Popular culture as barometer: So we're pretty sure that the glut of cop/DA/forensics dramas, with Dick Wolf (is that his real name?) at the vanguard, may be a reflection of our society's newfound comfort with authoritarianism -- specifically, the idea of those invested with the power to arrest and prosecute (not to mention often in uniform) being infallible.
My question is this: What will happen to In Justice? Too soon? Or just too crappy?
I have it on good authority that Wolfmother, in a blood rite overseen by the spectral visage of a Year-of-Biting-Heads-Off-Bats-vintage Ozzie, secretly dedicated their new album to this model of sartorial rectitude:
"...But We Never Liked Disco": Listening to SIRIUS 26's Ghostie one morning, I heard him mention all the hate mail he's been getting for playing M.I.A. He didn't go into too much detail save for the most common criticism that the music "doesn't fit" -- a similar argument was leveled against The Streets, he added.
Now, apart from the pedestrian (and purely subjective) response I would make to such a person, that M.I.A.'s music has far more artistic merit than that of, say, the boring drones of Soft, or the gurgling dreckmeisters of Nine Black Alps, and that it seems to fit as well as some of The Gossip's newer stuff, I also have an ideological bone to pick. These people seem to want to say something that they don't have the balls to come right out and say, so they beat around it. But ultimately, it harkens back to the old criticisms we used to hear about disco music that were rooted not in examinations of its artistic merit, but instead were sniper shots at the culture which was perceived to have grown up around it: it was the music of flighty girls; there were too much drugs on the scene; it was too "dancey". All of this was rooted mainly in misogyny, homophobia, and racism.
That the only "true" musicians had greasy hair, wore flannel, and eschewed synthesizers, turntables, and electronic effects -- such instead favored the same three chords played ad nauseum on drums, a bass, and a guitar or two. If music invites you to dance, then it simply cannot be "art." Are there judgements that don't come from a place of hate? Certainly, there is the barely defensible argument that if something sounds poppy, it must be too corporate -- it's sell-out music. Basically, though, these attitudes are just stale old holdovers from the early 90s, and what they propose for music is as misguided as what von Triers' Dogme 95 did for cinema.
It occurs to me that although they crested in a tsunami of popularity several years ago, low- (mind you, not too low) slung, boot-cut jeans have never really gone out of style, and probably never will. A flattering cut for any figure, they produce a keen silhouette, and move easily from day to evening, urban to rural.
Frankly, I'd much rather the kidz be watching Wonder Showzen than Jackass. It really is a step up.
You know, music videos were only ever artistically useful complements when Michel Gondry and his imitators were doing them.
All genre literature are guilty pleasures. That said, "soft" (a discussion unto itself, but for later, my pets) skiffy classic "The Left Hand of Darkness" strikes me as not only eminently readable for adults, but a fine choice to be disseminated among younger readers. Raises interesting questions they may often ask themselves when they're not gibbering about Xbox and Jessica Simpson hooey. Stuff such as the distinctions between patriotism and jingoism; sexual fluidity; the role of empathy in human intercourse, etc.
Enormous, gilt-framed, black-velvet portrait of a weeping Christ: only $2 at your nearest charity shop. Beat feet!
Okay, so you're hot stuff 'cos you caught Masterpiece Theatre's brilliant adaptation of "Bleak House." Good for you. But if you're really smart, you'll avail yourself of any opportunity to read the book, if you haven't already. It's worth your time, as the televised version, by virtue of its medium, missed a lot of the crackling satirical humor of the original Dickens.
Mud wrestling at the Eagle = Heaven.
Speaking of which, (filed under Embarrassing Yet Hilarious): All those San Francisco bands and musical projects that never take wing because nobody can drum up a drummer -- it's like finding a top in a Castro watering hole.
We need our own Aesop. Someone who will write a pithy fable, maybe something about a weasel secretly releasing egg-eating snakes into a hen house, then convincing the hens to pay him eggs as the price for protection from said snakes. Should cast as much light as anything else on the fiendish Medicare Plan D.
I could be mistaken, but it does seem Aaron Eckhart has been somewhat typecast since his role in "In The Company of Men."
What a magnificently vile movie, by the way; give it a gander if you haven't already...
Coolest drag king name not yet in use AFAIK: William Shackner.