Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the internet is killing us all.

A director’s cut, using the alternate ending, was uploaded just last week and isn’t faring nearly as well. Devastation69 called it “Sucktastic…go slink off and die,” while MrHappyPants remarked that, although it was a noble experiment, ultimately it was too Kafkaesque and he couldn’t relate.
the point here, is the point here:
At some recent point, bacon became a meme. Bacon. The cured pork product that has been a staple food for hundreds of years was suddenly a fashion accessory for Internet style-mongers. There were odes and T-shirts and cartoons. People taped bacon to their cats and took photos. It was so ubiquitous that I started to hate bacon.
No one should ever have to hate bacon.
What used to be an amusing byproduct of Internet use has mutated into something horrible: an insatiable parasite that impairs its host's judgment, rendering it totally useless. Instead of acting as an organic cultural touchstone, the modern meme -- from LOL, which hasn't been used to signify physical laughter since 1997, to Lolcats -- now sucks the joy out of our interconnectedness. It destroys uniqueness. Once an "enjoyable thing" becomes a "meme," we stop enjoying the thing for its own sake, but consume and regurgitate our enjoyment of it as a symbol of hipness, as if to say: "I am aware of this thing's popularity -- therefore I, too, exist!"
But the short life span of the average meme means it can't imprint itself on the human psyche in any real way. We want instant nostalgia, and what we get is manufactured zeitgeist. The faster memes spread, the more homogenized online conversation becomes, until a few phrases dominate the discourse.
(And if you've never had the unfortunate occasion to hear someone, forgetting that life is not a message board, yell "FAIL!" aloud, you are missing out on an exquisite kind of existential rage.)
Life on the Internet moves too fast. There's no time to let experience meet friction, or to absorb and truly reconstitute information. So slow down, breathe, and appreciate what's real in life.
the call to end memes will(/HAS(?)) become itself a meme. the center cannot hold; the internet will surely collapse on itself. if we're going to continue this friendship, we'll have to do it with faces. come over this weekend. we'll have a beer and a chat. it'll be just like real life.

just in case, best get this in now.
Robyn - Hang With Me official video from Robyn on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GIF of the day

i don't even remember my life before mad men. 


Friday, July 23, 2010

relevant musical offerings

don't you dare watch these until you've accomplished something with your day.

always be closing

always be the first to admit you haven't been partying your summer pants as hard as you ought to. 

make a plan and stick to it. build a shoe rack. exercise your agency, your listless, flabby agency.

here's a photo of a puffin that won't stand for your excuses: 
quit whining and make things! 

for pete's - no, screw pete, for yours, for your own damn sake, take account of your time and spend it well. summer's not going to wait around forever. he never does. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

inspired by lawanda (and a returning sense of peace)

in the spirit of temperance and capital m Maturity, this is not in fact going to be a post subtitled "and that's how much fuck wicker park."

this will not be a post about the recent miss wicker park pageant and you will not find me besmirching anyone's fuckstupid good (self-assigned nick)name here. this is a slander-free zone.

furthermore, i will assume that the young father in the dockers shooting eye daggers at me while i was smoking outside of olivia's market was a decent guy, an Every Man in khaki pants, a concerned citizen. i will not comment on the fact that he walked out of olivia's market with a goddess and the grocer bag and i respect his right to eyeshank me for indulging my filthy habits in a public space. live local, guys.

it does not upset me in the least that wicker park has single handedly created and perpetuated the belief that good mexican food is wholly contingent on the availability of freshly butchered pork belly. this is primarily because i do in fact recognize the currency of pork belly tacos in an economy like summer, and also because i've decided to allow others to be right when they tell me exactly how mexican i am or am not. i don't want to fight, white friends. you're right. you're always right. my spanish is miserable and my cultural identity a gimmick greater even than whiskey and tacos. go fuck yourself.  you are right.

this is not a post about that's how much fuck wicker park because 60647 is a series of numbers that signify nothing about a person's value as a human being or a friend, because assholes are everywhere, and because - let's stop with all this joking! -  i'm not about to stop going to big star.

what this is is the inaugural post in our new series, "neighborhood pageantry and 'accidental' performance art: a living poem."


Monday, July 12, 2010

on selfish phases

here is where i'd put a video of a pug doing ballet in a tutu, but *some people* tell me i don't have to share everything.

i am growing up so hard right now.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

it's gonna work out fine

i can't stop thinking about the hot chip cover of joy division's "transmission."

is it weird? is it damnable? is it fun? these questions, these and others have been keeping me awake.

the humidity keeps me awake. the dog's incessant lapping, head shoved without shame into the cup of water beside my bed. he is stealing my water and keeping me awake. thinking about hot chip and ian curtis and how long it's been since i've danced really, really hard.  the sun's determination to tear itself asunder. the excitement to see this broad tomorrow. the strange and intense urge to have my palm read. wondering what god do i have to believe in to get my hands on some central air conditioning - not a moral failure but an extravagance, a wonder, a marvel of mankind, much like antiseptics and the hanging gardens of babylon - keeps me awake. the absurdity of the things that keep me awake. this too. obviously.

but while awake tonight, i'm going to watch this video over and over and goddamnit tina if i don't believe you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

sister cities!

an open letter

Dear Chicago Summer,

I plan to spend a little bit of time with you in the very near future and I am highly judgmental. Soooo, I was thinking... if you're still looking for a judge or two for this Prince/King-of-Pop Art Contest judges panel, I'd love to join up or in or both. And if you're not convinced, I can seduce you with the fun ways in which grammatical symbols change the meaning of Prince/King-of-Pop Art Contest. Or not, whatever.

See you soon, shithead. (I love you!)

Yours truly and always,
on a coast west of you,
in a state that's golden--
the foggy part,
where in summer, fall, winter, and spring,
it's always cardigan season,
at least in the mornings and evenings--
and forever,
San Francisco

things i find more useful than my fax machine

an empty box
oliver, who doesn't even have basic data entry skills
automobile emergency brakes
brita faucet attachments
puka shells
h*****r runoff
the chicago cubs
gender binaries
my stolen copy of the wind up bird chronicle
pizza tango
bank of america customer service employees
reality as perceived by the new york times
the money shot
television programs that explain the internet
duck crossings
my 5th grade yearbook
a single potato
your lack of enthusiasm

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

is that all there is?

we were a hispanic flautist, a darling goth, a secret millionaire, a former bible salesman, The Worst, and an alcoholic with several advanced degrees in esoteric physics, sharing a house. the last of these slept - or rather passed some time -in the room directly below mine. 

for a month in 2006, i quite suddenly became intensely fascinated by and even a touch fixated on black matter and the shapes and shaping of the universe. i spent a lot of time thinking about gravity and staring out of windows. i wrote bad poetry and frequently used the term "negative space." i contemplated string theory as metaphor and talked to men about god. 

it was a stupid month. 

toward the end of it, i discovered via CocktailConversation with the brilliant soak that he'd been in the midst of an insidious bout of insomnia for weeks and spent many of his 3ams - 7ams with a bottle of heaven's hill and "a brief history of time" on tape, played on a half-broken boombox whose volume was stuck somewhere between "soft enough to avoid pissing off roommates" and "loud enough to be heard through my floorboards." i laughed wildly and felt immediately sane. explained to him i must have been hearing his book in my sleep. felt the reason and sufferability seep back into my bones. he pulled from his afternoon spliff and muttered, "i think i'm losing my mind." 

i wonder what happened to that guy.

here is a photograph of the whole damn universe taken from a million miles into space, a measurement i don't know how to understand. 

via esa and a shitload of euros. 

transformers 3: coming to a downtown near you!

well, near me anyway. Transformers 3 is filming at LaSalle and Washington in Chicago from Friday, July 9 to Monday, July 12. I have the day off on Friday, which I think means that my boss wants me to professionally develop my stunt skills.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Dear colleagues,

As summer merrily ticks by (I saw a commercial for football season the other morning, and I'm not using football in the World Cup way), the Corporation finds itself with two invitingly blank bags boards. The Board has decided, therefore, to commission some Art.

  • The challenge. Design and implement two complementary pieces of Art, one regarding Michael Jackson and one contemplating Prince. The Art will be the bags boards; bags boards will be Art.
  • The prize. Bragging rights, right of first refusal (ROFR) for the inaugural bags game to be played on the boards once the Art is finished, a lifetime supply of key lime pie, and a bottle of Buffalo Trace.
  • The deadline. We will accept entries until July 26. Once a winner is selected, we require the Art to be finished no later than the September Birthday Party, though we would prefer a faster turnaround time on the Art such that we can play lots of bags games all summer.
  • The entries. We would like to see a proposal for your Art. You can communicate that proposal in any way you see fit: a short film, sketches, dioramas, or skits would all be appropriate. The proposal can be mailed to Corporate Headquarters, emailed to Chicago Summer (address below), or hand delivered to any Trustee of the Corporation (i.e., cc, the klook, oliver).

Please email all questions, including requests for information about the bags boards as they currently exist, to Chicago Summer at


Is this a real contest?

How can I become a judge for the contest?
There are still a few spots open on the Panel of Judges. Submit your application to be a Judge to Chicago Summer at

Can I be a judge and submit a proposal?
Of course not.

How much key lime pie is "a lifetime supply"?
You tell me!

Thanks for participating. We welcome questions and comments to Chicago Summer (see contact information above).

Best regards,

The Corporation.

these are all real goals.

These real plans came from a special gentleman joining us virtually from the Garden State. He sent this ages ago, but I've been too busy with fireworks and beach volleyball to check my email on a regular basis.

Plans this summer? Email them to Chicago Summer at!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

add it to the playlist

cee-lo, who has never done wrong by me, covers band of horses, makes this video, continues to be so great. warning: not getting the f out. there are t's.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

meditations on love, or: i didn't accidentally kill our dog last night

One day love
is mere

Someone needs something.

You sing them your song.

On another day love
is purely
a possession. 

You want something.

Someone paints
your picture. 

Graham Foust

and on a third day, maybe, love is frantically chasing your infirm and unemployed mutt around the living room, occasionally trying in vain to shove your hand in his mouth to help him yak up the rib tip he just swallowed whole, the greedy idiot.