(Tried posting this direct to facebook, but have lost familiarity with the rules of how much content, or if it should be a link, or status update if you want to add editorial. things were getting cut off, so i’ll just post it on le tumblr for now. i need to get this fired up over here, anyways. btw, i’ve almost accrued more readers in this period of dormancy than when I was writing. and I’d like to thank all of you that have stuck around or joined the team. it’s that sort of blind faith — as opposed to worship — that really helps in times of doubt or writing anxiety or whathaveyou. so cheers.)
anygrantland, just got back stateside from Barcelona (traveling on bin laden day, que lastima!!). and I’m very excited to read the first two previews of my CO-WORKERS Molly and Katie (linked via Bill Simmons in the headline above). I just did a little pre-game checking out the initial response, and see some mixed emotions out there. but I didn’t see nearly enough attention (read: any) to the fact that a site with Simmons, Klosterman, Gladwell and Eggers as the headliners trotted out two young ladies for their Big Preview. to my mind, even if they just rubbed the keyboard on their breastssississ and booties that’s already a huge win. speaks to a progressive potentially game-changing sensibility. or to be more grounded: if you know you have the hot-fire radioactive-heat fastballs in the repertoire, it’s like starting the game with a changeup. and with ML or KB it’s like changeups of the Johan (we miss you, come back soon!) or Pedro variety. for non-baseball fans: THESE CHANGEUPS ARE GOOD THINGS. please. open your mind, haters. LITERALLY. anyways, let me not continue with the doth protesting too much… and who knows maybe i’ll have to amend this after reading if in fact they only rubbed the keyboard on their bodies and … uhhhhh… what the bloggerfantasy was i talking about? is this type of talk allowed on ESPN, Bill? please advise…
People deserve to be paid for their work. And if you haven’t been paid, neither explanations nor justifications will really suffice. Let’s accept these points as read.
Wowee, the perils of being a freelance writer sure does make for some good-ass free reading material. Chris Mohney — definitely in the lineup for Team Good Guys — is here with a calm professional unpacking of how-your-invoice-sausage gets made. And the now well-trafficked “How To Make Vitamin Soup" piece by Richard Morgan at The Awl is surely being fast-tracked to the top of some "Best Blog-Posts That Are Like Magazine Articles Evar!" list somewhere.
Doree helped me get paid a couple years ago via Gawker’s Hall of Shame (amazing how fast i got the call after that). And it feels, to me, like the internet is paying off on its promise to help with the not-enough-checks and balances of the system Mohney details. The extra work still sucks, BIG TIME, but it’s an improvement on slavery. Or eating ‘vitamin soup’ in shame. And/or kicking your cat because it’s the only thing lower than you on the totem pole. (Maybe. Actually that was probably pre-internet, cats are now sovereign entities.)
Happy to sound off in this hipster death knell; humbled to keep company with smart do-gooders like feminist-activist extraordinaire Jennifer Baumgardner and Pulitzer winner Margo Jefferson.
I’ll post a snippet and offer more thoughts when the mixtape book officially drops (I brought the hip hop and gold-plated four-finger rings to the party), but click on that first link to pre-order and be cooler than your friends this weekend.
“Never dump a guy who makes you laugh AND cum. Get yourself a good job and support him. What are you gonna do? Dump him and marry someone who’s equally as boring and goal-oriented as you are? Please.”—Anonymous (commenter responding to advice column discussing whether a younger girl should leave her 33-year old brilliant pothead-creative boyfriend)
Rappers Who Are Emo Enough In Their Lyrics to Play the 'Michael Cera' Character In a Movie
biz markie: the original goofball. i talked to him about the friend thing once. drake: a little too confident, but he shows enough all around vulnerability to be directed. andre 3000: if michael cera was raised on the cosby show Akinyele Asher Roth: he’d have stud potential if he went more cera, less frat-boy. Slug: i don’t really know Atmosphere like that, but by reputation Q-Tip: Cera on grown up pills Wale: Cera with more effort Kanye: might be the Anti-Cera.
hmmm, this was tougher than expected. there’s not much of that self-doubt, emo-humility popping. WHY?
anyone else missing? i bet there’s no more than three…
Sharkey adds: Fat Lip? … I think he qualifies. world-weariness is part of the Cera charm, I think. I actually had Pharcyde on the list and thought, eh, it’s just a song or two. That also made me think of Butterfly/Digable Planets. Then I thought, oh, maybe this should be a playlist of songs that capture the Cera-brand of emo instead of emcees.
"street poetry is my everyday but yo, i gotta stop when you drop my way if i was working at the club you would not pay”
= The Tracy Morgan Guide to Chivalry
and really, TUMBLR, “if i was working at the club you would not pay” … is so butter. can we make that an acronymized day or something? how do i file an application for that? that’s that hood michael cera game right there. no negs, just butter
Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Magazine and Street Carnage, offered some notes of warning upon turning 40 this weekend. Mazel.
In my internet reading experience I still haven’t quite seen anything reach the levels of literal balls-out writing/blogging like Gavin and Early Vice magazine. “Bohemian terrorism" as Chris Mohney once called it. That sensibility now almost seems pre-Obama (or maybe just a direct byproduct of the Bush-nihilism era); there’s less reward for having your cock out while you say something smart just cause you can (Vice, Jackass, and Sacha Baron Cohen killed the penis-as-radio star?). Vice as the new CNN is presumably better suited to help the world in its more conscientious Obama-on-meth form. But Gavin was the original meth injection in that formula. And it’s interesting to see meth turn 40.
This pull quote, for example, is sort of a feminist love note via 40-year-old meth. It’s very sweet. But still oddly inappropriate for most folks who are 40. (unless I’m wrong, and people who are 40 in 2010 care less about ‘mature’ language?)
one thing we know for sure is the assimilated [BLIPSTER:HUMAN] loved hip hop
coming up: you will AUDIO-EXPERIENCE how a typical assimilated [BLIPSTER:HUMAN] came to feel a strong kinship with the golden era hip hop of the mid 1990’s; artists like “Tribe Called Quest” and “De La Soul” highlight the more recognizable names.
the music had a creative edge, a self awareness and was fundamentally feel good: just fun stuff!
before each exhibit, we will lead with a soundbyte (PRESS PLAY ABOVE) from a real live assimilated [Blipster:Human] to provide some context for what you are about to hear.
Can you spot all 144 cues in the puzzle???
This is a TAN Audio-Literal Time Capsule Case Study for Investigation File: NYC/_Blipster//blipsteraudiohandbook: The Golden Era///\\C4AAA100012. All rights reserved.
There was once was a wonderful town named Uniqloville. It was an up-and-coming town, filled with vim, vigor and prosperity. The population was young, ethnoculturally diverse, and everybody loved one another and got along splendid. Well everybody except one individual: an older white man named Mr. Racist.
Now Mr. Racist was a foul-mouthed, contemptible human being. A mosquito-roach pest of a person who, most assuredly, neither You nor I would get along with. Whenever he spotted someone in town he would raise his crotchety voice, swearing and flinging the most despicable epithets in their direction. He was filled with hate, and over the years it became his only mode of communication. At a certain age he resigned to keep to himself on his farm, raising animals for food, and drawing water from his well. The townspeople of Uniqloville were a kind and tolerant group, but they learned to stay out of his way and ignore him.
And so things went for years and years.
Until one summer the kind and tolerant town of Uniqloville decided to adopt a young black orphan boy. Like the celebrities! And they would raise him with kindness and tolerance, mostly shielded from the prejudices of the world.
After a while it happened that one day the young black boy stopped at Mr. Racist’s farm. Upon his first encounter with the young black boy, of course Mr. Racist immediately showered him with a most withering storm of invective. But as a young orphan boy knowing nothing other than kindness and tolerance for others, the boy didn’t know how to be offended by these racist remarks. He found Mr. Racist and his scornful screeds to be a quirky amusement; almost refreshing in contrast to the humdrum routines of the rest of the town. And so he began to come by Mr. Racist’s farm regularly.
And every time the boy visited, Mr. Racist would denigrate him with hate-speech. Until one day Mr. Racist asked the boy,
“Hey, you lazy piece of dark dog doo-doo. Why do you come here so much?”
“I like you, Mr. Racist. You make me laugh.”
While Mr. Racist’s hate-addled brain could never express anything besides contempt, he was actually growing fond of the boy. After all, the boy was the only one who enjoyed his company. Everyone else in the town ignored or reviled him.
So there was this exchange where legal analyst Andrew Cohen wrote this — I don’t know how to describe it exactly, prostrate(?) — email to his Ex on her Wedding Day. Author Lizzie Skurnick called him out, and generally speaking the post by this young lady sums up my feelings on it with regards to journalists getting to use the internet as their little playpen. Privilege persists because it pops up in otherwise innocuous situations that you ignore, or move on from and soon forget. But there’s over 6000 Facebook “Likes” on those couple posts, plus the pickup by Jezebel, and subsequent rippling out because of the status of the media outlets and Live Journalists involved. Any Old Hag knows “Likes” are internet currency nowadays. This particular type of currency is not available to all.
But I have a more specific point regarding word choice in relation to this. When I first read the exchange I wasn’t able to copy the URL, and I recalled the article by remembering the word “apologia” in Lizzie’s piece. In Googling “Skurnick apologia” I’ve come to discover that Lizzie’s favorite word after “Skurnick” might very well be “apologia”. Ha! but no, really! Going back to 2004 in the NYTimes, to more recently The Daily Beast, and Jezebel …I’d link more, but WTF, and I think I’d feel sheepish and apologia about it.
Also, the results of the “apologia” search were incidental to the point. I like words. Learning new ones. Being reminded of old school ones. I now quite enjoy asking retailers about the latest “pantaloons” to come out, for example. What struck me about this was that the word felt schticky to me. It’s not a word most would use in casual conversation. And again, this is not about my personal preference; I love the schticky Live Journal schtick, especially when done by professionals. But it occurred to me that if I wrote a piece and said “Yo yo yo” or “Waddup, son” … this would come off as schtick. Most media outlets, blogs or otherwise, would edit it out, or ask me to rephrase. And perhaps rightfully so, as it would be distracting. But a word like “apologia” seems to me like Caucasian schtick. If I write “Waddup” and someone reads and asks in their head, “does he mean hello?” Similarly you can write “apologia” and someone reads and asks, “does she mean apology or apologize?”
And that makes this exchange a sort of double-decker example of how the dissonance of privilege is subtly reinforced. Editors and media outlets validate a certain kind of schtick over others. Adding a “son” to my phrasing is very natural for me, and others of my college-educated multicultural background. Nary a day goes by without one of my homies telling me, “Slow down with the apologias, son.” But yet, to tell my story I’d have to tailor my language, and that’s presuming they’d even let me broadcast my love letter to that one night stand on the day after her last one night stand. Word.
UPDATE: Lizzie says,
Honey though — I am black! Half-black, at least! And my black mother was Professor of English at City College, and I was English major at Yale! We can say “apologia” too! (You are right to call me out for using the same words over and over, however. Don’t check me on “apoplectic” and “obviate” and “preclude” and “allegedly”, please.)
aww, sookie sookie now Salutations, Miss Skurnick! Your riposte has been duly recorded!
No, but forrealtho, this is a hazard with the blurring lines of the media institutions and the individual writers. It’s good we can parse out that Lizzie would be wrongfully filed under the rubric of so-called “White Privilege”, but the individual finger-wagging is never the point. Per the educational background defense, I too could be guilty of contributing to the problem (to say nothing of my balls). I don’t think I’m wrong here though— “apologia” would likely not be edited, “yo’s” would; both are schticky — it’s just the problem is more nuanced. But we knew that already. I mean, the broad-yet-nebulous institution of privilege exists, i think most agree, but yet this example of a subtle reinforcement of that Bigger Badder thing would otherwise go without comment. And by all accounts it barely deserves comment. But I think it’s sort of like little drops in the bucket adding up to a Big Wave that drowns us all. And so the point is we’re all a little bit complicit, but I think the only way to make progress is to do the menial task of fighting the wave by removing one drop at a time. I plan to post an update on The People’s victory over Privilege ETA 3012.
But this point about our willingness to accept Arnold’s acting ‘versatility’ in a time long ago and a galaxy far away really hits home with me. What happened exactly? Do we no longer buy into ‘Star Power and Charisma’ servicing a movie if it feels like a square peg/round hole sort of deal? Would Arnold or Sly Stallone have played the lead in a planned summer blockbuster like Inception back in the 80s? Is casting more of an art now? Does this really have anything to do with irony, and culture evolving from pre-irony to post-irony?
AnyArnold, nice essay about the movie Predator by someone who never saw the original until recently.
Inception for Writers, or: Dreaming How Your Words and Ideas Matter in 2010
I saw Inception. I loved it. Even more for all conversation it has provoked (my favs: here, here, here, here).
I enjoy conversations attempting to ferret out TRUTH. Even if the conversation’s a dream! Or a pointedly pointless gambit. Many have analyzed the actual movie, this is not our dream today. No, today we apply the movie’s general metaphor to writers in the here and now of 2010. Why? Because it works. If you dream hard enough.
The first riddle, the first mystery, the first dream, of course, is this question of whether one’s writing matters at all.
As it happens, I do vaguely recall a time when being a writer was less a dream, more a nightmare premised on an infinitude of homework. Rather, my multifarious dreams as a young negro boy consisted of traditional fantasies: I’d be a baseball player, or an Actor, or President, or someone girls might find attractive in-a-more-than-cute-adorable-way. All paths which seemed reasonably available to me if I worked hard enough (i’ve got the facial scars to prove my dedication to the latter; i’ll never be mistaken for oh-so-cute again!).
But then somewhere along the way — I don’t remember exactly how I got here — someone gassed me, and I’ve since wander-typed through a lucid-bong-hit of a notion where, EUREKA!, I think my words, and ideas can make a difference in this world.
I do see others sharing this dream with me. In 2010 these are the floors our crowded elevator will shuttle between…
1st Level: This is the Blog level. The landscape is very real. Very shallow. Which is not to say thoughtless or superficial. But things are taken as they are. If you pop the lid off Lady Gaga’s head it will play “Bad Romance” like a gooey, bloody, brain-pulpy music box. It will NOT, at this level, reveal a criss-crossing network of highminded theories on performative art and fashion. Athletes are athletes. Kittens are kittens (and sometimes popped liked ecstasy pills). Rappers are rappers (not ethnocultural teachers in capitalist clothes). Celebrity stars turn our heads skyward, as a distraction from the ground-level grind of life. Only breaking news and unearthing “Real informational-DNA” attracts eyeballs; we’ll need a tape, photo, or record of the events that transpired.
At this level commenters and readers are manifestations of our own subconscious; it is not an anonymous stranger informing the public of your distinguished brand of stupid, the troll is you. These projections have little tolerance for creative interpretations, interpolations, or other ‘artsy’ facsimiles of the truth. You have everyone’s attention span for 15 seconds (a micro-accelerated version of Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes). Get in and get out, please.
Blog Level Totem (how to tell if you’re in the Blog Level Dream): post something long and brilliant on your blog, say, your script of “eternal sunshine" caliber (we all know you have it in you). Upon posting, no one at this level will will say: ooh, great movie! *eating popcorn while reading your delightful script-post, and really enjoying it!*. Your best case will be TL;DR. Your worst case is someone trying to stab you in the comments (don’t worry, you’ll just wake up). In any case there’s little use fighting your subconscious at this level. your only option is to go deeper….
Playing the CL Smooth Game, or: Why the NAACP Should Be Up on 'Snacks and Shit'
If you have any longevity as a fan of Hip Hop you probably know the group Pete Rock & CL Smooth. Their song They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) is one of the great undisputed heavyweight hip hop songs of all time. The duo emerged in ’91 as a less-gritty update on the virtuoso producer-as-Batman with professional emcee-as Robin template that Gang Starr (RIP) established a couple years earlier (the problematic dynamics of having Robin as your frontman are only one of the reasons to identify them in this fashion, and also to save a post dedicated to those issues for another time).
Recently I was looking at Snacks and Shit, a site that makes jokey pull-quotes of absurd hip hop lyrics, and it reminded me of CL Smooth, and some of his lyrics, and this game my friends and I used to play back in the day. We didn’t have a formal name for it at the time, but I’m gonna call it “The CL Smooth game”.
Now I’m not going to get in full-on essay mode for this, mostly because I’m still waiting for my David Sedaris/Sloane Crosley bubble bath crystals to arrive so I can soak my prose in those funny-amiability crystals before wrangling it into something resembling an essay (do stick around for that though: i’ve been shot at, arrested for holding a dvd, and have enough ‘Beauty and the Blogger' tales for a few seasons of Problematic Sex in the City). But I do think there’s a meandering personal narrative that connects this CL Smooth game I’m about to share with some current events on the political landscape. Perhaps you’ve recently heard about the Tea Party, and the NAACP, and racism in America?
Bethlehem Shoals blesses The Awl. Mostly silent “Amens” in response, at least from the Knicks fans in the crowd. For better or worse, Mr. Randolph, Rooster, and the empty chair to seat one more max-money messiah, does represent the future of the Knicks (Amar’e we know about, we hope). I’m optimistic. All praise be to Allah.
This is also a good reminder for sports enthusiasts, borderline fans, and even sports-curious folks (just the tip), to check out this roundtable hosted by The Morning News with a group that reads, writes, talks sports like a modern Anthony Randolph update of The Sports Reporters. Being there’s no LeBron James of sports writing, all the more reason to be excited about having a young, fun, exciting team to watch for the next few years (months? bloggers burn fast).
This is Prince Paul opening up his “Politics of the Business” album with Dave Chappelle, right before the debut of Chappelle’s Show. It’s interesting how this dichotomy of smarmy record exec disrespecting the high-minded innocent artist (“you lucky to go double wood with that, double bar of doodoo”) was once so prevalent, but now is pretty much removed from the conversation. The cover of this album has Paul selling bootleg albums on the street, so it’s a good set up to ‘how the internet changed hip hop’s hustle’ discussion. In 2010 Prince Paul would have to go meta and talk to himself to illustrate the idea (which i wouldn’t put past him if he didn’t already meta-talk on his first album).
Paul has all the hip hop street cred he needs. But I post this and petition for some sort of revival to keep tabs on his pre-blipster comedic genius. He was hip hop’s first absurd satirist. The record before this one, the classic A Prince Among Thieves, was optioned by Chris Rock. Get Chappelle in there, and you got a resume with serious comic pedigree before we even get into the Handsome Boy Modeling School era. Too bad he went double doo-doo on everything. I wonder if things would play out different if this dropped after the Chappelle explosion.
“Or is it something they can never believe?
Or is it something you can never achieve?
beyond your means?
inside your dreams?
never come out cause it’s scared?
too unprepared to?
too worried about the words of the people it’s weird to?
you don’t want them to hear you
you just wish there was a door that would appear
that you can go disappear through…
well, I’m feeling your pain
I was feeling the same
but I said I’d never feel that again”—Lupe Fiasco (The Fighters)
HIPSTER DOZENS. Start a tumblr. Collect eye-rolling references to too-cool “hipsters” that name specific cultural products or habits. As in, “oh, you’re so hip, why don’t you go put on some <CLOTHING> and listen to <BAND> at your <SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCE>.”…
“Your mama’s such a hipster, she thinks HEALTH Insurance is something that covers bands at the Smell.”
“Uhh, your mama’s such hipster she’s hated the Smell since they renovated in ‘03.”
"Yoyoyoyo, ur mama’s such a hipster, she thinks the BP oil spill is gonna come back faster than acid wash jeans in Lit Lounge"
"i’ve tried to play her a lot of rap on this flight too but she can’t get into it, i played her Let The Beat Build and Blowin’ Up Fast and A Milli and by Lil Wayne and I’m God by Lil B and I Don’t Fucks With Em by Curren$y but i think her auditory lexicon doesn’t have rap’s sound in it."
is this a joke? someone go save that grandma from this hip hop terrorist at once! the poor dear. let tan play some lauryn hill to calm your anxiety. maybe some street lights, does that help? Oh yes, I’m quite sure “Let the beat build, bitch”, amilli, and “I Don’t Fucks With Em” gave you a heart attack. Poor baby. Sometimes they give me one if I’m not ready for it, AND I’M A BLACK GUY WHO LIKES HIP HOP. Oh, i’m sorry to scream, but that’s why i only play those songs when i want to have a heart attack, or need a jolt before going out to get my OG at the Club on. And poo-poo him saying you don’t have the ”auditory lexicon for rap’s sound” stuff. You have ears don’t you? Don’t mind him, he just needs to stalk a sexy black woman on twitter and he’ll have those WTF? blemishes all cleared up…
anyways, despite seeing two major strikes in my brief couple of months on tumblr, i love Pitchfork Reviews guy. We exchanged pleasantries over email last week, and I enjoy the intimate posts like this one I’ve quoted where he is confessional about trying to diversify his mom’s cultural bonds. i’m sure he didn’t mean his ma, grandma or hip hop any harm. so your friendly neighborhood TAN is here to help! here’s a quick guide to getting your ma grandma in the hip hop mood without killing her! Rap is something you do, elderly contemporary hip hop is something you grow old with and pass down like your old grandma’s candy dish with the old candy still in it.
1. I know the feeling. You’re on a plane to miami. You just got written about in the NY Times. You’ve been hanging out around little black children with your pants cuffed. And you want your ma to know how cool, hip, and with it you really are (9.7 rating for the cuffs!). So sure it’d be easy to give your mom some old Andre 3000 Love Below type stuff. Or heaven forbid all the pre-2000 options. But you want your ma to know what’s poppin on the streets RIGHT NOW!
[WOOPS, didn’t realize the message tumblr system was so imposing and lacking the same edit tools. I thought I’d be able to throw in a jump in there, but wasn’t. So I’ve copied it here and deleted the original. Cheers.]
BMichael asks: Really? Bill Murray? I’m somewhat aware that this is a pretty thin and common criticism of creative types, but Bill Murray has played the same character since he was Polonius in the Ethan Hawke Hamlet. It’s a decent character, but its probably even more caricatured than whatever the young one’s name was in Rushmore (hate that film). Because it makes young people try to act like an affected old man. Philosophically, it’s like trying like hell to give yourself some sort of tropical rotting flesh disease. Because it’s cool. I despise Bill Murray, and his whole schtick. He’s a thoughtless, easy-laugh, turgid, fatass, cashgrabbing blowhard.
I really enjoy your blog and tumblr, though.
"Because it makes young people try to act like an affected old man."
well, everyone has their own taste of course. but this reads as a glitch in the logic board to me. this is the same formulation as old school hip hop and rock and roll are going to fuck-up-the-kids arguments. we’re not censoring artists on a matrix of taste to prop up your personal moral/value system are we?
i don’t know. you conceded it was a thin criticism, so maybe it’s more small talk than proving a point? You go hard with the adjectives at the end though. So in defense…
This is mostly a strenuous (a la Demi Moore in A Few Good Men) reminder to check out Bill Murray’s GQ interview. It’s a celeb interview, I don’t mean to suggest your click will clean up the gulf of mexico, but you’ll probably want to be the Bill Murray of [whatever it is you do] after reading.
Bill is so gully with his that I’ve been thinking “Bill Murray” works as a substitute for “ghetto” in a lot of rap songs. To wit:
if you ain’t ever been to Bill Murray don’t ever come to Bill Murray cause you’ wouldn’t understand Bill Murray so stay the fuck out of Bill Murray
I Got the Johnson Baby Powder and the Polo Cologne
do i have enough tumblr love to start asking questions and crowdsourcing?
for those who might not know/recall, the headline is quoted from Slick Rick’s famed la di da di, later reinterpolated by Snoop. Snoop changed the brand of cologne to Cool Water, but kept the Johnson’s baby powder. This is telling! And this Baby Powder Code of Omertá is what I’d like to inquire about…
I’m curious about the demographics of baby powder usage outside of babies. and basketball games. I think the usage implied by the lyrics — both Snoop and Rick have these items in tow “for all the girls they might take home” — is the same usage I have: I liberally powder my balls before doing most anything as a sweaty-musk inhibitor. on really hot sticky days I also have an eye on cutting down any potential thigh friction.
now at this point i put so much baby powder on my balls they’re like my version of white privilege. my boys won’t even raise up off the lawn without the smell of talcum with aloe and vitamin e in their immediate airspace. and if it don’t smell right they just scrunch up their faces and chill. but i’ve received enough “your balls always smell like baby powder” comments over the years *cough* that i wonder now if baby powder usage can be used to profile people:
Race/Ethnocultural & Baby Powder: do black people favor heavy usage over other ethnic groups? do some cultures never use it? do some people only use it in a specific way? is the hip hop lyric an indication of a hip hop/black people trend? Would Radiohead or Dirty Projectors or Katy Perry or Gaga have lyrics about baby powder for pitching men/women on sexual activities, or anything really?
Hipsters & Baby Powder: (not about identifying ‘hipsters’, per se) but is baby powder cool, not cool, or whatever? I could see maybe a lil bit of baby powder signals twee. I could see a MIchael Cera riff using a wee bit and then a black friend like me comes by and he’s being taken aback by the metric tons of cornstarch I pour on the Young & The Restless (tm). In this way maybe baby powder usage can signal a hipster that would wear a baggy pair of bootcut jeans and pumas, but never a puffy coat and timz. Also per the thigh friction angle, skinny hipster thighs wouldn’t be eligible. so maybe lifestyle-diet plays a role? Eating Popeyes carries an invisible Baby Powder tax that you probably don’t account for.
Women & Baby Powder: i guess this is the main group I’m curious about (as per usual), because this is where all my feedback has come from. does a lot of baby powder indicate a dude is still a baby? immature. not man enough for cologne. or does it signify anything hipster or ethnoculture related above? Maybe genuine cool-scenester types don’t use baby powder? they keep it raw and gully. and if you’re a punk girl, you want a guy who keeps his pubic area punk? and if you like men with cardigans, or other yuppie signifiers, then you like baby powder also? in nyc is there more Baby Powder usage on the UES, and UWS than SOHO and Tribeca?
I wanted to dig a little more into the hip hop and feminism timeline. And I wanted to blog/write, and also blog/rap about it to get at some of what Drake is talking about when he says he couldn’t even write a rap song while his heart was broken. That’s good stuff. And, I think, relevant to our business of improving/savoring the world.
But I got distracted by The Joel Johnson Affair. And so for now all we got is the freestyle (click-through for audio).
this song makes me want to re-listen to NERD and Pharrell albums. Especially when the beat changes around 1:50. it reminds me that their beats went mainstream, but their minds/NERD sensibility didn’t hit as much. emo is still a very tough sell in hip hop, and it’s something i want to talk to the fem-bloggers about because i think its part of essentialist views on masculinity and femininity as a binary reductive approach to life. or, uh, indie rap is closer to the MAN Gene than indie rock.
I’m still sorting out my thoughts on the state of alternarap. but i know i’m biased because i think emo rap that bares hip hop’s chest like this deserves auto-dap love. like a modern day crispus attucks boston massacre black history month for the first emo-rappers celebration, or something. (also i have no plans to sing, not self-serving).
I like it, but there’s definitely about it that seems polarizing. i think a line like “i want to lay up on your stomach so bad” would never make it through the hip hop media matrix alive? am i wrong?
Lazy Blogger's Guide to the Joel Johnson Racist Twitter-Stalk Shitstorm
a couple days ago there were a couple posts on popular tech-blog Gizmodo that generated a lot of blog-media response and about 100K views of shitstorm. well, not hardcore shitstorm. but all told maybe an internetquake level 4, 5, 6ish event? ( mel gibson hate rant, iPhone 4 theft, michael jackson dying are approx. level 8, 9, 10ish).
but, in defense of its magnitude, this particular shitstorm involved Real Issues. ones like race, and privilege, and ‘other-ing’, and generally being different and getting along on the internet. These are the shitstorms that get me singing in the rain because the latent social psychology is easily converted to actionable real world wisdom: The sexy black woman you stalk on Twitter can easily be the sexy smart woman you stalk/ogle from afar in the bar! or the hot/stupid/broke man! or whatever sates your personal hunger for new and different shit/’diversity’.
In spirit, the idea of “Let’s everyone stalk each other!” has a level-10 merit for any conversation even vaguely connected to the notion of information/power/freedom-to-all internet idealism. should subjective novelistic creative non-fiction be part of the content agenda? When you complain about a hot-trendy restaurant, are you challenging the food, the presentation, or the hype?
worldwide q&a sessions figure to be a confusing mess for a few more days, but at least people are talking. getting the shit out of their system. i think we still need blogs to serve as Ex-Lax for these all-too-often constipated states of america. the internet, for better and worse, is our collective mental toilet bowl.
still, there’s a lot of bullshit out in them thar pageviews. a lot of noise. and too much noise is annoying. but as you probably remember, or are soon to forget, TAN is like your expensive/free pair of noise canceling headphones that allows you to listen to the real issues at a comfortable level without exposing yourself to the problem of noisy-reading fatigue…
so let’s light some incense throw on some grown folk music, and chillax the internet with some soothing TAN-notes of equanimity:
the short backstory: a white tech-blogger whrites a short bit on stalking a sexy black christian woman to diversify his internet culture diet. backlash ensues.
for those who want to get in and get out, here’s a soundbyte: read about the joel johnson twitstorm? see, that’s what happens when u steal $5 and people act like its $10 (feel free to spice that up while sharing!)
this is the main point because this is a major problem with internet discourse: people commit the crime of stealing $1 or $5, and they’re often accused of stealing $5 or $10. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS AS YOU GO FORTH AND SHITSTORM THE INTERNET. It’s easy to pad your i’m-so-smart invoice with a couple extra bucks in pursuit of pageview juice-and-gin. but you’re f’ing up the pricing of our intellectual/cultural economy. so mind the details.
De La were called hippies after their debut, but that’s only because the modern Hipster Handbook hipster wasn’t en vogue in ‘87-‘92. Pos, Dove, Maceo and Paul were hipsters (I’d say not Mace until the 4:20 mark, and then, well…).
For a sensibility leap from music to literate culture look for symmetry with Ego Trip magazine. Ego Trip is an influence-beyond-its-years analogue to Spy magazine, and etc. etc. etc. here we are today!… in 2010 we are all hipsters, or something, and this is our urban-avant-garde history, the three part opera, Bitties in the BK Lounge.
To add some value, this NPR interview with the film’s creators offers some good fodder on how the music’s personality helped inspire the animators to further flesh out the distinctive characters in the movie. This resonates with me in the way that commercial-pop hip hop inspires Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer type productions. Those guys play the #1 song and make a movie to match. While an indie-pop film like “The Wackness" gets inspiration from its ‘golden era’ hip hop soundtrack.
So as alterna-rap acts continue to demand more from their audiences, via the eccentric character and personality of their music, it figures that impulse should trickle into the culture and inspire other artists/creatives to match wits, and make animated features (or otherwise) that inhabit the same quirky-but-still-hip hop sensibility.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I would love to see a hip hop “Triplets of Belleville”.
Apparently my hit piece on Time Magazine’s blog list was Fight Club-esque. And here I thought I was gonna get Maya Angelou or something.
But even better was getting Dan Brown…
I put a Hunter S. Thompson quote in and got Dan Brown. I think the algorithm needs some goddamn work.
But here’s a couple more for the scientists on the case: I put in Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” and got James Joyce. Which made me like the game again. Then I put in Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” and I got Stephen King. Which, uh….
(actually now I can think of a Stephen King horror creature repeating “best I ever had”. it’s all about the tone.)
UPDATE: OMG, my 3rd grade essay on grandmothers is written like J.D. Salinger. holla. *does the wop*.
**(update, I don’t know why the pretty little badge doesn’t work for me. THAT WAS WHAT LURED ME IN, “Brought to me by Coding Robots and Mémoires”. anyways imagine two pretty badges accompanying these words, and maybe have a glass of wine, and you’re sure to be more entertained than if you just read this straight up.)**
To resume: Apparently my hit piece on Time Magazine’s blog list was Fight Club-esque. And here I thought I was gonna get Maya Angelou or something.
The source of that particular analysis was the letter to my peen, which, I must admit, in my dreams, Roger Ebert has called it The Da Vinci Code of letters to genitalia.
I put in a couple other recent posts, they both came up with HP Lovecraft. Which I’ll interpret as my writing being old and scary. Which seems apt. I was going to put my Defending Mel Gibson post in there (it’s pre-leaked phone calls!), but declined for fear it would say: You Write Like… AN IDIOT (zing!)
Anytrendy, I’ll be forwarding this to my publisher and looking forward to selling 80 million copies of my book. I’ll also get underway on adapting the dick letter to a historical suspense thriller starring…. Mel Gibson (Zing 2: The Sequel!).