Thank you, Me-fi
So says show-runner Dan Harmon on Twitter — “What you call 8:00, we call home. Community returns to Thursday nights on March 15th.”
In case you’re not aware of the show’s brilliance, here are a couple-a clips from their last episode (the Christmas special) (the joke at 0:40 might be my favourite in sitcom history):
Boo boo-boo boo-boo boop… SEX!
Also, this extended interview with Harmon from this summer, going episode-by-episode through season 2…. dude’s mindblowingly insightful/brilliant. Reward him by watching!
I have a photo blog that I set up last year. I receive a steady stream of email notifications asking me to moderate comments on my posts.
I only post my images, and no commentary other than a title for the image, or collection of photos.
Out of hundreds of comments, only two have been from actual people.
My photo website lives in WestWorld, where my work is viewed more by algorithms than by eyeballs.
In this collaborative piece, I work with cyber demons sent from Russia and Nigeria. As I find it difficult to choose descriptions for my photographs, I have accepted help in the form of robo comments from spambots.
I present, “That is Things I Wanted!”
The Awl’s got a great essay up on 808s and Heartbreaks, Kanye’s 2009 lament to his recently passed mother and failed engagement which, the author (Emma Carmichael) makes a compelling case, has revolutionized hip hop. She highlights this video from Kanye’s just-post-College-Dropout days as a parallel to the unguarded feeling he gets at in the album and it’s gr8:
I’ve learned, since I discovered it a few years back, that I can watch this clip many times and never get tired of it. Part of the wonder is merely in observing someone who’s earned the carefully rationed “global superstar” title when he was a relative unknown. It was only shot about seven years ago, after all. But the real draw is that it’s a total recontextualization of a song to which I now know every single word. There’s no beat, of course, and no effect to his voice, either, save for Kanye’s exaggerated nervousness at the beginning. He takes more time to recite his words, pausing for emphasis or relief, and at one point—the 1:50 mark in the clip—he cuts his own rhythm with a faint aside. No one in the audience can interrupt, because no one knows what he will say next.
A few years ago, I sat in a living room next to a very drunk young man who was, along with many of the other young drunk people in the room, shouting the lyrics to “All Falls Down.” When he reached the middle of the third verse, he yelled out the line, “Drug dealer buy Jordans, crack head buy crack/And a white man get paid off of all of that,” and then he turned to me and said, laughing self-consciously, “I always feel so bad when I rap that part.”
In his Def Poetry performance, Kanye ended on the line that always made that particular white person feel very bad. He smiled out at the crowd in a kind of bashful pleasure, letting them hear what he’d said for a moment, and then left the stage. But on the radio version of “All Falls Down,” the line is edited out, so that we only hear, “— —- —- —-, crack head buy crack/And a —- man get paid off of all of that.”
PS – I want to dedicate the following to one Thomas O’Hare of Boston, Mass. Bob your head, B, and enjoy one of the coolest hip hop videos ever (song = Welcome to Heartbreak, track 2 on 808s):
Taken August 26th at 7 something from one of those beer gardens below the Highline. Irene was looming. That’s the North side of 14th between Washington and 10th Avenue.
What do you think’s going on between those three?
Update: Cropped version to get rid of the poll. Not sure if I like it better or not –
Watch this shitty video. Contra Brian Moylan, at Gawker, this video is not the best thing about Hurricane Irene. The best thing about Hurricane Irene was the nice cool breeze it brought in, the quiet hum of trees rustling. Every. Once. In. A. Great. While. Honestly, this was no mighty hurricane. This was the weakest of weak sauce. I mean, I’m sorry that people died, but the fact that they had to stretch the death toll for everything they could to include an old man who died while trying to board his house up (sorry, dude, but it was the combination of strenuous physical activity and your weak heart that killed you, not the hurricane) shows you what kind of storm we were dealing with. Like, right now the front page of the NYTimes has, as its main story, “INLAND FLOODS IN NORTHEAST MAY BE IRENE’S BIGGEST IMPACT,” which links to a story about Vermont, which is probably the first time Vermont has been on the front page of the venerable New York Times since Calvin Coolidge was president. Or there was a Phish reunion tour. Or since Ben&Jerry’s had their IPO. Or something about cheese. There’s always cheese, isn’t there, Vermont?
The biggest impact Irene had, according to the Times, may be inland floods in the northeast, where 72 people live. These people all have guns and merit badges from Cub Scouts; they dwell among a large deer population and have access to picturesque rivers and waterfalls — i.e., fresh water. It’s late August, warm with plentiful sunshine. They’ll be just swell, after a fashion.
Meanwhile in New York, Ground Zero for Irene’s wrath, a few raindrops fall artfully off a tree limb, a sticker flutters on a stop sign against the wind, and some hipsters set the whole thing to suicide music, as evidenced by this horrible video re-cap.
Here’s the link. Sample:
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were married eighty-two years ago yesterday, on August 21, 1929. She was twenty-two, he was forty-three. She used to call the two of them “pareja extraña del país del punto y la raya,” strange couple from the land of dot and line. In her diary, she draws them as Nefertiti and her consort, Akhenaten. Akhenaten has a swollen heart, and ribs like claws around his chest. He has testicles that look like a brain, a penis that looks like his lover’s dangling breast. Below is written “Born to them was a boy strange of face.” Nefertiti carries in her arms the baby Frida couldn’t have.
Q: What’s the hardest thing about rollerblading?
Watch this video and then I’ll answer:
HAHAHAHAHAHAhaha ha ha… ha…. urgh
Seriously though, that cameraman, whatever his sexual orientation, has adamantine balls.
PS – I’ve totally been to that salt mine! There’s this amazing crystal cathedral from hundreds of years ago that was used by the miners that lived down there for months at a time. Pictures in this wiki entry.
I found a copy of Emerson’s essays for five bucks and snapped it up without thinking. I shouldn’t have bought it, not because I’m not excited about reading it (I am!), but because I’d made the conscious decision not to bring my bag out last night because it was hot and I was probably going to get drunk, and I didn’t want to have to be schlepping anything around that I’d probably forget at some bar where it might or might not be stolen, and the book was too fat, I thought, to fit in my pockets. But whatever. I squeezed and contorted the fat paperback to the point where I was able to cram it into one of the cargo pockets of my cargo shorts, and the night was saved.
It was a really good night, actually. I saw the new A Tribe Called Quest documentary, Beats Rhymes and Life, and the director, Michael Rapaport, was there and he recognized me at the after-party later (I’d asked a question in the Q&A about what effect he thought the change in New York since the early-Hip Hop era was having on the music and he just made kindof a proclamation of faith that New York would always be there and something about how it was good that Nas and Jay-Z were patrolling the scene) which was cool. And we had this pleasantly weird exchange where we were thanking over each other. He seemed like a really nice guy, and it’s an awesome doc, well paced, vibrant, great rhythm, laughter and tears, and definitely the kind of thing you want to watch in a crowded theatre full of Tribe fans. Energizing.
But this post isn’t about the documentary. It’s about the first few sentences I read in my new Emerson book:
Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?
Almost two hundred years later, and Rapaport basically said exactly the same thing about now versus then (in his case, then = the 80s/early 90s) in the Q&A after presenting his own biography/history/paean to another era. Everyone’s trying to be something that’s already been defined or just reflecting on the good ‘ol days when people had immediate artistic insight. The diversity and eccentricity that followed from the old guard’s authentic pursuit of their art — an eccentricity and diversity embodied by Tribe and groups that shared a scene with them — just isn’t tolerated any more, Rapaport seemed to be claiming.
I don’t really buy it. The early 90s was saturated with its own fair share of shallow bullshit that all sounded and looked the same too. And I can’t believe all the different directions and themes hip hop seems to have opened up to, having spilled now across classes and races and to contexts thousands of miles from the Bronx.
And it’s not like Tribe’s eccentricity came out of nowhere either. It was drawing on traditions that shaped the way of thinking that created the moment they blew up in. All they did was foreground these influences and themes in a way that these influences and themes hadn’t really been foregrounded before, which isn’t to take anything away from it, but Kanye’s doing the same thing.
I think the notes these themes and influences strike in us speaks to their already existing, at some level, in our own consciousnesses. Which isn’t to say that I think all eras are equally generative of awesome art. I don’t. And the early 90s were definitely a moment. But I think we might be coming into another one. I hope we are, anyway. I see glimmers. Kanye’s GOOD Friday series being one (see below for a Q-Tip-produced song that came out of that). And hard economic times and ever more blatant absurdity in how the world functions, if nothing else, means there’s a lot out there for art to express.