Archive for May, 2009

Things That Are Great

May 22, 2009

1.  Finding 200 dollars I didn’t know I had in a savings account

Its like Im a rich dude suddenly

It's like I'm a rich dude suddenly

I don’t know how it got there but nobody’s gonna hear any complaints from me.

2.  The Ramones- Rocket to Russia Forget about a debut album, this is the Ramones record.  “Rockaway Beach” is under-appreciated–one of their best songs–and helps make this a perfect summer album.

3.  Eddie Campbell’s Egomania

This is maybe the most attractive format for a magazine I can imagine; it’s a shame it only lasted two issues.  The first one (I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy of the second one yet) has the first two parts of a comic on the history of humor that I wish Campbell would have finished.  The rest is composed of a few articles–one a fascinating interview with Batman ghost artist Lew Sayre Schwartz, another an investigation of a painting in an Australian pub by Classical Realist Jules Lefebvre, and lastly an article by Campbell’s daughter Hayley on the premier of the From Hell movie.  Campbell describes the magazine as “Egomania… in which I make the extraordinary presumption that the contents of my noodle will be of interest to others.”  Oh, but they are, which is why it’s really too bad the magazine folded.  Of course Campbell’s blog has more or less served the same purpose, but it’s not quite the same.  There’s something very appealing about the mix of text and comics in the magazine.  Of course, what I’d really want, even more than for Campbell to continue the magazine, is to have my own such magazine, Simon Reinhardt’s Egomania if you will.  The only problem is I don’t imagine I’d have much in the way of readers, or a way to fund it.  Any sponsors?

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Five Things More Interesting to Me than Writing Final Papers

May 5, 2009

So school is wrapping up which means I have a boatload of work and nearly zero motivation to do it.  I’ve spent enough time with all of these classes that I’m not really terribly interested in writing one more paper for them, but it’s going to have to happen anyways.  Here are five things on which I’d rather spend my energy, time, and thought.

1.  Watching movies: I’m not a huge movie buff but every once in a while I go on a tear of watching a lot of old movies.  I just saw Mean Streets, which I embarrassingly had not seen before, and liked it more than pretty much anything.  I’ve got some more good stuff on deck, and at this point I’d much rather lie down in bed with a cold drink and watch The Maltese Falcon than write another paper about Don Quixote.

2.  Lil Boosie’s Thug Passion mixtape: I’ve been really feeling this tape for the past few days. Boosie’s really great, and Thug Passion has a lot going for it.  I’ve been meaning to do a post about it just to get my thoughts down in writing and haven’t really had the time that it would take to do that in a satisfactory way.

3.  Eddie Campbell’s Alec comics: I want to reread these books because they’re some of my favorite comics, and they seem appropriate to the kind of mood I’ve been in a lot lately, but they’re pretty text-heavy, and these days when I have time to not be reading or writing for classes I’m trying to spend it on stuff that doesn’t use much brain-power.

4.  The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño: I finished reading this about a month and a half ago but it has really stuck with me.  It’s one of the more engaging books I’ve read in quite a while. It’s looking like I’m going to be writing at least part of my thesis next year about Bolaño, and at this point, I’m much more excited about that than anything going on in the classes I have left for this year.

5.  Drawing: Not much to say about this, but I haven’t logged any good drawing time lately, and it’s a downer.  I’m hoping to draw a whole lot this summer.

McCain/DOOM 09?

May 1, 2009

He talk to himself when he need someone to hate on

the black McCain campaign negative debate-a-thon

-DOOM, More Rhymin’

“No doubt,” says the father and admitted McCain voter. “If something ends, then something’s gonna start. So it’s like, what side are you on? Do you feel like your world is ending? Or do you feel like, ‘Wow, it seems like that’s ending and it’s the start of something new.’”

-DOOM, interview with Rolling Stone 

We (and by we here I mean I) tend to assume that the artists we like share certain basic political views, even though it’s often not the case.  I was certainly surprised to see DOOM shouting out John McCain-I think that, aside from Jeezy’s brief flirtation, which he quickly disavowed and atoned for, it’s the only instance of a major rapper announcing support for McCain.  But all this has been covered in a variety of places, a while ago, and I’m not that interested in the “did he really mean it?” or “how could he?” questions.  Rather, as Born Like This has been slowly burrowing into my subconscious, resonating more deeply with each listen, I’ve been thinking about how DOOM’s McCain endorsement, sincere or not, informs the album. It seems fitting to me that an album so far (and so willfully) removed from the current rap zeitgeist would reject the biggest consensus figure in hip-hop right now.  While most rappers want to be compared to Obama right now, the narrative DOOM has constructed around his career is a lot closer to McCain’s life story than his opponent’s.  It doesn’t seem too far of a stretch to me to equate DOOM’s years of stewing in obscurity in between the death of Sub-Roc and the release of Operation: Doomsday with McCain’s time as a POW, if not in magnitude then at least in function.  This is not to say that the two of them underwent the same thing, merely that these periods of disappearance occupy a similar place in each one’s career.  Obama is the ultimate status symbol, upward mobility taken to the highest possible end; he’s also a model of crossover appeal, one that seems to have been anticipated by the early success of Kanye and duly noted by Kanye’s would-be successors. None of these trends have much to do with DOOM though.  His music, especially on Born Like This, is a lot more negative than the cartoon samples and nerd friendly costumes would imply. Doesn’t it make sense that DOOM would identify with a guy who basically ran as the Count of Monte Cristo, with a campaign built on resentment and ill will? So if you haven’t heard the album yet, take some time to listen to it, it’s pretty great, and all the more so when you don’t have to live through the corresponding administration.