Posts Tagged 'Pop Culture'

Some shit about Paul Thomas Anderson…

In my late teens, early 20s I had a love/hate relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson. At the time I was an aspiring filmmaker and I couldn’t get over how ridiculously young Anderson was when he, not only wrote, but directed flicks like “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” (all released before he turned 30). I desperately wanted to find some way to dismiss this dude’s immense talent. My wish was granted when the Jealous, Ambitionless Wannabes Who Get Off On Calling Out The Derivative Qualities of Contemporary Works of Popular Art hipped me to “Raging Bull,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “Short Cuts.” Turned out this so-called ‘wunderkind’ was merely riffing on old shit?! Sometimes even lifting entire scenes from these old flicks???!!! I was so relieved; like a fat slob who thinks that if he could just get his hands on some steroids he would be just as good as Barry Bonds, but then something hit me…

PTA, early in his career, was like a virtuoso hip hop producer. His movies (most notably “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia”) were like those breathless Oscar montages where a fleeting, staccato blur of the more evocative moments of several well-known movies is presented over sweeping orchestral scores. He wasn’t ‘stealing,’ he was merely sampling, re-appropriating the imagery of artists like Scorsese, Altman and De Palma, while adding a flavor all his own.

I really dig the groove he has settled into lately. His recent flicks feel like the kinda films an ‘extroverted’ Terrence Malick would make.

More Broken Record Shit

“All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distortion Field is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.” 2001 forum entry critical of the then yet-to-be-released iPod.

As I say often, ‘myopia is a helluva drug,’ but I’m gonna refrain from taking the opportunity to snark-down-my-nose-at-people-who-like-to-shit-on-vision (they’re actually necessary, they test the visionary’s resolve) that 15 years of hindsight affords; instead I wanna rap about another topic I incessantly blather on about, and that is the remarkable phenomenon that makes access to such ‘ancient’ thought possible; just think: all the back-and-forth rantin’ an’ ravin’ we’re doing on this worldwide web thing is being stored and categorized and will likely be ‘excavated’ by our future descendants, and this wealth of information will not only include what we publicly share, but our text, email and social media messages; the shit-talking we do in ‘private’ groups (as well as our ‘private’ or ‘incognito’ internet browsing histories), videos, pics, and perhaps even CCTV recordings (now THAT would be crazy).

Imagine the ‘picture’ that will be gleaned from the digital mark you leave behind. I’m actually not (too) afraid of this; even though I’ll probably come off like a perverted, needy, emotionally abusive, narcissistic sociopath. Although this seems to be a severe breach of privacy, I put myself in the shoes of my descendants and think how cool it would be to have access to the messy and contradictory thought processes of my ancient ancestors (their version of “I can’t believe it! In two days I’m marrying the love of my life!” on the main feed / “I can’t stand my fiance. I’m actually in love with her sister.” in the private group), instead of the our-ancestors-were-all-gods-amongst-men-thing-that-says-more-about-our-need-to-associate-ourselves-with-ancient-greatness-as-a-cover-for-our-crippling-insecurity-than-anything-else. Screw that. I wanna know about my ancient African/Asian/European/etc. slacker, fuck-up, queer, outcast, artistic brethren. I wanna be emboldened by THEIR stories.

With all that said, this brave new world of unfettered access to ancestral mores is not one-hundred percent guaranteed; a strong coronal mass ejection (shotgun blast of electromagnetically charged particles from the sun) could wipe all this shit out, creating a ‘flood’ of sorts; ‘cleansing’ the world of our ethereal ‘sins’.

Speaking of digital and ancient stuff…

Enhanced Performance

In my late-20s, for a little less than a year, I flirted with performance enhancing drugs; not HGH, steroids or anything like that, but the stuff you could get from those shops that are always right outside of chain gyms (the ones usually with ‘muscle’ and/or ‘nutrition’ in their titles). Even though what I was taking were like Skittles compared to what the big boys were droppin’ an’ shootin’ I did notice an ‘enhancement’ to my workout routines and subsequent play on the court. In the gym I could heavy-rep heavy weight and on the basketball court I was able to just ‘do shit,’ like go from thinking ‘I’m gonna tomahawk dunk over that guy’ to tomahawk dunking over that guy. This was stuff I could do before, but not this ‘professionally.’ Everything felt ‘relatively easier’ than it did before, which was sexy as hell. It felt beyond-good to be warming up before a game knowing I was about to do some ridiculous shit once the ball was tipped, and that the people in the stands were gonna freak the fuck out when I did it. And this was just RECREATIONAL ball (highly competitive, but still just weekend warrior shit). I could ONLY IMAGINE how dick-hardening it would be to pull off that kinda shit on the professional stage. Speaking of which…

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Faux Shame


If I post a pic of my not-in-the-greatest-shape self talking about how I am ‘just’ as sexy as The Rock, while knowing damn well that I WISH I had the determination and drive to put the work into my body that he does, and then cry that I am being ‘body shamed’ the second someone calls attention to my love handles I am full of fucking shit!1 And ironically, my NEED to ‘flaunt’ would expose just how much I LACKED confidence. If I ACTUALLY felt like I was The Shit™ I wouldn’t need to seek corroboration or shout down critics with platitudinous bullshit.

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Turf Wars: Black Feminists v. Black Masculists


Welcome to the first installment of what I hope will be a regular series where I dissect the various ‘battles’ I see being waged between two (ironically) intrinsically linked factions, as in: Their constant fight is what defines their respective identities.

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For tha love of country


For as long as I can remember it has never been ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ to be patriotic. Such a thing is typically associated with Second Amendment dick-riding, Fox News-watching, pickup truck driving, big-ass flag waving middle-aged white men, aka the DEFINITION of uncool. But here’s the thing: Hip hop (the current EPITOME of cool) is incredibly patriotic…in-its-own-unique-way. On damn near every hip hop album you’ll find lyrics gushing about the American cities from which the artists hail, replete with endearing nicknames: The Boogie Down, The Chi, The ATL, The Town, The Sucka Free—the list goes on an’ on; and these towns don’t exist anywhere else in the world, but thanks to hip hop, the neighborhoods—and sometimes single streets, blocks or intersections—within these quintessentially American cities are now internationally known. Tell me that shit ain’t patriotic as fuck.

Support Our Fears


I think some of the more zealous Support The Troops™ noise out there is over-compensation for an intense feeling of guilt; not over what we ‘let’ our government do to ‘our boys,’ but what we let our fear do to them. Our fear is what sent them ‘over there,’ to die and be maimed (physically and/or mentally). We saw this…

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