Monday, April 30, 2007

Real Estate

I live in the big city. It doesn't matter what big city - let's call it Flu Spork for the sake of convenience*. I've lived in Flu Spork my whole life. When people meet me, they say "you don't seem like you're from Flu Spork!" I guess they think this because I don't shiv them?

The other thing people say when they hear I grew up in Flu Spork is "wow, there's nowhere to really go after there!" They mean that all across this grand nation, the young and ambitious dream of moving to Flu Spork, but where do the young and ambitious of Flu Spork move to? I'm young(ish, now) and more ambitious than I'd admit on a first date with a traditionally-minded man whom I nevertheless wanted to roger, but I swore up and down for the longest that I was OUT OF HERE. It's silly and expensive and there's just no way to really build a life for yourself, unless a life for yourself = a moron carnival paid for with credit. My parents carved their niche out when things were less rough, when it could be argued that Flu Spork was a good, cheap, interesting place for a young couple to be (not that there were not the lean times when I was a bitty Vi). Comparing my experience with theirs, my possibilities in Flu Spork seemed even more limited. It keeps pulling me back, though - the skills and priorites and proclivities you gain here bind you ever closer to the city. It's not that you're unfit to live anywhere else, exactly, leaving just seems harder and harder until it doesn't make any sense at all.

The couple we saw in Providence this weekend, beaming and newlywed, don't have jobs that different from mine, or Hazzard's. They live, paying the same amount we pay for a little place in a walk-up in a peripheral neighborhood, in a enormous loft with bamboo floors and a wall of ten-foot high windows. Their building is a converted department store full of chatty young people who knock on each other's doors and met on the rooftop patio for drinks. (I know, barf. But let's just examine the SIGNIFIED here. Besides, it would be nice if I had someone other than my parents to dogsit.) It was a little plastic, and lord knows Providence, a neat town, is not Flu Spork, but it felt like a life. Not transient. Not a holding cell. They seemed content, or at least I imagined them to be, as I fiddled with their track lighting and admired their view. They were reaping already, whereas I feel like Hazzard and I just sow and sow and sow and wait, where we put off everything we truly want. Which isn't track lighting, really.

*NB - someone should make and market cheap sake in six-packs or something and call it sake of convenience.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Did you know?

Providence is AMAZING! I bought a book there called "The Frenchman in Mohammed's Harem." And this other book! Called "Galaxy!" That's from the 1960's and is supposed to be space-erotica! But it's the least erotic thing EVER. Oh wow. Pictures and captions TK when I can stop freaking out.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Jaco Homo

The current issue of Downbeat Magazine - the derivative ratbastards - has a cover story on Joe Zawinul. I didn't feel like reading it, so I just went and found a performance of "Birdland" instead:

And on closer inspection it's not clear to me that you can even read the article online (unless the cover story is five paragraphs long). So, you know - don't worry; it's jazz.

Load Up, Load Up, Load Up...

Meanwhile, on a recently-discovered Earthlike planet...

Someone finds herself drawn to self-help and DIY books over any other kind of written word. Hello Alien Violet! I am totally going to space-fax you The Worry Cure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Petticoat compunction

I'm going to a wedding in Providence this weekend. I love it when people get married, because that means I'll have something to talk about with them. It's not that I don't like single folks, I just can't relate. Always on about their dates or their drugs or their jobs. It's charming in its own silly way I guess, but so immature! I just don't have time for that sort of thing anymore, you know?

Anyway, what I do have time for is wanting a petticoat or crinoline to wear with the (effing excellent) dress I have selected for the event. I'm not sure why one is so hard to find - you'd assume that some would have entered circulation the summer before last when full skirts were the thing. Fuck. How am I going to steal the bride's thunder NOW?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ask Violet

Dear Violet,

I would like to build a simple bird feeder with my children as a fun springtime activity. Do you have any ideas how I could go about that?

Sue Etts

Dear Sue,

The joy of encouraging fledgling ornithologists!* Instructions for a simple coffee-can bird feeder are as follows.

Poke three holes in the bottom of a coffee can with a can puncher.** Be sure to remove stray shards of metal with bare fingers.


Poke three holes in the top of the same coffee can.

Get a big plastic plant saucer.

Nail a hole through the center of the plant saucer and the center of the bottom of the coffee can. Don't accidentaly shatter most of the plant saucer, which is probably pretty hard plastic.

Take plastic shard from dog.

After consideration, decide to let the dog eat the plastic shards after all.

Repair saucer with duct tape.

Insert a screw through to attach the can to the plate. Fail to find washer. Remove screw.

Run some duct tape through the bottom of the can and the hole in the saucer. Put balls of duct tape on either end of the duct tape connecting rope, so everything is joined by a duct tape barbell.

Correct imbalances with duct tape weights.

Run a bungee cord through the three holes on top of the can.

Date a few men seriously, with supercrazy dangerslut periods in between until you are able to marry someone tall.

Make him hang the thing from the cross-beam on your balcony.

Fill with birdseed.

Replace lid.

Find washer next day, prepare to make it in to a proper birdfeeder that birds can potentially balance upon.

Realize you've constructed the thing is such a way that it is literally impossible to modify without disassembling your entire balcony.

Eat tortilla chips.


I hope this helps!


*Ornithologist joke.

**Different from a can opener. Who knew?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Rusty's Old-Timey Cheesecake of the Week

Lest it be said that I prefer my older ladies to be mousy bespectacled gossips, um, here's Diana Rigg:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Ogle Blogging

Apropos of last month's Hardball circle jerk, I just want to talk for a minute about Fred Thompson. I guess the people on TV really want him to be president, maybe because he also is a person-on-TV.

But whatever. First Margaret Carlson* has this moment with Chris Matthews over Fred, which is maybe the dirtiest non-loofah moment in the history of Cable News. I mean, I know it couldn't have sounded that bad, but the transcript is... well, the transcript, er... it doesn't read very worksafe, if you know what I mean:
CARLSON: The theme song of Republicans should be "Some Day My Prince Will Come," and they're waiting and they‘re hoping. And so Fred Thompson is not late at all. His moment is here.

MATTHEWS: Some day he will come along. Do you think he's coming now?

CARLSON: I think he's coming soon.
Now maybe it's just me, but I absolutely cannot read that in the non-pornographic context it was uttered. Actually it probably is just me, but hey, I imagine she knows a few things I don't about Fred Thompson.

Moving on to what I meant to say in the first place: the TV-people think he looks like a Truck Driver or something so That's Why he should be President. Which basically tells you most of what you need to know about the TV-people, but not about truck drivers and not about presidents, neither of which at age 65 (when imagined as a silly archetype) would strike me as the type to marry This Gal:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
and with A Guy You Really Wanna be Photographed With:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I mean, I'm sure they're in love and all. And that's great and when I'm a 65-year-old retired senator and character actor You Bet i want a 30-something Buxom Blonde. You Bet. BUT how does that blah blah blah in Peoria blah blah blah John Edwards Hair OH RIGHT; I forgot.

*I met Margaret Carlson once. While the visual confirmation of cuteness is fresh in our minds, I will confirm that - visually, at least - she is cute.

Injuries Sustained During The Crafting of The Antonio Gramsci Memorial Birdfeeder

Friday, April 20, 2007

And I have visual confirmation of her cuteness, which is what really matters.

Despite my richly conflicted relationship with oh, say, writing? On the internet? And Young People? And despite my promise of a sharp stick in the eye to the next person who said anything about anything women did ever at all? Emily Gould is a little bit my mind hero, for sneaking the snappy feminism all up in Gawker's piece. And everyone's all like wha? And she's like, yeah, motherfuckers, that's right. Uh.

P.S. I had like 8 abortions today. They were AMAZING.

P.P.S. Not that I like Gawker, although I am obvs. reading it. I just like Emily. She should have her own magazine. I wonder what she'd call it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Let's Teleport To My Closet!

Fashion is something that can be acquired. You too, be it male or female, can be very fashionable.

Lucky Thirteen

  1. "Friends of Mine" - The Zombies. Appropriate for the Easter. It should be kept in mind that despite what the song says sometimes (sometimes) it's annoying or depressing "to know two people so in love." On the other hand, it's only polite to act like this song is correct.
  2. "You're Leaving" - Emmylou Harris. Certain things bother me sometimes, make me worry about myself, like: is it reasonable for me to bristle at this lady popping up on records by Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams or am I just a curmudgeon dick and would I have said the same thing about Gram Parsons or Neil Young records like a million years ago or whenever it was?
  3. "Sin City" - Mekons. And here's a Gram Parsons cover. Fuck you, psychic ipod!
  4. "Surrounded By The Stars" - Amon Düül II This is kind of more like what I've been listening to a lot lately. Which brings me to another thing i worry about: I keep hearing new bands or whatever and I think this sounds like Amon Düül II. Is that because I've been listening to too much Amon Düül? Well, obviously yes on some level. It's just like the review (I don't remember where! oh the pain of blogging!) of that Vietnam record that kept comparing it to the Velvet Underground. But maybe I'm ok after all; I don't think the Vietnam record sounds at all like Amon Düül II. It sounds exactly like the Black Crowes. Duh.
  5. "Young Ned Of The Hill" - The Pogues. Shane McGowan: still alive.
  6. "Earth A Raging Blaze" - Craft.
  7. "Never Work" - Mekons. These guys again? Whatever, this is basically like that Rundgren jam, but less relentless.
  8. "Transdermal Celebration" - Ween. Is this a Foo Fighters rip? If so, that's hilarious. This rules. Hail Boognish. etc., etc.
  9. random Deep Purple studio chatter. This doesn't sound like "studio chat", just random circus noodling. What gives? PLAY FLIGHT OF THE RAT!
  10. "Big Money" - Big Black.
  11. "Bottled Violence" - Minor Threat. Straight edge is just fear of growing up. Fucking Peter Pan syndrome fuckers. Please don't kick my ass, straight edge kids.
  12. "Tudy Fruity Judy" - T La Rock. Still on the fence about old-school rap. gonna stay here a while.
  13. "Legless Love" - Devendra Banhart. Now I'm embarrassed. fuck FUCK!

that could have gone better. we'll get them next time, tiger.

Styx is for Kids?

A one-time colleague of mine - Horatio Thornblower, we'll call him - was always fond of prefacing queries with "hey Rusty, you're a hipster, maybe you would know about blah blah blah..." Which was all very pejorative and deflating because Hey words can hurt you know! words have meanings, man.

Except when they Don't.

The Hipster comment would always leave me momentarily sucker-punched and slack-jawed but I could collect myself to riposte: "but Horatio... don't you play in a post-rock outfit (or three)?"*

Which is just a long dumb way of saying Cat and Girl was spot-on today.

*in 2003 or whatever "post-rock" was maybe fashionable.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Am reading the SCOTUS opinion on Gonzalez (booo!) vs. Carhart. I got it from feministe, where they tend to know what's what on reproductive rights. It is gnarly*, of course, but kind of captivating in the insight it provides into a weird sort of essentialist logic. Try this on for size: intact D&E is "perverting the proccess of birth." That almost sounds like dirty hippie talk, no?

*Bad gnarly, not Bill and Ted gnarly.

Monday, April 16, 2007


It was my idea to go, and a focus of our trip to Philadelphia, the four of us, two young couples obsessed with greasy food and silly movies, arcana and the kitsch and trash. "They have," I said "SKULLS there. And GROVER CLEVELAND'S TUMOR. Can you handle it?"

It was everything I could have wanted in a museum full of skulls. It was small and a little dusty, specimens were kept in old-fashioned cabinets that lined the wall. It was gothic and delicious and symptoms of ravaging disease and deformity were everywhere, thrilling me. That's what syphillis does? Wow. Would you divorce me if I grew a horn like that? It was touching, too - the exhibit on Siamese Twins, on their recognizable reality and love for each other, their conjuncture hardly seeming a hardship, at least in these histories sketched out on poster board, behind those same old-fashioned glass cabinet doors. Maybe it was true, or just issued as a corrective, but in any case.

The giant colon downstairs terrified me - a swollen black eel the size of a man - to have that inside of you would be to know demonic possession. The ribcage of a boy woven through with overzealous bones, the babies in jars.

It sounds funny, it is funny! Babies in jars! The punchline of an intentionally tasteless joke that you'd tell on a first date in order to suss out whether this was someone you could spend your life with or not, whether they, too, love tasteless jokes. Babies in jars! And that's what they were. They floated in honey-colored fluid just like they had in the womb - their skin was waxy and dull, but they had petal-like feet like as live babies do, and smooth little noses. Some were twins, but instead of manifesting the loving symbiosis I read about upstairs each had been joined to the other in such a way that she had prevented her from ever taking even a first mewling gulp of air, some had been killed by forceps, or just born wrong. Babies used to die all the time, I remembered, an effort to steel myself in solidarity with history. I sought out the foeti in various stages of development and looked carefully at the very earliest, in which I could discern no human feature.

Best Student Misspelling of "Don Quixote" That Sounds Like It Would Be A Better Book Than Don Quixote and I Like Don Quixote:


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Things I Am Not Buying

Somehow, this issue of immigration came up at dinner, which was about as fun as you might imagine.

Latino immigrants just don't make enough of an effort to assimilate/learn English. Discuss. Attempts to refute don't work It didn't work, obvs, because at this point the vocabulary of the resources/language/jobs debate is just a flimsy cloak for fear of brown people that doesn't engage reason. Though my opinion isn't really reasonable as in here's-a-workable-solution, either - I want everyone to lean Spanish, I want every public school to be bilingual, I want to see the US move toward being a country with two official languages and no official culture.

I do the same thing with every big problem I'm presented with. Flip it upside down, find the least feasible solution, and become deeply attached to it. So it's been pretty difficult for me to stand idly by and watch the women-working-or-staying-home parade trod the same now-grassless ground for the past few years. While I think all the standard criticisms about how this is a problem one is lucky to have apply, I don't think that means there is not any interesting thinking to be done anymore. Unfortunately, I just don't care. The next person to cash in on the desire of everyone in the entire universe to jizz all over the tits of young mothers while telling them what poor choices they are making gets a sharp stick in the eye.

In last week's New Yorker (missing the stick in the eye threshold by only a few days!) is a review by Rebecca Mead of a book by Leslie Bennetts about how stay-at-home moms are deluding themselves and fucking everyone else over and laughing about it at their monthly symposia. And Rebecca Mead is all, but staying home is a valid choice and emotionally fulfilling and baybeeezz why are you all up in their grillses? "Interview after interview reveals a woman who seems, actually, pretty happy with her lot," Mead writes "at least until Bennetts sweeps in and points out how terrible things will become if her husband leaves her."

Where is he now? Sure as fuck not in this article. Where are the dads in any of these articles, these descriptions of the ecosystems in which all of our professional and feminist choices bind us inextricably? Just working away on autopilot, oblivious to any of this? Patented Violet Beekeper problem-flipping coming atcha - why don't we start approaching this problem by looking at the choices men make ... and at men who make unconventional choices? Is there no thinking to be done there? Is this opt-out revolution discussion not really a discussion but instead an excuse to shame women a la everything else ever? Noooo. Couldn't be.

"But," you say "it wouldn't work! The mens, they are obviously too attached to their provider role and its perks to give it up! It is totally like when they killed antelopes on the veldt, and women stayed at home giving interviews to itinerant authors working on projects about the state of contemporary feminism. I mean, we are talking about i-bankers here."

And I say "why?" Seriously. Do we need a book and loads of commentary on a book about this? Holy shit, THIS JUST IN: SOMETIMES I- BANKER WIVES MAYBE A LITTLE BIT SHALLOW AND LAZY. I- BANKERS POTENTIALLY ATAVISTIC AND EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN THEIR EARNING POWER. NOT CHAMPIONS OF PROGRESSIVE GENDER ROLES MORE AT SIX. I only know the dudes I know, and the dudes I know are mostly dippy urban liberals (hi!), but I guarantee you a hundred percent that if you proposed to them that maybe you should start discussing how they could work less and hang out with babies more, they would be on it. HERE IS A BIG EFFING SECRET: dudes totally like babies. And they're not even all assholes! Some of them don't even like to go to Hooters, even ironically! I know, right? It's enough to make you want to totally want to punch modern male mythology in the cock.

And I think that journalists who have any investment in feminism would be well advised to punch it in the cock with me. To divest from an anti- feminist-even-when-it's-feminist media paradigm that gets paid for picking like a zealous facialist at women's contradictions and ugly compromises. To examine men's choices and ask them to examine their own - many of them aren't well served by their current options and know it - maybe, if we try solving this equation for Y, interesting things will begin to emerge. Just a thought.

Things not addressed here -

How the constant and consistent preoccupation with stay-at-home-or-work bs has probably done more to alienate black feminists from media feminism than anything else.

The tricky fact of pregnancy. Not that I don't have theories about this.

The awesome New Yorker article about the Pirahã - I also feel like Tavis Smiley is kind of what would happen if they had developed a broadcasting tradition parallel to ours.

Friday, April 13, 2007

To Do List: January, 2009

  1. Re-stock the government's professional bureaucracy.

I'm gonna be in the bathroom. This might take a while.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

From a student paper:

"It is not always a good idea to pay someone for sex and then humiliate them."

A Window on a Twisted Soul

I have been busy setting goals for myself - I am a big procrastinator, and one way to avoid getting things done is to create complicated schemata detailing exactly what things I will get done. However, it might work this time, because I have broken it down into big motivating goals and their subsidiary task-goals, and because I am out here on the internet holding myself accountable.

First Category: Family!

The Big Picture: Act like an adult re. my parents. Be nice to my brother and cultivate that relationship. Help fairly around house and do not pick on Hazzard (which is what I think I am calling M. Beekeper 'round these parts) about work.

The Really Big Picture: Get things in shape to get a baby up in me within 7 years. Look into being more Jewisher than I am

Down in the Mud With the Peasants:
  1. Do not call/email about help on dumb things I can do myself (daily)
  2. Do not borrow money except for discreet, pre-identified expenses, eg, tooth fillings (daily, I guess. This isn't really a problem I have, more of a reminder. )
  3. Call das brutterstein once a week and stay on phone 15 min even if he is not saying anything which is likely. (1x/week - Fridays?)
  4. Do not bug H. about work stuff (daily)
  5. BUT have once weekly family meeting to allay my concerns (1x/week)
  6. Do dishes OR cook 5x/week (5x/week)
  7. Walk dog 5x/week (5x/week)

Second Category: Jobbsers!

The Big Picture: Actually put some effort into my pay-the bills job even though it is stupid crazy easy. Finish manuscript. Get to know folks at Professional School For Professionals. Be productive. Don't be unproductive.

The Really Big Picture: Be Nancy Pelosi.

The Wheel to Which I Am Putting My Shoulder:
  1. 90 minutes/day 5 days/week on my pay-the-bills job (my job is honestly so easy that this will be a stretch) (5x/week)
  2. Write 1000 words/day 5 days/week (5x/week)
  3. Plan next day's writing 5 days/week (5x/week)
  4. Don't be on internet for more than 1 hr/day (daily)
  5. Only watch pre-deteermined tv for a max of 2hrs/day (daily)
  6. Write 3 Prof. school emails/week

Third Category: Save The Whales!

The Big Picture: Live in a way that is increasingly consistent with my beliefs. Have some idea of how to articulate my beliefs, "I love Mexicans!" does not count.

The Super Big Picture: Total Transcendence.

The Protestant Work Ethic:
  1. Phase out incandescant light bulbs, 1/week (1x week. This is really hard for me. I am going to need to put yellow gels on all my energy-save lamps or something.)
  2. Don't drink milk out of carton (daily. This lets me buy the more expensive organic milk, since it does not disappear as fast.)
  3. Volunteer (schedule deferred until Thurs, when I have a meeting re. this.)
  4. Get Green Energy Info (deferred until I know whether I am moving or not)
  5. Write 1 letter to a publication 1x a week. (weekly. I am really really good at getting letters to the NY Times published, let's see if this carries over.)
  6. Read newspaper. (daily)

Fourth Category: Strong Teeth And Bones

The Pig Bicture: Control Athsma. Be Hottt.

The Really Pig Bicture: Be Really Hottt. Some day, far off, eat less cheese.

Hottt Was Not Built in a Day:
  1. Yoga class (3x/week)
  2. Practice at home 20 min a night (daily)
  3. Dessert only twice a week (I guess I will define that as no desert 5x/week)
  4. Meat only twice a week (ditto - 5x/week)
  5. No cigarettes EVER (daily)
  6. When drinking, 1 drink per 75 min, maximum 4. (daily, I guess? It's not really an issue daily. Also, I realize that may sound a bit stringent for a hip young person - or not? - but I am literally the pukiest drinker EVAH. So less = better).
  7. Find some cardio ish thing to do (deferred)

Fourth Category number 2: Monies

Blah Blah: Pay off Credit Cards. Save 10,000

Blah Blah Blah: Don't be poor.

How We Do:

  1. Save $75/week (weekly)
  2. Pay $75 to credit cards/week (weekly)
  3. Don't buy any clothes/shoes/makeup for one month (uh? check in weekly?)
  4. Only one iTunes album every 2 weeks. (bi-weekly or biweekly?)

Now, I figure if I am hitting at least 75% of each category and at least 85% overall at the end of a month, I can get a reward. But what? I was thinking I would go get a massage, but then that costs money and then, then I would be like, well, actually it would be bad to meet my goals because then it would cost me! So I should just go watch My Super Sweet 16! The perils of being a nutbar.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Dear Violet,

how do you know you are not paste!

I mean, these guys* are paste. But still.

*do you like my Exposed Structure Bauhaus-style hyperlinking?

A bunch of different kinds of update.

A what does Seth Stevenson Look Like Update - I google-imaged Seth Stevenson but all I got were stills from the commercials he's reviewed. Which is like thirty different kinds of post-post modern. In my mind he is now a chimera with the faces of the Mac ad guy, the BK king and a bowl of soup from Malaysia.

A what does Violet Do Instead of Playing With The Dog Update - I read this post on this obscure little blog I found. It is by a "No Nym," not by the main blogger who is some professor chick? Or something? Here's what happens:

This blogger-academic types says, I found a job that does not crush my babies in to paste and my getting perspective on what I WANT as opposed to what grad school told me I want helped with that. Everybody normal is all yay, then everybody crazy is all, why did you even have babies if you didn't want them to be crushed into paste, because I mean, there are plenty of us academics out here who would be totally willing to crush our babies into paste for the right job, and you are just wasting everyone's time and gumming up the works but not with baby paste which is actually good for the works.

Observations and Commentary:

Uno) I am the child of one and a half normal academics, one half Indiana Jones and zero stay at home parents. I totally did not turn out being paste.* Sometimes, we ate lots of mac and cheese because no one had time to cook anything else, but sometimes we also went to the zoo or played Candyland. This is all, I think, more about parents – and parents’ marriages – then about babies, who tend to grown up into dysfunctional nuthats like the rest of us no matter what, though they do need to be fed and not beaten, no matter what. Parents want to feel good about what they are doing for their children, but a lot of jobbsers count on encouraging feelings of inadequacy that ripple throughout an employee’s existence. I think it is supposed to be motivating. **

Dos) However, I kind of sympathize with the crazy people, because whenever anyone talks about their own experience, I read that as a criticism of mine to the extent it differs. And I guess, if someone" had peed in your coffee that morning, you could read the post as a little bit of The Secret-Style you are the engineer of your own destiny think happy thoughts blah zee.
He could have gotten only one of those job offers, or none at all, and then there would be no happy story about how he told the fancy robber baron school that no way no how was their steel mill getting built on his pristine farm, nuh uh. But. There would still be a story there about how there is a whole lot of weird professional dogma that got all put up in our brainpiece and it’s a liberating exercise to reject it, even if it’s still just you in your hovel rejecting.

Tres) I am really, really curious about bringing up family stuff being a no-no in interviews, causing bad reactions in hiring committees and the like, only because I hear about it often and from people whose perception of their own experiences I trust, and I’ve seen what seem like its effects on the broad social level and in my own brainpeice, but my actual experience with jobs/schools etc. has been v. much the opposite. I’m literally incapable about being anything but totally candid about my personal life, because I have a huge huge mouth and am obsessed with myself, and will have been talking to total strangers (whom I need to impress because they own my job) about my reproductive decision making within thirty seconds of meeting them. I applied for a very staid-sounding scholarship at Big Shot Professional School for Big Shot Profession and it was all corporate corporate corporate, and one of the interviewers, who was wearing cufflinks and everything was chatting to me about his granddaughter, and I was literally like, “I’ll have to get started on kids in school, because I want like thirty.” I got the scholarship. And that is one example out of many. My theory is that corporate types in cufflinks find me a charming breath of fresh air because I am and they are like, let’s give our money to the flighty girl with the runs in her stocking and see what enchanting indiscretions she commits with it, and that if I were someone who were more like them or didn’t have runs in my stockings, the dissonance between my persona and my family concerns would make them all who does she think she is? Or maybz, because I know Goodman Beekeeper is all babies all the time, and I know I can count on him to hold that shit down no matter what, I don't display any anxiety when talking about this and that works in my favor? Or maybe I have just dealt with awesome people so far?

*My brother, on the other hand, starved to death during MLA ’89.

** The academics of whom I am the child, upon hearing that I was considering applying to X-Subject PhD programs were like, so, what about nursing school? And then all their friends revealed a secret desire to have gone to nursing school. And these are some people who have totally won the professor game. Meanwhile, my friends in nursing school really like it. I am not going to school for X-Subject.

Things Mark Knopfler Left Out of That Funny Song

On Philadephia:

Sandwiches are good, but are better in Chicago. This is no poor reflection on Philadelphia, however. You can not hope to touch a place called Mr. Beef. And am I even allowed to talk if my fave Philly sandwich was not a cheesesteak at all, but rather the roasted pork at Tony Luke's?

Did you know Bahama Breeze is very popular with touring bands? I was promised walls of frozen drink machines, however, and there were only like four.

Blades of Glory is really good. The argument that it borders on homophobic is totally bunk, and I say this as a huge homophobe. No, but seriously.

No, but seriously seriously, I mean how can you expect funny movies about figure skating to have time left over for making fun of anything but figure skating?

Dear rusty,

J'arrive! I didn't see you here.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

A Bro is Born Every Minute

There's an article on Slate about Crispin Porter & Bogusky and the Burger King etc. commercials. I guess I could embed a commercial here, but I don't believe in visuals.

I read this article, because it is by Seth Stevenson, and I have a conflicted and compelling relationship with him in my mind, and also because if there is one thing I am interested in, it is commercials on the TV. Also, because during the five minutes I thought I might work in advertising and was reading the relevant trades, Alex Bogusky came up a lot so I felt smart for recognizing his name and also I vaguely remember thinking someone needed to call his mother and tell her that he was not acting very nice.

The article explores wtf is up with the agency relentlessly relying on a tired Bro experience, i.e., eat of this burger my son and basically you will be the king of a tribe of strippers with machetes, haha, do you see the kitsch value there, but anyway that's implicitly, explicitly you will just be eating a burger.

Observations and Commentary:

a)Seth's problem with the ads were that they weren't funny, weren't ever funny, and weren't really funny because they promoted and spoke unequivocally to the creepy, boorish masculinity of Bros, and that was not a good thing. My take is a little different. I actually thought those King (that is not obno slang for Burger King, I am talking about the ads with the weird guy in the full-head king mask) ads were amazing, way back when. Like, it takes somenads to sell burgers via creeping people the fuck out. I don't know, because I only eat amazing Neptune Diner burgers* but if I were going to eat fast food, sure, I'd eat Burger King, based solely on how much I liked those early King ads.** Unless I lived in California because blah blah In n Out blah blah blah.

a1)There are no more free rides on the Bro humor paradigm train. Because, in part, of Crispy Porter, Bro humor has been a part of non-Bro culture long enough that to have any effect presently, it needs to be funny in a way that transcends, and it takes a pretty deft hand to exploit Bro conventions without relying on them to be the joke. Even the most skilled can eff it up, see below. Obviously I am using a definition of Bro humor than encompasses basically everything.

Funny,*** meanwhile, not that funny.
Funny, meanwhile, meh.

a2)I, me personally and I, me representative of everyone are both kind of tired of mean ads, if only because it's very perplexing to be assaulted by your very own television to
which you have been so kind. AHHHHH CAR SO FAST IT HATEFUCKS YOUR WIFE AND EATS YOUR DOG AHHHHH. Um, no thanks...

b)I feel like this article exhibits a sort of painful irony, in that I've always considered Seth Stevenson Slate's resident Bro. He sounds cute though, I bet he is cute. I am totally going to google image him later.

3)Also, me and Seth Stevenson fly through time. The first BK ad I saw after reading this article was one with actual bros drawing on each other's faces and taping each other to chairs. For analysis, refer to paradigm train leaving station, above.

*No link to reviews because I could not find one that did justice to the giant stained glass Neptune in the back.

**I am the ideal consumer, I buy products for which I am totally aware I have neither need not desire because I liked the ad - this is a conscious part of my decision making process, and one for which I make no apologies. If we could bottle my brain, we would make a lot of money. Unf, it is stuck in my head, impoverishing me.

***The funniest part is the commenters insisting that THIS IS NOT EITHER Tarantino's directorial debut.

Dear Violet,

Where you at?

Friday, April 6, 2007

So how about some light blog-style calisthenics?
Let's reach into a hat and pull out thirteen songs:
  1. "Kensington Castle" - Robert Pollard
  2. "Kasimir S. Pulaski Day" - Big Black
  3. "You Shook Me" - Jeff Beck
  4. "The Game" [acoustic demo] - Echo & The Bunnymen
  5. "If You Could Save Yourself (You'd Save Us All)" - Ween
  6. "Emotional Retard" - Pink Grease
  7. "Philosophy Of The World" - The Shaggs
  8. "Love" - Morgen
  9. "When A Man Loves A Woman" - Karen Dalton
  10. "Sullivan's Social Club" - The Fiery Furnaces
  11. "Polly" - The Kinks
  12. "Marshall" - DNA
  13. "Goin' Back" - The Byrds
This year on Roman Polanski Day I watched Repulsion, which did not make me want to sleep with Catherine Deneuve.

Brunch with Pat Nixon (and 11 other things you do when you get to Hell)

And so, dear Internet, it begins again. Looks like this is my return to "blogging" (but since I find that such a grating neologism, I prefer to consider this the glossiest & cheapest magazine ever). See, once upon a time I was a big-shot famous "blogger" - or at least I was occasionally read by people who are occasionally read by people who are marginally well-known. In certain circles. So here I am, writing pseudonymously (alas! Rusty Schwartz is people fictional!) not so much because I don't want you, dear Internet, to know who I am, but simply because my name must never be spoke. Please accept my apologies.

So thanks to Mrs. Violet Beekeeper for curating this - ahem - magazine and I look forward to fully engaging my obsessive-compulsive tendencies (do you know how long i agonized over the capitalization in the post title? Do you?). I'm tanned pale, I'm fit malnourished, I'm ready starved for attention.

But don't worry; it's Jazz!
This magazine is difficult to read on the toilet.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Dear Internet,

This is Beatdown Magazine; I think you'll like it.