ethos, ethos & ethos

Source: LA Times

I know fawning over Obama is so 2008, but the dude emits so much cool I couldn’t help but feel a little patriotic.  These newly released shots from Barry as a college freshman are, weirdly enough, exceptionally comforting.  If a guy who smoked reefer, chased girls and wore panama hats on the regular could go on to become the most powerful man in the world, surely we can all do a little better than we already are.   

That, and if Drizzy can go from playing a cripple on a Canadian tween soap opera to this…

…I’m with it. 

Fresh as hell.

//C

“i’m not a hipster” said the hipster

This morning my friend sent me a link to this piece in NY Mag about a casting call for a reality show in Williamsburg.

Did you wake up today around 1:30 EST in your industrial loft, pull on your favorite (and only) pair of cutoff jean shorts, and take a leisurely stroll down Bedford Avenue in search of organic green juice and the new DFA on vinyl? Do you tap the family trust fund every time you need to make rent? (or do you have to fix bikes for a living?) Does your tattoo have a story to tell? Do you jam with a hardcore band on the weekends and DJ on the weeknights? Are you cooking tofu right now for you and your seven roommates? Do you barely make it into Manhattan three days a week for “college”? Is that handlebar mustache merely for comedic effect?

I found this to be semi-relevant in light of the recent post about Oi! music and image projection versus perception written by my cohort.   Hipsters (in the caricatured sense) hate being labeled “hipsters”, because the culture niches itself on a foundation of originality and authenticity.  And here, things get tricky, because in practice labeling anything puts said labeled-thing into a neat little category for organization and standardization– a 180-degree contradiction to the “hipster” ethos whichs brings all sorts of conflicting weirdness to the forefront.

Recently, a friend and I came up with a way to measure how much common sense a person has: common sense can be estimated by determining the difference between what a person projects themselves to be versus what they really are (which can be determined by how other people would describe them).  If the gap between what the person thinks themselves to be versus what they really are is vastly different, that person falls more on the delusioned side of the common-sense spectrum.  We all know someone like this, and usually treat everything that person says with the same care and affection shown towards a small child or puppy.

However, being delusional about one’s self  isn’t necessarily a bad thing (like being a small child or puppy).  Delusion connotes “social weakness” in our modern vocabulary because it insinuates that we’re dependant on other people to feel validated.  For whatever reason, individuality and the ability to “be yourself” is something put upon a pedestal, and when people are overly relient on others we frown upon them for such needy behaviour (which is, weirdly enough, another defense mechanism!  Confused? Me too).

But but but, this idea of frowning on social validation is weird to me because we are, first and foremost, social creatures! *dun dun dun!!!*  I (and I say I with a self-aggrandizing sense of entitlement) don’t subscribe to the belief that depending on others to make you feel good about yourself is a bad thing– it has its limits, yes, and it can get annoying– however, social validation is healthy for us on an individual level because it gives us peace of mind, which can’t can’t CAN’T be overstated enough.  It’s why Facebook, Twitter, and all this other community stuff exists in the first place– everyone, now matter how much they deny it, measures themselves in different extents based upon the feedback we get from others. We can’t get by on mirrors alone, no matter how capable we’d think ourselves to be.  And we aren’t meant to.

On the other side of the self-awareness spectrum, usually those who are acutely observant of their environment and self are bummed out by what they see.  Many of the best artists, writers and musicians throughout history (sidenote: that sentence sounds lame), were more or less, as depressed as they were genius. This example paints a neat little corrollary between the average person’s level of delusion/self-awareness and their level of overall happiness.

So…. the divide is as follows: on one hand, we have a bunch of hyper-aware acutely observational people kicking-rocks around being sad and ANGRYYYYY about things, and on the other, we have a bunch of delusional happy people who see the world through tunnel vision kaleidoscopes and butterflies (this isn’t an explicit either/or, but you can more or less fit people into one category better than the other).

Which brings me back to the hipster label.  Hipsters fall into a weird category (not unto themselves) because they fall on the non-sensical side of the spectrum, but at the same time project themselves to be hyper-sensitive to their surrounding world (ie artsy-fartsy).  By displaying yoursef a certain way (girl pants, beards, Macbooks, etc.), you set up for others to perceive you a certain way, and the defiance hipsters use to shield the hipster label is in many ways a strange, strange self-victory because it’s the external acknowledgement of what they put themselves out to be.

“god, i hate hipsters.” – non-hipster
“god, i hate hipsters.” – hipster

So meta.

Some of these same concepts can be applied towards  other social constructions we tend to label people as (punks, bros, hypebeasts, trekkies, backpackers, socialites, “normal people”, etc.). The hipsterverse provides a fun case to look at because, well, like its precedessor, the emo-verse, hipsters provide one of the rare cases where the denouncement of the label serves to define it.

Plus, I wear girl pants, carry a Moleskine, ride a fixie with no brakes, listen to obscure music (and rap!), think I’m better than everyone else, AND live in Brooklyn, buuuuut (!!!!) I swear I’m not a hipster!!!*

So… what’s the point?  Allow me cheat a bit to and go into BULLET MODE:

– People, on the most superficial of levels (where labeling is passed most easily), are more or less the same.
– People, on a personalized level, are more or less different, which is where individuality actually occurs.
– Labeling is, more or less, pretty fun!
– Perception = sadness = art.
– Delusion = happiness = non…art?
– Chris is so keenly self aware he defies ALL labels and categorization… save “genius” and “super handsome.”

…and we’re all special =) =D =P

❤❤❤

//C

*So hipster.

Oi! Oi! Oi! Punx are ded!

Yesterday, while partaking in a regular coffee shop conversation at our favorite local spot (a Starbucks in an Albertson’s market) and during a riveting discussion about Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters, my friend and I were interrupted by a group of hideous looking miscreants in black staring at us from outside.  A casual glance at the ugliest of the group–the one I assumed to be the volatile; complex leader–aroused his more animalistic tendencies (Suicidal Tendencies rather HAHA, this joke will make more sense in a little bit unless you just don’t know).  He started making what seemed to be threatening remarks at me.  What followed was a rather long, pointless, and rather indiscernible series of sign language commentary between myself and this person outside.

“Don’t respond.  They’re just trying to get attention,” said my companion.

With this I tried to get back into my dissertation regarding the fantastic science fiction writing that I had forgotten about for so long in this book that I found in a box alongside Slam City with Scottie Pippen for the Sega CD.  Regardless, the diligent little bugger wouldn’t stop and I couldn’t help but be distracted and continue my communications with him.

My friend turns around and gives them a double middle finger.  I smile at the group and throw a rather nervous peace sign at them thus creating some weird hippie vs. punk confrontation that I didn’t want to be a part of because I knew, at that point, that I had become the hippie and hippies suck.  Unsurprisingly, they responded with an ironic set of peace signs, an obvious attack at my gesture of unity.  Then they made some insolent sign language comment about homosexuality and I responded by staring at the ugly leader and signaling to him that he’d better cut this shit.

They then sent an envoy.

“Hey how’s it going guys?” asked the beanie wearing runt dressed in studded leather vest, skinny jeans, and an assortment of punk patches, “We seriously need two more dollars to get a twelve pack of beer.  I was wondering if you guys could spot us?”

Looking at the guy, I noticed he had a Sham 69 patch on his jeans.  Sham 69 is an original Oi! punk band that I can only describe by comparing them to two of my favorite Oi! bands of the era.

My favorite group is Cock Sparrer. 

Right behind them is Chron Gen.

That said, these two bands are polars for me whenever I discuss Oi!.  On one end, you have Cock Sparrer who, for me, are pop song geniuses who just so happened to be playing their beautiful pieces alongside the inebriated chants of a group of leather clad Oi! Oi! Oi! pub crawlers.  In all seriousness, if an art museum–note: ART MUSEUM–opened up an aural arts exhibit and dedicated one section to the smile inducing melodies of great pop songcraft, I’d have these guys put alongside The Jam and Buzzcocks in some ‘Rebel, Rebel’ exhibit akin to a Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Basquiat abstract expressionist set-up exploding the boring confines of the reality around them. 

I sincerely think that, despite their apparent rebelliousness on the outside, that these Oi! characters are just simple (at least initially) and only want the most debased and unacceptable as a means of disconnecting themselves from the rest of us.  That being said, they ultimately just fall into a boring model of PUNK.  Luckily for the scene, the bands that they worship are generally very brilliant at creating pop music.  I mean, it’s almost a requisite considering that you will have a group of drunks chanting along to your tunes.  Anyways, I don’t want to get too deep into this just yet.  More later.

Chron Gen is the other polar for me.  They’re a less melodic, more intelligent band.  I mean, this is stuff that you can still chant to, however, it takes a bit more thought.  The music is, relatively, more monotonous and minimal and, as a result, requires more patience from the listener. 

For me, Sham 69; and a lot of the Oi! punk bands for that matter, fall into the gray and dull in-between.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy listening to them or The Business or Charged GBH.  I do.  However, it isn’t as affecting to me as the two aformentioned bands.  It’s just normal, run of the mill Oi!.

That said, I’m really not that big into Sham 69.

“Sorry, I only carry card,” said my friend.

I replied in the same way and briefly contemplated the rather bourgeois sentiment of our replies.

As the guy motions understanding and begins to walk away I call for his attention,”Good band.”

He turns around and tries to discern which band on his attire I was talking about.

“Sham 69,” I say.

He smiles.  “Hell yeah.”

He waves and turns around to join his group outside.  Before he completely disappears, however, he turns back to us and with the simple pride of a partly-cloudy patriot he proclaims,”Peace, Pot, and Prosperity.”  Or something. 

All the while, the ugly leader has entered what appears to be a spastic fit and begins staring at the back of my friend’s head, flicking him off, swinging his arms, and having a rather entertaining freak out.  I begin laughing and telling my friend that this guy is being a spaz until the guy accidently punches the window that separates us from a possibly more physical confrontation.  With this, he starts giggling and runs away.

“Peace, pot, and prosperity”

The problem with rock’n’roll, punk rock, or whatever is that the modus operandi is simple: sex, drugs, and whatever (because if you’re into punk you must hate Led Zeppelin after all).  It’s this simple model that many generations of wasters have followed and fallen by for so many generations.  Seeing a rocker walking around wasted, with girl under arm, and leather jacket/boots/hair, cigarette romantically in mouth is about as fun these days as a series of gumball machines in the middle of a mall. 

Sid and Nancy YEAH!

And, when it comes down to it, that’s the most ironic thing about all of these people–in this case the punks we ran into.  They must think that they’re ‘bombing the system’ or something by dissecting themselves from normalcy and walking around being annoying assholes.  They listen to bands like Sham 69 and think they’re chanting and fighting as some sort of drunken group of ‘Rebels without a Cause.’  However, they’re just following a model as old as Robert Johnson and then some.  It’s this inherent connection between debauchery, rebellion, and the music that spans all genres and wastes all in its path.  When it comes down to it, these guys, walking through the otherwise dormant shopping center like rats in the Waldorf-Astoria, are just robots; following the equation and doing nothing much beyond being obnoxious little buggers.

That’s not to say that the normal rock’n’roll model can’t be something interesting.  It’s just that the period for doing something cool with that mentality has passed.  Chuck Berry begets The Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin, etc and then it’s game over.  It’s just stock footage now.

Regarding punk music specifically, the true trailblazing icons; for me, aren’t these Oi! bastards and their pub shit (besides Cock Sparrer and Chron Gen of course =)).  Instead, they’re The Clash, PiL, Ian MacKaye, Lydia Lunch, Arto Lindsay, Sonic Youth, and Bad Brains amongst others.  Each of these performers were or contributed to something that really changed the way we, as music listeners, perceive things.  That said, the most important part is that they weren’t trying to televise the revolution.  Instead, they did things for themselves.  The music they created and the scene that fostered because of that were self-enclosed indulgences for the members of the bands and their art.  The effects they’d have on culture and society were just an unnecessary by-product.

Ian MacKaye, for me specifically, holds a very special position in the pantheon of truly great artists.

He singlehandedly exploded the Sid and Nancy complex that punk music was suffering from as a legitimate punk rocker walking around exclaiming “Don’t Smoke, Don’t Drink, Don’t Fuck.”  With this, he inspired generations of kids, X’s on hands and all, to eschew the old-fashioned rock’n’roll model and simply enjoy the bands they love so much.  Although the straight-edge scene would teeter between true ideological positivity and militaristic conformity, at least these kids were doing something different.  That said, the most important thing is that MacKaye didn’t do it to create some movement.  He did it for himself.

At the core of it is that individuality.  These people aren’t politicians.  Their goal isn’t to go around using their unique perspective to arouse change.  They are artists who create what they create for themselves.  The change comes from those who are inspired by what they do, rally, and scare the establishment.  If you’re lucky, maybe Ian MacKaye or Joe Strummer (RIP) was there alongside you.  Whatever the end result ultimately is, the point is that you’re out there doing something positive and trying to catalyze change. 

 Walking around asking for beer money isn’t punk music.  It never was and never will be.   

The next day, while on a run, I come across these guys waiting at a bus stop.

“Hey how’s it going?” I ask.

The ugly leader reacts with a rather aggressive, “What!?”

He’s obviously been trained to be defensive towards any outsider that tries to penetrate their bubble.

“You guys were walking around trying to get beer.  You like Sham 69.”  I point at the beanie kid’s patch.

There’s a long; awkward silence before they appear to remember who I am.

“Oh yeah, man thanks!”  They exclaim while throwing up hand signs and ‘hang loose’ gestures.

I smile and turn around, altering my route to avoid them, the UPS driver that always asks me about my running, and the intimidatingly attractive girl walking along my route.

Unfortunatley for me, I’ve put myself at the foot of another long hill.

//J

Shot Callin’

On Saturday night I went out drinking with my female roommates and some other friends near 14th street.  I had dibs on the first round, so I asked what everyone wanted.  “Shots,” was all I heard cutting through the indistinct homogeny of idle bar chatter (and one really drunk gal who had no volume knob.  It was the IRL equivalent of typing IN ALL CAPS).

After I nudged my way through the crowd of wayy too exhuberant 30-something-year-old dudes (Yeah, bro!), I ordered what I considered to be standard issue– a round of vodka shots (Ketel One!) and a Stella.

I came back to my friends sitting down who aghasted with, “Really Chris? Really?”

Apparently, what I considered to be “shots” couldn’t be farther from what was actually expected– Kamikazes, Soco and Limes, Red-Headed Sluts, etc., and ordering a round of vodka for a group of female friends who were genuinely platonic just wasn’t, um, correct.   

Now, let me preface my train of thought by saying that I’m the eldest of three boys who has lived with the same group of guy friends throughout all of college– we drank beer, watched sports, and ate tons and tons of Taco Bell and Philly cheesesteaks, all day everyday.

Similarly, the girls I’ve dated have for the most part have been extremely low maintenance and “guys’ girls.”  They drank beer, were into obscure music, and didn’t really like shopping as much as other girls. I’ve been kind of lucky in that regard.

Moving to New York and living with platonic girlfriends has been eye opening in a lot of ways (ie they’re just as messy as guy roommates), so I’m learning alot of things most other guys learn from their sisters.

In this case, while I didn’t see ordering shots of liquor to be anything out of the ordinary, the fact of the matter was I was wrong in that instance, and they explained this to me understandingly and with the affection shown to a 2nd grader who still wets himself.

This blog is usually interested in exploring the distortion of gender norms in various circumstances,  so this was particularly interesting to me for a number of reasons. Bars are microcosmic in the sense that male and female gender roles are very clearly defined, if only because the notion of sex is very clearly iterated from the get go.

Usually, groups of friends go to bars under the pretense of “hanging out.” In actuality, however, most people are there are looking for action, or at the very least, to plant the seeds for future action.  This knowledge is so common it’s almost always forgotten, and bars are the only place such behaviour is even remotely acceptable (you don’t use bad pickup lines in line at the bank… or in the cereal aisle at Ralphs.  Or do you?) 

I can, however, say for certain that no one goes to the bars with the intention of losing their phone. Or curling over a toilet at 2am.  No one goes to a bar because they WANT to feel shitty for work the next day, but we do it anyway. All that stuff we relegate to our Facebook Aways are usually just the byproduct our alcohol consumption. In order to “let go”, we endorse a social contract with the alcohol gods, signing over our usual cares and worries for a few hours of inebriated free wheelin’ and good times.

Women, much like NBA players after getting drafted, learn to play defense as their bar career progresses– if the average girl gets hit on 2 to 3 times over the course of a day, at the bar that number is exponentially higher (at least 7-10 times a night. At least.)  By the time a girl is 24, she’s at the minimum been hit on a couple of thousand times, so every female has a pretty good idea of what works on her and what doesn’t.  It takes a special combination of external factors for a girl to even talk to a guy at a bar, let alone take him home.  I have about a 5% idea of what these external factors are (ie I HAVE NO GAME), so I’ll leave my thoughts on the female bar mentality at that.

On the other hand, guys operate under the pretense of appearing as non-threatening as possible.  After thinking about it, ordering a girl strong drinks is a sign of intention, which can raise red flags to a girl who knows her shit.  On the other hand, “strong drinks” are a barometer guys use to gauge whether or not a girl actually likes us.  My buddy (who shall remain nameless) told me, “If a girl is down for Jager bombs, you’re at least getting dome that night.” I don’t necessarily agree, but Jager bombs are a) strong and b) delicious, and I’m positive that on the few occassions I HAVE gotten dome, Jager bombs were more or less involved.

The point is, bars are places where peoples’ personas are separated from the everyday.  Every action is magnified to a much higher degree of scrutiny when inside the steel cage of the bar realm because of what’s at stake (your genitals). That’s not a knock on bars themselves, it’s just that we don’t really actively think about our bar behaviour as being anything really exceptional until the next morning.  Me ordering my female friends strong drinks didn’t really register at that moment because I wasn’t expecting my actions to be put under a microscope (or perhaps, as sometimes happens with these girls, I overlook the fact that they are female and are entitled to female things… like Kamikazes and Red-Headed Sluts <3).

I’m interested in hearing feedback,  especially from the female readership.  For instance, what do you consider a “standard” or “safe” drink to have ordered for you without having to be asked what you want? (this seems to happen when ordering drinks reaches this weird sense of urgency and someone’s still undecided, so they blurt out, “I don’t care, get me whatever”).

Lastly, in the spirit of distorting gender barriers, I’m ditching beer and switching to Smirnoff Ice.  They taste delicious and they get you buzzed.  That’s already two positives for the price of one! Saying you don’t like Smirnoff Ice is like saying you don’t like 7-Up that gets you buzzed, which is the most nonsensical thing I’ve ever heard.

So cheers everyone, and I look forward to hearing more female perspective in the comments!

//C

your body is a temple… that i want to put my penis in.

A friend of mine who works in the hip-hop bizzz recently conveyed news that his boss, producer/vagina waterer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams, got a bunch of his tattoos removed. Originally, in an exercise of balling-out-of-control-because-I-can-ness, he had planned to have his skin grown  synthetically in a lab in Mexico and then grafted on top of his current ink (ridiculous? I think so!). But it’s a recession *BOOORING*, so he opted for the more traditional approach and had lasers do the dirty work.

It got me to thinking… is having no tattoos the new having tattoos? *scratching head*

Many moons ago, tattoos were reserved for Russian criminals, sailors and other thuggish ruggish bone.  Your parents will never understand you for them, and will always reserve the notion that ink is for gang members, rappers, and “The Birdman” Chris Anderson.

Nowadays, however, “tattoos” are about as synonymous with “tough” as “peanut butter” is with “cheeseburger.”

Point being, tattoos aren’t seen nearly as bad as they used to be, and, within reason, have become somehwhat acceptable in most modern workplaces.  Of course, this takes a modicum of common sense– you PROBABLY won’t get that bank teller job that pays $17 an hour if your knuckles are tattied up with “Get Pu$$Y.”  (sidenote: I bet you looked at your knuckles and counted to see if it would fit or not.  Cuz I did!)

And of course, how tattoos play into fashion aesthetics can be tricky. Fashion is, of course, extremely temporal. It’s finicky as fuck and changes every season. On the other hand, unless you belong to the same earnings bracket Pharrell does, tattoos are pretty permanent and are really tough to get rid of. People who deliberate (annoyingly at times) over “what tattoo” to get for their first one are justified in doing so (I always tell them to get a dolphin above their ass-crack. Especially guys).

Here’s the thing. Tattoos are romantic in the most romantic of senses. It takes a pretty distinct combination of factors for someone to get something etched permanently onto your skin. It takes pain, patience, money and dedication to get one. (Did I mention pain? I hate it when people are asked, “Did it hurt?” And then the person shrugs it off like, “Naaahh.” Getting a tattoo HURTS. It’s needles + nerve endings = science = pain. It feels like a million little people with the strength of a full grown MAN punching you repeatedly in the same general area. Quit playing that tough guy shit. Pain is pain, and pain is real).

Which brings me to my point: nobody gets tattoos for “themselves”, no matter what kind of story they tell behind it. Each one is a message meant to convey…something. Maybe the sentiment behind them is personal, but once something is branded on the outside of your body, it’s intended for an audience (even if that “audience” only gets to see it in the bedroom *wink wink*). And that, my friends, is fucking cool. They’re personal little ideas that get made universally visual, without the feminine stigmas and pretenses inherent in other forums of traditional art and artistry.*

But I guess, for all the different connotations associated with ink, perhaps the most important lesson we can learn here folks, is that girls + tattoos = boner city, population: me.

Even when it’s retarded shit like that.

We cool.

//C

 

(EDIT)
*  Traditional meaning commonplace in a modern context.

Offending the offender or How the overexposure of a man’s legs changed how I perceive ‘Bros’

With menswear, when you go really far back, further back than the 18th century, people wore stockings.  Men were legs!  Now we think this is a women’s thing, but at some point, it was actually a man’s thing.  They’re things for the beautiful and brave, unafraid of honking horns from passing vans.  

 

 -Andreas Kronthaler (pulling a pair of red-stocking chaps tighter)

 

Last week my closest friends and I attended the annual weekend of debauchery, emotional unease, and physical displeasure that is the Long Beach Grand Prix.  Despite the denotation of the event’s name, in all actuality, it is about 20% motor racing and 92% blurry experience.  Overall, it’s fun.  The only unpleasantry of the event is the fact that the dominating demographic is usually of the ignorant, insecure macho (females included) type.  Of course, that’s a relative perspective.  That said, for the past two years of attendance, one of my best friends–Zach Zupancic–provided me with quite an interesting and eye-opening case study.

First, I must provide a visual primer:

bigtime

Zachary Zupancic (note 'aesthetic normalcy' in the background)

One of the most significant events of the weekend was Zach’s outfit.  For the past few years he has opted for a minimalist approach to his attire.  The highlight, of course, were the extremely high-cut, leg extending shorts (last year he wore an amazing pair of too-short denim shorts).  In actuality, it must be noted, the weekend; regardless of preceding weather conditions, is always an enfeebling level of Hades approved hot.  That said, Zach’s outfit was quite appropriate considering the circumstances.  The problem, unfortunately, was the inevitable crowd of extremely macho types with their Dickies shorts sagging and fat DC Shoes alongside their impressively skanky girlfriends hurling derogatory comment after derogatory comment at Zach.  I apologize for the rather harsh tone of my description, however, maybe some statistics can justify my position:

*575 WHAT THE FUCKS!?

*323 HOLY SHITS!?

*222 OH MY GODS!

*82 oh my gods.

*1 I’m gonna punch that guy in the face.

*1 dangerously violent, most likely inebriated, douchebag.

*1 female asking for some ‘ball sack.’

*2 females physically attempting to see and, what looked like, smell (?) ball sack to Zach’s discomfort.

*3 examples of women devoid of any decency or self-respect.

That said, it’s to be expected from an area of Long Beach, along Pine Avenue, that seems to attract the most scrutinizing of the ‘fraternity and bro’ crowd.  I attribute this to the Growlers at the Rock Bottom Brewery and the Celtic Punk from The Auld Dubliner.

Indeed, what do you expect, in this day and age, from a 6’6 male walking around showing off his legs like a proud caballo.  I’ve discussed my disdain for those that find discomfort in a challenge to accepted definitions of machismo in the past.  However, while insolent commentary and wide-eyed stares were directed towards a triumphantly defiant Zach, I realized something.  Instead of denouncing these people as ugly idiots, I started to look at them as sartorial pundits–just like me or Zach or The Sartorialist etc.  Just because they wear what they wear and it’s just like that guy or that girl and is in direct opposition to me doesn’t mean that their aesthetic opinions are irrelevant.

Luxury for me is standing for what you believe in, and having integrity…

– Christopher Bailey (from WWD Menswear, Fall 2009)

A statement like that isn’t endemic to just ‘fashionable’ types.  While wearing short shorts, tight jeans, and pointy shoes is the prerogative of Zach or myself, showing disdain towards the clothes we wear is their prerogative.  Just like it’s my prerogative to call them trash assholes in response.   

 

To my surprise, and after much deliberation, I started to perceive their insults as essential components of what makes fashion interesting in the first place.  How Zach or myself or they feel about each other and each other’s aesthetic is irrelevant.  What’s important is the fact that all parties involved are making a concerted effort to voice their reaction to someone’s public appearance.  For the stereotypical ‘fashionista’ or whatever, the ability to look at collection after collection and trend after trend and develop our opinions towards them is of utmost importance.  We look at a collection and decide whether there’s something in its overall organization that inspires us.  It dictates what we wear and how we wear it.  Our reaction to a collection or a trend is an emotional experience that affects our confidence and attitudes in light of what we perceive as a critical world.

The mistake we make, however, is we disregard those that we feel aren’t like us.  Look at all these motherfuckers wearing that Famous Stars and Straps shit like everyone else.  What they say doesn’t matter right?  The thing is that it must.  Who are we, those that worship at the altar of Miuccia Prada or Thom Browne, to dictate sartorial rights and wrongs? 

That said, who are they to determine the same thing right?  With that in mind, the fact of the matter is that a right or a wrong cannot exist.  Take note, however, that I’m not saying cannot as in impossible.  That’s inherently implied I suppose.  Instead, I’m saying that it MUSN’T exist.  For if right and wrong existed, in fashion or anything metaphysical for that matter, than the possibilities of opinion; individuality and admiration or derision and anger, will disappear. 

…[Luxury] is making sure that you have your own point of view.  Everything you do should be positioned around that.  If you can do that, that’s the greatest luxury to me.

-Christopher Bailey (from WWD Menswear, Fall 2009)

In a world where suffering and success share equal footing in defining one’s character, the ability to come to some intellectual understanding of something trivial, whether it is Dior Homme or Metal Mulisha, is one of our greatest luxuries.  Sincerely caring about something as materially insignificant as fashion, for example, should be something we hold onto dearly.  Sometimes, reality is too harsh to forget about the silly things. 

Aubrey O'Day for Famous Stars and Straps (left), Raquel Zimmerman for Chloé (right)

Aubrey O'Day for Famous Stars and Straps (left), Raquel Zimmerman for Chloé (right)

 Indeed, being pragmatic, especially in economically trying times like the present, is important.  Fashion is an unnecessary burden in one’s life next to foreclosures and unemployment.  However, dwelling too deeply in depressing matters isn’t healthy.  In fact, I don’t consider the bros, the hipsters, or the high-fashioners; and their opinions regarding each other, as the problem.  Instead, it’s those that don’t have a perspective beyond that which lies ahead of them as the problem.  It’s the sum of their dour reality checks that culminate towards an overall sense of gloom.  When a beefcake with Rock Bottom Growler in hand yells something derogatory at Zach, I can at least give them credit for having a point-of-view that’s on some other axis than the sidewalk before them. 

Then again, is not having a perspective a viable perspective in itself?  To be honest, I seriously hate all the Debbie Downers because they make writing an editorial absolutely pointless.

Luxury to me is the freedom to choose.  That’s how I define it.  Quality is a big part of what makes something luxurious, but ultimately fashion is a whim and people don’t need it, and that makes it the biggest luxury of all.  At Vuitton we do what we do.  Regardless of the way things are in the world, we have a job to make beautiful clothes, not to solve economic problems, etc…Maybe with the changing world, the customer is reevaluating how to spend and what to choose, but a customer who wants luxury and loves fashion will still be that person.

-Marc Jacobs (from WWD Menswear, Fall 2009)

//J

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothes and Fairy Tales

commescombo1

Looking at Rei Kawakubo’s collection for Comme des Garçons Fall 2009 is like looking at the illustrations for a fairy tale.  I mean, if the Brothers Grimm could see these images, they’d probably be right on creating some highly emotional and conspicously violent story involving a formerly pure, delicate princess who is suddenly forced into the imprisoning grip of protecting oneself from the opression of some evil relative, Queen, demon, etc. 

commescombo2

 

Contrasting the first two images, the collection initially transitions from soft; light fragility to militaristic; dour self-defense.  It brings to mind the rather complex dichotomy between, for example, Snow White and the huntsman in the Queen’s initial attempt to rid herself of the true motherfuckin’ “fairest one of all”.  One one hand you have the image of innocence, a lovingly adorable person teetering so dangerously on the edge of composure–in essence creating a person who is easily pushed towards emotionally shattered despite their suffocatingly cheery disposition.  On the other hand, you have the huntsman; dedicated to fulfilling the Queen’s wishes.  His loyalty is represented in green, a color that–strategically–represents camouflage but symbolically represents one’s dedication to fighting their country or leader’s fight–whether or not they believe in it being irrelevant.  Where Snow White is solely of the softer category, the huntsman; in his moral conflict regarding actually killing Snow White, is located somewhere in between the two diametrically opposed emotional categories.

commescombo4

Military green underneath the light pink. 

This brings to question what the preferable position is during a significantly difficult moment.  Is it better to be fragile or defensive?  I like to think that choosing fragility allows you to maintain an innocent distance from the conflict.  You can’t handle everything face to face because doing so would put you in too much stress, thus, risking a complete and ineloquent breakdown.   However, being on the frontlines means that you don’t need protection, thus, allowing for more independence; more confidence under oppressive forces.  There is, however, one stipulation–being on the frontlines also heightens your chance of being hurt.  Although you’re less delicate, you’re more in the line of fire.  That said, does being defensive fully liberate you from being fragile?  Ultimately, one’s absolute position is determined in the face of danger, hurt; mortality.  However, it must be assumed that even those who fight our fights are courageous under a veil of fragility–over their green is a shade of pink.

commesdesgarcons13

Blue 

Going back to Snow White, there must be the dwarves.  Their position in the story is neither one of defense nor absolute fragility.   Instead, they’re protectors–of Snow White in this case–who don’t actually have the power to sufficiently defend her.  They’re this middle ground betwen the green and the pink.  Blue is a sad color indeed.  Placed into this discussion, it is a color of defenseless defense–so to speak.  There’s nothing more depressing than wanting to protect someone but knowing that you are unable to do so–to the fullest extent possible of course. 

commesdesgarcons9

The question then is whether or not anyone is completely capable of defending the ones they love.  Indeed, they do so to the fullest of their capabilites; however, nothing is ever guaranteed.  That said, you then have the point where all three colors come together.  Defense is there (green), the fragility is there (pink), and; finally, there’s the understanding that shit happens and sometimes it’s just out of your hands (blue).  This is the most despairing aspect of the whole collection.  It’s the fact that nothing is impossible.  Superman can be defeated by Doomsday.  Batman broken by Kane.  Captain America just got assassinated.  Wolverine just got stripped of his adamantium.

commescombo6

Ultimately, we must come full circle.  Being overly defensive or constantly hanging onto hopelessness all, in the end, point to fragility.  What Kawakubo shows in this collection is that this is the most base human condition.  To defend someone is to care about their well-being.  If they were to be hurt, then it’s all for naught.  Being the defender is an emotionally volatile position to choose.  In the worst case, you suffer at the hands of failure and also at the hands of the person suffering because of your failure–which may also include yourself. 

commesdesgarcons191 

Even the most emotionally stable; immoveable forces on Earth are, at their root, fragile.  Keeping yourself from getting hurt only proves that you’re afraid of being hurt.  Kawakubo’s latest collection is, as expected, a visual masterpiece.  I didn’t, however, expect that looking at the entire collection would become an introspective analysis of human emotion.  When I say that this collection is worthy of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, I sincerely mean it.  Just like Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, or Rumpelstiltskin; there’s a multitude of emotions that one must experience in order to fully grasp the work.  The fact that Kawakubo is able to achieve this through a fashion collection is a testament to the actual intentions of her designs.  Indeed, she is an incredible business entity.  However, Kawakubo never falls into doing something simple–no protesting, no trend setting; no exhibition of useless extravagance.  Instead, she does things a bit more psychologically; with a bit more thought.  If fashion is ever going to be considered an art, a Comme des Garçons collection is a good place to look first.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

R.I.P. Electro

So… I just listened to the new MSTRKRFT album (I’d provide a link, but I think it’s easier to just torrent it).  In short, it’s good and worth the free download, HA!

The first thing and most obvious thing is that it has a ton of rap cameos from the likes of E-40 and Nore. The music itself has gotten a zillion times grittier and intricate over the course of its faster than light evolution– listen to 2006’s “The Looks” and you’ll definitely hear the difference.

The electro/house explosion came at an interesting time. Indie music as a genre had plateaued and was beginning to sound extremely limited (everyone sounded like a Death Cab/Arcade Fire/Saddle Creek spinoff), and perhaps this stagnancy is what allowed the Daft Punk Coachella performance to isolate itself as much as it did. Whereas indie music is more on the introspective end of the spectrum, the Daft Punk Coachella performance was dinstinctly sensory (bass thumps and flashing lights). It was unencumbered viserca violently cutting its way through the intellectual homogeny of ’06 indie.  In many ways, the electro-DJ was a Hegelian response to the organic folksiness of the Conor Obersts and Rilo Kileys– it was a complete and drastic 180, and for whatever reason its reception was scalding.  Technology was embraced again, and music was a bit less serious and a lot more fun. 

After Daft Punk’s rennaissance, Justice blew up (that’s an understatement) and electro became “pop”, and all of a sudden it was cool to dance again.  The shift was dynamic in every sense of the word– bands that once had a devoted following (like Snow Patrol) were suddenly shitty or boring (not that they always weren’t).  It was a huge blow to the Pitchfork-indie economy, and indie bands either faded into obscurity or retreated back underneath the detection of the mainstream.  Other than the occassional blip (like Animal Collective), indie bands went back to being just that– indie.

I guess this same pattern is starting to manifest itself with the electro scene. It’s much more endemic as a culture, and any movement that sustains as a high a level of popularity as it has will eventually plateau– in this case it’s sooner rather than later. The music itself has gotten ridiculously layered and now more than ever sounds like a rusty buzzsaw making love to your eardrums, however, we’re clearly at the tail end of the movement.  Of course, this leaves alot of questions to be answered, the most important of which being, “Where do we go from here?”

90s alternative?  It’d make sense following the brief 80s resurgence.  Nu-metal was such an awkward period I’d doubt it’d ever show face again (or we could do it all for the nookie *Yah!* the nookie *come on!*). Emo just happened… early 2000’s punk?  Grunge??? (shivers).  Britney’s Circus live album???

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.  The only real popular genre that’s had any sort of staying power over the last 2 decades is mainstream rap and R&B (it hasn’t changed much sinces the 90’s… KC & JoJo = NeYo), but those genres haven’t really ever held enough weight to carry the entire pop music spectrum.  We need options here!

Regardless, the sun is setting on electro, and I think the collective conciousness of the blogosphere can agree that it’s getting kind of stale.  The current inception of artists are trying to keep things fresh and take the genre in a million different directions (like with the rap+electronica thing… I saw a Brooklyn rap/electro pairing called Ninja Sonic recently. Fail).  But still, none of its current incarnations seem to have any real sort of staying power or marketability (which is what pop music really boils down to). 

I kind of hope the next wave includes the resurgence of the boy band.  SERIOUSLY, it’s time NSYNC gets back together.  Come on JT, throw the guys a bone. Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone have been sucking at the teets of mediocrity for TOO long. It’d be super sick, and there’s 180% no sarcasm in this statement whatsoever.  It’s gonna be me.

GOSU.

Anyway, almost fittingly, Daft Punk is making one last showing by scoring the new Tron movie, which should be rad.  They brought electro to the masses, and I’m prediciting the Tron album will be more of an epitaph than anything. It’ll be a really nice way for electro to fade out until it appears again in a couple of years (music is kind of transparently cyclical like that).

But for the short term, R.I.P electro.  You were fun while you lasted.

//Caspian De La Sanchez

Repeal the skinnies!

Dior Homme Spring 2007

Dior Homme Spring 2007

The last great change in men’s fashion came when Hedi Slimane graced us with his designs through Dior Homme.  While there, he redefined the male silhouette by sending out models who were skinny, pale, and androgynous.  He introduced to fashion an aesthetic that had been lurking around the daring underground of rock’n’roll, punk, post-punk, etc; and, consequently, slimmed men’s tailoring for some time.  Look at these glorious, skinny boys in tight pants and slim blazers!  It was powerful in a way that these people; these clothes shouldn’t be.  Boys looking like girls shouldn’t, by society’s standards, exemplify power, yet, here they were–are you a boy or are you a girl?.  It was a wonderful, WONDERFUL time in men’s fashion.

That’s not to say that looking unhealthy was something to be idolized.  It’s not cool looking at an Hedi Slimane Dior Homme clone walking down the street and saying, “Geebus, the new street solider needs a sandwich!”  It’s not about one’s perception regarding how these people achieve their waist size (toilet+self-induced vomit=DIOR READY!) or perceptions of attractive body image (Who I’d Like to Meet: skinny boys in skinny jeans SO HOT.  It’s about the position that androgyny took in male fashion.  I’ve discussed this a bit in a previous post.  Who needs bulging biceps and man tits when menswear could be shared by all.  Since you can’t discern if these are girls or boys, suddenly there was this venn diagram in fashion (and it wasn’t forced too).  Indeed, there will always be MENSWEAR and WOMENSWEAR, however, in the middle was Dior Homme.  As a result, women were just as invested in the designs of Hedi Slimane as men.  Hedi Slimane smeared the definition of form, in turn, leaving an aesthetic that affected the fashion of both genders for some time.

Fast forward to 2009 and the key terms are suddenly: foreclosure, recession, sub-6000 points?, unemployment, what happened to Iceland?, even China?, nationalization, bad banks, stress tests, STIMULUS, and on, and on, and fuck me it keeps going on.  Fashion, an industry whose obscene level of grandiose life enjoyment seemed impervious to the world’s perils; in fact, isn’t immune to the international recession.  That said, there developed a split between designers who embraced the gloom, embraced monochromatics, and minimalism and designers who celebrated life, annihilated with color, and took things–for better or worse–a bit over the top.  
 
Fashion is no longer partying.  It suddenly has a lot of thinking to go through.  
 
The designers that embraced the gloom were coming face to face with reality.  There’s no escaping a recession of this magnitude and, instead of running away from it, these designers were putting on a stern face and marching on.  Suddenly clothing became more functional; more reminiscent of someone marching into a cold winter to work or find work and, damned if AIG’s asking for more of my money, there’s always a floor and we’ll be back.  Until then, I’m going to look strong, invulnerable, and stern…absolutely no laughter allowed.
Raf Simons Fall 2009

Raf Simons Fall 2009

On the other hand, nothing stops the party. If there’s been any time to keep the party going, it’s now. It’s time, even for a fleeting moment, to put our concerns behind us. After all, there’s always tomorrow right? Can we please have fun now?

Marc Jacobs Fall 2009

Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2009

 
 

PROTECTIONISM

Two of the biggest components in the equation for economic success are:

1) The consumer (i.e. people have to spend)

2) Exports (i.e. people have to buy our shit)

Two of the biggest components of our economic problem are:

1) People aren’t buying shit (i.e. even Wal-Mart’s been having problems)

2) People don’t want to buy each other’s shit (i.e. ‘Buy American’ or the European Union having trouble keeping itself together because of countries that are starting to make protecting their own backs the top priority–as opposed to working to protect the union as a whole–and a diverse Eastern European economy  that, as a whole, is challenging the EU to define its absolute protective reach)

The key concept here is that everyone is playing for their own interests.  The banks, the consumer; the countries are all protecting their assets.  In a world of this nature, the skinny, adrogynous thing is only serving to bum everybody out.  

In a recent 10 Man interview, Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci pointed out that fashion is returning to manlier–in the classic sense–models.  There’s mention of the idea that fashion is always searching for the perfect male form in a way similar to Hitler’s search for the ‘perfect race’.  Just like Hitler; however, fashion is finding out that the world around them is too idiosyncratic to be so ideal.  Regardless, again just like Hitler, fashion will always search for that defining form because it helps them cope with the pain of human frailty.  

When Hedi Slimane first rolled out his delicate models, it came during a time when things were superficially “alright”.  Any financial problems we were about to endure were lurking underneath the boundless possibilities of ignorance.  Indeed, there were wars to be fought, wars to be ended, Bush senior advisors to indict, and U.S. Attorneys to be laid off; however, these could be dealt with at another time; with another administration.  Right then, the kids were alright.  If a boy dressed like a girl it’s because he could be fragile and didn’t need to fight anyone’s fights.  That’s for those military jarheads and such.  When a girl dressed like a boy, she was fighting the fight.  She didn’t need the boys to have fun.

Suddenly, people started losing money, wars were taking too long, and the President was blatantly trying to live outside the law.  Now that being overtly fragile or overtly strong isn’t a facade, everyone’s suddenly reverting to classically tired social conventions.  In fashion, as the observant Riccardo Tisci pointed out, the true MAN is coming back.

 
From (L) to (R): Emporio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Dsquared² Fall 2009

From (L) to (R): Emporio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Dsquared² Fall 2009

 

You’ve probably already discerned the reasoning behind this.  This is the classic; Greek male right here.  Suddenly, we need the chiseled male as some iteration of strength.  If the male model could ever get close to the aesthetic image of the ‘perfect race’ (minus the necessity for blonde hair and blue eyes of course) than these beefcakes would nail the audition.  On one hand, you have the idea that big muscle equates to sufficient supplies of protective strength.  I mean, who’d want a scrawny bouncer at the door anyways?  However, it’s also a bit Platonic in the sense that if we stare at their form it gets us closer to understanding perfection without even getting close to perfection.  I like The Republic and that’s why I mention it from time to time and, in this example, these men–chiseled chin, muscle definition, and all–aren’t perfection. It’s just a fake. In a crumbling world; however, thinking that perfection exists might be enough of an escape to help us get through it all.

 That said, I much prefer it when designers use the design to get their message across.  Earlier, I talked about the “one who embraces the gloom”.  There’s something more relevant to me in being more pragmatic when it comes to conveying a certain mood.  Like stated, I thoroughly enjoy Plato’s Republic; however, I also respect the legitimacy of the artist and their ability to use their medium expressively.  When a designer utilizes form and color to get across a certain emotion–in this case practicality and, ultimately, fear–that’s much more tangible than staring at Michelangelo’s David wearing 20 different outfits. 

 From (L) to (R): Prada, Raf Simons Fall 2009

From (L) to (R): Prada, Raf Simons Fall 2009

 
 With that in mind, there’s only so much of the “gloom hugging” that I can sustain.  Right now, it resonates quite powerfully considering the cirumstances and, that said, its place in time is fantastic.  However, how long can the inherently outlandish fashion world sustain such a somber tone?  Inevitably, the colors, the shapes, and the tailoring are going to get boring.  I mean, you can only face so much reality right?  Maybe things are going to get pragmatic enough that we get overwhelmingly stressed, consequently apathetic, and just wear our pajamas all the time college style.  Right Yohji?
 
Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2009

Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2009

From what I’ve seen, that is the most indicative image from Fall 2009.  It’s my favorite one too.

 //Vladimir Sorokoskev

The World is Super $ad.

Grim times.  This morning it was reported  that insurance giant AIG revealed 62 billion dollars in quarterly losses: 

AIG’s announcement came hours after the U.S. government announced a $30 billion lifeline for the ailing company on top of $150 billion it has already received in bailout funding.

Wall Street is already teetering on the the edge of 12-year lows after bruising selloffs Friday. (Source: CNN)

That’s absolutely abysmal, and unfortunately, failure isn’t an option here because of the reprecussions it’d pose to the larger financial market.  AIGs carved itself out a huge base in the financial infrastructure, and letting it sink to its doom would only beget a shitshow the likes of which we’ve never seen. 

The government is responding by giving yet another 30 billion dollar lifeline in addition to two other MASSIVE lifeline’s AIG’s received since September.

It’s kind of like when you’re in college, and you ask your parents for money to buy your books, but instead of buying books you spend all your money on booze/weed/coke.  Then when your midterms roll around you realize you can’t study because you don’t have any books! So you immediatley phone up mom and pops in tears and ask for more money, but it’s semi-acceptable because you’re a kid whose family can afford to put you through college in the first place (gag).

RAD PARTY.

Economic stability is important, and there definitely is an answer– I’m just not so sure it’s in government handouts.  I understand that at the moment it’s priority numero uno, but I think that the money NEEDS to come with a contract SIGNED IN BLOOD that there will be reprecussions in the future for fucking around.  And not just fiscal reprecussions… I’m talking DEATH.  Jk. 

In other news, the Aztec calendar predicts the end of existence in 2012, Chris Breezy and RiRi got back together, and Wendy’s increased the price of their dollar menu from .99 cents to $1.19.

The end is near.

// Jeff Hardy

Lou Reed for Supreme

Source: Hypebeast

Out of all the Hypebeast labels, Supreme’s the only one that’s ever really tickled my fancy (Glenn O’Brien is also a fan).  Their stuff is pretty minimalist and can be worked into an outfit rather tastefully.

Anyway, I like that they enlisted Lou Reed for the current collection (expect Velvet Underground torrents to shoot up 80 billion percent when the shirt drops), but I’m interested to see how the uber-masculine skate following will respond when they find out that NYC’s rock and roll monarch also hosted male-on-male coke orgies semi-regularly.

I mean, when Supreme dropped a Bad Brains shirt I saw a number of guys sporting it without knowing who they were.  I understand Supreme’s rad and all, but I mean, at least pretend you downloaded them before you bought the shirt. I think this case will be particularly interesting.

“Hey… ugggh… I don’t know if you know this, but the dude on your shirt sucked alot of dick.  ”

“No man he’s awesome!”

“No… um… literally genitals to mouth.”

“….”

Oh, to be young again.

Lou Reed FTW.

I love the fact he utilized Liu Kang and Japhy in this performance.

//Caspian de la Sanchez

Jindal Suxorz — cringing ensues + hawtie of the week

Even Fox News agrees:

The great Republican hope totally blew his speech following Obama’s State of the Union Address, although to be quite fair, that was like playing sloppy seconds to Mandingo– shit just ain’t happening.

I didn’t realize how douchey this guy was until this vid.  He goes through all the motions without any of the finesse. The sprezzatura.  Obama is gdlk when it comes to oratory.  His rhythm coupled with his ability to punctuate exactly the right words at the right time is currently unmatched.

Jindal on the other hand sounds like he’s trying to sell me rotisserie grills at 2am.

Anyway, enough of the politicz.  In other news, I’ve developed a severe, severe crush on Bar Rafaeli and am therefore dubbing her hawtie of the week.

FFFFUUUUUU. She looks like Nala from The Lion King but with breasts and upright posture.

That’s just wrong on so many levels.

This post didn’t really have any point, so I’m not even going to try and draw any sort of silly Free Darko metaphysical-y connections.  I just felt like calling a dude a tool and posting a picture of a really hot girl whose stare (and boobs) cause Kwakiutl teepees to spring up in my pantaloons.  Leonardo DiCaprio probably has the greatest streak of women in the history of streaks. In fact, I can’t think of anyone whose been as consistent.  If this was baseball, Leonardo would be batting .999, with a .001 deduction because I’m just a jealous cunt. GG Leo, you handsome, talented bastard.  (PS Revolution Road = really good.  The original novel by Yates is even better).

JetGeneration is synonymous with keeping it real.

// Caspian de la Sanchez

A Few Good Things

Considering the more dour post preceding, I feel it necessary, as a considerate and loving writer, to give my readers some good things.  So here are a few good things:

1) My good friend has started a website.  Her name’s Brenda and she’s a good writer.  If you’re intellectually invested in the formidable tribulations of life’s transitions then you’ll like this site. 

 

CLICK THE PIC.

2) The 1980’s fashion redux. 

 

From Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2009 more: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2009RTW-MARC/
From Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2009 more: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2009RTW-MARC/

  From Top Shop Unique Fall 2009 more: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2009RTW-TOPSHOP/

From Top Shop Unique Fall 2009 more: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2009RTW-TOPSHOP/

 These are homages to New Wave optimism that found fun in an otherwise despairing nation buckling under the weight of the Savings and Loan Crisis and Iran/Contra (amongst other concerns).  Considering the similar circumstances we are currently under, it only fits that fashion would look toward the kids that lit the path with neon and blasted The Human League’s Dare or the kids that wear pink to their prom, listen to The Smiths, and defiantly fall in love with someone that social convention dictates they shouldn’t.  These are nods to cultures of hope and fun in an otherwise cold and grey reality.

3) Slumdog Millionaire

Although I’m about to watch an XviD of the entire ceremony, I unfortunately missed the first half of the Oscars because I was preoccupied with the Tour of California bicycle race and, concurrently, falling off the bike I was on in front of an excited crowd of ‘cycling fans’. 

I MADE IT.

Public humiliation aside, I’m absolutely thrilled that Slumdog Millionaire won so frequently.  Although I wish some of the other awards went other ways, I completely understand why they might’ve gone the way they did and, to be honest, found what I did watch of the ceremony quite enjoyable.

4) A video of a group of polio stricken musicians who ride around in rad tricycles and record their music in zoological gardens with stolen electricity and let virtuosic 17 year old electric lute players distort their shit like it’s 1969 OK!

Staff Benda Bilili ‘Polio’

Amazing.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

A Brief Blurb on the Nation of Cowards

Ah Rupert Murdoch.  This is definitely not good.  Eric Holder had a point.

“A Nation of Cowards”

There’s a measurable amount of unnecessary aggression in those words, aggression that does not do much for progressing a more positive dicussion of race; however, in recent weeks there have been quite a few subtle acts of racism and racial stereotyping, and subsequent debates, that have done nothing but fuel a nation that has pent up any racial aggression behind a veil of complacency (granted, when the black man can come from the streets and still be a ‘gangster’ making millions smoking ‘medical marijuana’  it all makes sense, right Weezy F. Baby?  NOTE: The interview is fantastic because of the drama in Weezy’s face whenever he gets real).  That said, let’s take a look at a few of them (besides the shitty cartoon above):

1) Michael Steele:   “There was underlying concerns we had become too regionalized and the party needed to reach beyond our comfort” zones, he said, citing defeats in such states as Virginia and North Carolina. “We need messengers to really capture that region – young, Hispanic, black, a cross section … We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings.” 

I’m getting really into Michael Steele because he says so much unadulterated bullshit that it’s hilarious that this guy is head of the RNC.  That said, this recent bit of patronizing on his part is a little less funny.  It’s not like the Republican party hasn’t jumped off the deep end already, however, if they follow through with this plan, it’s seriously going to be the fastest ticket to destruction that the party will ever see.  Okay, in all honesty, applying ‘urban-suburban hip-hop settings’ to the party isn’t going to completely dismantle its foundations; however, there can’t be a lot of resulting good from stereotyping minorities this way.  Regardless, if it’s gonna happen; it’s gonna happen.  Let’s hope it doesn’t but, if it does, it’s going to be hilarious.  What music are they going to play during the campaign?  Seriously, for some reason, the only rapper that comes to mind is $hamrock. 

YIKES FTW!

2) James Clyburn D-S.C. (In response to Republican governors Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Rick Perry of Texas, and FUCKIN’ MIGHTY Bobby Jindal of Louisiana planning to refuse stimulus money):

 “Now the (South Carolina) governor says, ‘I don’t want to accept the money,'” Clyburn told CNN. “That’s why I called this an insult. That’s why I said this is a slap in the face; because a majority of these counties are, in fact, inhabited by African-Americans.”

Suddenly, defending and stereotyping the black man has become an issue for these people that, amidst eight years of decadent political debauchery, seemingly kept to themselves.  Granted, Barack Obama opened up the acceptability to voice, draw cartoons about, or come up with stupid plans regarding the–of course relative–racial idiosyncrasies of American politics; however, there seems to be a problem when our first African American President is the catalyst for a period of discontent–a period that hopefully is more fashionable and transient than serious.  Ideally, the discussion must continue, however, not in the analytical finger pointing that could dangerously cultivate into a more noticeable conflict.

That said, what Sanford, Perry, and Jindal are doing is quite ridiculous.  Granted, should we thank them for principle then dish out the reprobation or should we call them ‘heartless political bastards’ then dish out even harsher reprobation?  With that in mind, Clyburn is only highlighting demographics to enhance effect.  All in all, principles aside, it’s politics. 

And it’s with that word–politics–that things get a bit murky.  I sincerely believe that political motivation and racial commentary can never blend homogeneously.  I mean, to really have  a racial discussion requires more complex commentary than anything mentioned above.  It’s always going to be bigger than black and white.  Indeed, there’s always the 1960’s but we can’t forget the Trail of Tears, World War II and the Japanese American Internment, and even the Zebra Murders (a series of killings by radical Islamists against the white population).  Nowadays, conservative types would love to deport every Mexican getting a job because leaving them here is obviously un-American and, lest we forget, there’s still some lingering disdain amongst many ignorant types towards anyone that vaguely looks like they read the Qu’ran.  The fact that we’re back to black and white in such a politically polarizing period in American history arouses the Spidey Senses a bit.  Is it activism or politics?

Get him, he’s Taliban!

Unfortunately, in less intellectual and more noticeable media outlets,  the headlines will be a black president and Mark Sanford being subtly called racist.  Ideally, we would have been discussing race relations on a much broader scope already and wouldn’t have needed Barack Obama and 1964 to motivate our voices.  I sometimes wonder whether or not Clyburn would’ve said what he said under a white president or Sharpton would be outside News Corp. if the same cartoon was really about Nancy Pelosi.  Optimism dictates that it’s quite wonderful that they took Barack Obama’s HOPE for what it is and are rising to the occassion in the light of some obvious social violations.  Pessimism, however, wonders why it’s all happening right now, so closely lumped together after January 20.  Eric Holder wasn’t necessarily eloquent when he said what he said and he may have been as narrow in point-of-view as Clyburn, however; in light of the state of race dicussions in America, maybe he was right. 

“A Nation of Cowards”

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

What I Listen To When I Think Of You Naked (Vol. 4)

toniamolyavko-03

 Despite the efforts of an increasingly desperate and, sorry to say, pathetic GOP, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act–though pillaged–has passed.  As a more immediate panacea, it’s a good thing that this baby’s going down.  Contrary to what the GOP wants you to believe, doing nothing would’ve been a disaster.  Even though their mostly useless tax cuts are still lurking inside the stimulus, at least something’s happening.  That said, they apparently still rejoice in their failed ‘No’ campaign, whatever bullshit they managed to jizz into the act, take credit for improvements passed in the stim that they opposed, and take the ‘stim’ money they apparently didn’t want (which, like everything they do, backs them into a corner where taking the money makes them douches and refusing the money makes them douches).  It’s a shitstorm of principles that wouldn’t even be a concern if they maintained some degree of sanity.

I would’ve loved to post Rep. Eric Cantor’s latest celebration of GOP insanity, however, his inability to understand copyrights has robbed us of his latest opus.  Fortunately for us, we have the opening act:

There is, however, an Obama supported clause in the stimulus that I’m quite concerned about.  Somewhere in the murk and hope, there’s a clause that advocates ‘buying American.’  Under this clause, construction materials like iron and steel, for example, would need to be sourced entirely from American resources.  President Obama, however, has provided a statement of reassurance:

“I think that if you look at history, one of the most important things during a worldwide recession of the sort that we’re seeing now is that each country does not resort to ‘beggar thy neighbour’ policies, protectionist policies, that can end up further contracting world trade…my expectation is, is that where you have strong US competitors who can sell products and services, that a lot of governors and mayors are going to want to try to find US equipment or services, but that we are going to abide by our World Trade Organization and Nafta obligations just as we always have.

Like the overall success of the act, there is a looming concern over whether or not things are actually going to play out the way we want them to.  My problem with ‘Buy American’ is that it neglects the fact that most of the world is suffering from comparable, if not worse (relative of course), economic recessions.  From a non-economists’s point-of-view, it still seems quite logical that; in such an interconnected world economy, protectionism of any kind cannot happen.  Indeed, domestic spending is a necessity for survival; however, things can only get worse if there isn’t an element of international ‘hand holding’–for lack of a better term.  Essentially, the United States of America, being the international bolster that it will always be (right?), is going to have to be one of the primary benefactors when it comes to international spending.  There has to be a group of more ‘prosperous’ countries that lead the way to recovery.  There has to be a cooperation between central banks towards dealing with failing banks internationally.  Finally, we’re all going to have to keep giving each other hot shit to buy and build stuff with.

Anyways, our Presidente seems to know what he’s doing here.  Like everything about a recession, there’s going to have to be some precise balancing acts going on here.  Whether we fall our make it to the other side is in the hands of Mother Time (is Mother Time even a real thing?  Or did I just make that up?). 

With all that in mind, for some reason, Word From Our Sponsor by Boogie Down Productions (KRS-One, D-Nice, and Scott La Rock) keeps popping up for me.  Looking at the lyrics, I think it might be this whole part:

From the days of prison I have uprisen
To my family members I’m marked down as missin
Listen, circumstances put me right in the street
With the will to survive, get paid, eat, and sleep
Some weep, or should I rather say some cry
Can’t get by so later on they die
Because the strong will survive
The weak will perish
Ignorance is a poison and knowledge will nourish
I love what I got and like what I had
I’m glad, not sad, and I don’t even get mad
I get even, myself and some others I believe in
Cos these others are my brothas and perfection we’re achievin

Word is bond.  HAHAHAHA…sorry I always laugh whenever I say that.  Outside of the fact that it sounds pretty funny to me, this might be why:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/18879/saturday-night-live-blizzard-man

Anyways, music time GO!

Download (I haven’t really been hooking it up for the MP3 collectors lately so, yeah, here): http://www.zshare.net/audio/558370052803f6f6/

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

Hip Hop is Alive – In Defense of the Mainstream

In recent years, hip-hop has seen an increased polarization between its two predominant camps—the defacto underground and the popularized mainstream. In that dichotomy, there exists a growing animosity from the underground that seeks to invalidate popular radio rap as “inauthentic” and “lacking substance.” Backpackers in particular are guilty of fostering a very stigamitzed elitism on the matter, in which “keeping it real” entails listening strictly to hip-hop that carries obvious and distinctly defined notions of social commentary. It’s gotten to the point, however, in which underground hip-hop has gotten too readily dismissive of anything the pop world has to offer, and I would counter that while it takes a world of intelligence and hard work to craft underground hip-hop that’s both creative and observant, it may take even more to craft a club banger that’s universally fun and appealing.

Recently, Ice-T (perhaps best known for his role as a reformed hoodrat on NBC’s Law and order: SVU) had this to say about 17-year-old pop phenom Soulja Boy:

“Fuck Soulja Boy. Eat a dick. Nigga single-handedly killed hip-hop. We came all the way from Rakim. We came all the way from Das EFX. We came all the way from motherfuckers flowing like Big Daddy Kane and Ice Cube, and you come with that ‘Superman’ shit? That shit is garbage.” (sourch)

I’m not going to deconstruct all that, but essentially Ice-T is name dropping in order to establish a credible ethos to help paint Soulja Boy as inauthentic, and he does it in a bitter way that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. “Hip-hop is dead” is probably the most hegenomically overused phrase in all of hip-hop. Old school rappers like Ice-T and Nas utilize the phrase ad nauseum in order to maintain their validity in the hip-hop universe. Effectively, these guys are the architects of the genre, and in that they deserve a high level of distinction. However, to depreciate the value of hip-hop’s “next generation” exposes a fundamental flaw in their train of thought—hip-hop, as with all art, is always evolving and changing to reflect the times around it. Ice-T talking shit on Soulja Boy, in addition to sounding petty and bitter, essentially relegates his own ideal of hip-hop to a static form.

Now, I love Soulja Boy, and would have to agree wholeheartedly with Kanye West’s take on the Ice-T/Soulja Boy beef:

“Soulja boy is fresh ass hell and is actually the true meaning of what hip hop is sposed to be. He came from the hood, made his own beats, made up a new saying, new sound and a new dance with one song. He had all of America rapping this summer. If that ain’t Hip Hop then what is? A bunch of wannabe keep it real rappers that ain’t even relevant, recycling samples trying to act like it’s 96 again and all they do is hate on new shit? N***as always talk about the golden age but for a 13 year old kid, this is the golden age!!! That song was so dope cause everything he said had a hidden meaning… that’s Nas level shit… he just put it over some steel drums which is also some Nas shit if you had the 2nd album cassette with the bonus track “Silent Murder” on it. In closing… new n***as get ya money$$$$$$$$$$ Keep this shit fresh and original…. ain’t no fuckin’ rules to this shit and that’s what real hip hop is to me.” (source)

Effectively, Kanye is unique because he is one of very few artists who is able to bridge that mainstream/underground dichotomy and is mutually respected in both camps, and I think he’s able to do this because as a producer and rapper, he understands what’s important to both– he’s able to synthesize pop music production with rhymes that operate within the framework of a conscious narrative.

Going off that, I think where the underground began to hurt its cause is it began to overemphasize the idea that “good” hip-hop needs an explicitly conscious narrative in order to be validated, and I think this culminated in a knee-jerk reactionary sort of way after the passing of J Dilla in 2006. In a post-humous collaboration mixtape aptly named “Dillagence”, the commercially viable Busta Rhymes admitted that Dilla’s production brought out the best in him, and is just one illustration of why Dilla was so important to the structural integrity of the hip-hop world. With his music, he was able to hold together the fringes of both camps and placate the festering animosity that the underground harbored towards the mainstream. On the flip side, the mainstream doesn’t give a fuck (or gives very little). I think his passing in a way opened the floodgates, and prominent fixtures in the underground universe (like Talib Kweli and Mos Def) “jumped ship” and went mainstream. While these guys held on to some of their artistic integrity, the underground world was never really the same.

This shift in the balance placed a new pressure on the underground to re-evaluate its identity, and it rebranded itself in a way by placing heavier emphasis on lyrical content. This allowed smaller labels, like San Francisco based AntiCon (who house artists like Sole and Doseone) to really blossom in the underground hip-hop sphere. By adopting a culture that was more lyrical and verbose, underground hip-hop also became more serious; more “wax poetic.” And for awhile, that was cool.

However, I think underground hip-hop reached a tipping point in that it realized its fundamental flaw– it began to take itself too seriously. This seriousness furthered the undergrounds contempt for the mainstream, which holds that the new school of rappers (like Soulja Boy) are bad because their music isn’t intelligent and doesn’t provide social commentary. However, I’d like to argue that ALL hip-hop, regardless of subgenre, provides a form of social commentary, and I think backpackers sometimes forget this. Guns, cash and women are all tropes that help offer insight into the struggle to get out of “the hood”, which in itself is the purest, most fundamental narrative within the entire hip-hop dynamic. I think mainstream deserves validation from the underground in that it’s able to do all this without a) taking itself too seriously, and b) making social commentary palatable for a much, much wider audience. While it isn’t as obvious and realized, it is nonetheless there, and plants the seeds which allow the underground to exist in the first place.

While popular rap may sometimes caricaturize the ghetto, it also gives the hood a voice it otherwise wouldn’t have. It crafts an identity, which in turn provides a social framework from which to work from. Admittedly, at times this is detrimental to the hood community as a whole, but for the most part, it allows them to be heard through a medium that everyone can like—a medium that everyone can dance to.

I’d like to leave you guys with this video of Andre 3k. In it, he states that hip-hop is powerful because it’s able to encapsulate ALL these different facets of the mainstream and underground alike. Hip-hop stemmed from a party scene and is first and foremost about the party, and that’s what makes it such a powerful form of communication– it’s an art form whose most important instrinsic value is also its most obvious– it’s alive.

// Chris Guy in collaboration with Caspian de la Sanchez

JetGen Word of the Day! Yay!

Hey kids. We here at JG encourage learning in all its forms. Here’s a little something to help improve your vernacular.

Chris Brown (kris brown):

1. (v) To engage in the violent action of physically abusing another person or thing, particularly with one’s fist (ie to fuck it up).  Derived from an altercation involving Breezy and RiRi.

Example: We were playing Street Fighter all night, and I finally Chris Browned his ass when I used Guile.

2. (v) To ruin one’s career (ie to fuck it up).

Example: His boss caught him watching porn at work. He totally Chris Browned his career.

I guess it brings new meaning to, “Hey little mama, ooooh you a stunna.”

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!!

// Caspian de la Sanchez

Kanye is a MAN

 
kanye2

 

 From MTV.com:

Sway: Kanye, you’ve become a fashion icon. But along with the accolades you get for setting trends, like you did with the “Stronger” glasses and even the 808s & Heartbreak heart pendants, some people really mock you because of the way you dress. If you look on the Internet, there are even some of your peers and fans that say you “dress gay.” What does that mean to you?

West: Well, it’s like when people say, “Give me a natural pose.” You can’t pose natural. If you’re posing, then it’s not natural no more. So it’s statements that people say. “Dressing gay” you can’t dress like … Your dress don’t give away whether or not you like a man. Think about actors that straight dress up like a woman or something like that. People wanna label me and throw that on me all the time, but I’m so secure with my manhood. And that’s the reason why I can go to Paris, why I can have conversations with people who are blatantly gay.

‘Cause I used to be scared to talk to a gay person. It’s designers that’s scared of people in hip-hop. And in hip hop, there’s people — and let’s not even say scared like homophobic — but they’re scared of the way people gonna look at them. If you see a person be like, “I don’t wanna stand next to Marc Jacobs ’cause I don’t want that to bear on me because I’m just so cool.” One of the reasons why, the perspective I come from with my raps and my songs, the reason why can’t nobody dis me — no gangsta rapper, nobody can really dis me is ’cause it’s so authentic.

Sway: Tell me about the now-infamous Paris picture .

West: I’m gonna tell you something about the Paris pic. They was like, some of the people dressed in the outfits, I didn’t check out everybody’s outfit that hopped in the picture with me — I can’t be completely responsible. You go right into my outfit, my outfit is good. And see, like the [Fonzworth] Bentley video, “Everybody,” there was people calling me before we dropped it, like “Man y’all shouldn’t put that out with y’all dancing, man. People gonna say y’all gay!” And another thing is, people are so gay-conscious now. That’s like the whole thing like with the Internet — every day [is like], “Oh I can tell he gay now!” But back in the day, people used to have songs like “Get In That A–” or something like that. Someone would never make a song like that [today] because they’d be like “Whoa! I can’t make no song like that! People gonna call me gay!”

Sway: But that picture made so much noise. There was a lot of colors, right?

West: It was a lot of colors. Let me tell you another thing about … I’m doing a blog right now where I’ve been collecting all of the freshest stuff that’s rainbows — Denver Nuggets jerseys, BAPE shoes, Nikes with rainbows on ’em — and saying, “Man I think as straight men we need to take the rainbow back because it’s fresh.” It looks fresh. I just think that because stereotypically gay people got such good like style that they were smart enough to take a fresh-ass logo like the rainbow and say that it’s gonna be theirs. But I was like “Man I think we need to have the rainbow” — the idea of colors , life and colors and stuff, I mean how is that a gay thing? Colors? Having a lot of colors is gay?

Sway: You once were quoted saying that you were inspired in fashion by how gay people dress.

West: And you know what? That’s when I was ignorant to gays. ‘Cause there’s a lot of gay people who don’t dress good at all. There’s a lot of gay people that I dress way better than.

Apparently bloggers and rappers alike–most notably 50 Cent–have been subtly and not so subtly giving Kanye shit for his obviously homosexual dress.  It’s inevitable for people who haven’t been exposed to high fashion and sartorial experimentation–to this degree–to see someone of Kanye West’s caliber; someone they’re supposed to look to as a fashion influencer, and be taken aback.  Kanye lurks around the same streets as Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada.  Both of these designers, Prada especially, have been quite aggressive in their attempts to redefine the defintion of male form. 

Prada Fall 2008Marc Jacobs

  Recently, Yohji Yamamoto had his models walking the runway in tailored suit tops with “skort” bottoms.  From GQ.com:

But the definitive piece in the collection was the skort, the kiltlike combination of skirt and shorts that is rapidly turning into a modern classic. –Tim Blanks

Whether or not these people have a grasp of where high fashion is going is irrelevant to be honest.  What’s most unfortunate is that they find it necessary to 1) insult Kanye for his style and 2) use homosexuality as some sort of derogatory term in doing so.  Something that I will never quite understand is the emotional reaction that’s generated in certain people when they’re exposed to something that’s outside of their pre-defined archetypes.  From personal experience, this is sometimes fear.  However, in some other incidents, I’ve sincerely felt a rather disconcerting degree of animosity towards what I’m wearing (generally bracelets, tight jeans, and a wide brim fedora being the most noticeable offenders).  It’s inevitable, yet pointless, to wonder why something as inconsequential and material as clothing can be a catalyst for such aggressive, and often negative, reactions.

Inevitably, you realize that, in a society where walking around naked is most definitely taboo, clothing is what defines gender.  Women have it rather easy in this department because of their anatomical composition.  In most cases, walking near a female is easy to discern.  Thus, if she’s wearing jeans and a sweater that’s fine because we know what gender it (she) is.  However, if she feels as if it’s necessary to show some leg or more of her form than that’s fine too.  The female body, because of a generally inherent male obsession with it’s potential sexually, can be more exposed.  Any objection will most probably come from a person who has some invested interest in the person’s dignity.  If a male were to wear shorter shorts or jeans that expose more form, however, it becomes unacceptable.  

With that in mind, there are parts of the male body that are admired sexually.  Some prominent examples are the penis, obviously, and the upper body.  The penis is irrelevant because of it’s presence in mostly private forums.  Thus, if a male were to expose more of himself, it’s going to have to be his obviously ripped upper body.  That said, a majority of offense comes down to at least four possible reasons:

1) As in the Prada example above, a top that, in how it accentuates the male form, is obviously not acceptable according to the male archetype.

2) In the case of Marc Jacobs, a bottom that is blatantly unacceptable according to the male archetype.

3) In the case of tight jeans or ‘short shorts’, a bottom that accentuates or overly exposes the male form to a degree that is obviously unacceptable to the male archetype.

4) Clothing that doesn’t fit any modern archetype (i.e. pointy shoes, hats that ironically pay homage to hats worn by every male in earlier decades but not in these decades, jewelry)

Granted, I will admit that a man’s leg is generally very ugly.  But that’s beside the point.  Sometimes I wonder if it all has something to do with the man’s ‘role’ as protector.  Is it possible that that’s why a muscular upper body being flaunted all over everyone’s face is cool?  Can I call this a ’24 inch pythons equals your face smashed’ complex?  I suppose that dressing up a bit off the paved path automatically subtracts from your total protection abilities or something.  Anyways, the point isn’t even that people can’t accept what’s going on sometimes.  The source for most despair is the fact that people feel it necessary to debase another person because of what they’re wearing.

Nice pants faggot.

Even more unfortunate is the use of homosexuality as some sort of insulting explanation for why you wear what you wear.  What ultimately is the connection between my sexuality and the tightness of my jeans?  Obviously you have a strict defintion for the homosexual male aesthetic, like you inevitably have a strict defintion for the lesbian aesthetic (note: mullet, flannel, dyke).  One of the most unfortunate terms in fashion, to me, is dandy.  This is essentially the term used for a male that exerts more effort when it comes to their appearance (note: dresses differently).  It’s unfortunate in the sense that it’s scope has been limited to those that usually dress in the more ‘homosexual’ regions of sartorialism.  I suppose when Jay-Z puts on some calculatedly geeky glasses and takes some time  to compose a pleasing combination of properly sized shirt, jeans, leather jacket, and–most importantly–shoes; he’s not being a dandy.  He’s just being dope…or something.  Dandy just sounds too gay.  So does metrosexual.  Apparently, you can only care about your appearance if you care about your appearance the way a man should.

 People wanna label me and throw that on me all the time, but I’m so secure with my manhood. And that’s the reason why I can go to Paris, why I can have conversations with people who are blatantly gay.

Indeed, it’s unfortunate that certain aspects of our society haven’t quite sufficiently humanized themselves.  However, in the end, you realize how moot and inconsequential, and ultimately unrewarding, it is to contemplate such things.  As cliché as it is at this point, whatever you wear should make you happy.  If you can’t hang with what you’re wearing, then don’t wear it.  However, fashion dictates that some degree of uncomfortability is necessary as a sort of litmus for proper sartorial individualism.  I mean, if you stand out in a crowd, sometimes it’s lonely you know?

And when someone from GQ comes in and calls a ‘skort’ a modern classic, it’s good for the progression of the male form.  Menswear is notorious for being strict when it comes to form–previously mentioned connotations regarding sexual orientation aside.  Therefore, when/if the ‘skort’ becomes a modern classic–whether it actually is or not at this point is definitely debatable–it will hopefully trickle down to more public conceptions of menswear, ultimately, affecting the definition of the male form as a whole.  However, avant-garde designers like Yohji Yamamoto and even Miuccia Prada aren’t going to be the one’s that do this.  It’s going to have to be some, more classically masculine, name that takes the burden of redefinition.  Unfortunately, the necessary designers, Prada aside of course, aren’t really doing this.  Whenever I hear men talk anything about high fashion, I generally hear Dolce and Gabbana or Giorgio Armani mentioned.  Using these companies as an example, Fall 2009 doesn’t seem to be the season for change.  The international recession can’t be helping their willingness to experiment as well I’m sure.  That said, it’s good to see someone with as much exposure as Kanye West challenging the sartorial definitions of a scene as rooted in machismo as hip hop.  What good will it do in the long run?  Don’t ask that shit stupid.

It doesn’t matter.

 

…haha I apologize.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

 

 

Captain America’s got lotso problems…

Douche.

Man, I’m so glad that New York Fashion Week is about to go off–despite the recession’s efforts to bum everybody out–because otherwise I’d just be hearing news about douchebags trying to steer this country into a ditch full of vomit and piss and just get all flustered and stuff.  I apologize for being so blunt, however, Republicans and their  constant adherence to ideological bullshit is absolutely appalling.  If we’re going to deal then let’s deal.  However, there’s a fine line between negotiating and being a bunch of assholes.   On my end, I’m not too down with cutting too much of the spending.  Indeed, let’s have tax cuts but cutting out spending on things like school construction, food stamps, and state workers seems a bit anti-productive doesn’t it?  No money for food stamps?  Really?  A Democrat’s example, if I may: During America’s recession of 1937, what did FDR do?  He spent more.  And guess what?  It worked…for the most part.  It wasn’t really the New Deal and, admittedly, World War II helped quite a bit; however, Roosevelt’s Keynesian tactics did actually do a worthy amount to make things better.  Look folks, if anything, tax cuts were in fashion during the last administration and, to be honest, I think it’s safe to presume that millions of unemployed Americans are over it.

That said, during today’s vote to end debate over ze mighty STIMULUS, Senator Ted Kennedy made it to Capitol Hill to vote.  Let’s put this into perspective shall we?  This man is recovering from brain cancer and just had a seizure on Inauguration Day; yet he still made it a point to show up for his party. 

Where was the douchebag above?  John Cornyn’s been all about opposing the stimulus as publicly as possible and, on his party’s triumphant filibuster day, where is he?  He’s in New York speaking with conservative media and GOP Wall Street donors. 

“Just kickin’ it right guys?” -Douchebag McCornyn

I don’t understand why the GOP’s felt so triumphant these past few weeks for being sad sucks.  Being lame isn’t really something I’d feel that good about.

In related news, RNC chairman Michael Steele’s stupidity appears to be growing every damn day.

From This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

STEELE: You’ve got to look at what’s going to create sustainable jobs. What this administration is talking about is making work. It is creating work.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s a job.

STEELE: No, it’s not a job. A job is something that — that a business owner creates. It’s going to be long term. What he’s creating…

STEPHANOPOULOS: So a job doesn’t count if it’s a government job?

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: Hold on. No, let me — let me — let me finish. That is a contract. It ends at a certain point, George. You know that. These road projects that we’re talking about have an end point.

It can’t get worse can it?

OH FUCK IT DOES!

From the Washington Post:

Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors…

The recent allegations outlined four specific transactions. In addition to the payment to Steele’s sister, Fabian said that the candidate used money from his state campaign improperly; that Steele paid $75,000 from the state campaign to a law firm for work that was never performed; and that he or an aide transferred more than $500,000 in campaign cash from one bank to another without authorization.

I’m gonna need something to cheer me up.

FUCKIN’ RAD.

Okay, sorry to be a bummer.  I’m being selfish.  To make it up to ya, here’s a song… a good song:

Squeeze ‘Is That Love?’

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

BLINK-182 IS BACK!

Hot shit from the Grammys:

-Blink-182 is back! (silence)

-Kanye’s outfit during his performance with Estelle bolsters my growing excitement over a hip hop artist hanging out at Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, and haute couture week (fuckin’ hero went to the shows in Paris this season). That said, all this culminates to is actual excitement over a rapper’s clothing line. (whole lotta nothing right now but, for future reference: http://www.pasttellmuseum.com/)               

-U2 is a solid contender for worst band in the world (I’m not even going to trouble you with a video of this bullshit).              

-I enjoyed watching over and over how uncomfortable Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood were during the announcement of their Album of the Year nomination.  Anyways, Radiohead killed it and I still❤ Jonny Greenwood over Thom Yorke unless Thom Yorke is ranting about world conditions.

-I’m gonna admit it, because it happens all the time, but I always get goosebumps when ‘Viva La Vida’ opens and Chris Martin starts the song.  What does this mean?  I don’t really know if I want to think about it too much.  It’s just fun and innocent right now.

-For some reason, I really want to say something about the Staples Center nearly collapsing, however, I’ve forgotten what that’s related to.  On a relevant note, M.I.A. was adorable and ‘Swagger Like Us’ was fantastic.  However, I will admit that I was a little saddened by the relegation of the gist of M.I.A.’s presence to the hook.  I kinda wish she got more ‘Paper Planes’ action.  Despite this, she always manages to make that shit legit and I want to go to there.  (ps was the black and white shit on purpose?  Like some homage to the rat pack or something?  I thought it was a technical problem because nothing about its execution was elegant).

The Grammys were funny in the sense that I had to come to grips with a few things.  First, I think I’m a bigger fan of Coldplay than I thought I was and I think it’s cute.  Second, 364 days of the year I kinda lull around when I listen to Radiohead; however, on this night I knew ’15 Step’ like I’m the President of the Hail to the Thief Radiohead Booster Club of America.  I’m not.  Finally, when M.I.A. took the stage, I realized how much of an unabashed fanboy I can be and really questioned my integrity as a cultural critic.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

Big in ’09 – Asian Guys.

I don’t believe what I’m seeing– are Asian guys actually getting their due?  For the longest time, the Asian girl has justly been the sought after gender of the Asian community, which when it buckles down to it, is totally understandable and justified:

Right???

Anyway, I’ve noticed this growing trend of Asian guys as the desireable commodity in terms of interracial mixing.  For the greater part of the last last century, there’s been this whole emasculation of the Asian male in mainstream westernized culture– for whatever reason, he’s seen as (for the most part) either nerdy, feminine, or a caricature of several Asian (or AzN) archetypes– racers, gamers, kung-fu masters, anime fiend, etc. etc. etc.

However, in the past couple of years, these stereotypes started to normalize.  I saw Gran Torino a couple of weeks back (it was okay), and for all the racial pandering (I seriously think the movie was just an excuse for Eastwood to say all the racist shit he could think of), the caricature of the Asian male presented was seriously… dated. Eastwood had rather drab characters that didn’t “feel” current. Rather, all Gran Torino served to do was exploit Eastwood’s dated notions of racial mixing in today’s catalystically progressive America. 

How did this happen?  I think for one, there’s been a rather dramatic shift in the relationship between East and the West.  As Eastern culture’s slowly been indoctrinating the West, there’s been a suble undercurrent of transition brewing on both ends.  This is starting to manifest itself in popular culture and the media and can be seen everywhere.   In essence, the Asian dude is no longer getting the short end of the stick (no pun intended).  At some point, it wasn’t weird anymore to be attracted to them and this expansive train of thought is spreading like the plague. Or maybe it’s just all the PinkBerry’s popping up.

Anyway, in spite of all the broo ha ha, this is a blog about trends and pop-culture, so what I’m getting at is that Asian guys are in style this year.  Think about it– the Asian male experiences the same success ($$$$) of the standardized “white male”, while retaining all the cultural roots and values that make being a “brown” person in this country worthwhile.  It’s wonderful.  It’s diversity.  Asian girls dating white guys? I mean, it’s cool… if this was 2005.  PLAYED. OUT. Jk. Date whoever you want.

But just keep in mind, this is the new shit:

See that? She kept going back for more.

// Caspian de la Sanchez

What I Listen To When I Think Of You Naked (Vol. 3)

toniamolyavko-03

My goodness gosh jones.  Things are getting a bitty silly on Capitol Hill.  I mean, with Senator Lindsay Graham spending an entire day being a buffoon amongst bastards, rejectionism, and misdirected media attention (an entire day for Tom Daschle and that other girl with the cabinet position no one will remember?  I understand, Obama’s running a bit ‘Al Capone Chicago’ with all these tax criminals; however, is that really enough to warrant us forgetting over FUCKIN’ 100,000 Americans losing their jobs in one week!  How much could they really say about Tom Daschle anyways?  Apparently a day’s worth.).

That said, Barack Obama is really utilizing the media quite effectively these days.  I really enjoy the op-ed he did for the Washington Post.  It’s seriously quite awesome having a President that enjoys writing.  It really justifies my otherwise unjustifiably bohemian profession of choice (to push the point across, bohemian–in this sense–is NOT used in a positive (NOTE: cool) connotation).  The President writes rhetorical prose on the side.  BAM, Jet Generation is legit.

I’m also enjoying Barack Obama finally sticking a fist at the damn Republicans who are being stubborn little sons ‘a’ bitches right now.  Will someone please tell me why their strict adherence to Reaganomic failure is still lurking around these days?  STUBBORNITY.  All that’s going down is a bunch of ‘talk, talk, talk’ and then, when you ask them what they want, they just huffaw and say, “Tax cuts?”

And please, don’t get me started on that silly fack Michael Steele and Limbaugh.  Damn dirty Limbaugh.

Anyways, we here at Jet Generation try to keep the politics at bay (Ed: HA WE FAIL THEN).  It’s not necessary, in a world saturated with pundits, for a pop culture shitstorm like this to delve its pretty toes into that poison water (Ed: WE FUCKIN’ DRANK THAT SHIT LIKE IT’S SIZZURP).  What I really wanted to focus on is Barack Obama’s  admittance of error regarding the Tom Daschle/that girl who was supposed to be Chief Officer of Maximum Performance affair.

“I SCREWED UP,” Barack Obama

And with that, the article shifts a bit.  I mean I quoted him in BOLD.  New game. 

The President’s willingness to recognize his mistake is humanizing.  Indeed, many–more conservative of course–pundits rue the day that our President; the hallowed mutant amongst blue-team X-Men (NOTE: For argument’s sake, Cyclops, Psylocke, Gambit, and Wolverine explain, in simple terms, why this team PWNS the gold-team), would dare humanize himself.  However, I enjoyed it because it brings him down to the land of sinful errors that we humans call Earth. 

Barack Obama is real.

With that in mind, and with this post being a music post; for some odd reason, the only thing I can think about is that great period when 112 and Jagged Edge existed.  I mean, I suppose they were a bit antithetical when it comes down to it.  With the Republicans highlighting minor points of the Obama administration that ultimately result in the formation of stupid myths and folklore, Barack Obama is being portrayed as an anti-Davy Crockett of sorts.  Instead of highlighting his noteworthy efforts to actually change things, you get this President who apparently isn’t living up to expectations despite an administration life of a whopping two weeks, who–despite his efforts–is still AWOL, and who can’t quite seem to keep his attempts at political ethics control in check.  All in all, it’s all falsely looking like, instead of swinging his empty rifle at the enemy, Obama’s taking the piss and getting ready for the execution. 

112 and Jagged Edge, on the other hand, represent this wonderful time in hip hop when rising from the ghetto was actually decadent and beautiful.  I mean, rappers were a bit too gritty and reminiscent of the improverished streets they grew from.  Seriously, all that bling quite clearly symbolizes that you guys aren’t really living in the projects anymore.  That’s totally X-Men gold-team shit right there (and please, don’t point out to me that Storm was on that team as a matter of coincidence you stereotyping racists).  With that said, I digress:

Blue Team: Cyclops, Psylocke, Beast, Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, and Jubilee

Okay, skunk-hair sugah up there (Rogue) and silly fireworks girl (Jubilee) kinda bring that team down.  But compare it to this failure:

Gold Team: Storm, Bishop, Colossus, Archangel, Iceman, and Jean Grey

Jean Grey?  I would never be able to hang out with a fuckin’ bitch of that caliber ever.  Iceman?  Douche.  Archangel?  Are you serious?  Talk about rue, I rue the day that that bastard got metal wings and became an ARCH.  It’s like G-Unit with Storm being the only powerhouse there and therefore assuming the subtly powerful role that Lloyd Banks held under the dictatorial jokes of the BISHOP that is Curtis Jackson.

That aside, 112 and Jagged Edge were truly roses that grew out of concrete.  Indeed, the imagery of their videos were full of expensive cars, the requisite video “hos”, and stupid nicknames (“It’s the S, the L, the I, the M HAHAHAHAHAHAHALAWL); however, instead of hard voices and dark filters, their videos were bright and their voices angelic. 

Example 1:

 

Look at those buffoons.  They seriously did not appreciate their Mathematics teacher in school.  However, look at the constrast between their posing and the heavenly sky behind them.  This image, more than any in hip hop, exemplifies the true aesthetic heights that this briefly appreciated time in the music exemplified.  These guys posed like rappers; rough and brutal, yet they were beautiful.  Mimetically speaking, this is as close to Plato’s Forms as the art of hip hop has ever gotten.

Example 2:

The smoke behind them is symbolic of a soul rising to the heavens and achieving spiritual perfection (Ed: HAHAHA That was some serious BULLshit right there).

I don’t know where these guys came from to be honest.  For all I know they were born in a golden chariot, birthed under the glorious light of Excalibur; however, that’s not the myth I’m going with.  As opposed to Barack Obama, these guys are Davy Crockett.  Despite the odds being against them, they fought till the end for The Alamo.  However, instead of their ultimate demise, they came out on top. 

Pathetic attempts at tying politics to early-millenium R’n’B aside, this is seriously the closest this series has gotten to playing music that someone would actually listen to while thinking of someone naked.  I mean, I guess Black Flag works but that’s gotta be some gnarly person I’m sure.  It’s all about being hot folks.  Otherwise, there’s no reason to be alive.

112 ‘Peaches and Cream’

And, because ‘Where the Party At’ has been previously posted, another Jagged Edge classic:

‘Trade It All’ (featuring Puff Daddy and Fabolous)

And, if you’re wondering, I always preferred cruising the boulevard with ‘Peaches and Cream’ blasting.  112 was always sexier.  But, in all honesty, I have a permanent soft spot for Jagged Edge.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

Lux Interior RIP

Amidst the punk smear of Mika Miko and the total assault that is Fucked Up, there was a degree of despair hanging around the part-time assholes rallying at The Casbah yesterday.

Lux Interior, lead singer of The Cramps, passed away.

In Glendale.

CRAMPS FOREVER.

More: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/148947-cramps-frontman-lux-interior-rip

Favorite song/mantra (Sunglasses After Dark):

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

Michael Phelps can’t outswim this one! (get it?)

America’s favorite (only?) swimmer celebrity got busted for a picture of him allegedly taking rips from a bong-looking… bong. Phelps acknowledged the funny looking guy in the picture was indeed him and apologized. He said he regrets partaking in such a “poor” and “youthful” decision.

What did he apologize for– getting caught, or the act itself? It’s kind of an unfair situation to be put in. I realize, granted, that as an Olympic athlete there are some responsibilities that come along with it. The thing is, it’s nearly impossive in today’s digital age to adhere to perfection, and a 23-year-old Olympic hero shouldn’t he an exception.

It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where your public image is everything, and that in itself can be shattered in an instant by a camera phone (sounds like a Gossip Girl episode, no?).

Mikey was put in a tough spot. He definitely apologized for getting caught (and to keep his sponsorships), but I don’t think he should be villified for being unable to uphold his larger than life stature. Was it wrong for him to take rips from a bong? I’m sure a good chunk of the population doesn’t really care, but I guess being a stoner didn’t fit well in his well chiseled ethos. But! He listened to Lil Wayne before every meet, so this can’t be entirely unexpected, right?

And if you think about it, stoner Mike kind of explains alot. Now we know why he ate 10,000 calories a day– munchies. 

So kids, the secret to being a world class, record setting athlete is simple… smoke some bowls.

 

// Adrian Hammerstein

No one really cares about the Superbowl this year.

 

 

Whose winning the match, Pop?

Sportsfandom is a peculiar thing.  For the most part, the die hard sports fan is the minority stakeholder in a vast sea of easy to manipulate fairweathered fans.  That said, there is no sporting event more fairweathered than the Superbowl (except perhaps the Olympics, when  shit like swimming all of a sudden becomes cool because of a lanky wigger with no personality.  No one cared about swimming before, and then all of a sudden everyone was an expert? I don’t buy it). 

Americans in general hold very, very few things sacred, but the Superbowl has at some point in recent history become the most sacred of them all.  In itself, it’s become transcendant of the very sport it contains– bigger than anything going on on the actual field.  The competitive quality of it has become diminished to about 50% actual sport and 50% media spectacle, and after a whirlwind media year in which we’ve seen a burning economy, a black president, and a girl selling her virginity online, the actual spectacle of the Superbowl this year is lacking the luster of years past.

For starters, last year’s Superbowl was, for all intents and purposes, as thrilling a spectacle as can be expected.  Figuratively, it was David and Goliath’s battle re-enacted by the Giants and Patriots, with the Giants ironically playing the role of the underdog. Now, it goes without being said that Americans always fancy the underdog role (even though, in the worldly scheme of things, we’re far and above in Goliath territory).  But all of that that is besides the point.  Last year’s Superbowl not only provided more than its fair share entertainment than should reasonably be expected, iconic moments in sporting history (when a play can be named in three words or less, i.e. “The Helmet Catch”, then you know there’s something enduring about it), but it also solidified Eli Manning– the goofy, non-alpha male Manning– as a bonafied star and player.  It was everything an audience could want and more. 

As for this year’s Superbowl, we have two very non-descript (i.e. boring) identities playing a game that most fairweather fans wouldn’t identify with.  Outside of Pittsburgh, no one really cares about the Steelers.  Sure, their team reeks of blue-collar, working class swag– a team built on defense and overall toughness– but they’re really, really hard to root for.  In fact, I’d say that most people would more easily villify them than anything (I blame it on the color scheme).  They’re just not very likeable.  The Arizona Cardinals (???) are negligeable– they have no mainstream identity for the fairweather fan to care about.  You’re better off finding a Unicorn than you are finding a genuine Cardinal fan outside of Arizona, truth be told. 

Does that take anything away from how well both teams have played, or how they’ve stepped up against teams that they should have lost to?  No.  No it doesn’t.  Does it, however, contribute to making the Superbowl more exciting of an event than it really is? Nope. If  10 years from now someone asked you who played in 2009, I’m willing to bet 90% of the population would have a hard time remembering.  The game itself could be really fun, if only because no one’s really going in with any expectations.  Who knows? It could be the best game ever.  But that potential alone is not big enough for the fairweather fan to care about.  We’re finicky, but there’s nothing wrong about that.

Also, Bruce Springsteen gets on my nerves– he’s caricatured himself as the perennial, uber-leftist Bush bashing rockstar, and that’s really 2006ish. I’m much more excited about Arnel Pineda with Journey playing the pre-game.  If Arnel belts out faithfully “Faithfully” and affectionately wins over mainstream America, I may find myself bathing in adobo sauce and tears of joy!

Other than that, the Superbowl’s gonna be a snoozefest, and Monday morning water cooler talk will probably hinge around that Beyonce commercial rather than those two teams that did something or other. 

// Caspian De La Sanchez

Friendship is porno fiends, ass pirates, and ball ticklers

Yesterday, during the swearing in of White House senior staff, Joe Biden made a joke.

Apparently, President Obama wasn’t too happy about this comment.

Recently I had a conversation with a few friends about a period in my young life when I used to relentlessly insult some idiosyncratic aspect of another friend’s existence to the point of shame and, regretfully, tears.  A brief dialogue from a particularly brutal insult sesh:

Me: Your fuckin’ shit sucks.

Friend: Why do you guys always make fun of me?  Can’t you stop making fun of me?

Me: We will when you stop bending over and letting us rape you.

And that’s something that I did every nutrition, lunch, dinner, pre-adventure conversation, mid-adventure conversation, and post-adventure conversation for my entire high school life.  I mean, it used to be so natural that the absolutely violent undoing of any self-confidence that the victim had was met with celebration of a conquest as opposed to something more humane and natural like remorse.

However, that’s the way it used to work.  It was the natural dynamic that had developed between myself and a few others that formed the top of the group’s hierarchy and the sorry group that fell well below us.  At some point of the conversation, I was asked to break down the group’s basic structure:

The FUCKIN’ top:  These are the people that you couldn’t insult without fear of severe retribution–often distributed as a group.  Sometimes there would be an insult hurled at us, however, this was often a jab of little consequence next to the fuckin’ fatalities that we would dish out.

Neutral Medium:  These people laughed with the FUCKIN’ top, cried with the victims, and kept their mouths shut.  They were often liked most by all parts of the hierarchy and often stayed to the side during all the mudslinging.  Thus, they usually didn’t get insulted and tried their best to keep things that way.

The DAMN DIRTY SHITS:  I seriously apologize to everyone in my group of friends that fell into this category.

To this, I was asked why we allowed things to work this way.  The explanation is simple–we were all okay with it.  Indeed, there’s an inherent emotional limit to how much verbal abuse one can take.  This limit was usually exhibited by annoyance initially and tears/raging anger ultimately.  However, whenever mud was thrown, it was justified by the fact that it was usually in reference to some act or event that the person willingly participated in.  For me, in high school; this usually revolved around ugly body kits, ugly girlfriends, and stupid exhibitions of manhood.  In one particular instance, for example, a friend showed up with his truck covered in mud from a previous day’s worth of off-roading.  Somehow, I found this a bit insulting and proceeded to scratch rather profane statements like “porno fiend”, “ass pirate”, and “ball tickler” into the thick layer of mud on his car.  Unfortunately, however, I did this right after English–which was located near a student parking lot– and aroused the mischievous attention of the rest of the class.  Upon witnessing my act of stupidity, they joined in and, soon enough, my friend’s truck was covered with statements of sexual bigotry and sodomy.

When my buddy saw what my entire English class wrote on his, previously proud, trophy truck, he was inevitably quite angry and embarassed.  However, after a cute smile and a brief moment of deep contemplation, he remembered the hierarchy and laughed it off saying, “Well, maybe I should’ve washed my truck huh?”

Thus, we seemed to have this undefined understanding of what was acceptable.  Even public humiliation was fine as long as it could’ve been prevented previously.  In this case, the motherfucker should’ve washed his truck.

There was, however, a line.  One day, a member of the group (it must be noted that he was of the DAMN DIRTY SHITS classification) admitted to some trouble between himself and his girlfriend.  Now, you can have an ugly girlfriend and that’s no one’s fault but yours (NOTE: Agreement amongst the other group members regarding said ugliness must be realized before shit can fly) .  Therefore, it was cool.  If you guys are happy together then it shouldn’t matter what a bunch of stupid assholes have to say.  However, something emotional, like a turbulent relationship, was strictly off-limits.  Anyways, the person related their troubles to the group and to this a neutral medium (of all people) pointed and laughed at the poor, suffering sap.  Now, a summation of this person’s violations:

1) The person was a neutral medium.  Thus, they SHOULD NOT be an insulter.

2) The insult was regarding someone’s relationship problems.

No one laughed.

Fortunately for the medium, he didn’t migrate to DAMN DIRTY SHITS–although he should’ve but who expects fair moderation of group dynamics amongst a bunch of high school punks.  In fact, his relationship with me, at the top, strengthened and then unceremoniously exploded later on (another story altogether).   The point here is that, we had this group hierarchy and that whatever shit was thrown amongst the members had to be justified.  That said, if we reduced someone to tears it was only because it was natural.  Later on, we’d all be at the Temecula mall staring at short-skirted bro sluts with Slurpees in our hands.

To this, the questioning member of the night’s conversation responded, “Sounds like you guys were insecure.”

I thought about this response to my rather intricate explanation carefully.  First, how dare you question something as well developed as my explanation.  Stupid son of a bitch.  Next, yes, we could’ve been insecure, however, I don’t really know what could’ve bred this insecurity.  We’re a bunch of fuckin’ friends right?  There’s no reason to be insecure since nature dictated the hierarchy and we all knew the limits of our stupidity.  I thought, “This bitch doesn’t know.”

I finally responded, “Yeah, you’re right.  We were insecure.”

For someone of Chief Justice Robert’s stature and level of accomplishment, screwing up the Presidential Oath–especially one of this magnitude–in front of billions can be hard.  Indeed, in the video, Barack Obama appears to be signaling a degree of maturity and self-restraint that his Vice Presidential colleague desperately needs to develop.  However, one thing that really made me happy about this cabinet in the days leading up to and following the inauguration is a sense of careless control that each member had.  Everyone seemed so relaxed, however, not to the point that I was uncomfortable.  In the end, I knew things were going to be handled.  Why didn’t Obama just laugh it off as the inconsequential jab that it was? 

Considering my dark and regretful past, Obama must’ve believed that Biden crossed the line that time.  I think it’s adorable that he gave Chief Justice Roberts another chance that day.  It might’ve reeked of un-transparency to some but I personally thought it reeked of cute.  As cute as an “abundance of caution” can get at least.

In all honesty, I quite enjoyed the post-insult audience point.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

I’m gonna sell my virginity to the highest bidder too, then.

According to various reports, 22-year-old Natalie Dylan is an okay-looking girl looking to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder online. It’s been reported that offers are reaching as high as 3.3 million. (source= CNN.com).

Now 3.3 million is alot of money. Alot of “closed minded” aka “old people over 29” are up in arms about this. I think those people are just living in the past. My arms are also up, except instead of being “upset” arms, they are to high-five girls like Natalie and say, “You go, girl!”

This gave me a brilliant idea. Why not sell MY virginity too? I mean, we’re all for gender equality here in the 2000’s. What beautiful, rich female heirress WOULDN’T want the virginity of a 115 pound barely pubescent looking azn male??

That’s right, JetGeneration fans. We are offering you, the readership, the exclusive opportunity to bid on a whole 5 1/2 inches of solid MAN (cold withstanding). I may have never seen an actual vagina IRL before, but I accidently brushed against my moms’ bestfriends’ boob once when I was 14. And I watch alot of PornHub.com, so I kind of know what IT* is like. Girls like anal, right? Because I mean, the odds of getting pregnant are scientifically proven to be slightly less. They also like it when you spit in their mouths and squirt your load in their eyes.

Here’s me:

asc_teamchientan_web1

Who needs practice when you can learn everything on “the net”, yenno?

Bidding will start at 12pm EST tomorrow.

I promise to rock. your. world.

girl.

Starting offer: $1,000 (no reserve)
BUY it now: $1,100

P.S. Plz send pix and A/S/L inquiries along with your bid. Additional proceeds will be donated to orphans with poor parents.

// Jimmy Wang, Editorial Intern @ JetGeneration.

* IT = male/female intercourse.

Yelp changed my life, but it’s starting to get a bit full of itself, don’t ya think?

Different people have different passions. They usually fall into the following categories: art, music, painting, photography, writing, dancing, “helping people”, animals, etc. Usually, we spend a greater part of our early-late 20’s trying to find our own individual “passion.” Mine you ask? Eating. Eating is my passion. Not food itself… definitely not cooking… just good ol’ food2mouth, perhaps with a fork… perhaps not.

There’s this website out. It’s kind of like Facebook and MySpace, except instead of leaving comments for friends, you leave comments for places you’ve eaten. Billions and trillions of users across the interweb are able to lay down their two cents and live their childhood dream of becoming food critics. It’s called Yelp. Have you heard of it? It’s pretty awesome. I found alot of fun places to eat and take my non-existent girlfriend to.

However, I’ve noticed that many of the comments (or “reviews”) on there are starting to get really, really stuffy. Many have touched on a new degree of elitism– it’s kind of like those high-horses reviewing albums at Pitchfork, except for food. And it’s not even educated elitism. It’s faux pseudo-intellect masquerading as elitism. Usually, these are written by Asian people. Asian people are weird. Many of them have weird witticisms as their tag quote, like “You find love in food.” What does that even mean? If I found love in my food, I’d quickly ask the waiter to take it back.

Sometimes, you’ll get the review where the person tells a long elaborate story, and they think they’re really funny. Except at the end, you’ll realize their story had no point, and you realize that either a) this person really, really like’s typing, or b) it was one of those “had to be there” stories. “Had to be there stories” are hard to tell, because you have to be there. But you’re not. So it’s hard.

Also, (and I think this might apply to the internet as a whole), but people use alot of big words incorrectly. Using large words on the internet is the new TyPiNg LiKe DiS, or the new abbreviation (for example, “lawl.”)

Anyway, Yelp is getting really pretentious, but it’s more reliable than making friends who recommend places for you to eat. One time, I had this friend who took me to a Mexican food place that was touted as “the best Mexican food EVER!” and then it turned out to be okay.

One last thing– alot of reviewers will give a place “lower” ratings for not being “authentic.” Like, Panda Express is frowned upon. So is Taco Bell. They’re often described as “bastardized” versions of the original. Well guess what? I think you’re a bastardized version of an original. Americanized “ethnic” food is just as tasty, if not more so than their ancestors.

Deep fried orange chicken? Double decker tacos? Inauthenticity = INNOVATION. If not for innovation, we’d never have things like Hot Pockets, or jelly filled donuts. Like, would you rather have a burrito without french fries in it, or a burrito with french fries in it? These are really easy questions to answer. Be honest with he (or she) who matters most– yourself.

Moral of the story: Don’t get left behind. The future is now.

Moral of the story #2: Don’t use big words.

I’ll eat to that.

// Caspian De La Sanchez

Basquiat and Obama or “I Love Anderson Cooper’s SEXY Stare”

HOPE. IS. HERE.

A few days ago, I read a New York Magazine report that art dealer Jeffrey Deitch wants to put a Jean-Michel Basquiat in the White House. 

From New York Magazine:

We want to get a great Basquiat painting in the White House,” Deitch said last night at the opening of “Flowers for Baudelaire,” Terence Koh’s new show. “I want to use whatever connections to get a super-outstanding Basquiat in the White House. It could be one of mine. It could be something that a friend owns.”

More: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/11/jeffrey_deitch_wants_a_basquai.html

Take note, in the comments section, that one person recommended Kehinde Wiley. 

wiley_01

If we were to remove Basquiat’s quite legendary name, on a more equal level of renown, I think the works of Wiley are more straightforward in their semblance to what Barack Obama represents.  His trademark is the portrayal of the African American man in classical painting representations of power–representations traditionally inherited by white men.

david-napoleon

A Wiley piece in the White House is homage to that fact.  It’s an absolutely fitting homage to the fact that the 44th presidential portrait will, for the first time, be a black man.

That said, it’s inevitable that Obama’s race is going to be a long-term focus for pundits, activists, artists, etc.  And it’s from this reason, in my eyes, why a Basquiat would be wonderful at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  A Jean-Michel Basquiat hanging in the White House extends beyond the art or even the artist.  Instead, a Basquait is about the fact that he was a member of a New York scene that pulled together a significantly diverse crowd of people to live (often in some definition of poverty and sometimes through squatting) and, simply, create art.

samograf

Jean-Michel Basquiat was the ‘seminal graffiti artist turned high art maestro’ of a scene that brought together a rather disparate cross-section of musicians, artists, and various eccentric/creative entities to the rather third-world neighborhoods of New York City in the late 70’s and early 80’s.   A viewing of the film Downtown 81 is a testament to the crestfallen environment these artists called home.

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The scene brought together No Wave artists  like James Chance, Lydia Lunch, Arto Lindsay; hip hop pioneers like Fab Five Freddy and artist ‘Lee’ George Quinones; CBGB types like Debbie Harry; GQ Style Guy Glenn O’Brien; and popular world music like Kid Creole and the Coconuts–amongst an endless level of diversity from various aspects of creativity. 

Where else, at this time, could you find a meeting of members of New York’s Hip Hop, Punk, New Wave, and No Wave scenes?  These were scenes that, individually, had significant ramifications on cultural diversity, pop culture, and definitions of art that have lasted to this day.  Glenn O’Brien’s significantly important–apparently David Letterman’s favorite show at the time btw–TV Party is a good example of this:

A single episode regularly included, alongside O’Brien; Debbie Harry (Blondie), Fab Five Freddy, and Basquiat himself. 

That said, Jean-Michel Basquiat is the most noted painter from this period of art.  As graffiti artist Samo, he would take the ‘system bombing’ artform of graffiti and use it to question New York City.  His mysterious and minimal works escaped definition and often took graffiti to a more intellectually involved exercise that opened one’s environment to the wonderful world of intagibility.  As an artist, he blended expressionism (neo-expressionism) with homages to traditional African art.

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Although Kehinde Wiley is an extremely talented artist and a pioneer in the representation of blacks in art; consequently being a very good artist for Barack Obama’s White House, Basquiat is a symbol of  the diversity and unity that has come to define Barack Obama himself.  From the creative flower that grew in the Downtown 81 slums of Manhattan to his art–that hung with large value in SoHo galleries, were discussed in ArtForum, and were once owned by the drummer of Metallica–Basquiat transcends himself and the art itself.  In my honest opinion, anything from him would be simply fabulous in the new Obama household.

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1981 is real.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

Jigga What?

Brooklyn’s finest is going to be performing at Obama’s Inauguration tomorrow, alongside wifey Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Shakira (I’m sure it’s for her ass, not her music), Faith Hill *yawn*, and some other people who don’t really matter. 

This is history in the making folks. Whatever song Jay-Z chooses to perform will likely set the tone for Obama’s upcoming term.  My vote? Ride or Die.

Your turn! What song do you think Jay-Z should do from his extensive back catalogue? We’d love to hear it.

// Caspian de la Sanchez

What I Listen To When I Think Of You Naked (Vol. 2)

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Dammit Franz Kafka is depressing.

Coming to grips with a Kafka story is a matter of wallowing in the vacuous despair of a harsh society. 

Waking up in the mornings will become a significantly more difficult matter to handle if you’ve ever read something like The Metamorphosis.  You sit there and analyze those around you with an air of dissatisfaction (you’re absolutely sure they’re doing the same) that only serves to accentuate your dreadful side ache.

On the radio, you find out that Timothy Geithner, OH precious Timothy Geithner, is human afterall.  In a month of Blagojevichs, Richardsons, and–now–Geithners, you aren’t sad that these things happen; instead, you get sad because you realize that there’s a cage full of animals ready to pounce on Barack Obama because of a fellow man’s error.  Regardless of the fact that Blagojevich is his own fool (not Obama’s), that Bill Richardson nobly stepped down as Secretary of Commerce, and despite the fact that a single; albeit significant, error could undo–in various predatory circles–a worthy career in international finance; with the New York Fed, and derail Timothy Geithner’s significant promise as Treasury Secreatry; Barack Obama’s going to have to live up to his decisions, as well as, inconsequential connections.  He’s going to have some explaining to do.  It’s nature.

There’s a wealth of opinion, all understandable in their own right, regarding the relative position of our hallowed servants to us below them–whether it’s entertainment, sports, politics, etc.  However, rarely do we remind ourselves that we’re all fools on an endless search for saints.  It’s not going to happen because we’re all sinners in a cruel world but all we can do is keep a stiff upper lip and fuckin’ handle it.

Right?

Then the cereal is oversaturated with milk, the coffee is cold, there’s things to do, things to get, things to build, things to pay, things that’ve been lost, things to replace, lovers to pay for, lovers to apologize to, precious Timothy Geithner, rain on a running day, the racists at work, hangovers on a Tuesday, What the hell happened last night!? 

Shit. 

If the world you should find solace in is harsher than the world around you, what’s the damn point?

Dammit Franz Kafka is depressing.

I was gonna post Beat Happening’s Down at the Sea to provide some cheer amidst it all, however, at this point in the piece it doesn’t feel damn right.  I’m gonna have to save that one for a more pleasant post but today, my friends, we get Black Flag.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

The Death of the Pant (or skirt or short)

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2009 is real. 

Sorry about the long hiatus, however, the Jet Generation staff–this writer in particular– was quite occupied with a few things:

1. A re-discovery of the magic of Kingdom Hearts that hasn’t been felt since the lonely days of high school.

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Annnnd that’s about it.

But hey, we’re still cool and shit so we’re back.

There’s a bunch of things that were supposed to be posted before the new year, however, they weren’t and so we’ll get to getting you guys that stuff later on.  Seriously, it’s awesome stuff.  Like music mixes and Jet Generation original hentai artwork.

Of more immediate concern, however, is the emergence of models walking around international runways in shorts that are actually passable as underwear.  Is this real?  Is this a dream?  This is amazing?  It is indeed.  I mean underwear is underwear but these are shorts (as in outerwear!).  Regardless, there is something a bit disconcerting about diminishing thread counts at high fashion events.  I look at this rather arousing trend from two viewpoints:

1) It’s representative of an increasingly apathetic society.

2) It’s representative of a society in the grips of an economic crisis.

These viewpoints, one must note, go hand in hand.  As I’m sure DEMOCRATIC AMERICA  has sufficiently drilled into your heads, there’s been a bit of laziness in the past few forevers regarding regulation of the free market that’s been quite an effective means of putting a lot of us in the shits.  And when I say free market, I’m not talking about Capitalism and it’s virtues over all other economic models.  When I say free market, I mean Capitalism and the virtues of mismanagement that’s often stupid and usually illegal.  Right Bernie Madoff?

Money is happiness.

Anyways, apatheticism is an effective catalyst for decadence.  In this case, it’ll be the decay of the economy and the consequent effects this has on society as a whole.

Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder. – Arnold J. Toynbee

I recently had a conversation with a close friend about the state of the music listener as a result of download culture.  Although I’m an avid supporter of .zip, .rar, and .torrent; I’ve felt for some time now that downloading has contributed to the decay of the culture of music.  Specifically, I feel as if downloading music has contributed to an apatheticism towards the actual content of the music that’s downloaded.  As a result, a large part of being a music listener has become simply having the “hot single” (as opposed to having an entire album) and the positive effects that having the album on one’s iTunes (or related player) has on the legitimacy of listing the artist on one’s Facebook or Myspace.  Another more important consequence of all this, however, is the disappearance of any emotional attachment to the artist obtained.  Regarding the last point, there’s a huge possibility that one can obtain some music, sample it, and then quickly discared it to the recycle bin.  This is in direct opposition to the classic methods of actually getting off your comfortable gaming chair, going to the record store, and buying the record.  For some reason, the combination of–first and foremost–SPENDING YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY, then, physically having the album and its related paraphernalia in your hands as you go home to physically place the media (vinyl, cd, cassette, etc) into a specific player–thus eliminating the devastating double click–has this inherent ability of heightening appreciation.  Effort begats appreciation right?  On top of this, because downloading is such a transient lifestyle, songwriting; from a business standpoint, has suffered at the hands of the single.  Not to say that the single is bad, however; as of late, fast music has often equaled fast TRASH (NOTE: see Katy Perry).

Our laziness is contributing to the death of music as an industry and as a culture.  What will happen to music as a business and a way of life if we continue to wallow in the Dionysian pleasures of Kb/s down?

So, that said, I ask you:

Why wear pants?

Pants (or skirts or shorts) exemplify everything that’s pragmatic and unchallenging in contemporary society.  In fact, I wish we could all be Ancient Greece and obsess over human form (NOTE: walk around naked).  I seriously do.  Even fat people.  Unfortunately, there’s Biblical conservatism and/or a boring definition of taste that requires some cover for the genitalia, breasts, and the uglier aspects of individual human form.  Underwear supports and, essentially, conceals genitalia and that, I suppose, is understandable.  But what about pants?

What’s really the point of the pantaloon?

It’s purpose is three-fold in my opinion.  In no particular order:

1) It adds style to the concealing of human form that comforts us so much.

2) It’s good for some storage.

3) It provides warmth/comfort because underwear exposes too much. 

The reality of pants, however, is that it’s an extra step–both physically and financially–to living life.

Before I delve further into that statement, I must connect the dots a bit.  Recently, a few political pundits have portrayed America’s economic crisis as a sign of the collapse of an empire (in the vein of Rome of course).  If this is the case, then why should we give a fuck about wearing pants?

In 2006, Queen Latifah made a film called Last Holiday. 

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The plot revolves around a rather tired model of living one’s life to the fullest when one knows that death is near.  In terms of a plot for any kind of story, this is quite dull.  However, who’s to say that this can’t be a viable economic model?  If our empire is going to collapse, indeed, then government and private business have all the right to find some means of preventing that from happening.  It’s in everybody’s best interest.  However, Rome died for our history books.  Is there anything America can actually do? 

It’s cheaper to take off our pants.

The idea of living life to the fullest in the face of one’s demise requires challenging ourselves.  That said, the disapperance of the pant (or skirt or short) on a few high fashion runways, to me, exemplifies a desperate request for pleasure and challenge in the face of decadent mortality.  It also represents doing something that, on Main Street especially, might get a few condescending stares from the boring Right.  To that I say, “What me worry?”  If America is going to implode into a vacuum of unemployment, high finance scandals, and 70% off at Neiman Marcus; then why the fuck should I care?

I proffer another question: If illegal downloading is going to collapse the music industry as we know it, then is the deletion of something as significant as the pant going to do the same for fashion?

Like download culture, the deletion of  the cover for one’s unmentionables is ultimately going to be a cheaper exercise.   In this case, however, these benefits are more inclined towards the retailer than the consumer. On a high fashion level this effect is less relevant because this echelon of clothing dismisses money like champagne.  However, this effect might be more readily felt when the mass market trendsetters like H&M or Forever 21 decide to cash in.  The amount saved on thread and other services rendered–when the only cover necessary is a single piece of underwear–is significant when you think of it from the perspective of  these mass manufacturers. 

In the model of a successful economy, consumer participation is a vital component.  The negative effects of excessive consumer saving–from a business standpoint–is probably well-known by now.  Most noticeable are the high unemployment and job-loss statistics.  Inevitably, suffering businesses go belly-up and the stock market indices buckle from increasingly disappearing market participation.  With investors freaking out and, consequently, selling off; the Dow Jones Industrial falls below 8000, New York sinks into the Hudson, and California becomes a giant volcano. 

Impending doom aside, the emergence of underwear as a viable means of exposing one’s self in public allows for cheaper retail manufacturing and, ultimately, enough of a buffer to lower the total cost of a hip outfit.  Consumers, inevitably, must rejoice at the complete deletion of the pant (or skirt or short) as a necessary purchase.  Women will celebrate and men will want in on this sexy time…

Right?

The only boundary that the underwear short must overcome is the inevitable fear that many have about exposing too much.  That, however, is rectified by another; possibly more vital, component:

SEX.

Even if men don’t join in on the underwear bandwagon–which considering the unfortunately extreme levels of unabashed machismo inherent in the modern American male will most likely be the case–then there is at least some motivation in the fact that women are exposing more skin and, when the game rallies in that direction, that women are required to remove less.

It’s that simple.  On an economic level, there’s a bit more thinking; however, all we need to hear is that the rules of attraction are satisfied and the road to sex is more efficient.

That said, is this enough to save the economy?

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Looking above, the answer is NO.

However, what the underwear trend exemplifies is the fashion industry swinging a sexy fist in the face of economic gloom.  The fashion industry, just like any other art form, is escape.  Incredible models walking around in underwear meant to be worn on the streets is in direct defiance to the doldrum conservatism that reducing consumer spending bolsters.

Saving money is boring.

Is it overtly optimistic to state that the emergence of the underwear short is going to save our economy? 

NEVER.

However, fashion is an industry just as much as a form of entertainment.  Dolce and Gabbana must’ve had something in mind when they sent their models out in those shorts.  Does that matter?  Not in the least.  If the Spring 2009 shows from Maison Martin Margiela and Sonia Rykiel have anything to say, fashion is about unabashed fun in the face of a critical society.  So, my friends, I urge you to go out there in your underwear and say FUCK YOU to the boring peddlers conceding defeat to a dying economy.

America needs you.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

The Little Mermaid Fucked Up Everything.

After a brief holiday hiatus, we’re back!

We hope you all had a fun/great/safe/fun New Year.

Now now now, fair warning, this entry is going to be all over the place.  My brain is a bit fried from too many flutes of champagne and/or designer drugs over the past couple of weeks, so bare with me.

 Word on the street is they’re making a movie version of “He’s Just Not That into You.”  Last year, a female friend had me take a glance at the book in order to confirm that the male proffered information within it was true.  It was straightforward and to the point without abandon, and she was kind of bewildered when I confirmed her suspicions and said, “Yea.”

Now, 21st century romance is in this sordid, really fucked up state of existence, and I have a few ideas why.  Playing the game as a 20-something-year-old always seems alot harder than it is when you’re actually up to bat, but I’d blame the whole thing on this sort of detached, escapist romanticism cultivated by popular media over the past 20 years. 

Kids born in the 80s were subjected to these unrealistic expectations of how male-female relations were supposed to pan out at a really early age, and the culprit is Disney movies.  Shit made the 90s generation soft.  Now, fairy tales, romantic movies, TV shows, etc. have always had their place in popular culture dating back to who-knows-when, but what sets the Disney generation apart is that a) it was when TVs became prominent enough to take over the role as the surrogate parent, and b) they were the first generation to have a shared media conciousness through it.  The majority of young women I’ve encountered between the ages of 19-28 has had a good chunk of their romantic perceptions altered by what I’d like to call “The Little Mermaid Complex.”

The Little Mermaid Complex has, for better or worse (definitely worse), infiltrated several aspects of the collective female conciousness even if you’ve never seen the movie. In the movie, you’ll notice that Ariel’s fate is 99% predetermined by the various crustaceans, sea gods and octopussies around her– in short, she has no free will. Every aspect of her life eventually gets taken care of, whether that be finding love, standard of living, etc. There’s the illusion that she’s in control of what she’s doing (such as when she goes out and collects forks and stuff), but really, these actions have no baring on the eventual ending. 

In essence, the plot can be summed up as so:

Ariel wants to be part of another world, and through magic is able to become a part of it.  However, her real identity is masked, and it’s only when this reality is revealed that you realize she can never really be what she wants to be.  Then of course, magic changes everything again, and she lives happily ever after, feet and all.

And the poisonous thing about all this is that it creates this faux illusion in our own subconciousness that everything will eventually be taken care of– the illusion that things just “fall into place.” And that’s not really how it works. The little Mermaid complex is prevalent, in everything from the money mongering juggernaut of Twilight to the even more juggernauty Sex and the City.

(Now now now, for those of you who think this entry is getting a bit too mysoginistic, you can just replace Little Mermaid with Aladdin and Sex and the City with Entourage and you’ll have the same thing, except for dudes.)

What I’m also saying is that the current state of dating for 20-something-year-olds is hard because it’s been wired into our hardware that we need to find prince or princess in order to be happy, which isn’t the case (if only because there are only so many princes and princesses to go around).

We all wish we could be Aladdin or Ariel, but the fact of the matter is we’re probably more like the crab or the monkey. This subconcious self-ordained protagonism  is making alot of people really lonely, desperate, or places them in unfulfilling or damaging relationships if only it’s because it’s what they’re supposed to be doing. 

Gag. Magic isn’t real.  Do work son. Do work.

// Caspian De La Sanchez

What I Listen To When I Think of You Naked (Vol. 1)

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Mixtapes take too long to make. However, don’t fret beloved readers because our giving spirit never relents. To give your ears the good life, we’ve created this here series. We’re pretty much going to post shit we listen to while we watch viral videos, pirated movies, and pirated porn (the music drowns out the moans and slaps just in case your neighbors begin to think you’re too freako). If you liked the first “Bailamos Let The Rhythm Take You Over,” however, than expect another one soon. Expect it to include this track from legendary New York dance/post-punk band Liquid Liquid. It’s called “Cavern”, it samples Grandmaster Flash’s absolutely; wonderfully; amazing “White Lines”, and it’s rad times 10.

Liquid Liquid ‘Cavern’ (z-share)

Click that beast and it opens a nifty imeem page. Embedding shit on wordpress blows. Fuck this life. (EDIT: Imeem fails.  The new game is z-share for now. xoxo)

BTW!!!!!!! Keep your eyes open for Jet Generation’s first ever “Top Bunch Of Things” lists next week. It’ll be real. It’ll be XMAS.

//Vladimir Sorokoskev

Sarah Palin is like Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Kennedy wrapped up into one spunky package

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Did the McCain campaign see more lucrative ends in ‘refining’ Sarah Palin’s appearance than actually developing her UNDERSTANDING OF OUR WORLD?

More: http://www.style.com/beauty/beautycounter/2008/12/the-price-of-getting-pretty-for-politics/

Dunno. Looks like it.

And it WORKED.

Sarah Palin got a lot of guff for her public appearances, where she really didn’t appear to have a grip on things; however, we never gave her guff about her style.

You just can’t give her guff about her style.

Most shocking, however, is the So You Think You Can Dance? makeup artist. It’s shocking because I consistently wondered when Amy Strozzi was going to get a chance to shine . I mean, So You Think You Can Dance? is a question that many Americans encounter week after week, however, I always felt as if her talents in the facial arts were better suited for more high power pursuits. I mean, color me bad but every week that I sit down and abhor my life while watching So You Think You Can Dance?–my only consolation being the Sara Lee cupcake in my left hand and my dick in my right– I always dream of sitting on Cat Deeley’s artificially perfected face.

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Gritty reality.

That said, Republicans are geniuses and have crafted quite the style icon in Sarah Palin. Everytime I see her in one of her, obviously bespoke tailored, suits; high fashion images of killing deer with a shotgun while riding an Arctic Cat and chopping wood with a machete flood my brain. These are the images that inspired Karl Lagerfeld’s foray into the coldest winter in his Pre-Fall 2009 collection.

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I mean, it’s not like Sarah Palin’s fashion rival during Election 2008, the always retro and consequently boring, Michelle Obama is even in the same league. Yes, she primarily styles herself (note: she styles herself! Like a normal proletariat pauper! LOL.  Who does she think she is? LAWL.) with talented designers like Maria Pinto (formerly of Geoffrey Beene) and J-Crew, however,I tend to believe that just because you know who; doesn’t mean you know what. Right?

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And those pearls! Those gaudy ass pearls! I think she’s trying to go for vintage power with vintage elegance. But she failed! HA! Instead, she got Akuma ready for a beatdown at the hands of the more subtle power of Dan.

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Michelle Obama may conjure up pleasant images of Jackie-O but that’s only in the minds of the unenlightened. If you really want to see the elegance–elegance of a sunless winter in fact–head over to Wasilla, Alaska and shoot your guns at the nearest deer because Sarah Palin will probably be there.

im-here-for-ya

//ESPN Sportcenter’s own Josh Elliot

Your Che Guevara Shirt is Pretty Gay.

Time Magazine once wrote the following:

 (Che Guevara) remains the potent symbol of rebellion and the alluring zeal of revolution.

Rad.  So you saw Diarios de Motocicleta like 80 times (Gael’s pretty dreamy), have been keeping tabs on the new Benicio del Toro bio-pic, and bought a Che shirt at Hot Topic for $19.95.  Two years ago, you also re-downloaded Battle for Los Angeles  for your iPod because you heard Rage was reuniting at Coachella and you couldn’t find the CD you bought with your lunch money back in 1999.  You do everything in your power to go against the social norm, and fight the power with rasta-colored merch (sweatbandz!) and really strong weed.

Gay.

The canonization of Che Guevara as some sort of mythical revolutionary figure is so misguided it’s kind of gross.  Fidel Casto’s partner in crime was directly responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent folks (and indirectly a lot more) and was notoriously short tempered.  In one not-so-famous instance, a woman was pleading with him NOT to execute her son later on in the week.  His response? “Shoot him now.  That way it’ll save her the agony of having to wait” (or something like that).  That is some COLD BLOODED shit, and wearing a Che shirt puts you in the same boat as the neo-Cons who are pro-life AND pro-war.  You’re the type of person who thinks silly things like logic and research aren’t really important.  But I mean, that’s cool, cuz it’s revolution baby, yeah!

Revolution’s okay. They make for good songs. But show me a real revolutionary, and 9 times out of 10 I’ll show you an upper middle class white dude with lame dreads who smells like  patchouli.  These are the same dudes who ruined Bob Marley for music fans and whose very existence does nothing but reinforce the stereotype of mindless liberal droninization (I made that word up).  The capacity of their political rhetoric is childlessly limited, and no one wants to stand next to them on the subway because they stink of trainwreck and non-showers.

My advice? Don’t be this guy.  Don’t wear Che shirts, and don’t say you like reggae when the only album you’ve ever heard is Bob Marley’s Legend (say Matisyahu, please).  Peter Tosh and the Wailers are okay. Steel Pulse is cool. Early Bad Brains is rad.  But please, for the love of God, you’re not a revolutionary and probably never will be. Gael is a handsome fuck, but Che Guevara was nothing short of a grade-A bastard, and the commercialization of him as a martyr is 400 degrees of retarded. Promise me you won’t be retarded, k? K.

Actually, this shirt’s kind of funny:

LAWL.  I still wouldn’t wear it.

I❤ fashion.

// Jenny Humphrey

I liked Robocop when he had friendly directives like “Avoid Interpersonal Conflicts”

I always come out of a Darren Aronofsky film feeling disconcerted.  It’s akin to coming out of a motion ride like Universal Studio’s Back to the Future or Star Tours at Disneyland.  The only difference is that, in the case of Pi or The Fountain or something, it’s more intellectual than physical.  I suppose.  Either way, things are a bit messy after the experience.

That said, why is CM Punk the raddest beefcake around?  Really?  CM Punk?  Actually, he’s cool beans because of his subtle Minor Threat references.  I still, however, long for the days of The Iron Shiek vs. Sgt. Slaughter.  Shit man.  References to Iran/Contra in the WWF (NOTE: wwF)?  That’s real life right there. 

Or is it?  Check out the trailer to the upcoming Aronofsky reality The Wrestler:

Randy “The Ram” Robinson!  That’s what I’m talking about!  Crüe>Nirvana!!!!!!<3<3<3  Mickey Rourke even has the cauliflower face to really legitimize the film.  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that this one’s going to topple Hulk Hogan’s part in Rocky III and Hulk Hogan in No Holds Barred.  And let’s not even get into Ready to Rumble because that was a travesty.  However, I will admit that I’ve seen the movie about four times but I attribute those personal failures to a mild obsession with Bill Goldberg. 

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Friendship.

On another–even more exciting believe it or not–note, Aronofsky is also working on the new Robocop flick!  FUCKIN’ MAGIC!!! 

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FUCKIN’ MAGIC!!!

 

 

More: the greatest franchise revisit ever

Wrestling and Robocop.  It’ll be good to feel six years old again.  Damn good.

//Eugene “Mean Gene” Okerlund

My first love? Boys who scratch. =)=)=p

Salem.  Is. Rad.  This is Radiohead and codeine without the codeine voice.  I think it would’ve made this remix hilarious if they codeine’d Thommy’s voice like he was “sippin’ on some sizzurp.”  Right Weezy F. Baby? lilwaynesippin
RIGHT.

stunnin like my daddy.

Cop this shit.
Reckoner (Salem remix)

Then follow me and together we can relive hip hop’s golden era:

//Shannyn Sossamon

Fat People are Warm

It’s getting cold here in New York Shitty.  According to the 2008 Edition of the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s supposed to be one of the coldest winters in the history of winters.  As a writer, there’s about a 98% chance I’m strapped for cash at any given time. Soooo… instead of investing in a super-waterproof-insulated-down coat from North Face ($300), I’m going to try and gain some weight.  You know, fight nature with NATURE.  It’s a scientific FACT fat people are warmer than non-fat people, and science is always right. I consulted my cousin Christian (280 pounds) for some advice on the matter, and here’s what he had to offer:

add butter and mayo to everything you will eat, also do not shy away from eating other people’s leftovers those are great source of carbs, protein and fat, plus its free. I recommend getting whole milk also, plus fry all of your snack foods, everything. Substitute granola bars for pop tarts, use peanut butter and jelly when eating apples. DO NOT EAT VEGETABLES unless they have been drowned in butter cheese. OH add cheese to everything, double it up on sandwiches, but you could mix it up by adding a shredded cheese and condiment dipping sauce on the side. After you eat immediately take a nap. This will rest the body, restart your brain to thinking its breakfast again. well thats all i have for today.
 

Needless to say  I’m really excited about this project.  People will look at my photos on Facebook and say condescending things like, “Sad. Chris really let himself go. He used to be so skinny.”  And then I’ll hit the gym hardcore in Spring, lose the weight, and people will come up to compliment me with things like, “Wow Chris, you look great!” to which I’ll respond, “I KNOW.” 

Attention whore? You can bet a triple-stacked chili burger I am.  Two words: LETS. DO. THIS.

// Chris Guy (Co-Editor in Chief, future fat person)

P.S. if you think that this plan looks an awful lot like the recent life trajectory of Marc Jacobs you’d be absolutely WRONG.

Maximum Auto-tune or Kanye West is about to change everything

808nheartbreakcover

808’s and Heartbreak

Don’t tell me about it please, especially if you’ve heard it.  I haven’t listened to the leaks or anything—on purpose.  My only idea of where this album’s gonna be is from a lo-fi recording of Love Lockdown and the Kanye blog leaked Heartless (I first heard it driving through Sacramento at 4am after a 7 hour driving stint that included a rain soaked, big rig infested, and absolutely treacherous Mt. Shasta.  After hearing it, despite the efforts of what I’m sure is Sacramento’s most annoying ‘overtly FUBU’ dj, I nearly broke down and cried.  Maybe it was my passenger’s B.O., maybe it was my B.O., or maybe it was the drive; however, the music I had just heard almost served as the catalyst for a tear fest that could’ve rivaled the rain currently pummeling the windshield).  I will say this, from what I’ve heard, I wouldn’t be surprised if this album becomes a landmark in hip hop music.

Granted, any album becoming a landmark these days is quite difficult because the contemporary music listener can’t mythologize something they’ve downloaded, no album art necessary, off of piratebay.org or hiphopsfinest.blogspot.com (I only insult because I’m quite a frequent visitor of said or related sites).  The magic of the money spent, the vinyl or cd sleeve, and the physical manifestation of the disc or record are gone and, in my honest opinion, so is the ability of the record– as in the music– to really get to the canonized status of many works from the past.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible; however, I think the record has fallen behind personal appearances, sartorialism, gossip columns, and live shows, thus, making the artist, as an image, capable of achieving something significant without necessarily relying on the music.

That said; the music on this album should be able to stand on its own.

It should. 

I really hope it does.

Everybody’s doing their thing, but they’re not exciting.  Everybody is doing the same thing.  That’s terrible.  Do I love the music that’s out right now?  I love it with a passion.  Does it motivate me?  Not one bit.  That’s because 808’s & Heartbreak isn’t out yet.                                              

                 -Lil’ Wayne (from  http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1598384/20081031/ross__rick__rap_.jhtml)    

 

Look folks, we’re gonna have to look beyond the auto-tune here and really break down what we’ve heard so far.  Again, many of you might’ve already heard more of this album than me but that’s irrelevant.  What matters here is the potential impact, on a less tangible; more philosophical level I suppose, that this album’s going to have on, not just hip hop music, but music in general.

When I first heard Love Lockdown in its entirety (I did hear about 10 seconds of it at the Nike Human Race in LA) it was on the MTV Video Music Awards.  Suffice to say, the first thing that came to mind was Robert Palmer singing a blues song (Yes, Robert Palmer.  I shouldn’t have to explain that to anyone).  What I heard was something truly emotional coming from Mr. West.  It wasn’t, I must note, sloppy, tear fest emotional.  Instead, it was emotional with style.

The problem with a lot of hip hop–or rap or whatever–these days is that people are expecting shallow club bangers at all opportunities.    Kanye redefined the whole concept with his last album, most notably on Stronger, however, the results of his efforts were leveraged by the fact that even something slow and dramatic, like Flashing Lights, could still light up a dance floor.  With Love Lockdown, suddenly a major rap star dropped something absolutely minimal.  And I’m not talking about Neptunes minimal because that has enough bass to shake Godzilla’s ass.  This is frightening; empty minimal.  This is Delta blues, Robert Johnson, strychnine, and Satan. 

And a few people appear to have a problem with this, however, that problem primarily stems from a lot of these people’s apathy, ignorance, and reliance upon bubble gum rappers to make them something they can have clothed sexual intercourse with their sluts to at Club Vagina while they sip a glass of cocaine vodka.

I proffer a question: What happened to the sheer, unfiltered emotion in hip hop?  Hip hop, like rock’n’roll before it, was created in the face of social inequality and rebellion.  It’s from this that songs like The Message from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five grew from.  I mean, watch any film from any scene in hip hop of the same period, from Wild Style to Style Wars to Krush Groove and, even in the campy; almost exploitative cheese of some of the latter films, you see a conviction and belief in the battles, the graffiti, the dancing and even in the partying that, again like rock’n’roll before it, will soon be decimated by commercial success.

And that’s why 808’s and Heartbreak is going to change things.  It polarizes and challenges us.  Despite his popularity, Kanye West doesn’t forget that he’s an artist.  And, ultimately, it’s an artist’s duty to aesthetically present human emotion.  Kanye just lost his mother and fiancé and, with this in mind, there’s no way that any of us could—or should—expect someone as legitimate as him to release something for us to simply snort and hump to.  What I didn’t expect, however, is the devastating levels of emotional minimalism that I’ve heard so far.

This is a hip hop album indeed.  The auto-tuning and bass will not let us forget that.  But this is also blues music.  Imagine Love Lockdown played on a battered acoustic guitar in Mississippi over a bottle of whiskey and under a dirty suit and fedora.  Someone lost their wife.  You don’t know if it’s the guy playing the guitar or the guy who’s going to murder the guy playing the guitar but someone’s not coming out of this night the same.  Someone lost their wife.  Someone lost their reason.  Someone’s going to die tonight and the soundtrack is Love Lockdown and the slow, pitiful sound of flowing whiskey.

It fuckin’ works. 

And there hasn’t been a hip hop album, in my memory, that can muster an image like that.

I don’t know if Heartless is the reason I broke down that night, on that desolate strip of I-5 passing through the vacuous space of a foggy; wet Sacramento.  There were just too many variables to really make a call.  I wish the stupid dj didn’t open his mouth because it might’ve made an educated guess more possible.  All I know is that Got Money before it didn’t muster any emotion and the ‘DJ Khaled Megamix’ after completely eradicated any emotion (making me apathetic like it should because all that matters is getting down at this point).  But in those three minutes during Heartless, my time driving never felt so depressing.

//J. Jonah Jameson

The Shitlist Volume 1

We’re getting too PC here at the JG.  Let’s take it up a notch.  I’m starting a new column.  Welcome to the first installment of The Shitlist.

1. Tim Burton

The other day I was watching Batman Returns on TV and reached this long overdue conclusion– Tim Burton is a douchebag, and his movies are absolutely terrible. The dude is single handedly responsible for spawning Hot Topic and a generation of Jack Skelington obsessed goths kids.  Let’s be honest here, no one liked Nightmare Before Christmas as a kid.  A love story? Please.  Shit was terrifying! Edward Scissorhands? Retarded. Tim Burton makes movies for overprivileged suburban tweens whose range of problems extends to “my parents don’t understand me.”  Boo hoo.  Thanks Tim Burton, you’re an ass hole.  

2. Fight Club

The first time I watched Fight Club, I was absolutely smitten with the initial premise of a bunch of shirtless, sweaty dudes beating the shit out of eachother.  I was digging it.  TESTOSTERONE, yenno? And then all of a sudden, shit starts blowing up, and Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are the same person? WTF.  Am I the only person in the WORLD who feels like using schitzophrenia as your plot twist is the lamest cop out possible? The same goes for A Beautiful Mind, which is essentially Fight Club for people who like math.  Do people even REALLY like this movie, or do they just like the poster?  I feel like everytime I’ve seen it I completely zone out during the second half.  The fights are cool.  Punching eachother in the ear’s kind of bad ass.  But shooting yourself in the mouth and not dying runs my brain ragged and all I wanted was some mindless violence. Fight Club sux, and if you pretend to like it you’re retarded. (sidenote: Helena Bonham Carter’s involvement in the aforementioned 2 Shitlisted is now scientific evidence of something being terrible. Duly noted).

EDIT: The Harry Potter movies are exempt.

3. Protesting

Peaceful protest is cool, but I mean you’re not gonna get shit done without a Molotov cocktail or two. Riots are kind of rad (as long as no one dies), and we haven’t had one here in the states since the Lakers won their first championship in the threepeat.  Honestly, haven’t you ever wanted to throw a rock through a store front window? Or flip over a car? Prop 8’s in the California Supreme Court and all, and that’s great… getting shit done, yenno? But asking passerby’s to honk their horns to protest a war is kind of like hosting a hotdog eating contest to help raise awareness on world hunger issues. Shit just isn’t right. And if I see another Banksy “Keep your coins, I want change” sign again, I’m gonna hurl.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers Fans

I was hyped on Lebron James during the Olympics, but once again he’s being shoved down my throat by NBA’s marketing team, and that’s not kosher.  Let the record show that there was no such thing as a Cavalier’s fan prior to the 2003 draft.  None. Zero. Check out this article from 1999… of ALL TIME CAVS STARTERS. Seriously, Mark Price, Austin Carr (???), Shawn Kemp (the fat version), Larry Nance (???) and Brad Daugherty (??????WTF?????). Their all-time team couldn’t beat the Sparks. The Cavs are a bandwagon if I’ve ever seen it, and their logo is atrocious (LETS STAB A SWORD THROUGH SOME LETTERZZZZ FUCK YEAHHH!)

 Fuck you Cleveland.  The greatest thing your city had to offer before Lebron was The Drew Carey show, which wasn’t even funny. I rest my case.  Ohio is a shithole of despair and sucks on every level of existence (except college football).

EDIT: Apparently Bone Thugz in Harmony are from Cleveland too. I was wrong, Ohio is AWESOME.

5. Entourage

This is a very reluctant addition to the Shitlist, but it’s been letting me down lately. The show used to be way cooler.  It was like the guys’ version of Sex and the City, except, you know, not annoying. They kind of fucked up this season by trying to make it more relevant than it really is (they had a guy die on the golf course, and that’s real shit. Entourage is fun because their problems extend to like, which Maserati am I gonna buy, and a dude dying for the sake of the story is just out of place to me).

The last couple of episodes were pretty boring since they started filming.  Aquaman was cool.  Medellin was funny because of Billy Walsh. But Smoke Jumpers? I don’t know how I feel about that one, especially since California’s really on fire right now, so, good call geniuses.  They’re bringing Sloan back, which is a +1.  I have a soft spot (aka hard on) for Emanuelle Chriqui.

I was reading an article on the Time website (I’ll link it when I find it), and it brought up a pretty cool argument: “Is the mark of true celebrity indicated when someone is able to play themself on Entourage?” (paraphrased)

Pretty deep.  It’s like Entourage really is the barometer of how famous you are. Bow Wow? Nope.  Paris Hilton? Yes. Mandy Moore? Yes.  Kind of interesting to think about.

Also, I think it’s pretty funny that Vinny Chase is much more celebrated than the man that actually plays him.  Adrian Grenier’s going to have the same character branding that ruined the careers of everyone on Saved by the Bell and Friends (sidebar: Mario Lopez doesn’t count because he’s a tool). 

And is it weird that I really want to watch Aquaman? They should really make the movie, with Adrian Grenier as Vinny Chase as Aquaman, directed by James Cameron.  It’d be absolutely genius, but Hollywood doesn’t have the cajones to dare attempt anything like that. 

Come on Entourage, I miss you. =(

You know you love me,

// Shawn Hunter

I Make it Rain

Word on the street is there’s a financial crisis or something, and apparently a good chunk of our economy’s well being hinges on the survival of the Big Three automanufacturers, Ford, Chrysler, and GM.  According to CNN.com, the three CEOS flew down to Washington, hat in hand,  to ask for bit of money– a 25 billion dollar life vein from the bailout package passed by congress last month. They caught some shit though, because they flew in on private jets:

At Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, pressed the private-jet issue, asking the three CEOs to “raise their hand if they flew here commercial.” “Let the record show, no hands went up,” Sherman said. “Second, I’m going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jet in place now and fly back commercial. Let the record show, no hands went up.”

Ah, it’s hard being rich. I’m trying to do my part. Instead of sleeping on a mattress stuffed with hundreds, I downgraded down to fifties. HAHA I’m kidding. Fifties aren’t as soft. LIFE’S TUFF.

In all fairness, they defended their use of private jets as a “safety measure”, and traveling on a private, luxury jet is apparently standard practice for CEOs of big corporations.

Um… I think the fact that most people wouldn’t be able to NAME you without googling you first, let alone RECOGNIZE you is a pretty good safety measure in and of itself, don’t you think? You don’t really need a disguise if no one knows who you are. Jesus. And wouldn’t it have been cheaper to just hire some burly, muscular muscle to escort you around? Are private jet’s really necessary? I think these guys swear they’re Kanye West or something.

But you know, I got to thinking… why should the rich guys get all the perks? This IS America afterall. Here’s a short list of ways YOU, proletariat, can get in on the excess:

1. Leave your lights on when you leave the house. It’ll save you from having to turn them on when you get back home later.

2. Eat every meal off of styrofoam plates. Use a different plate when you go back for seconds, thirds, fourths, etc.

3. Take showers (or preferably baths) for at least 1-2 hours. Keep the faucet running the whole time because you need to keep the water warm.

4. Trade in your gas efficient Honda for an uber-hulking-testosterone-redbull powered Ford F250. I mean, the auto manufacturers are catering to YOU, consumer, and what YOU want is a Megazord on wheels. It makes only too much sense.  I seriously don’t understand why the American auto industry is hurting??!?  I mean, look how cool this mustang is:

Two words: PU$$Y MAGNET.  Why wouldn’t you want to drive that?  Not liking this car means you hate the ocean. 

5. Recycling was really 2007.  Got some cash? Use the trash! Going green is the opposite of baller. 

And lastly…

6. Make it rain on hoez. Excessively.

True words.  Why should the rich have all the fun? Together, we can make a difference.  I’d like to leave you all with a few words of wisdom:

“Mo money mo problems.” – Ma$e.

// Jeff Skilling

William Burroughs shot Amy Winehouse?

marcoperegoFrom Marco Perego’s The Only Good Rock Star is a Dead Rock Star

The installation, at the Lower East Side’s Half Gallery, depicts an infamous incident involving Naked Lunch-er William Burroughs, his wife Joan Vollmer, and a bullet during a drunken game of “William Tell.” If you don’t know the story, the end result of such debauchery is predictable. In his work, Perego recreated the scene and replaced Vollmer with the lovely Amy Winehouse.

Perego said of the sculpture, “Rock stars are the sacrificial animals of society.”

// Stephen Ireland

I’d much rather listen to Edith Piaf than The Beatles…

…is what I tell girls to sound cool and shit.  It confuses people to hear something like that from a “music lover’s” lips.  Confusing people is fun because it gives you an edge for the rest of the conversation.  In reality, however, The Beatles are absolutely essential to who I am today (I’m sure most music geeks will say the same thing).  Honest.  I’d be a different person without those lovely Liverpudilians.  But don’t tell anyone because The Beatles aren’t cool.  SGT. PEPPER BLOWS. 

Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust.

beatboys

 

 

WRONG.  As long as babies are born, The Beatles will always have a healthy market.

That said, in my honest opinion, The Beatles have been surprisingly tasteful with their official merchandise.  The Anthology– music comps, film, and book– was an absolutely fantastic document of the band.  To be honest, there isn’t a band that’s been as misrepresented by so-called “authorities” like The Beatles.  Getting reliable documents of the band can be quite difficult, considering the ridiculous amount of choices we’re given.  However, I personally believe that The Anthology, along with Mark Lewisohn’s “The Complete…” series, should be basic to every Beatles fanatic’s collection.

Granted, a few releases seemed a bit overindulgent; such as, the “1” greatest hits collection and the Capitol Albums series.  However, despite this, these were still put together quite well.  And I can’t forget the “Love” mash-up that George Martin and his son worked on recently.  I sincerely cried when I listened to that album for the first time.  And I hate The Beatles right? 

So, are we ready for a Beatles video game?

Apparently, the Fab Four family are working with the developers of “Rock Band” on an “experiential journey” using the music, as well as, visuals related to the band.

More here: http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003885509

Whether or not this is a step too far is yet to be determined.  I personally think that it could be a good way to freshen up The Beatles experience because the band’s becoming too requisite these days and, as we all know, anything requisite is absolutely boring.

More importantly, however, is a bunch of new music.  I’m sure a few of you have heard of Pauly Macca’s  project with Killing Joke’s Youth called “The Fireman”.  Just in case you haven’t:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/yommr5wmhki/Paul%20McCartney%20-%20Nothing%20Too%20Much%20Just%20Out%20of%20Sight.mp3                                                                                                             

(from Electric Arguments, out 11/17 in the UK and 11/18 in the US)

It sounds pretty fun.  It’s nice to hear that Macca’s voice is still good for a yelp.  But this classic rock shit tends to bore me these days.  Why’s everyone jocking Zeppelin’s steeze?  I want NOISE.  And not like “Cum On Feel the Noize.”  I really want some skronk and blurts you know?  Really annoying stuff.  Anyways, I guess The Beatles worked on some noise in their day and it’s called “Carnival of Light.”

More here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/nov/16/paul-mccartney-carnival-of-light

I’ve read about this track in the past (in the essential “Complete Beatles Recording Sessions”), however, I really didn’t give it much attention and definitely didn’t pay attention to its actual composition methods.  Hmmm…The Beatles making music that doesn’t make sense?  The Beatles not making sense!  For someone that hates the band, I’m having a pretty hard time not soiling my pants big time right now.

Wait, am I reading this right!?  The Beatles, John Cage, and Karlheinz Stockhausen in one sentence!?

Oops.

// Craig Bartolewski

Jim Jones Remixes MGMT


=

????

You know what phrase I hate? “Bridging the gap between rap and rock.”  UGGGGHHHHHHH.

That phrase right there represents everything that’s been fundamentally wrong in the music world for the past decade and a half.  I remember when Limp Bizkit first emerged, the term was beaten to DEATH like a shoplifter in Singapore, and what makes me shit bricks is the fact that music critics at the time embraced the rap/rock genre as something “progressive.”*

In fact, I remember watching Aerosmith’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame around 199something, and whoever was speaking cited Walk this Way (their duet with Run DMC) as a phenomenol moment in music history.  The funny thing about all this is that Walk this Way isn’t even Aerosmith’s most memorable track, but it IS the song that Run DMC is and will be most remembered by.

And that’s not really fair, is it? I like Run DMC, and I think they’re infinitely cooler than any and all things Aerosmith (I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing is another story altogether❤❤ <3).  It boils down to this: Walk this Way kind of sucks.  And by kind of, I mean fucking.

I guess I’m just a bit agitated by the widely accepted notion that the FUSING of rap and rock is an actual form of musical progression.  I’ll go ahead and say it– mash-ups were invented by music industry big whigs to make suburban kids feel less racist *gasp!* Mash-ups make middle-class privilegites feel accessibly “hood”, but you’ll hardly ever see someone from the hood have access to middle-class privelege.  It’s unfair, and it cashes in on the compartmentalized racism prevalent in pop-culture’s infrastructure. 

That being said, Jim Jones of Dipset (BALLLIIIIIIIIIIIIIN! *arm goes up, hand goes limp*) remixed indie-electro-pop duo MGMT‘s Electric Feel.  Annnnnnnd, I really gotta say,  it’s about 150 degrees of progressive AWESOMEEEEEEEE!!!! I absolutely love it. Download it HERE and watch institutionalized racism disappear forever.  YES. WE. CAN.
 
Afterwards, you and I can hang out on the playground near the basketball courts, swig some Gatorade, and listen to P.O.D., cuz quite honestly I… FEEL SOOOOO ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE… FOR THE VERY FIRST TIIIIIIME. 

BTW, Significant Other was a dope album. And Linkin Park is still (and always will be) the poster boys for “pro-choice.” Songs about killing yourself don’t really work unless you follow through, nawmean????!?

// Fox Mulder

N2gether Now. Limewire that shit.

What’s Santino Rice up to these days?

Happy Comme des Garçons for H&M day!

Now, it’s story time kiddos…

WHAT’S SANTINO RICE UP TO THESE DAYS?

The omelet was pretty good. The sky’s getting a bit gray. I hope the bastard decides whether or not it’s going to open up and rain because I want to go for a run today. I take a final sip of my coffee.

“Anything else honey?” asked the waitress.

“No thank you. The bill will do.”

She stood there staring at me for a few awkward seconds. Without my approval, and with a certain degree of unwarranted aggression, she poured me another cup of coffee. It’s as if she was disappointed in the fact that I didn’t want another piece of toast, a slice of pie, or another stack of pancakes. Her consolation must’ve been pouring me another cup.

Coffee, you see, is the favor item on a diner’s menu. Besides water, it’s the item that requires the least quality control and, in turn, is usually given away the most. As a matter of principle, the diner does charge a price for the quality arabica they provide their loyal patrons. For the most part, however, it’s the beverage that waitresses give away to boost tips or annoy people who just want to pay the bill and leave.

“Weirdo,” I utter under my breath.

The waitress– whose otherwise pleasant; yet aged, face is overtly embellished with drug store lipstick and purpleen mascara–contorted her lips like Sid Vicious. It’s funny because, when she did that, she did almost look like Sid with lips bust open on The Pistols’ doomed American tour.

Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again” begin’s playing on the jukebox. The sky’s grayer.

I take a quick glance at the television and notice the pleasant morning news face of CNN’s Tony Harris. I zone into his commentary on the economy because, quite frankly, I feel it the responsible thing to do in this moment of American history. It’s 8:45. It’s raining now. I’m not going to run.

“Women’s Wear Daily reports that designer Marc Jacobs is canceling his annual masquerade holiday party due to the current economic situation,” said Tony Harris in a voice elevated in tribute to the magnitude of the breaking news being reported.

“Oh, what a terrible holiday it’s going to be,” I said to myself.

See, Marc Jacobs; arguably America’s most important designer, has thrown these homages to La Dolce Vita for the the past 18 years. Every holiday, New York’s upper class elite mix with artistic snobs wearing everything and nothing. Thrown in the most unacceptable levels of extravagance, the parties usually take place in lavish venues with excessive decoration and incredible levels of upper shelf booze amongst, i’m sure, other substances; although, I wouldn’t know because my only experience with these parties is in my dreams.

“You sure you don’t want anything else sugah?”

She sounded like Rogue in the X-Men cartoons right there.

“No thank you,” I say placing a crisp twenty onto the receipt, “The coffee’s enough.”

She leaves the dirty plates on the table.

If there’s any indication to the dire magnitude of the current financial crisis, it’s the cancellation of Marc Jacob’s party. Where else are we going to see yuppies in g-strings stare in disbelief at the creative director of Louis Vuitton in a pigeon suit? Can they even stare in disbelief? Do they even know the distinction between belief and disbelief? Well, collapsing hedge funds aside, if the most powerful American in high fashion is dressed like a dirty bird they can. A Marc Jacobs holiday party guarantees an expensive comedy of debauchery and that’s not to be missed.

“But this year it will,” I say aloud.

Indeed, Ford and Chrysler are on the verge of collapse and 1.2 million jobs have been lost since last year; however, nothing’s knocked my heart off rhythm as much as Tony Harris ensuring that the “Rock’n’Roll Circus”, this year’s theme, will not be curated by Marc Jacobs this holiday.

The rain stopped. I think I’ll go for run. It’s 9:15. The waitress left mints with the change. I didn’t even know they gave away mints in diners.

I’ll keep the change thank you.

marcjacobsnoxmas

// Santino Rice

I Spy… (RAP VERSION)

Apparently, Chamillionaire has this track called “Roll Call Reloaded” where he impersonates a bunch of the hottest rapperz out there. See how many of them you can identify (without using google… cheater).

Roll Call Reloaded – Chamillionaire

// Dan Insonato

R.I.P Mitch Mitchell (July 9, 1947 – November 12, 2008)

Legendary drummer Mitch Mitchell passed away today at age 61. He was best known for his stint in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, where his ferociously raw drumming provided the perfect backdrop for a guitar that helped redefine rock & roll. He was an absolute beast on the kit, and reigned absolute DESTRUCTION in a band that was already overloaded with chops and talent.

While Jet Generation tends to lean towards the no-talent-but-sonicaly-sonic end of the music spectrum (DOWNLOAD MIXTAPE VOL. 1 it’s faaaaannnntastically fantastic), we’ll give the legends their due when its due. GG Mitch…

// Nick Van Exel

BAILAMOS LET THE RHYTHM TAKE YOU OVER No. 1

My tire blew up today on the freeway.  It was rad.  I got a chance to pull onto the shoulder and flex my muscles for all the hot truck drivers that pass by while I change my tire!

Repeal Prop 8.

It’s Veteran’s Day and here’s a mix.  I’ll try to make these regular because we all know your ears need some new shit.

Mix 1 or Zombies Can’t Get Through Fences?

walkingdead16

Tracks:

1. Salem- Redlights Yea, Salem is kinda creepy.  Watch the video for ‘Dirt’ ( http://www.vimeo.com/1700724?pg=embed&sec=1700724) More: http://www.myspace.com/jjhhmm

 2. Crystal Stilts- Crippled Croon Good lo-fi pop is, in all reality, extremely difficult to achieve.  AH, I wish NME still made rad mixtapes.  More: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=58881908

3. Gun Outfit- Your Will Crystal Stilts is gritty C86.  This is gritty power-pop, ala The Undertones with mud thrown on it.  More: http://www.myspace.com/postpresentmedium

4. Wavves- So Bored I didn’t do any volume control situations here so get ready because this one’s gonna blast out of your speakers.  Whatever.  It really should.  Really. More: http://www.myspace.com/wavves

5. The Strange Boys- Woe Is You and Me There’s this thing that a garage punk band can easily fall into where it appears as if they’re trying too hard.  If you wanna try hard, play one of those mathematically jagged genres involving disco drums and angular guitars.  Would it be Post-Punk?  Not necessarily.  Close though.  How ’bout Bloc-Punk?  Sounds good.  Garage kids need to be apathetic and that’s what makes them special.  In every way possible.  More:  http://www.myspace.com/thestrangeboys

6. The Sticks- She Gives Me Love See above.  I must note, however, that these guys have a headline in their myspace that says ‘No Rock.’  If you know me, you’ll know why those simple words make me feel all giddy inside.  If you know me and don’t know, consider yourself dead to me.  Just kidding.  Lemme stick my finger up your ass! C’mon we’re friends!  Peep the headliner:  http://www.myspace.com/thsticks

7. Crocodiles- Neon Jesus When I ordered the 7″ for this song, the email was an homage to ‘Love Comes In Spurts’ by my beloved Richard Hell and The Voidoids.  These guys do San Diego good.  If the Crocs are reading this, I owe you, and the equally wonderful Mario from Art Fag, a published interview.   Crocodiles are cool and it’s too bad Anthem Magazine’s got some grotty web editing sometimes.  Bleh.  Buy the 7“: http://www.myspace.com/crocodilescrocodilescrocodiles

8. The Ruling Class- Flowers The Stone Roses mean so much to me.  These guys sound like The Roses but it’s cool; not lame.  More: http://www.myspace.com/therulingclassuk

9. Isolation Ward- Illusion The riff is killer.  So much so that I agree with the vocals falling behind it here.  Wholeheartedly.  Isolation Ward was formed in 1980.  The band disbanded in 1983.  More:   http://www.myspace.com/isolationward

10. Primitive Calculators- Glitter Kids This might be the least abrasive track from this group.  They’re sooo wonderful!  YAY! More: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=290146636

11. The Proxy- R A V E N My favorite dance music is all the minimal, techno stuff.  So raw and in your face.  I absolutely adore Underground Resistance and Basic Channel.  Now, I also adore The Proxy. More:  http://www.myspace.com/useproxy

12. The Wake- Pale Spectre See below.

13. The Wake- Crush the Flowers (demo)- I prefer the demo over the release.  More: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=367953279

You’ll need the last two songs.  The mix is a bit apathetic and, often, miserable.  There’s some grotty rock’n’roll and some creepy dance music.  A mix that begins with Salem and ends with The Proxy needs a pick me up.  The Wake will make you CHEER for JOY…

…And let’s be honest folks, in most circumstances, you’re not going to listen to most of this mix.  Unless you’re a FREAKO!  If you’re a casual listener that likes to cook some sunny side up eggs in the morning, drink Sunny Delight, and listen to some smooth jams; then sorry because this mix is rubbish.  But I want you to listen to it.  So, after a thorough and gut-wrenching listen, I’ve given you The Wake as a prize.  I promise you’ll be surprised at what you like.  I hope. 

Download: YOUR FUTURE (.zip, bunch o’ mp3s plus the Zombie pic above (courtesy of The Walking Dead comic books) for cover art, 46.64 mb)

 // Vladimir Sorokoskev

 

Highwaters are the new skinny jeans.

Skinny jeans infiltrated the mens clothing market sometime in late 2005 and have been the standard ever since.  The tightness of the jeans themselves became a sort of measuring stick of one’s hipster authenticity– the tighter, the better (that’s what she said).

Recently however, the trend hit a proverbial wall, and fashion savants left and right have been looking everywhere for the next “big thing” in men’s fashion from the waist down.  The solution?

As Snoop would say, “Roll that shit up.” (GAGGGGGG that was lame -ed).

Not just for 3rd world refugees anymore, highwaters are making their presence felt in the fashion world.  Men’s designer Thom Browne has made the look a signature of his collection, and the Michael Cera-esque lead singer of Friendly Fires has also been spotted baring ankle.

And to think… in 1890 showing ankle was the equivalent of Britney Spears flashing some vag. Vag is never bad.

CHANGE.

We’ve come a long way folks.  We’ve come a long way.

// Hiro Nakamura