Monday, September 29, 2003

The Edge of Hip: Vice, the Brand

Found this ludicrous article over at Carl's blog. If I cared enough, I'd have a headache. All I can muster for this is a faint desire to kick someone in the nuts.

First off, here is my opinion of the clowns behind this magazine, their defenders, and their loyal readership (provided by one Henry Rollins, from his book Get In The Van):

"So many of those punkers have nothing to do with the music. It's all just a pose. They give us shit about the music we play, but they're more into their makeup than any music. I can't take them seriously."

Which is why I don't really feel like getting into a scathing rant about this nonsense, because I can't take them seriously. A bunch of upper-class kids rockin' John Deere hats and swilling shitty, third-rate beer. Didn't someone tell them that irony is dead? Jesus. Maybe Vice will hip them to that little nugget in a later issue.

However, just because I don't want lay into the whole article, that doesn't mean I won't comment on a few precious moments. For example:

"For middle-class kids just out of university and living in Williamsburg," he said, "the closest thing right now to bad-ass culture is blue-collar culture, so you have hipsters play-acting blue collar. Instead of saying, `I'm a PlayStation-reared, e-mailing-all-the-time Friendster loser,' they're getting lots of tattoos and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs."

Yeah, except neither of the aesthetics described are badass, even in comparison to the other. The kids who are playing blue-collar dressup are probably bigger pussies. At least the pasty Friendster nerds have the guts to walk among the citizenry, making their lower-rung status known to all who would kick their ass. These hipsters are maneuvering about with shitty urban camouflage. I wish some real blue-collar guys would beat the holy hell out of a few of them. Make them earn that uniform.

"That is pure undiluted magazine genius," said Andy Pemberton, the editor of Blender, an indie music magazine. "The rest of the magazine I find really hit or miss, but everyone loves that thing. I've been to parties downtown where the page will be stuck up on the lavatory wall."

Well there you go. If you want proof-positive that Vice is worthless, look no further than that. Because if there is a magazine worth even less than Vice, it's Blender.

Many Vice readers defend the magazine's brand of political incorrectness, including some women. "If you think Vice is misogynistic, then you are a self-centered white woman," said Sarah Silverman, a comedian (and Jimmy Kimmel's girlfriend). "Because Vice is so much more. It harshly makes fun of men, women, all races, nerds, hipsters, the elderly, the short, the tall, the fashionable, the hopeless. It's without boundaries, which is what makes the playing field even."

Hey! Sarah Silverman likes it! I've changed my mind. Fuck beans. You know, I'd still soil Sarah Silverman if given the chance, but her opinion is suspect, and that's putting it fucking midly. (Hey, can I write for Vice now?) It's predicated upon the notion that harshly making fun of all people, irrespective of group status, is worthwhile. In small bursts, it's hilarious. I'll concede that. Even in large bursts (Don Rickles anybody?), it can still be hilarious. But you want to know the biggest difference between Rickles and Vice? There isn't a trace of irony or smug satisfaction in Rickles' routine. The man owns a mirror. He knows he's not "all that" (I'm sure the Vice readership still uses that antiquated phrase, ironically or otherwise). Vice, by contrast, airs their bile from a perch of superiority. Of knowing. Because hipsters, by defintion, are the only ones "in the know." Therefore, their "criticism" moves from satire to condescension. Who in their right mind would waste their time reading that? Fuck. If you're so goddamn hip, go to your local shitty "lounge" and be smug and ironic and make fun of people there. Oh, that's right. Because the people who are dumb enough to pick Vice up aren't witty enough themselves to come up with bon mots like that.

Might the current hipster backlash imperil Vice's dreams of expansion? Mr. Lanham said hipsters are still reading the magazine, but "they're just stuffing it under their seat covers."

And this is the most offensive line in the whole sh'bang. Does this clown actually believe Vice is so incendiary and controversial? Shit, Playboy doesn't even get stuffed under seat covers any more. I'm sure I'm taking that line too literally (I'm not hip enough to embrace irony any more), but still. It's a shitty third-rate mag that caters to shitty third-rate people. People who are on, to borrow a line from Lester Bangs (via Almost Famous), "their long journey to the middle." That is, just the kind of people who will be on the other side of the poseur condescension in a few years, no doubt.


In other news, I picked up six CDs for $21 today from Kemp Mill. For readers of my music blog, you know I hit Kemp Mill a while ago, scoring eight for about $60. (At least I think I wrote about it there. ) You can go there now to see what I bought (I don't feel like posting it twice.

I also picked up an application for the Y (as in YMCA). Going to fill it out and drop it off tomorrow. Been wanting to do that for a while, and now that they have the "no initiation fee" thing going on, I'm going to go for it.

Also got my hairs cut tonight. Had the sides and the back trimmed, with just a smidge off the top. (For those who like the newer, longer hair, fear not; it really was just a smidge.)

Continuing in this mundane vein, I'm also digging the sudden change in the weather that's in the area today. Very cool. Sweater weather. And to celebrate, I'm currently wearing my brand new hoodie to keep me warm. New haircut + new hoodie = sexy beast. It's true!

That's all. Now bugger off.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Wow. What an evening.

So, as I posted previously, Melinda and I broke up. What I didn't say was that it happened over the phone. Now, this wasn't her calling me and dumping me or vice-versa. Actually, how it started was that she had called to invite me to brunch. She left a message, and when I listened to it, it sounded like she might have something to say. So when I called her back, I kind of coaxed her into coming out with it. If there's one thing I can't do, it's wait for the other shoe to drop.

Anyway, fast forward to yesterday. I email her, asking if she wants to meet, because there are a lot of things I'd like to say, questions I want to ask, and I'd like to do it face-to-face. She agrees, and we set to meet for tonight.

We met just after 6:30 and talked until around 9:15. It was something. (Eloquent, ain't I?) But, I put it all out there. Every issue (few though they may have been) that I had, every question that I needed to ask. And while not everything was answered, I was satisfied with what was discussed. We also arrived at the same conclusions: we wished we had brought these things up before so that this didn't have to happen, but it does have to happen. She's just got too many issues to be in a relationship, and she needs to figure them out.

I know, I're reading that ('s possible somebody is reading it. I know my man CO did once and even called me to check up...pussy. Just kidding. Thanks, man.) and wondering if the door is open on the future. Honestly, I don't know. I don't really think so, but stranger things have happened. Is it something I'm going to hold out for? Of course not. At this point, it's not even something I want. But circumstances sometimes collude and produce unlikely results. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Army of one,

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Who Knew - an interesting site I found via Michael Totten, which I found via Mostly Weird. I'm not usually one for the political stuff (not that I'm indifferent, I'm just not as well-versed as someone my age living in Washington, D.C. should be, and therefore, shy away from it), but I dig this site. Ask me why, though, and I couldn't tell you.

Monday, September 22, 2003

So, as I said, I'm not going to make this blog a heap of psychotic drama again. At the same time, I can't NOT talk about the recent dissolution of my relationship with Melinda. Consequently...

According to her official statement, this is over because she's not as ready as she thought to be in a serious relationship. And this is true. Judging by her actions, she's definitely not ready. Unfortunately, that reason doesn't hold up because the last two months of our relationship have been anything BUT serious. Furthermore, I wasn't trying to pursue anything especially serious. Moot point, but it needs to be said.

She also said that it wasn't "fair" to me to keep the relationship going. True, it's not fair. But you know what else is not fair? Having it end and not sure why it had to end the way it did, despite reasons given. If I'm anything now (besides sad, which is a given at the end of any loving relationship), it's confused. More than anything, I'd like to talk face to face, get everything out in the open, and know definitively that the outcome at which we arrived was the correct one.

I'd like to clarify before I go further that I harbor absolutely no ill-will toward Melinda. Over the course of the last nine months, I have grown fonder and fonder of her every day, and one disappointing ending isn't going to wipe that away all at once. What I said before is still true: she is beautiful, selfless, kind, generous, and one of the most genuinely good people I've had the pleasure of meeting. And while that might sound like pedestal worship, it is absolutely not. I have nothing (okay, maybe not nothing) but good things to say about her.

That said, she is not without her flaws. And while it is a bit tempting to run those down now, I won't. I will say only this: that I wish she were less guarded with her thoughts and emotions, and that I wish she were more assertive/confrontational. If there is one thing that I find to be terribly depressing about the end of our relationship is that I think it could have been possibly prevented if she just once spoke her mind about what was bothering her (especially as it concerned me and our relationship and its alleged intensity), instead of letting things pile up until it came to a head and ultimately leading to our romantic demise. It's a sad irony that a woman who preached open communication could not walk the walk.

Anyway, it's over. Forever? Probably, but I can't say that with any authority. Will we maintain a friendly relationship? Again, probably, but at the moment, it's a tough task for sure. Despite my even keel here, I am very hurt. Hard not to be when you lose someone so close to your heart.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

So, I took the Emode Original Inkblot Test. Here are my results.

"Damian, your subconscious mind is driven most by Love.

"Your instinct to love and be loved is rooted very deeply in your subconscious and affects most of the decisions you make in life � whether you are aware of it or not.

"You inspire people to experience their true feelings of love and act kindly towards others. You also value your personal relationships more than most people.

"Your unique capacity to love may be greater than those around you, which means you may have more to give in relationships than your friends or romantic partners do.

"Your psyche is very rich; the more you learn about it, the more you will understand who you really are."

This is what we call an eerie coincidence. Why? Because my girlfriend broke up with me tonight, and one of the things she mentioned was that she felt that I was more into the relationship than she was.

Spot on, that. And she did it all without the aid of psychological tests.

I'd like to say more about this, but I refuse to pollute my blog again with more drama. I'd like to think I'm in a better mental state to deal with this kind of thing than I have been in the past.

Time will tell...

Monday, September 15, 2003

Carl takes on Thom Yorke. Will the world ever be the same?

(That's some solid analysis, Carl. You're a credit to your name. Your wife is more of--I almost said "bigger" but that might have been miscontrued as innuendo--a credit, though.)

And lastly: '72 Dolphins from here on out! Excelsior!

Saturday, September 13, 2003


My friend Liz sent this link to me. I'm still laughing. This is, without question, the most seamless meeting of porn culture and food culture I've ever seen. Even better than that movie with the girl and the cucumber...

Thanks, Liz.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog

I've always been a big fan of Triumph, and was surprised to see that he had an album coming out (via Pitchfork). I may pick it up, especially if it's on par with "Underage Bichon." (As seen on TV Funhouse and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.)

I really wish they'd collect all the Triumph bits and put them onto a DVD. The bit where he's making fun of the people in line for Attack of the Clones would be worth the price of admission alone.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

So, I just got home, and I see my friend Carl has put up an account of our/his day. Allow me to give you some of my observations.

First, let me get this out of my sexist, reductive system now: the girls at the con had some, to quote Tron from The Chappelle Show, "big ol' tittays." Not all of them, of course, but I was surprised by the number of fine racks at the Small Press Expo. Okay, now that I've been a piggish, Man Show stereotype, let me continue to the other stuff.

I've only been to one con before, and that was the SPX a few years ago ('99, I think). Despite all of the stereotypes (and there were a number who fit them to a T), I really don't think the geek quotient is particularly higher than your typical, say, indie rock show. Maybe it's because they're both "indie" in nature, but there weren't a lot of Comic Book Guy-types. Maybe those types are at the bigger cons, where the superhero comics are representin' and the collector/obsessive types are in full effect. Anyway, this year was fun. Did the walkaround of each room twice or thrice, picked up a bunch of stuff, saw (though did not speak to them...because there was always a fanboy there, and I'm not enough of a hardcore fanboy to actually wait to talk to people) Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer, to whom I gave some dough for a couple of comics (Dork #9 and Action Girl #19). I also bought The Bizmar Experiment and The Return of Bizmar (from Young American Comics), a couple of Fillerbunny comics (from Slave Labor Graphics), The Silent Pulse, Book One (from Bearded Baby Comics), Fred the Clown, Number 1-4 (from Hotel Fred Press), and a handful of free comics. A good haul to be sure.

After that, Carl and I had lunch at Outback Steakhouse, my last meal of the day, and I'm still full from it some 10 hours later. But bacon tastes good, don'tcha know.

We also hit up Olsson's (in search of music, which Carl eventually got) and Big Planet Comics to get some non-indy stuff (once again, was very tempted to pick up some porn comics, but refrained), but wound up buying nothing there, either.

Came home, then went right back out to see Melinda. We took a moonlit walk (cut short when we realized she was illegally parked--no parking after sunset? what kind of shit is that?), went home and futzed with our cell phones (she got a new one), then watched the stirring 4th quarter of the Florida/Miami game. (Go 'Canes!) Had a great time, and wish I could have stayed the night, but with me going over to Jamie and Jarod's tomorrow for football, it's probably best for me to be here.

So, left there, and on the walk from the Metro to my house, two things occured: passed a hot--like, legitimately hot, not trashy hot--hooker and ran into a former co-worker, who is now working at the Madison Hotel.

And that's really about it. I didn't catch the DJ Spooky/Re-Birth of a Nation thing, obviously.

Now I shall retire to boudoir (or will soon) to get my sleep on. First Sunday of the NFL season is here! Go Dolphins!

Clown hat, curly hair, smiley face,

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Re-Birth of a Nation - I read about this a while back and thought it was cool. Good to see it's going to be in my neck of the woods. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I'm going to make it there or not. At the moment, I will be going to the Small Press Expo that afternoon, possibly with my friend, Carl. Depending on what time we get there (if he goes) and what we plan after, I may not be able to make this. Also, if Melinda isn't in hibernation (the poor thing is being ground to a pulp by an unrelenting work schedule), we may do something that evening. I may be able to talk her into this, though, I think she'd rather do something low-key.

Also, may be going to see Mogwai at the 9:30 next week. I haven't seen them in quite some time (probably right after Come On Die Young came out), so it would be nice to see them again. They're an excellent (and uber-loud) show.

Football season started tonight (yay!). As I type this, the 'Skins are beating the Jets (double-yay! Fuck you, Jets!). Of course, the real fun in the football season is hanging out with the boys and talking mountains of smack, particular as we watch our Fantasy Football (glayven!) hopes unfold for that week. I hereby declare that I will win it all this season, and use the money to take a much needed vacation. Shit, for the amount of the prize money, Hawaii may even be an option.

And speaking of football and winning it all: it's the Dolphins year, baby! Belie' dat!

(Did I just jinx them?)

Wednesday, September 3, 2003

A Fine How-Do-You-Do ..... now with Carl O.

This is my friend Carl's blog, established today. I heartily endorse this blog, as Carl is, as they say in the vernacular, "one funny motherfucker." He's also far smarter than I, so you may even learn something from the experience. Here, all you get is the kind of low-brow nonsense that makes People magazine look like The New Yorker. There, well, you get People magazine.

The choice is yours.