Archive for the 'Pop Culture' Category



Some timely shit…

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    Jasper Johns, Map (1961)

In lieu of writing a piece that touches on all the crazy shit that’s been goin’ on, I thought I’d just aggregate some old shit that was pertinent. So just click that link for a few bits (of varying length) about the zeitgeist and our condition an’ shit. If you don’t have the time and/or patience to slog through all that just peep this.

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    Thomas Couture, Romans in the Decadence of the Empire (1847)

Whenever a well-known person passes a few likely characters rush to the social media forefront: There’ll be longtime admirers offering condolences; heartfelt paeans that reduce to: “I didn’t know the deceased personally, but their work provided a welcomed respite from the mundane, beat-to-predictable-ass-beat of existence and/or is inextricably linked to some profound moments in my life. For that I am eternally thankful.” Responding to them will be the ‘contrarians’ sharing stories about the well-known person’s living indiscretions, or sarcastically asking: “Where were all these tears when [BLANK] died or [BLANK] happened?,” or referring to the condolence-offerers as ‘sheep’ and/or ‘stupid’ for grieving for someone they didn’t ‘really’ know. (They may also cumbersomely shoehorn their agendas into these rebukes.) And lastly, there’ll be a contingent of coldly detached folks offering annoyingly professorial, above-it-all, highly presumptuous opinions about everyone involved.

The rub: The fact that the well-known person is the beacon that brings all these diverse peoples together is a profound testament to the luminary’s broad cultural appeal. Each one of these people—no matter the positive or negative ‘natures’ of their expressions—are ‘equally’ mystified participants in an orgy of public ‘reaction’ to a ‘singular’ event.

A Fag, a Nigger and a Spic walk into a trap…

An ‘offensive‘ joke that references race, religion, sexuality or any other ‘sensitive’ is like a fragrant, impossible-to-resist hunk of cheese that attracts identity fetishists; brings them out into the light and then SMACK!!! traps ’em. Now we can all gawk at ’em; see just who among us is ADDICTED to their superficial identities; see who is fighting tooth-an’-nail to keep their heads above the surface; the ones afraid to dip below to that unifying regardless-of-‘who’-you-THINK-you-are-love-is-love-and-fear-is-fear place. That ‘bloody truth’ that comedians trade in.

The great thing about a (good) ‘offensive’ joke (not talkin’ about that hacky “look at me saying ‘nigger’ without any context just for a cheap unfunny thrill” shit) is how it exposes the diversity of our fakeness. I think some comics avoid mining this territory because they fear people who—simply because the comic doesn’t look like them—may feel ‘obligated’ to protest, which (given the vociferousness/notoriety/level of ‘victimhood’ of the protester) could result in the comic getting labeled (read: ceremoniously ‘branded’) a Racist™, Sexist™, Homophobe™, etc.

But you know what?

Continue reading ‘A Fag, a Nigger and a Spic walk into a trap…’

Is human existence nothing but a protracted suicide?

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When it comes to the Gun Debate™ I can’t really pick a side. Like most ‘divisive’ issues I can see it both ways so getting mired in a tedious back-and-forth is of little interest to me, but what is VERY interesting to me is the gun’s origin story; ‘why’ do they even exist? I mean seriously, what kind of suicidal-ass creature creates a device that within a near-instant can render a fellow member of its species dead? ESPECIALLY such a prone-to-flying-off-the-handle species?! Why would THAT species create a device that allows it to exact such devastating finality during aggressively temporary, highly emotionally-charged moments? Maybe it is this very nature that’s responsible for its creation. But what is ‘behind’ this nature? Why is this creature given to such destructive snap judgments? Is it fear? If so, what is it afraid of? Is it something external or internal? Perhaps this creature—hyper aware of the dark, twisted vagaries of its so-called ‘intelligent‘ mind—is deathly afraid of ‘itself.’ After all, this is a species that spends much of its time dreaming up all sorts of terrifying scenarios and then when… BANG! they happen in real-life those fears become legitimized and it now has a ‘justifiable reasons‘ to arm itself.

Also, since this is a species saddled with so much crippling self-doubt that it doesn’t ‘believe’ it can EVER change its volatile nature (and since it feels regret and guilt for the destruction this ‘uncontrollable‘ nature causes) perhaps these efficient life-destroyers were created to allow them to ‘detach’ from the ‘barbarism’ of killing (read: bullshit themselves into feeling ‘relatively’ innocent). Instead of bashing a fellow human’s skull in they can just pull a trigger, dispatch a drone, drop a bomb, fire a missile. It’s much ‘cleaner.’

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

I wonder if they’re ‘for real’ now; if they’ve moved on from their ‘angsty teenager crying for help’ phase and are now serious about this wiping themselves from the face of the globe thing. I mean just look at how blisteringly fast their new-fangled death instruments can destroy vast swaths of themselves?! Maybe they’re ‘really’ gonna do it this time. Maybe they’ve had enough of prolonging the seemingly inevitable. Maybe they’re finally ready to put themselves out of their existential misery.

“I don’t hate you as much as I hate myself.”

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“Please don’t illuminate my wackness by celebrating a lifestyle I desperately wish I could lead. I’m not asking you to be ‘really’ humble, I just need you to fake it in the media. You know, deadpan some bullshit sports platitudes. The pundits will call you a Class Act™ and I can invoke your name when I’m trying not to come off as a bitter my-life-is-a-failure-my-kids-don’t-respect-me-and-my-wife-is-fucking-her-25-year-old-personal-trainer jackass. I’ll say shit like, ‘Why can’t the rest of ’em be more like so-and-so?’ Can you please do that for me? I mean just look at me, I’m part of a contingent of straight middle-aged men who wear the family names of much younger men on our backs. If you don’t allow me to assert ‘at least’ a modicum of superiority over you shit could get kinda weird.”

Don’t worry ‘Current Person Suffering Through A Moment of Intense E-Ridicule,’ it’s only gonna last a few days (like 2-3 tops) and then we’ll be on to the next schadenfreude beacon. Speaking of which: Who was the last person to suffer a few days of manic e-ridicule? For bonus points: Who was the person before them? For the all-expenses-paid trip to Tokyo Disney: Who was the person before THEM?!

“This isn’t canon!!!”

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The following is a treatment for a Batman v. Superman flick that I dumped unsolicited style in an FB comments section a few years ago. Quick note: I wasn’t considering “Man of Steel” when I wrote this. It was a standalone thing. All right, no further adieu, enjoy.

Gotham has become overrun with criminals. The aging Batman is overwhelmed. Gotham’s citizens, just becoming hip to this new ‘super man’ in Metropolis begin to publicly wonder if he can come save their crime-ridden city. This is a blow to Batman’s ego. He is jealous. He feels inferior. Tries to deny the feeling as it is causing him immense shame (he’s not ‘supposed’ to feel this way). After an unsuccessful battle with one of Gotham’s new criminal leaders he falls into a deep depression, questions himself, wonders if he should just hang it up. At the same time Superman logos begin appearing all over Gotham, usually paired with messages pleading for the Man of Steel to come to Gotham. Batman becomes a jealous, inferiority complex-riddled mess.

Now for the ‘controversial’ twist…
Continue reading ‘“This isn’t canon!!!”’