Thursday, June 7, 2007

Open Letter

Good morning, strike that, evening.

First of all, how are you? I know you're probably doing well, Mr. Universal You, living your life one calculatedly selfish moment at a time. I know you're well, that you wish you had a new job, that you're fine and doing well. But, and let me just emphasize this, are you really doing well? Let's face it, I'm worried about you Mr. Universal You. I'm worried that you're not living up to my expectations for you. I'm worried that you're not living up to your own expectations. I'm worried that you'll never be half as good as you could be and that you know it. Worse yet, I think you're trying to hide it from everyone, especially yourself. I'm worried that you think you're doing enough when you aren't. I'm worried that if you're fortunate enough to have children, their lives are going to be harder and that everything you sit there callously taking for granted will be a minor victory for them. I worry Mr. Universal You. I worry.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Congratulations, You Too Are A Winner

If you only have time to read one thing today, please read this article by Naomi Wolf ahead of reading whatever it is I have to say. If on the other hand you've finished the article, or at least considered the content, please read on.

In light of a recent experience I have to confess that I've never been a Le Tigre fan. Which is odd because on paper they're brilliant; they literally have everything I could possibly want going for them. Drum Machines: Check. Kathleen Hanna: Check. That Ultra-Mysterious Intrinsic Sense of Cool: Check.

When I was first exposed to them, it was with the nigh mythic promise of them being the "best band ever," which as we all know is the literal Kiss Of Death to any new-band experience. Yet, as we all do when approaching this weeks "best band," I came with the kind of greedy fervor I use to approach buying new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures with. History suggests that nothing will ever eclipse my first true love, April O'Neil, nothing.

To put it simply, it didn't have any effect on me. Furthermore, my ambivalence never gave way to that diabolical fear of "just not getting it," which is secretly the nightmare that every music fan wakes up from, cold sweat beading down their heads. In hindsight I know that I'd liked Bikini Kill when I liked noisy music. I certainly grew up in a climate of admiration for anything riot grrrl-esque. It's just that this misplaced affection just wasn't enough to push irrational liking onto further Hanna projects. They just weren't for me, as it were.

That's not to say that they've never made a song that didn't make me want to shed my demographic and stoic Northwestern non-dance ethos and shake my little bottom like I thought no one was looking. That song, or course is Deceptacon and it serves me with the distinction of being one of the coolest songs I've ever heard. If you haven't guessed already, it's also the subject of the experience that I'm grappling with at this very moment: I heard it on a Nivea Lotion advertisement today. Now, before you start thinking, "wait man, wait, they're like, taking the corporate dollar and running man," I'm pre-empting you by saying that I'm not opposed to musicians selling their songs to make a buck on advertising. As someone going in the plus year mark away from anything relating employment, I can empathize completely with what it's like to watch money go quick the fast way out. If I could throw some shit together and sell it for enough cash I'd bite. Of course, that shit that I'd throw together would come from the AFX school of really biting the hand that feeds you.

Because as it turns out, I am totally opposed to artists selling their art to make a buck off of advertising. As Bill Hicks so memorably said: “You do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call forever. End of story." Which compounds their previous abuse of signing to major label. That both of these could come to pass is the total opposite of my cartoon Kathleen Hanna image where everything is rad and feminists take over the world. So, todays been a little weird. I guess what I'm really trying to say is I welcome any evidence that Le Tigre has not abandoned that Ultra-Mysterious Intrinsic Sense of Cool I'd previously checked them off for. Because I expect that no one ever changes and I expect age to not distill ethics.

Or is it as Charlton Heston once put it, "don't trust anyone over 30," that proves the most useful insight I've collected from pop culture?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Illustriously Simple Title

Ah, the sweet inevitability of a new blog by yours truly. Yes, Blog (imagine with italics to emphasize the repetition of the word), the cute, near-innoffensive four-letter word with a zillion people buzzing the entire world over, trying to distill their lives into something revelatory. Unless of course you have a music blog, which means you are trying to distill being "hip" into something revelatory. In any case, this is my new blog so I should cover my feelings on them at some point. I mean. Since this is basically a reality-television version of a diary, wherein the writer (me) thinks being the writer (again, me) is drastically more important than it actually is, while hoping the reader (you) will actually sift through this dribble willingly and perhaps comment on my complete disregard for brevity. Of course, the reader (still, you) is hoping by "commenting" this writer (still, me) will respond to the readers (again, you) own blog, thereby creating some kind of "virtual" community of self-obsession, where we all pat each others backs when bad shit happens and virtually ignore each other when good things happen. Of course, I've been writing about myself for years online without actually knowing what I was doing. Cheers to the self-obsessed.

Moving on.

Canada. I'm currently living in Canada. Which is really funny because by and large, it's a lot like The United States in all the ways that count. There are gas stations everywhere and every massive suburban housing project has a mini-mall all of it's own. So, there's no inner-struggle for acceptance, or culture shock to deal with on my part. Except for when I try to read the French on the wrong side of packages; having successfully slept through French class all through one semester of high school. I am homesick, however. My homesickness is somewhat counter-measured by the math I've been meaning to do. I've been trying to figure out through studying my taxes exactly how much money is being lost to the United States military by my lack of participation in the system altogether. I mean, it's a drop in the bucket, sure. But it does make me feel slightly better about being here. I miss Portland.

I got a new dog. Her name is Apple and she is a complete pain in my ass. I even wrote a song about her being a pain in my ass. It was very funny and self-depracating and written in a total Elephant 6 style. She's pretty cute though and she loves to play fetch, which is a must for any dog.

Okay. I'm done.