Survey Again

If somehow compelled to pass an awkward evening among upper-middle-class, middle-brow intellectuals, I could discuss _________ without sounding like an ignoramus:

a) The difference between free verse and blank verse

b) The difference between banks and credit unions

c) The difference between stocks and bonds

d) The difference between “techno” and “house”

e) Vichy France

The New York Times Blubbers Over Free Trade

Thanks to Dean Baker for obviating my petty titter-tattering about the NYT with this solid, incisive autopsy.

may ’68

What’s May ’68 mean to you?

You’ll be shocked to hear that the New York Times thinks of the approaching 40th anniversary as a nice excuse to decry anti-capitalism as simultaneously juvenile and elitist. Apparently all we need to know is that even old Maoists have i-phones these days.

I feel no end of rage towards the political artchitecture we’ve inherited from baby boomers, and in particular for its leftist ruins. But the New York Times I hate even more.

Sarkozy prevails because at the end of the day people graduate from graduate school and buy i-phones?!? Is that why so many of you are afraid of social democratic reforms- do you think it’s going to take away the diversity of nonfat yogurt options and cable tv now that it’s finally getting good? Really. Cuz I can promise you we socialists love the shit out of pizza, too. Rest easy.

Ooh, the whole bit closes with the suggestion that May 1968 actually _made_ Sarkozy, which makes a sick bit of sense, and resonates with Tom Frank’s famous writings on how the upshot for the 1960s was Reaganism and a better soundtrack for Pepsi ads. It’s a windfall for adolescents, the knowledge that you can be a rebel your whole life without ever having to think about politics.

8

i just had eight teeth extracted today.  hmmm.

a plan

i have a plan for dealing with the onslaught of great, new, smart heavy music that drones and yawns and rocks and has cool art and limited edition, virgin vinyl releases. the plan’s called “going over to rob’s house.”

that said, i’m not overwhelmingly in the mood for communing with my metal roots, which were always more AstroTurf-style roots considering the metal-as-crap company i keep w/ raenie and turstfur. the troof is that sugar/unwound/slint are closer to home w/ me in all sorts of visceral ways i’ll never undo or try to undo.

i think this speaks to the weird experience of just barely qualifying as a generation x-er, assuming the metrics involved being born before 1980. i was born in Feb 1979, and always ran with an older crowd. so metal never seemed uncool, it always was in proximity, but it doesn’t quite evoke “anthems of my youth” vibes in the same way as alterna-indie stalwards and/or my inherited baby boomer influences like dylan and young and also-rans like joel.

all that, merely to introduce this nice feature with personal guitar hero dave pajo in the Onion, on the topic of his ‘mid-life crisis’ metal project, Dead Child. it’s still hard to read him talking about Zwan, as i was around for some of the as-yet-unspoiled moments before the fall. but more than the guitar moves i’ve stolen, it’s Pajo’s awesome, unspoken and punk-as-fuck lack of affect that sets a lingering standard
for me.

also, props to jason heller, whom i’ve watched rise from being an underlooked, badass zinester to a full-blown, Onion-working-for whatever.

ben smith, too

update: politico dem-warrior ben smith concurs it’s a rare feat that the obama campaign
could come so close to being asshole-free.

Joel Pineiro kick save

yowsers