Archive for June, 2009

Nod to George W. S. Trow

June 26, 2009

Theory: Michael Jackson is more “alive”/beloved now than he has been in the past ten years.

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The Songs That Best Sum Up My Life

June 26, 2009

Because “theme song”s sounds lame.

“You Don’t Know How it Feels to Be Me” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

“Don’t Be Scared” by A.R.E. Weapons

“Dig a Pony” by the Beatles

“This Cloud” by Bush (nod to my moody teenage years)

“Hospital Beds” by Cold War Kids

“Closer” by Nine Inch Nails (Ha!)

“I Want to Live in a Wigwam” by Cat Stevens

“Dedicated Follower of Fashion” by the Kinks

“I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner (is she joking?  I can’t tell…if not, that’s pretty sad…wait, seriously?)

“What Is Life” by George Harrison

And the grand, choreographed dance finale to my movie-life:

“Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by the Temptations

The Guy From the Tom’s Commercial: Gay or Unbelievably Dreamy?

June 25, 2009
Seriously?

Seriously?

Unbelievably dreamy: Spokesman for a global network, featured in a commercial in which he is traveling for his job

Gay: Wears a stylish scarf in said commercial

Unbelievably dreamy: Commercial shows him giving shoes to adorably third world kids

Gay: Works with shoes

Unbelievably dreamy: Started a program in which Toms Shoes gives away one pair of shoes for everything pair they sell

Gay: Cares about shit

Unbelievably dreamy: favorite TV show on MySpace is Lost

Gay: other favorite: Grey’s Anatomy

Unbelievably dreamy: from the LA Times, “He’s not egocentric like some entrepreneurs are.”

Gay: also from the LA Times, “He is not afraid to show his emotions to make sure people know they are appreciated.”

Seriously, though, if you’re straight, please…marry me.  I want to go around the world in a hot air balloon with you and make it rain teeny tiny shoes in Nigeria.

The First…Err, Second of a New Category!

June 23, 2009

You know what I looooove? Categories! So I’m making a new category. This category is: Things I Love That I Go to Inappropriate Lengths to Track Down. It’s pretty much a category within a category, as the definition of category is: any general division. Things I like! Things I like MORE! The exact thing I like about the thing I like!  Things I like within things I like! It’s a bonANza of specification!

So sometimes I get fixed on things and then I go to “inappropriate lengths” to track these things down, and then I get sort of proud of myself for my perseverance, but I have no one to whom to brag about it.  I figured: hey, the internet!  This is where we all blow our meaningless and futile activities out of proportion, right?  And display them to a faceless and nameless crowd?  Wee!  Cue applause.

Okay so I have this obsession with quoting, quoting accurately, I should say.  I was quite taken by this compliment a steel magnate gave to a woman in the first season of Mad Men, the scandalous and sumptuously styled show on AMC (returns in August for its third season.)  Noticing that the first season was on demand out here on THE END (Where in the World is I.D.?), I decided to watch each episode until I found the quote.  I didn’t have to get very far, though.  It appears in the fourth episode.  Pete Campbell, the weaselly professional schmoozer, brings over two women as eye candy/”companions” for his client, the steel magnate.  Particularly taken by one of them (“Would you look at that!  You could lose a nickel in those dimples!”), he asks her what she does for a living.

“Well, I’m an actress,” she responds, “and I’m also taking some classes at Hunter.”

“Really?” he says.  “I would have thought you slept all day and bathed in milk.

Boys…write this one down!  Methinks it will work quite well.

In hindsight, this is actually the second post that falls under this category…

The Gods Have Heard My Cries!

June 23, 2009

Literally hours after I published the below, a new Intervention came on and guess who the interventionist is?  That’s right!  The bottom line man himself!  Wisdom radiates from his shiny, bald head like cartoon waves of heat!

Image Craving

June 22, 2009
Large balloons in the Hotel Chelsea, Room 722

Large balloons in the Hotel Chelsea, Room 722

My Number One Public Service Cause

June 22, 2009
My Arch Enemy

My Arch Enemy

Okay, so, I don’t have many soapboxes I would want to stand on, but about this I feel very strongly. Perhaps inappropriately so.

I really like this show Intervention on A&E. In all honesty, it’s pretty awful, borderline exploitative, and my enjoyment implies that I get off on voyeurism…which I do, but who doesn’t, really? I like it for two reasons mainly. The first is that it allows me to experience some form of Aristotelian catharsis via observing tragedy, which I think is important for people to do, and the second is that it helps me feel better about myself. Simple, delicious schadenfraude.

The premise of the show, for those who don’t know, is that each episode one, sometimes two drug addicts, bulimics, sex addicts, anyone engaging in addictive, self-destructive behavior, is profiled. They are interviewed, as are their friends and family members (“loved ones” in the Recovery lexicon), and filmed as they go about their daily business (sucking dick for crack, drinking mouthwash to get sloshed, bawling about Inappropriate Touching…you know, your average Tuesday). Little does the addict know that the whole show is leading up to an intervention, in which his/her loved ones will confront the addict and try to get him/her to go to treatment.

Intervention is in its fifth season, and up until this point, they’ve had three main interventionists, but without any explanation, they seemed to have cut two and now rely solely on the third, Ken Seeley, pictured above. And this guy is downright awful. The fact that he exists and does this job pains me every day. The choreography of an intervention is extremely important; getting the addict to a position of complacency is complicated and requires some sleights of hand and carefully chosen words and granted silences. Seeley, however, likes to whip out apocalyptic aphorisms at totally inopportune moments, like when an addict is pushing a little, or seems to be quietly working something out in his/her brain, he’ll say, “You’re going to die, you know that?” or “Do you realize how much this is hurting your family? Tell her the heroin is more important than she is.” It’s like he’s read Interventions for Dummies, took note of some catch phrases and chooses to throw them out when he hasn’t heard his own voice in two minutes. His presence is at once grating and empty; he exudes judgment and criticism, yet he’s also kind of the wimpiest motherfucker ever. You ought to be at least a little afraid of the interventionist. They’re coming in to set the situation STRAIGHT. You want him or her to be able to be stern and authoritative, like Cesar Milan from the Dog Whisperer. I mean, I could beat up Ken Seeley, and I’m a pacifist, that’s how little effort I feel it would take. Listening to his voice, which is still kind of breaking this long after puberty ought to have ended, makes me want to crack skulls. And do meth. Can we IMAGINE Ken Seeley as a methhead?

Bring back Jeff Von Vonderon, I say. He runs a tight ship. He’s a bottom line guy.

Intervention is on A&E Mondays at nine PM. Tonight is a guy who bullied kids at Columbine. Hm, wonder what he has to repress…

Vienna, From Above

June 22, 2009

Vienna

Jesting, Infinitely

June 20, 2009

On why videophones failed, in DFW’s universe:

“(3) But there’s some sort of revealing lesson here in the beyond-short-term viability-curve of advances in consumer technology. The career of videophony conforms neatly to this curve’s classically annular shape: First there’s some sort of terrific, sci-fi-like advance in consumer tech –– like from aural to video phoning –– which advance always, however, has certain unforeseen disadvantages for the consumer; and then but the market-niches created by those disadvantages — like people’s stressfully vain repulsion at their own videophonic appearance — are ingeniously filled via sheer entrepreneurial verve; and yet the very advantages of these ingenious disadvantage-compensations seem all too often to undercut the original massive shirt-loss for precipitant investors. In the present case, the stress-and-vanity-compensations’ own evolution saw video-callers rejecting first their own faces and then even their own heavily masked and enhanced physical likenesses and finally covering the video-cameras altogether and transmitting attractively stylized static Tableaux to one another’s TPs. And, behind these lens-cap dioramas and transmitted Tableaux, callers of course found that they were once again stresslessly invisible, unvainly makeup and toupeeless and baggy-eyed behind their celebrity-dioramas, once again free — since once again unseen — to doodle, blemish-scan, manicure, crease-check — while on their screen, the attractive, intensely attentive face of the well-appointed celebrity on the other end’s Tableau reassured them that they were the objects of a concentrated attention they themselves didn’t have to exert.”

Am I a Failure?

June 19, 2009
Theresa Duncan, R.I.P., and boyfriend, video artist Jeremy Blake (Ditto)

Theresa Duncan, R.I.P., and boyfriend, video artist Jeremy Blake (Ditto)

Okay, so I’ve only recently begun diving into this information ocean known as the Internet, and I came across something on FailBlog the other day that kind of upset me. A girl had submitted a question to YahooAnswers.

Q: If you die, what happens to your MySpace?

and the obnoxiously sarcastic A: It deletes itself. You see, when you die a little microchip goes off in your brain and instantly deletes any accounts you may have. They are inserted a few months after birth.  Everyone has one.

Am I a moron? Because seriously, I want to know the answer to this question…maybe not specifically for MySpace or Facebook, but for blogs. Does your blog stay out there forever, wafting over into the Elysian Fields of the Internet, existing in a sleepy stasis?  And if not, whose job is it to shut down the blogs of the deceased?

“An e-undertaker?” a friend suggests.

This reminds me of an interesting story from a few years ago, one which most young, pretty New Yorkers of that/this time will remember. In 2007, a video game auteur and pioneer of blogging, a pretty, young-ish New Yorker named Theresa Dunca,n overdosed in her apartment in the rectory of the infamously bohemian Saint Mark’s Church on 10th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan’s East Village. About a week later, her boyfriend of over a decade, video artist Jeremy Blake, wandered into the ocean off Rockaway Beach. In the light of the following day, the police found his clothes, a passport, and a note beneath the boardwalk. People latched on to the story almost immediately, intrigued by the endless mystery of a beautiful, talented couple, a modern day Romeo and Juliet, surely. Various publications started to come out with stories about them, details of their lives, theories on their deaths. A reporter for an LA newspaper said Duncan’s death had “not yet been ruled a suicide” and therefore could have been a murder, an explanation which I promptly dismissed because of she left a note (detail from another paper) and because I couldn’t imagine Duncan doing anything without complete awareness (ah, the idolatry of the artistically ambitious and naive). Another source claimed the couple had descended into a strange codependent paranoia involving Scientologists and one of their leading men, the singer-songwriter Beck. This was easier to swallow, oddly enough. For an impossible and morbid romantic, there is poetry even in descending into mutual madness. A friend of Duncan’s posted on the Chelsea Hotel Blog that Duncan had recently been accused of plagiarizing one sentence in an article she wrote about perfume. She didn’t profess Duncan’s innocence, but said she assumed it happened because “people think of eerily similar things, and even phrasing of those ideas, all the time. In fact, I believe this sort of concurrence is increasing. It is also possible Theresa just forgot the sentence came from somewhere else, as she — and all of us — are assaulted by a blizzard of information daily. I’ve seen my own published words show up elsewhere many times, but said nothing, suspecting I might be guilty, too.”
Prior to her death, I had heard of Duncan only once before. She was a regular at one of my favorite haunts, the Hotel Chelsea, and a writer who resides there interviewed her and posted it on the internet. I looked at her blog briefly, but shied away, perhaps because I was intimidated knowing someone that cool was alive. Somehow when I learned that she was dead, I felt less jarred by her smart glamor and windswept blond hair, and so I endeavored to skim her blog in its entirety. The picture below I filched from her (I had actually cut it out from a magazine myself before I noticed it on there, which sent me into a tailspin of self evaluation), as well as numerous recommendations for intellectually pretentious reading and one of my now-favorite excuses to insult people wayyyyy after an offense, “l’espirit d’escalier.”

My point: if you click on the picture above, of Theresa and Jeremy, you’ll be redirected to her blog, where you can still read about her made-up Lunar Appreciation Society and examine her last post for inklings of massive depression, nuggets of premeditation. You can buy a t-shirt or a tote bag (where does the money go?)  Or you can just wait the big screen version of the story, script penned by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Gus Van Sant (allegedly).