Monthly Archives: March 2009

takin’ it to the max

So I’d heard of Tucker Max, Bastard Extraordinaire, before (from my friend the Politico: “OH MY GOD, he is such an asshole! But I can’t stop reading his stories, unfortunately; they make me so fucking mad!”), but hadn’t remembered his name well enough to check out his website myself until last night. Now that I have, I see why people find him so hilarious (and such a dick). I’ve read four of, quote, ” The Tucker Max Stories” thus far, and they all seem to require six essential components:

1. Vodka
2. Vomit
3. Gap boxers (preferably pink)
4. Following his penis around like an abandoned puppy
5. Making fun of people
6. Referring to himself in the third person

He also calls himself an asshole pretty much all the time, which makes you feel like he’s pulling a Jessica Simpson of masculinity. In the same way I find it hard to believe that Jessica Simpson was dumb enough to confuse tuna with chicken (who the hell would put chicken in a tiny can marked with tunafish?!), I suspect Tucker Max of posing as a total dick. I’m not saying he’s not a jerk, but seriously. He had to be making some shit up. In which case, I guess that makes him more of an asshole? And furthermore: what the hell kind of culture are we living in that rewards people with fame/money/popularity for being a jackass?

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the happy swamping

I don’t know that Dinosaur Comics is particularly cool to like anymore. There are a few webcomics I know it’s still socially acceptable to be reading – say, A Softer World and Postsecret – but then there are some, like Questionable Content, where I worry I am being like that person who is still really genuinely into Saved By The Bell instead of enjoying it ironically like all her friends. (Disclaimer: I have never watched Saved By The Bell ever.) But tonight I wasn’t quite feeling up to reading one more freaking Restoration drama for class, and went back through the Dinosaur Comics archives. I can’t even explain how funny it is to me. Somehow Ryan North has gauged my sense of humor exactly: he knows that I want jokes about Middle English and poop and the Fresh Prince of Bel-air. Like this comic, for instance, had me laughing so hard I had to take a minute to get my breath again afterwards. Like, for real. Guys, this is the real deal. Appreciate it for what it is.

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Stuff Rachel Fucking Hates

Obnoxious Concertgoers. You know who you are. You are that fifteen-year-old girl who giggles with your friends through every song and tries to buy weed off my brother and wonders loudly whether anyone in the crowd would be willing to buy you a beer; you are that falling-down-drunk guy who is older than my dad but thought it would be a good idea to attend a concert with people 30 years younger than you and tries to start a fight with the abovementioned fifteen-year-old girl’s boyfriend because he accidentally steps on your foot; you are that guy behind me who keeps “accidentally” bumping into my ass and then apologizing insincerely; you are that wasted college junior whose loudly voiced opinions of the band change with the track – LES CLAYPOOL IS A GOD! or LES CLAYPOOL GO HOME!; you are that annoying-ass guy with the plaid bucket hat (who wears those? no one) who thinks it’s funny to put on a monkey mask and scream about bananas just before Saul William’s set. Go home, all of you.

People who don’t dance like Saul Williams. Which is everyone but Saul Williams. See Heather’s entry.

How veiny my feet are. It’s like all I have to do is take off my shoes for this horrifying preview of what I will look like all over at age 57.

The Game. Last night I had to sit through a forty-minute argument between a bunch of stoned indie kids about whether or not is is possible to either cheat at or win at The Game, which evolved into a bitter debate about the provability of an external reality. It is difficult to express in words how incredibly uninteresting this is to me. I know the pimple-faced sixteen-year-old who first explained to me how I had ‘just lost The Game’ in homeroom thought it was clever, but I am really over it. (Perhaps ironically, I really enjoyed the Michael Douglas movie of the same name. I understand there is a book and a rapper called the same thing. Feel free to share your opinion on those.)

Skinny white girl singer-songwriters on acoustic guitar. You are not bad people; you are just mediocre songwriters. I am tired of listening to you.

Rain rain go away, come again another day. It is cold.

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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

SAUL WILLIAMS. Ohemgee ohemgee.  We (me, obvo Rachel, the State) went to go see him live last night and I could feel my face melting.  He was that amazing.   And on a related note, have you seen him dance?!  The man is a human firework display.  He is a star.

Rambling aimlessly through the city. Today I met up with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time, so we spent a few hours just walking around and catching up.  Sometimes it feels really nice not to have a destination or purpose, you know?

“The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’ Brien. Okay, so this is one of those works that always gets assigned in high school or college –– and, as I discovered this week, reading it for the first time, there’s a reason for that.  Because it does what a story should do, dammit!  (I don’t care that it is written in a “nontraditional” format; leave Tim O’Brien alone.  He has been through enough.)

My roommate, the Soprano. I’ve been mooching off her toothpaste for about a month now, since I used up all mine, and even though I suspect she knows, she hasn’t said a word.  Additionally, as you might glean from her title, she is a singer –– and sometimes, when you’re so tired from the day you just want to flop on your bed and never get up, listening to muffled arias through the wall is kind of comforting.

The Beatles. I watched their Ed Sullivan appearance in a class this week.  It made me remember how much I love them –– even the early stuff.  (Perhaps I don’t show it as visibly as that twelve-year-old bawling in the Sullivan audience, but on the inside I am applauding.)

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i too have felt a heaviness

24 hours from now, I will have seen Saul Williams perform for the second time in my life. It is very possible it will not be as incredible as the first time; but that wouldn’t really be a fair standard to hold it to. Because that time was fucking amazing in a way that most live performances (most music, most people, most weekends, most things you ever do in your life) are not. Still, though, I am pretty freaking pumped. In honor of the occasion, I am sharing my top five Saul Williams songs/poems/tracks with the internet, along with youtube links. Get excited.

1987 I cannot explain what this is about; I only know that it is great. The beat is incredible and the words are even better. This is one of his most hip-hop-esque-in-the-traditional-sense pieces, I think; like, I can’t sing along with it out loud, or it will turn into one of those scenes like in that movie Down to Earth where everyone on the bus glares at the white girl singing “Now, my nigga Rafael just got his jeep out the shop/Mint green sidekick, custom-made rag top/”Strictly Business” is the album that we play/”You’re A Customer”; the pick of the day.”

Act III Scene 2 (Shakespeare) – There are so many levels of things that are great about this song. There’s so so so much wordplay; it really is like Shakespeare, except without the misogyny and having to write a paper on it afterwards. It is also just really intense, in a good way? Like, when I am done listening to it I want to go for an eight-mile run or pass a new bill through Congress or lead a protest or something.

Our Father – Maybe it is just because I have a whole bunch of father issues to go along with this song; but then again, who doesn’t? It is fantastic. It starts out with a super-long speech delivered by someone I can’t identify – it kind of sounds like Malcolm X, but I’ve never found a record of this speech. The first few lines of Saul himself are incredible, though, and the rest of the poem doesn’t let down.

Wine – It’s not a song that initially stands out on the album, but it really grows on you. Trust me on this one. Listen through a few  times, and then tell me that it doesn’t stay with you for the rest of the day.

S√heThis is both the hardest title to type out (it is spelled S-radical sign-he) and the least like a song. It is in fact a 20-minute spoken word poem. It’s really moving, and I have a lot of good memories about this; when I used to walk home from school to my house off-campus, this poem was the exact same length of my trip home. So the words would sort of blend in with the traffic and animals on the side of the road and the sunset and the trash and my footsteps, and fade out just as I reached my doorstep. It also has some of the greatest single lines Saul has written, in my opinion. “She told me my father had burned her in another life/she also told me that she loved me.” “Our relationship seemingly falling apart at the seams/but both our grandmothers were seamstresses/for a reason.” (Edit: I am not sure if this is exactly the right youtube video, but it is definitely Saul Williams doin’ some poetry, I’m sure it’s great.)

ALSO it turns out Saul was at SXSW last year, but I guess not this one?

ALSO I am going to see him tomorrow night. Oh my goodness!

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000 to the 1

Today is Ada Lovelace Day!  We here at Heather and Rachel Have Feelings (namely, Heather and Rachel) have a lot to celebrate.  Because if not for Ada Lovelace, the world’s first programmer, think of all the things we could be missing out on.  Electronic chess games wherein you put the computer player on Easy and still lose anyway!  Solitaire and/or Freecell*!  Girls majoring in computer science!  The growing female demographic on World of Warcraft!  Perhaps, THE VERY INTERNET!

What a scary place this world would be without Ada Lovelace.  We’d even lose out from a literary standpoint, as well as a technological one: the poet/part-time douchebag Lord Byron was her dad, and after he treated her mom Annabella like crap, Annabella took baby Ada and left him forever, which then inspired him to write the third canto of his poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage — it’s a big deal — in Ada’s name.  Now, as a lit geek, I have read Childe Harold, and I can guarantee you that the third canto is the best freaking part.  Some of his sentences are amazing.  And without Ada, we wouldn’t have that… or computer programming.  So seriously, guys, stand up and cheer.

*I don’t understand the difference between these games.  Yes, I realize there is one.  Please don’t try to explain it; you will fail.

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too many ideas, too little talent

Tonight at dinner both Rachel and the State started giving me crap about not posting as frequently, so now I’ve put in my laundry in and done some homework, here goes.  Sorry I have not been as up to it as Rachel; I was busy all last week, and this week distracted.  Every so often a hankering for a new project comes upon me and essentially takes over my brain until I’ve come up with a project idea, which then settles into the folds between brain-coils until it’s begun (even, in some cases, finished).   Last time, this blog was made.  Now, who knows.  I’ve already dabbled and failed in so many things –– skateboarding, guitar, piano, flute, serious portraiture (my Mom the Artist killed that one), entrepreneurship, fashion design, journalism, quilting, public office –– there’s almost nowhere to go from here.  I have a camcorder and like making short videos, but who do I know that’s willing to star in one?  (No one trusts me that I won’t put it on youtube.) So then I thought about getting all up on Twitter, like everyone else is suddenly doing, but I already have a Facebook and abandoned LJ in addition to this, so what’s even the point?  I am not interesting enough for even as many webpages as I currently have.  Assembling my life into 140-character bits is not going to make me instantaneously, seductively fascinating.  Considering that it might is as futile as the time I thought about rapping part-time.  (It was back when Christina Aguilera came out with that “Will the Real Slim Shady Please Shut Up?” parody, so… sometime in middle school, I think?  The point is, that phase of my life is dead.  The last time I chanced rapping in public, the State literally fell on the ground laughing.  We were outside and he lay on the dirty sidewalk, unable to breathe, for a good three minutes.)

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