of the earth as it soaks up all the heat. I've taken to putting up a canvas tarp over the skylights so the effect is somewhat Bedouin. I wonder if I should actually put solar panels over the windows and start to generate some serious power for things around here...

Monday, June 01, 2009

Fearful Fringe

I'm always doubtful when someone calls something "the lunatic fringe", but as it was pointed out today on Huffpro, maybe that's what it takes to make a point these things are on the rise. The sad case of Dr Tiller actually started with his first mousy would-be assassin, Shelly Shannon, taking a crack at him in the early 90's. I recall this because working in rural Oregon at the time I not only was horrified by the local right-wing response from the community of 'reverse martyrdom' in trying to paint her like a Joan of Arc, but that she actually took vacation time to do this. Why hate so much when you can go to Maui for all that bellyaching? But as Wilde pointed out: The worst vice of a fanatic is his sincerity...
Rosanne Barr once had a great quote about the type of haters who took time to complain to TV guide about a recent cover of her - "Oh, you know - it was no one normal that wrote in to complain. I guess one good thing was that it took time away from them picketing abortion clinics"... Then it was the lunatic fringe. Now, it's practically a jihad of "Prayer Warriors" and people who are on the militant edge. Sorry to be grim, but I don't see much distancing happening on the right on this... Watching a frontline special on the Taliban in Pakistan training small children to run into crowds with bombs strapped to them is not a far cry from Shelly Shannon. I'm not breaking windows or disrupting marriages to get my rights, and the fact that now the freaks forming the human-fence outside of abortion clinics now have access to guns. The whole thing is tragic - and yet it somehow sickly resembles this film...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Had I known....

...that critical mass was going to ride 99 all the way to Wallingford and then over to ballard, I totally would have participated. Oddly enough, i was driving around the area looking for unmentionable theatrical props for tonight's Magnum... Sigh. Oh well, priorities...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ashram Techno

It's truly amazing when someone takes something and recontextualizes it for the sole purposes of making you shake your ass... In this case, the band Duchess Says digs up an old video from 1984 of the Rajneesh cult fanatics doing some hardcore yoga-channeling--freaky-cult-thingy. Not really sure if the band knows the full story, but they do call the vid a "New Age Conspiracy from 1984" - and as anyone growing up in Central Oregon in the 70's and 80's recalls, they did implode from charges of racketeering, extortion and attempted murder (yes, even more colorful than the Soprano's - in shades of Plum, cranberry and Violet, no less). In any case - ya gotta love the readymade art direction and the effects (Neo-Hippies! Ashram Techno! Monochromatic Basics!). I think American Apparel may have just found it's new ad campaign for the fall season (*and who knew the compound had so many hotties back then? Granted, they were all crazy and delusional)...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More H8, Less Filling

Well - still 2nd Class citizens, but hey, at least a small handful of marriages will remain valid (until some no-life NOM-type will seek to invalidate those)... But gosh, think of how happy the children will be now. Life will be great and the great American family will be more cohesive than ever (the sound of a solitary, sarcastic applaud for emphasis here).
I could go on - but won't, because little did we know that we did win some of the culture war today. Rockstar games announced that it will develop a game just for us, the Ballad of Gay Tony. Just think, we're going to really influence the hearts and minds of brainless tweeners with more appalling stereotypes, because, you know - it's just a game... And that will totally win the paradigm. (Again, more sarcastic clapping)....

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Sound of One Universe Collapsing

Internet coolness discovered on an achy holiday morning... The B Flat project which loops together several collaborative youtube vids of musical instruments, found sounds and effects, all playing B Flat. Beautiful if you play them at once, or in gradual ensemble... Sounds like we're listening to a piece by Steve Reich... Simply gorgeous, and incidentally B Flat is the sound of black holes as they suck in matter...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bedfellows, Strange or Erstwhile...

Quelle Horrors - bigots are underfoot and bills are gettin signed, but yet some poor girl is attacked at a Samantha Ronson DJ gig here in S-town. Sad, mad and bad. I can't believe this shit is still happening. And here -- and with alarming frequency. Please tell me the apathy isn't suppressing this issue because i'm at a boiling point... And it has fuckall to do w/Lilo's ex.
But - I am going to divert myself with this painting by Paul Cadmus. I love portraits from another time (*1932) that you can crawl into bed with. It's very familiar, like a lover who takes a brief moment to put down his banned book and pose for you (*and btw, Ulysses was still banned at the time of the painting, making this a very bold statement in more ways than one).
And while we're on a coolness meme - another diversion - take it away Plugz (from New Wave Theatre Circa 82)...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Seattle Sex-City

Ok - my more successful doppelganger, Jarvis Cocker, was again highlighted on Big Stereo doing his usual moves: Playing to a crowd in Paris and going in his 70's monster-rock mode... Yes, we both have facial hair and over sized frames which looks odd on small heads, yes we both have fey-mannerisms (him because he's skinny and English. me because I'm skinny and well, just fey). Yes, we are both middle-aged art-damaged otters. But, he stole my look first. I've long been doing the over-sexed professor look - he only recently grow out his facial hair. I must say that I'm tempted to go back to the old Jarvis look (that I also sported in the 90's): Tight low cut disco shirts and slim fitting polyester trousers, and snide irony. Oh well. As far as comparisons go - I'll take this over John Hodgman (which I got quite a few years/pounds ago)...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mod Ettes

Because I love all things twee and postpunk girl-power pop, i am still lovin' that the kids at BigStereo posted the Mo'Dettes video from the 80's... I love this video the same way I love my Ronettes, perfect pop hooks and arrangements, detached bassists, jangly twee handclapping arrangements and chroma-key effects to match your ensemble. This makes me want to dance in the spring rain in a cherry colored rain coat and bright yellow shoes (ala Jaques Demy).

Friday, May 08, 2009

Memories from a future that never happened (pt 4): Gigadeath

With the new Star Trek out and eager anticipation of seeing the return of the 'campy, creepy sexy Kirk' (as opposed to the unsexy, militant one in the later series), Vice magazine reports on an interesting theory from AI theoris Hugo De Garis that we'll all soon be waging war on robots. Not quite like Terminator - it'll be newer nano-species that will be waging wars resulting in mass 'Giga-death'.
The thought is interesting and fantastic, but the future is going to be alot more regressive and the needs more primitive. The fact that we can't seem to get around nationalism or religious fundamentalism still in the 21st century means that we're not going to be developing any amazing technologies that will present us with those moral dilemma's. (*As why we're not having flying cars or colonizing mars: Capitol and our own short-sighted needs for validation: Religion. Stem cells are still a sore subject with fundies means no cure for cancer, or the other diseases that take us down before we can even build and mass produce 'fusion' or hyperdrives.)
Hate to kill the magic here - but our destruction is going to be ultimately banal and around the usual crap: Oil, Food, Water, Guns and God.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Saw Justin Bond do a small set at Comeback's 5th anniv on Friday. It was an interesting, yet incongruous set. I say incongruent because it was largely acoustic caberet for a post-electroclash set and bordered on freak-folkish. Bond seems to channel some Night-of-A-1000-Stevie Nick's balladeering, which probably would have worked in a different setting. Still - he mentioned something about being involved in the Rad Faeries and immediately I blushed and flashed back to living in Eugene and Ashland in the 90's... Pagans and freaks were the norm, thus nothing really shocks or unnerves me about people and their practices. I dated a Wiccan even, and it seemed to fit in Ashland - we were a small, rural town in a country-like setting - close to the earth and disconnected from big cities. Once i hit Seattle, I ditched the sensibilities and became urbane. I spent time online, in coffee shops and bars. I didn't hike. I didn't camp for the longest time (*I joked that "Blair Witch" was improbable because I would never go camping in the first place)... It seemed a million miles away. Fremont was even like an imitiation of the real thing -- you've not truly met hippies until you've been inside a gigantic hollowed out tree that serves as their quiet space...
Yes, hippie's are truly the last punks because they're the last earnest types that cling to something not commodified and/or shoved into a particular identity. Bond's set was probably too advanced for the CMBK crowd - and gender fluidity is still suspect in the gay community (ask how many gays react to the 'pregnant man' and you start to see the dividing line still w/in the community), and thus, the true rebels are those who continue to defy interpretation.
And yet - I still get impatient around Dead concerts and dreadlock stench is still one of the banes of my existence. Still, I would like to do some kind of 'Return to the Earth' thing when the weather is warmer. I'd like to get a ton of creative types to go into the woods and not necessarily bang on drums, but maybe do some interesting creative shtick. Maybe mate it with fauxpomo sensibilities and a few classical turns, maybe something along this at Fruit Farm that I was so lucky to be a part of last year:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dead Islands

The grey saturdday is more Dylancholia: Jason Yarmosky's take on Orpheus as Dylan. I have always been fascinated by the Orpheus myth, simply because it's probably the first tale of a rock-n-roll romance with the complete existential ending that only the greeks could think up: it doesn't always work out, no matter how hard you try. I love this series that Yarmosky does - incorporating Warsaw Jewish ghetto's with a smoky, lost quality. The idea that you can't escape history and in the end, you're like smoke. Relatedly - I am also digging this video here from Department of Eagles' music video "No One Does It Like You" as part of the MOMA's ongoing PopRally series:

Monday, March 16, 2009

P.I. deathwatch

Sad, sad Tomorrow is the last issue of the P.I. I can't tell if this is one of those moments when something in America truly dies, or if it just means the end of dominance of a media form. I'm sure this is like theater, or the novel - something that will persist, but probably has to move beyond the cuniform written in stone and in animal blood. Again, I opt for the online presence. Maybe the model of pulp and ink is like theater - meant for a small, select few willing to pay top price for admission/copies. Sigh. Oh well, in brighter news, I guess it's a good thing i never pursued j-school.

Monday, March 02, 2009

All You Protest Kids...

So - the video of Jamie and I at Saturday's protest march made Towleroad, which is kinda funny b/c I hadn't really intended to have it broadcast on the national blogosphere... And had I known, I certainly would have made an attempt to edit it better. (However, I love that another protest-goer comments: That is the worst footage ever. It makes it seem like a big jumbled mess instead of the well organized and powerful statement that it actually was.. Yeah, uhh - how about a big cup of STFU? There's more to this march than my crappy video obviously, and the fact you probably wanted some sweeping epic makes me wonder which march you attended? But - not to dwell... The march was good, not great. It probably could have used 200 more people to be honest and the video actually makes it look like there were more people than actually were there. Also - while I was happy to be part of this protest, I think the audience (Capitol Hill) is in agreement - Homophobia has no place. It's the hidden bigots and barbarians at the gate (read - people from out of town, other places) that have a problem with gays.

In any case - the video is here for any who are interested.

PS - yes, the jar-lamps are very easy to make and you bang 'em out in under 1/2 hour. Just need medium squarish mason-jars, coat hangers, a good pair a pliers (that can also cut wire)...

Monday, February 23, 2009

I did it for fun! I did it for fun!

Did a refresh to see what Ryan Trecartin was up to of late (*mostly b/c there's no facebook fan page for him), and saw this article. Looks like he's leaked to NYT. Thought it was a good profile - but again, they approach it with high-brow theory, something that is not as organic as his overall work.
I met him at Fruitfarm this past summer, but sitting across from him at dinner - was too bashful to admit I was a huge fan. Besides, the questions i would have asked, NYT did and unsuccessfully. Like all good artists - you really don't know what journey you're own - you just know it while you work on it.
So - all i'm gonna do is hopefully add another google hit to build a much deserved web presence (afterall, that's the landscape where it lives online)... In the meantime - enjoy AFFE in it's entirety on Ubuweb.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dearth of Print

Another casualty, another dollar (less) - media is going down the tubes, hard and fast. It's hard to imagine because in former recessions, we used to lay around all day and read newspapers and magazines about things we could never afford and profiles of people we could never be. Now, however, with digital goods and services, we've instant news and gratification (TMZ) and less spin and more critical thinking...
Forward thinkers argue that NYT should invest heavily in Kindle-readership, and abandon print for good (*and supply math to justify it). This to me is awesome, but it's also a utopian kind of dream that doesn't take into account the huge infrastructure to pull off. Still - when you look at the whole waste issue, it does seem inevitable that they'll have to go to this model sooner or later.
However - one argument in all of this that isn't surfaced is how much sales space has taken over media in the last 20 years and it's deafening impact on true content. I've seen actual "bias" in the media - and it's not conservative or liberal, it's "revenue". We've sold out actual information space to people who need to sell you cruise-ship packages, sectional-sofa sets and anxiety medication. Some rags are worse than others (the 'free magazines' I manage to get are circling the drain and getting thinner and thinner, ads getting larger and larger). If and when NYT goes this route - they'll have to switch to a pay-per article and probably abandon revenue-based advertising. Just my 02.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Circular Reference

I stumbled on a rather interesting youtube site where one of them steampunkers constructs moog-like electronica with a 1900's flair. Some of the controls are awesome and have a sci-fi look to them (they wouldn't be out of place in any of the retro or newer Doctor Who episodes).

Generally, I kinda lumped them in w/either the Goth's or the Burning Man crowd. I tended to be wary of people who engage in what i term as "unnecessary romanticism" (where the mere act of mining a narrative that's not clearly yours takes precedence over the present reality). However, I think maybe with looking for alternative energies and simplifying, going back to "steam" might be the most punk rock thing ever...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I was in a training class yesterday when the instructor (who is European) made a remark that American's have bigger houses and spaces (than elsewhere in the world), and in those spaces they have garages and it's more common than usual to have their car parked outside of those spaces, hiding the years of hoarding that have rendered their garages large filing cabinets of waste and memories. I suddenly realized my own spare bedroom serves this purpose, and that I hoard a ton of useless half-started projects and attempts that are going into landfill at some point. Usually when I dwell on the crap I've accumulated, I have a shudder and think of a few deceased shut-in relatives who collected newspapers and tin cans. However, rather than feel like the dirty, trapped-under-my-own-weight Grey Gardens-like horror (that my life could become) - I started to think objectively and take stock: Single, Childless, No pets, No major intent to remodel. Hmm - even though it's a crappy time, maybe I should sell? I've often thought about it - and I've entertained the idea that renting during these troubling times gives one some flexibility in terms of moving, living, etc. I am not necessarily committed one way or another, but a relief kinda came my way with all my recent mortgage anxiety (yes, the rates are going up - sigh)... Where am I going with this? Oh yeah - paring down. Simplifying. Getting the fuck out of my particle-board 'faux-yuppie' spray-on life and having some forward (not upward) mobility...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Revolution Grandma

I was standing in line at the local supermarket during a break from work and had the inevitable "old lady congestion" problem. This is where you're 2 or three people back in the Express lane and the kindly grandmother-type is at the front of the line, carefully counting her change to buy smokes and a lottery ticket. It takes more than 2-3 minutes, and usually, the awful ageist, impatient beast in me is silently howling to HURRY THE FUCK UP (and learn to use the ATM!)... but then something in me today ceased for a second. What if she's actually more adaptable to the current economic situation because she's the only practicing "Cash and Carry" consumer? The "greatest" generation pretty much knew where their paycheck was at all times and whether or not they were approaching the red. I figure their survival skills are probably a lot more in tune with living within your means (and not your credit) than we've ever known. Maybe I should switch financial advisors?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Use, delay, and obsolescence

Per this op-ed post, from Paul Krugman - this is not your dad's quickie-recession:
So let’s look at the NBER business cycle data. What we see is that some of those prewar slumps were really, really long: the Panic of 1873 was followed by a recession that lasted 5 1/2 years.

And Keynes explained why: in the absence of an effective monetary or fiscal policy, a recession would have to go on until

the shortage of capital through use, decay and obsolescence causes a sufficiently obvious scarcity to increase the marginal efficiency

So this could go on for a long, long, long, long time.

Oh. Shit.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Momus used this reference the other day that I love - The Uncanny Valley, which is the not-so-sweet spot of technology where robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. Of course, Momus uses this to discuss it in relation to cultural phenom's like Freak Folk and the culturati that raid thrift stores for source styles and inspiration. I on the other hand find this concept interesting for two reasons:
1) I've been in a "Blade Runner" meme of late, mostly because of the fact that we've exceeded our own humanity, but also because the future is always late (it'll be 2010 and we're not exactly battling our replicant doubles).
2) Likewise, it's Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and what better way to celebrate a great figure than to watch their robot double hit the "limits of technology".

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Regime Change

So, unless you live in a remote tribe cut off from any form of mass media, today was a historic occasion. Obama took the Oath and kindly ushered the last 8 years out of the White House. While I won't go into my own hopes and misgivings (uhm - homophobic pastors, cough), I'll say that at least we're looking up at this point.
His speech, however, as powerful as his words - is marked by lot of "Storm und drang" weather metaphors: Dark Clouds, Horizons, Storms clouds, etc. This is a page from the romantics and leads me to believe that we're entering a phase from "Republican Neo-Classicism" (*Old methods, paradigms and values will keep the country going) to "Necessity Driven Romanticism", the progressive revolutionary kind we saw with Clinton, where service/self-sacrifice seems to empower the self and center. Or at least that's the hope. Revolutions have a life-span before they come full circle - that's the problem with them -- they're revolutions, meaning they can only go 180.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dislikes #568: Edgy Pizza

People have pet peeves, I tend to have finely tuned prejudices but I'll put up with just about anything and keep my mouth shut. However, there are things in culture that drive me absolutely batshit, but again - I take it and silently scream inside. One of these things: High Concept Pizza.
I'm not a huge pizza afficiando and I don't get into which is better (Chicago, Sicillian, greasy New York street vendor) but - I will go on record and say that Tom Douglas' Serious Pie is one of the best places on the planet. He is a master. His Pizza is not so much concept, just amazingly good. However, there are a few of these new places that opened up (all in a few blocks on Capitol Hill, unsurprisingly) that annoy the hell out of me, simply for the fact that they over-thought the pie. Have I eaten at any of these places? No - and here's why:

Pizza Fusion: How can Pizza be fusion when it's fusion to begin with: Dough, Sauce, various combos? It's not physics. Nor should it be... Oh, and the millenial minimalism should not hide the fact that they're still essentially "Shakey's" with less furniture and video-games... But then again, this isn't quite a crime as the next place...

ZAW: Ok, this pisses me off to the extreme because they use the dated mid-90's hipster slang term "Za" and then combine it with "In the Raw". Since when are we eating dough? Oh - right - because it's a "Take and Bake" place (which also is annoying, especially since they've also employed this minimalist look to them and it's not really that far from a Domino's waiting area). I can't determine which is a bigger crime to humanity: the whimsical abbreviation or the fact they have to explain their business model on their sign?

I probably should again remind everyone that I've not set foot in either place (yet) and I am probably going to find myself pleasantly surprised (or out a good few bucks). However, pizza proprietors should take a page from either Naples or Chicago: it can be under a heat lamp for 2 hours and still be the best thing you've had all week.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Hirsuit Men in Gold Spandex, and other strange things that informed my childhood

Been thinking about strange 70's artifacts that kind of resonated and informed my youth, most of it bad science fiction. iTunes just uploaded a whole slew of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and I totally recall spending early wintery evenings watching Gil Gerard battle other futuristic bad guys and gals in similar glittery clothing that is now being sold in American Apparel. His middle American manliness next to disco excess seemed to be the kind of palatable in-between from campy 60's Star Trek to the 80's professional corporate hive of The Next Generation. His was Carter-Era utopia where they emerged from a bad place (recessionary burned out New York) and danced with rope lights. He taught them the hustle, they looked to him as a hero. I know that this is probably why I am drawn to shows with low production values and improbable story lines, mostly because this made more sense than Patrick Duffy in "Man from Atlantis". There were only so many places you could go underwater - but planetary exploration in ships that resembled huge shopping malls with 70's supergraphics, you were set for at least a few seasons...