I spilled hippie mouthwash on my screen and it is half-dead, only barely visible. The drive and all guts seem to be intact but I can't retrieve or use anything on my computer. If you emailed me in the lats 24 hours, please do it again. And help me to remember something I should know already, and have learned the hard way once—liquids and computers are sworn enemies.
Not you and your stupid fucking blog—I meant you and your stupid fucking blog. You know me better than that.
And Robyn is back! And I am very late to this party! Months! She apparently has a song called "Konichiwa, Bitches," which should be the name of every comeback-back-back song. From now on. So shall it be done.
(UPDATE! What I've downloaded of the 2005 Robyn album sounds unexpectedly good; like an older, angrier Annie. She's hella mad at some dude/dudes. And if you need a song to go with the new stop & search culture, Dirty's "Git Cha Handz Off Me" is worth tracking down.)
Xanax hangover, espresso, Playdoh brain. Man, this Perceptionists album is good. Wow, it's like a Frosted Flakes baseball card: slight movement of head, different reality. Oh—the iPod loves me at my lowest: "Good Morning, Captain." Out of nowhere. This thing is alive, I keep telling you. Best straight time drummer in the world. AGH. BE LOUDER.
Thirst, motherfucker, thirst! (I mean that in an encouraging, collegial way.)
R. Kelly illiterate? Why do I get the feeling we won't see a similar item about a white pop star any time soon? And I'm guessing there's gotta be one, maybe an astronomer (see below)?
This internet meme is true to its genre: overheated, mildly grammatical, and totally cool:
The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!
This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again. The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification, Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.
Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10 p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m. By the end of August, when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month. Share this with your children and grandchildren.
NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN."
(Months old, this reality.)
Christo is cool. We liked The Gates. Sam went three times. Look:
But if you want to do the wrapping thing, just get lice. Everyone in the house gets it, no matter what you do, and you have to sleep with moisturizer in your hair and shower caps on. (To suffocate the fuckers.) If this feels a little too, you know, private to be actual art, wait until you walk out of the house with the cap on your head. Go a block or two. Take note of the impression you make. Keep walking. Eventually, touch your head. Play it cool. Turn around, walk back home. To maintain the illusion of intentionality, talk on your cell phone.
See? No fund-raising, no bad press, no environmental impact beyond the plastic in the caps. Much easier, and a totally effective way to get your neighbors to stop talking to you.
But what's up with the regional conflict brewing in the last graf? Kravchenko? What is that, a gang? Spanish music is the last resort? You didn't think that when Commander Rodriguez liberated your town from Chechen rebels! Huh? Who's the fucking Don now? Huh? Huh? Gasolina! Gasolina!
What are your feelings about the new-ish Proust vs. the old silver and black Moncrieff? My impression of Lydia Davis's Swann's Way is that valuable redundancies of language [think: musical] have been sacrificed for appealing, but more compressed, word clusters, which leaves a crick in the book's neck. The Moncrieff flowed better. It seems.
"I only have whale sharks in my private ocean. I take rides on them. There are only five. They are named Ineeda, Bath, Whiz, Dumb and Duh. Do you understand the last two? It is Whiz-Dumb: wisdom. And the first two are I Need A Bath. They are whale sharks. Duh is just duh."
Esthero starts her new album by making fun of Ashanti and Britney and R. Kelly, and then proceeds to be as engaging as none of them, giving us a hella dull sex-positive Afrocentric Gap nap. The only lively track is the dis song, which involves, unlike any other track, someone named James Robertson.
Franklin's fitna bust! I am afraid my friend will be disappointed—he already knows what the EMP paper said, and my exchange with Rob is taking a turn that I don't think many will find particularly finger-pointing. My interest now, having spent ten years letting the snark bleed out of my tank, is trying to pin down the historical moment, what went into it, and what came out of it. I am reasonably sure I've identified the rupture, and I know my own preferences (the least interesting part of this) but I am not 100% sure I've figured out why everything flowed the way it did. I, not remarkably, have guesses, but these will hopefully lead to nothing as predictable as a spitball game. "Cam'ron!" "No, Cat Power!" bla bla bla.
For the most dully obvious of starters; I am an indie musician, and no matter how much I was hoping Pete Rock would sample Ui and I'd end up at D&D producing M.O.P., Ui signified, circulated and earned in the neighborhood of indie bands, not dancefloors and Billboard charts. And whatever Aerosmith record I think I am making now will not likely change this cold, hard bed. (That's the part where this is about more than what songs we like to make and listen to.)
More checking out, but not leaving, of the Hotel That Will Always Be In California: Matos points out a passage from an Erik Davis piece on the Sun City Girls: "Before heading to Tayngbyon to film the Nat Pwe last summer, Rick and Alan bought two 8 dollar guitars and entertained Burmese folks along the way. They improv'd plenty, but after being hounded for weeks, they finally broke down and learned to perform their most requested tune: 'Hotel California.' They knew that, when it comes to the desires that inflame human music, you just can't kill the beast."
Ages ago, a conversation began. And then I flaked. I am unflaking.
The asides about indie rock I’ve dropped in the magazine are meant both as cheeky contention (fun, for all of us, I am hoping) and as streaks of orange surveyor's paint left for the workers who will later dig below them. Those workers may turn out to include me and/or readers who want to push on the distinctions and contentions: chronology, genealogy, ideology, phrenology, etc.
My paper for EMP 2 deals more thoroughly with this moment—call it indie's fork in the road—and since that essay will be in a book (with a spine and everything), I am going to keep this post brief. (Relative-to-a-book-chapter brief...)
On behalf of indie rock, Rob cites Nirvana, PJ Harvey, and other artists who are not necessarily representative of the artists I’m thinking of when I say "indie rock." For starters, Rob cited artists who did not, save for Slint, release records through entirely independent labels. Which does not mean Rob is wrong to adduce these people; we're talking about something that is simultaneously an aesthetic, a social grouping, and an economic relationship. The bands he listed are certainly within the indie aesthetic. I like most of them, some radically so.
To start explaining why these bands are, in most cases, not what I am talking about when I talk about '90s indie rock, I am providing some sales figures. These come from Nielsen SoundScan, which began tracking sales in 1991. (There are a few omissions that I can't explain—they gave me what they gave me.)
Bleach / 1.6 million
Nevermind / 8.2 million
In Utero / 3.9 million
Incesticide / 1.2 million
Unplugged / 4.5 million
Nirvana / 1.6 million
Pretty on the Inside / 204,000
Live Through This / 1.6 million
Celebrity Skin / 1.4 million
Westing (By Musket and Sextant)/ 63,000
Slanted and Enchanted / 144,000
Watery, Domestic EP / 33,000
Crooked Rain Crooked Rain / 237,000
Wowee Zowee / 118,000
Brighten the Corners / 142,000
Terror Twilight / 96,000
Tweez / 24,000
Spiderland / 50,000
Slint (EP) / 19,000
4/Track Demos / 119,000
Rid of Me / 204,000
To Bring You My Love / 369,000
Is this Desire? / 163,000
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea / 282,000
Uh Huh Her / 131,000
Last Splash / 987,000
Sonic Youth / 4,100
Bad Moon Rising / 33,000
Confusion Is Sex / 41,100
Starpower / 1,000
Evol / 48,400
Sister / 72,000
Sonic Death / 5,500
Made In The USA soundtrack / 21,000
Daydream Nation / 162,000
Goo / 169,000
Dirty / 329,000
Experimental Jet Set Trash & No Star / 246,000
Washing Machine / 159,000
A Thousand Leaves / 66,000
Nyc Ghosts & Flowers 46,000
Murray Street / 63,000
Sonic Nurse / 65,000
I totally enjoyed John Tesh's tips on avoiding heart disease (although I am not a lady) and getting more for your dollar at the pump. (I did not know that increasing tire pressure five pounds beyond manual specs gives you both better mileage AND a bumpier ride.) I especially liked it when Tesh played "Hotel California." Whatever you want to say about the bad old The Eagles, you have to deal with "Hotel California." Even the unplugged version (which Tesh played in all its nachos and salsa glory) is monstrous. That song will not quit.
When, because I kinda had to make it do so, other music replaced the Teshium, I noticed that Kinski's "Hiding Drugs In The Temple (Part 2)" is why we liked the Dustdevils the first time. Come back, Michael Duane, and join this band!
Big up to junco partner, Chris Wilcha. The show is great—Showtime needs to jump on it.
Killa Kyleon is not the only killing K in business. These two recent pieces make it clear—as do many of K's pieces—that if there were a finals in this crit racket, they would go to at least six games. (Who runs these Pulitzers? Why doesn't K have one? Must he cover a gig on the Andrea Doria from his Treo before he gets his institutional dap?)
And mea culpa and shit. Candice pointed out that this post is factually incorrect. Fox doesn't own Pax. NBC does. The bulk of the post probably applies to any major telecorp, but the originally applied angle of emphasis no longer works. We'll leave it as is, all fucked up.
November 6, 2006: "Bedside Reading," Walter Benjamin, Marilynne Robinson, Martha Gellhorn.
February 28, 2005: "Milk," Darcey Steinke.
January 10, 2005: "Brass," Helen Walsh.
December 6, 2004: "The Rose & the Briar," ed. Greil Marcus & Sean Wilentz.
October 25, 2004: "Chronicles: Volume One," Bob Dylan.
June 28, 2004: "Sonata For Jukebox," Geoffrey O'Brien.
(Photo: Deborah Holmes)
Our boy, wrassling with theological niceties up in the Times. Who knew? (You, perhaps.)
In Prague, the Museum of Communism shares a building with a McDonald's. If this tension distracts the citizen, she can go on a spree at the Disko Duck and dance her cognitive dissonance away.
(Photos: Deborah Holmes)
Joshua comes through with the red pen, and he's absolutely right this time:
"As you will surely know long before I say it, the concept "disposability" is disastrous indeed, if it comes prepackaged with valuative payload, aesthetically or worse, morally. That's at the core of the first EMP paper, as I recall: that when durability is taken as a positive value in pop music, that's one of the veiled enforcements of a certain set of class values. I drive a Rolls, you drive a Hyundai, punk.
And I certainly agree, as ever, that anything where the pleasure is in knowing what happens loses appeal faster than where the pleasure is located elsewhere.
But the promise that "disposability" can't somehow be recognized and thought about seems not quite right to me. To believe such a thing requires the very move you make: the suggestion that disposability is purely related to consumer experience. Whah? If I decide to save my plastic coke bottle and use it to water my plants for three years, I totally can—but this doesn't suddenly make plastic coke bottles something else. The bottle is still "disposable," in the sense that it's produced and distributed within a system that presumes its disposability, and continues to make and distribute with that presumption, and this making and distributing continues to have manifold effects on price structures, labor structures, on how the bottle looks and how it acts, etc.
This is true of pop music too. The way it's made presumes a certain duration of "use" by the consumer, and that remains a force shaping the music. Again, it's not a value issue—to assume this set of forces makes lesser music is the Adornian error exactly. But there's a way to get past that error without acceding to a set of critical terms which measure only the anecdotal subjective accounts of individual consumers...a strategy which leads to the absolute end of criticism.
"Who are you too say it's sexist? That's a useless metric, because I didn't feel it was sexist..."
Thinking, while watching ESPN (sort of) of the uselessness of “disposability” as a critical concept: your Sudafed is my crystal meth. How do you know when my song’s run dry? How does any type of music signal disposability? Don’t long, baggy, story songs, even ones you like, present more like one-use items to you, like long, baggy novels that you enjoyed but will never read again? Maybe I want to feel like “Chewing Gum” EVERY FUCKING DAY. So why would I dispose of it? I’M NOT DONE WITH IT. This axiom obviously applies equally in reverse, in every direction. If you never, ever get tired of “Hurricane,” then it isn’t disposable. So: “disposability” is a useless metric, a dumbass way of discussing music. It would be more useful—if this is what you meant—to say, “I got quickly bored of the song,” because who can argue with your experience?
"Pirates fight over treasure, drink martinis and sleep on feather beds.”
Every now and then, our friend Mr. Dark likes to throw down a yellow flag with his red pen over at Les Reprises. (It says something like "Sugarhigh!" at the top, maybe because of copyright issues with that American novel, but unmind the gap.) As always, Joshua's sentences are mutli-bezelled and trig, and his disagreements are often good for our training regimen. But this time, Ms. Clover isn't disagreeing with me—he's just answering my question.
See—I don't read movie reviews. I haven't since I was a wee bairn. I hate knowing the slightest thing about a movie before I go in. An idiosyncrasy, maybe even a dopey one, but it saves me valuable eyeball time. When I was (feebly) making a (very short) film, I read reviews of films after seeing them, but I gave up that kind of track-keeping when the hours of the day were overrun by the number of cultural products making claims on those hours and my paycheck. So when I posted up about Imprisoned Willy, I did not know that reviewers had cited the Michael Jackson references, though I suspected it, which is why I asked.
(Within ten seconds of Depp appearing on screen, Sam said: "Hey, Mom, is that Michael Jackson?" I hope Burton isn't running around denying anything. [See previous graf re: don't read certain stuff.])
Jane thinks MJ/Oedipus a boring thread; I think it's enough to carry me to the finish line (though my Dad status makes me an unreliable observer), without feeling it is trans-historically nut-crushing. We are as one on Oingoman—you can't even hear many of the words in the Oompa numbers, making for bad musical music, since musical music is supposed to handle expository duties—and the uses of Depp's talents.
But, honest—I have no idea what's going on in movies. Joshua had to tell me which Asia Argento movies to watch, because I've never seen her on screen, and I have not seen Me, You and Everybody In The Area, though I have read July's story, "Birthmark," in The Paris Review Book of People With Problems. I liked it enough to transcribe (ow) this excerpt:
"The laser, which has been described as a pure white light, was more like a fist slammed against a countertop, and her body was a cup on this counter, jumping with each slam. It turned out three was just a number. It didn't describe pain and more than money describes the things it buys. Two thousand dollars for a port-wine stain removal. A kind of birthmark that seems messy and accidental, as if this red area covering one whole cheek were the careless result of too much fun. She spoke to her body like an animal at the vet, Shhh, it's okay, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry we have to do this to you. This is not unusual; most people feel that their bodies are innocent of their crimes, like animals or plants. Not that this was a crime. She had waited patiently from the time she was fourteen for aesthetic surgery to get cheap, like computers. Nineteen ninety-eight was the year lasers came to the people as good bread, eat and be full, be finally perfect. Oh yes, perfect. She didn't think she would have bothered if she hadn't been what people call "very beautiful except for." This is a special group of citizens living under special laws. Nobody knows what to do with them. We mostly want to stare at the like the optical illusion of a vase made out of the silhouette of two people kissing. Now it is a vase...now it could only be two people kissing...oh but it is so completely a vase. It is both! Can the world sustain such a contradiction. Only this was better, because as the illusion of prettiness and horribleness flipped back and forth, we flipped with it. Now we were uglier than her, now we were lucky not to be her, oh but then again, at this angle she was too lovely to bear. She was both, we were both, and the world continued to spin."
And I am with Jane on Sov, if we are both talking about beats as at least part of the elasticity: whatever genre Menta created with "Random,"* I want 55 more songs in that style. And I love Madness, which makes it weird that I am totes bored halfway through "9 to 5." Or not weird, because Madness was a melody band, oops, sorry, Ms. Rapper. Our concept knocked your topknot off.
(* Grimey one drop disco? Grime house? Grouse?)
Does anyobody think it's notable that Tim Burton made a whole movie about how Michael Jackson hates his Dad? Not notable bad, but notable. As somone who read Dahl's book obsessively as a kid (that dinner chewing gum was my jones), I think Burton's rendering of the factory and the magical sweets is dead-on. Depp is so pleasingly freaky and pleased by his freak that I couldn't help but be pleased by him. Burton's digi dunk completely erases the crappy first version in about three minutes.
My question is: Can you combine Michael Jackson and God? The original book is about Wonka as God, he who punsihes Bad Kids for Bad Desires a.k.a. Sins. Wonka, in the book, exhibits no human psychology and has no history; Burton added Wonka's dental Dad. But since this new Oedipally Jacksonian Wonka wouldn't, and doesn't, give a shit about punishing any kids for any sins (notice the beginning, where Wonka Depp very convincingly dislikes and ignores the kids), Dahl's holy retribution meted out via garbage and blueberric DNA just hangs there in the frame next to the Oedipal cavities and head-braces and candy grass. These ideas just don't go together: NOT peanut butter and chocolate.
And I love happy endings, but, having committed to Phobic Neverland Wonka, complete with slave labor mini-Freud, couldn't Charlie Bucket get his pot of gold without suturing Wonka's wounds?
(You know when you listen to that playlist of all your favorite songs? It's really cool, because they're all good. They should make albums like that.)
Franklin thinks maybe I am the boy who cried post. Not at all—I am just compiling some SoundScan numbers, getting what you might call finicky, seeing as how it's a blog post and all. No backsliding on positions here. (I did go to Sovereign, who announced she was ill and left the stage with "I am going to vomit," a condition that might have been the result of illness, "McDonald's," or some all-night partying before the big show. She seems like she'd be a riot on a full tank. Not sure about the super-duper-Eminem feel of her new song, "9 to 5." She works the grime beat structure so well. We already have, like, Americans.)
but it might help you later in the day, week, year. Armand Van Helden's Nympho is a shameless DFA/LCD jack. The realizing of this influence was pretty much the beginning and end of the thought, save for a borders query: Do songs really blow up on the web, or do they blow up inside a sort of plastic Ziploc? Did Van Helden get A&R pressure? Did he download "Daft Punk..."? Do people play DFA songs in sandal stores? Not thoughts, but the kind of things that happen while music is "on."
OMG THIS FAGE W/BLUBERRZ IS INSANE I WILL EAT IT UNTIL I BECOME A WHITE STATUE OF YOGURT.
OMG LADY SOV 2NITE AT KF I AM STR8 BUGGING. SHE SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE LIKE B2K BUT WITH MALT VINEGAR HA HA I THINK SHE WZ TEASING. OMG I HATE RANE.
Jerry Logaras writes: "Fage will not (directly) spackle your arteries with fat and cause heart attacks. Fage and other Greek yogurt is simply strained much, much, much longer than our stateside counterparts, so the water in the yogurt goes away and a much purer yogurt remains."
Jordan corroborates: "The sick thing is, the 0% is thicker than American too. But it's straight up yogurt—they just STRAIN it. The finer tzatzikis are just Fage, cucumber, and ten times as much garlic as you would think is ok. Haven't tried the sheep version, but I hear it's bananas."
Geeta expands: "Indians are big on the strained yogurt thing as well. There are lots of parallels between Indian and Greek food—raita is tzatziki's cousin, after all. There's an Indian dessert called shrikhand that I highly recommend trying. It's strained yogurt Greek-style, whipped with powdered sugar until silky-smooth and infused with saffron. Insanely good."
Jim Haljun reports: "My wife is Greek and we have been living on Fage for years, but you should know that all the Snob Hillers in chowtown San Francisco are into St. Benoit yogurt. Or, you can roll your own."
Hearing Jay-Z on the radio—"Dear Summer," credited to forklift Memphis Bleek—made me think several things: 1. Who is the current, sitting, elected president? 2. Are things not being run if the person who runs things has refused to run things? 3. What do things do when they are not being run?
Bobby Abreu—I'm just saying. The Home Run Derby is sort of pretarded, but that was uncanny, how the balls just kept going out of the park, like Abreu was just one of us, watching the action and sipping on a SnoCone.
If you want the best yogurt, go to Greece. The deli guys across the street gave me this tip. And all I know is I can't stop eating Fage. I am afraid to look at the ingredients, because I think this stuff is just the Greek equivalent of Devon's clotted cream, and the idea that this thick, white magic is "yogurt" is just some convenient fiction that nobody wants to dismantle. I mean, it's as stiff as spackle. (I have a tub of the "0% fat" version. I have not tried it. I suppose when the other stuff is done, I'll have no choice.)
Derrek Lee = Salih Williams
Albert Pujols = Rich Harrison
Mariano Rivera = Timbaland
Roger Clemens = Neptunes
Alex Rodriguez = Lil Jon
Manny Ramirez = Jazze Pha
David Ortiz = Scott Storch
Brian Roberts = Ty Fyffe
Hideki Matsui = Just Blaze
Alfonso Soriano = Cool & Dre
(Written during an April trip to Carlsbad, California.)
Southern California is for a part of me that’s already always hurt and tired. The weather, the amazing absence of signals—if everything is aligned, I can receive what's so emphatically barely there.
I was sun-tired, aching and dozed by my body’s chemicals. I went next door and asked the nice lady who runs the B&B where I might find a freezer; I wanted to ice up my armband cuff. She showed me where it was, so I added a query about seltzer, hoping she’d give me pity soda but she just kept smiling and told me to walk down two blocks to the 7-11. This was surprising—to a Brooklyn boy, all the split-level Cali surf housing looked aggressively residential; it didn’t seem as if there’d be any commerce until some big highway rose up and created a cloverleaf and some shadow. But this town is about two blocks long; I guess they need to cram a 7-11 into all the tiny relaxedness.
I walked down a super-dark, semi-rural street while a guy walked towards me, yelling into his cell phone as a woman held his arm. "So you can see me, and I can’t see you! That’s what you’re saying? I think we’re one street over! Let’s just meet at Pat’s, that’s easier!” The 7-11 was a 7-11, same size as always, same surgical brightness. I bought a copy of XXL with Fat Joe on the cover saying something nuts about how he’s second to Tupac in street cred—we all missed that memo, Mr. Crack—and some water water, but could find no seltzer. No regular seltzer at all in the cold case. None hot, either. What’s the deal? I thought everyone in Cali was a body builder, consuming nothing but power turds and celery and bubbly water. Nope. This 7-11 provided the generic tabloids and beef jerky spread of every other 7-11. I found “black cherry” seltzer, which I hoped would be like Zazz, the cheap lime seltzer we get by the case at Stop 'n' Shop back home.
The checkout girl was a beautiful curvy lady with tats who talked to a younger stoned teen boy who kept coming in and leaving, then coming back. The other checkout guy, an older Hawaiian, watched them interact. When the stoner left, he asked her how much money the stoner owed her. “Only twenty dollars.” She giggled. I paid and walked home, and tried to drink the seltzer. It was as sweet as soda, nothing like the flavored water we know. It was just secret clear imitation soda with Splenda in it. Sweet, cyberoily, useless. I stowed it behind a car that looked like it hadn’t been moved since it was bought—it was concealed under a form-fitting canvas cover—because I thought dudes who put their cars under canvas covers might like molten plastic drinks. I put the rest of my purchase in the nice lady’s freezer when I got home.
I've heard from everyone—relatives, friends, peers, co-workers—but it's scarier the day after. The job of making someone safe in this world is too big.
Terrible segue, but the song is playing and opining seems blog-like: "Can't Stop," one of Missy's eleventh hour additions to The Cookbook, proves that even when she's spreading herself thin, she's no stupe. Producer RICH HARRISON (duh—that's what happens when you buy shit from iTunes) ACTS JUST LIKE HIMSELF and goes all "Crazy Missy Thing" with live drums, horns and hectic syncopation. It's fucking super good. "Click Clack" bites the other apple of the year: Houstonian drag and swerve and bleary bump. It's OK. (I think J Shep already pointed out some of this but I am too lazy to provide a link. Read Julianne's blog. Put a Post-It on your head.) Not making sense: the West Indian accent/failed robbery skit added to the beginning of "Joy." What the fuck is that? And what is Missy up to, saying "batty boy"? And does Maya say "Tim McVey"? Hard to imagine the folks at Elektra waving that Trojan Horse on. Rewound a few times but still can't make the words out. Please someone write something long and interesting about this. "Meltdown" = double tie-in with 50 Cent's candy shop and hs magic stick, plus "I'm not gay" beard track.
I will continue to let others do the lifting. Douglas Wolk writes: "I don't know if he actually rhymes it, but doesn't Kool Moe Dee's 'Let's Go' have 'lax' somewhere in its list of 'nasty adjectives that start with L'? (n.b. I didn't cheat by looking it up, so I may be wrong here.)"
I looked it up and Douglas is close—the word Kool Moe Dee uses is "lackluster." Boy, he showed LL Cool J!
Don't cheat—without Google or OHHLA, can you think of a rhyme that uses "lax"?
Our prayers are with our friends, and our enemies, too. And if you can tell the difference between the two, you're a step ahead of me.
Our friend Kim Pickin has created a wonderful thing called The Story Museum in Oxford, and this may be the best part of it.
Pax is Fox’s Jesus-heavy, family-friendly spin-off, a channel being desperately branded as evidence that the parent company is motivated not by cash, bright lights and fight club buzz, but by—what's his name, again?—Jesus! Fox Corps would like you to believe they do NOT pay the bills with titties and yelling and death, because if they did (and they do), that would cancel out their avowed "values," which is apparently a word for stuff that you say, not what you broadcast. Enter Pax, and one weird-ass movie.
Within Pax's cramped paramaters, it seemed odd that they would show The Great Waldo Pepper, a truly grim movie depicting people who fly biplanes and burn to death, suffer mercy-killings at the hands of Robert Redford (a total Commie!), or fall to their death from 4,000 feet wearing silky underthings if they're named Susan Sarandon. The movie is about the wild world of post-WWI biplane pilots who are hooked on the junk of adrenaline and, unwilling to be put out to pasture, decide to keep the party going by being stunt men and flying barnstormers, fighting fixed wars for flat-field audiences full of rubbernecking bleacher bums who want to see a motherfucker crash while attempting a 360.
The regulators, though, catch up with this genuinely dangerous racket and come down hard on Redford and his Oliver North loose cannon steez. THEY ARE TRYING TO STOP FREEDOM. Ah, you feel the programing now. Deborah spotted all of this coding: in Waldo, a movie about the pain of change and losing your identity, Pax saw an anti-regulation screed.
The final fire fight is Redford and an ex-Nazi, employed as stunt men playing themselves (holler, simulacra), recreating a famous fight that the Nazi fought for real the first time around. Redford and Krautski leave their parachutes behind before take-off, and end the fight by arcing sweetly into the suicide clouds, never to be seen again. They die invisible and free, unbought and unbound. That may be the rebel yell of American petroleum, but it doesn't have to be their song alone. You can steal it for yourself.
(NB: The cast of actors went on to dominate 1970s and 80s movies—just check the resumé.)
If Jane keeps up this "I am driving a wagon on fire" routine, I'll just take the summer off and play reader. It's a good look, being a bystander, a word we try not to preface with "innocent." (Who would that person be?)
Flows are still being written in my house, so I will share them.
“I do so know how to play the piano! When I get home I will play a song that will be very confusing to you.”
That's a battle rhyme; the next one is a free-floating hook. I've been encouraging the author to write verses to go with it:
"A big set of drums, ya know, ya know."
It repeats, often.