Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deadbeat Bohemians: Scissor Sisters' "Take Your Mama"

[cross-posted at my Deadbeat Bohemians Music Blog]

The Scissor Sisters couldn't have picked a better time to sashay onto the scene. It was 2004, and the country was experiencing fits of crazy homophobia thanks to the gay marriage debate and Republicans like Ken Mehlman (who was gay, unbeknownst to himself at the time, uh-huh) and Karl Rove, who ushered their main candidate, George W. Bush, into the White House for another four years in part by putting gay marriage on the ballot in 11 states and allowing those citizens to vote their dumb prejudices and then pull the lever for Dubya for good measure.

The Sisters' first album, released that same magical year, had the following to say in response to this madness: "Yeah, well, we're still gay, so fuck all y'all." They were a sexy, glitzy, skin-tight, gay-as-hell pop band who didn't give a shit about making middle America accept their lifestyle and who couldn't care less about the institution of marriage. They were too busy shaking that ass.

The standout song on the album was "Take Your Mama," a shuffling, swaggering gem of a song in the mold of 70s Elton John, a hymn to hedonism with its own family values message at its core. It's a fantasy about the best coming out party a young boy prone to wearing overalls and nothing else could ever wish to have.

[continue reading here]

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Latest Film: "High Stakes at Brooklyn Brewery"

Folks, the latest release from Wayward Mammal Productions is a powerful meditation on love, destiny, and backwash. We were at Brooklyn Brewery the other day getting our mid-day drink on, and after a few Pilsners I looked up and saw that, across the table from me, Jan had begun building the foundation for a most excellent cup tower. Then a gentleman at the next table started helping out and before we knew it the entire place was enraptured to bits. Witness this riveting scene through the magic of film. Apologies for being drunk while filming.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Been and Gone: Satoshi Kon

This is depressing. Legendary Japanese anime director Satoshi Kon has died of cancer at age 47. His movies were incredible: Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress (trailer above), Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers (trailer below)... ugh, it makes me sad just recounting them. Rich, complex, gorgeous movies that demand multiple viewings.

Way, way too soon.

R.I.P. Kon-san.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What Have the Chelsea Gremlins Left in My Bike Helmet Today?

After work the other day I left the office and walked out to my tricycle, which was parked, as always, on 24th Street in Chelsea, locked to some scaffolding that has been there since the beginning of time. I've taken to hanging my bike helmet from the top tube of my trike because it's a free country, so why not?

And what little gift do I find waiting for me in my upside down head protector? Why a cute little plastic bag with its handles tied into an adorable little knot. And what's in this bag? That's right: dog shit.

For me? I thought. You shouldn't have. Seriously, bitch, you shouldn't have.

Now, I love dogs. I do. But nobody likes dog shit, not even Betty White. Even when it's wrapped up nicely. It's still dog shit. And dog shit should never be given as a gift. Obviously the person who left this present for me has never read Miss Manners or Dan Savage.

I must say, I laughed when I first realized what it was, because what a fun joke to play on a random person. Then I kind of got pissed, because WTF, why do I have to be this random person? Or was it not random? Was I the intended target? It's possible. I can see one of the many grumpy old ladies that live in the building doing this in retaliation for me walking around all the time looking all smug, because they're old and don't give a shit anymore (or rather, they DO give a shit, and they all look like crabby old Maxine).

Or is someone flirting with me? If so, I'd like this person to know that (1) I have a boyfriend already and (2) I prefer to receive gives like folks used to give in the old days, like Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift certificates or Live Strong wrist bands.

ANYWAY, so yesterday I left my office again (I do this every day) and I noticed as I approached my tricycle that there was another little gift left for me in my helmet. What would it be this time? Cat puke enveloped in deli wrap? A big ball of bubble gum rolled in dingleberries? A half-used condom?

The answer is no. It's just an empty bottle of airplane booze.

Should I be thankful or offended?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Oh Nos! Ann Coulter's Neck Dropped From an Event!

Folks, you probably recall the recent announcement that Ann Coulter's Neck will be headlining a gay Republican event in NYC next month. This was very exciting news because it's August and there's no other news.

Well, in a recent and related development, the Neck has been disinvited from another crazy Republican party. Do you guys know World Net Daily? It's the magical place where all of those feverish, clammy, paranoid right-wing emails your mother and your mother's friends keep forwarding to you are created, out of bile, bloody stool, and animal skins. Anyway, these well adjusted comedians are having a Taking Back America conference in Miami, also taking place next month, but in a gayer city. And they are no longer interested in having America's best phallus appear at their event. Why is that? Is it because Ann Coulter's Neck is a secret Muslin? Does the Neck support a Muslin community center near Ground Zero? Is it a socialist Neck?

No! It's, duh, because by showing up at a gay event the Neck is tacitly supporting the gays (but only Republican the gays). And that's not going to help the furries at World Net Daily take America back.

Obviously this kick in the Adam's apple will not be taken lying down. I have no doubt that any minute now America's favorite Neck will hoist up that stringy blonde mop of a head and set it in front of some cable news camera or other so it can just stone cold start talking shit. Hurry up, Neck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back from the Brink

No, I didn't go to Hawaii, Obama's fake hometown. I went to the NC coast. But being so close to this refrigerator magnet in my brother's kitchen in Raleigh really made me feel like I was in Hawaii.

I took this picture mere minutes before being told by my brother that my momma is now officially a birther. She has Internet knowledge from the email that tells her there's a Kenyan preacher who is going to drop a bomb and prove once and for all that Obama is a half-breed Muslin who was born in Kenya, not a half-breed Muslin that was born in Hawaya. (In mom's defense, she didn't say it in these words; the Internet did.)

THIS IS DISAPPOINTING. I spent the entire autumn of 2008 debunking every stupid lie about Obama that mom was forwarded by the Listserv of Hysteria that she belongs to. I even had her agreeing that Sarah Palin was "probably" not ready to be president. What happened? Socialism, I guess.

If mom starts calling herself a "Mama Grizzly" I will cut my ears off.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

See Tim Get the F**k Out

Folks, it's that time again. Yes, time for me to take two days off. So let's celebrate with some glitter. Because God knows these two days will fly by and then I'll be back trolling for food, money, and the tiniest modicum of self-justification on Monday.

Deadbeat Bohemians Post: PJ Harvey

Folks, I'm now music blogging at a collective called Deadbeat Bohemians because why the fuck not? Now you can learn all about the songs I love without having to go through the inconvenience of asking me. Here's a teaser for my latest post.


Most great pop songs leave you wanting to know more about the story taking place within their allotted three minutes. About how things came to be, where things went after the outro, what the singer was doing during the guitar solo, that kind of thing. Did Gary Numan ever get out of his car? Did the Michael Jackson character in “Billie Jean” secretly think that, yeah, the kid probably was his son? Did Cyndi Lauper’s fun-loving party girl in “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” ever calm the fuck down?

The answers to these questions can’t be known, but they are peripheral to our enjoyment of the song anyway, so though they are fun to ponder, they are ultimately not important. But some songs pose questions that are so central to the song’s appeal that ignoring them is not an option. Such is the case in PJ Harvey’s song “You Said Something” from her 2000 album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, in which a teasingly undelivered piece of information ensures that a pivotal moment in the relationship between the two main characters remains frustratingly, wonderfully mysterious.

Continue reading here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jukebox: Dum Dum Girls b/w Best Coast

I liked the Dum Dum Girls before I'd even heard them because I always support any band named after a Talk Talk song. But then I heard that they weren't named after a Talk Talk song, but rather after an Iggy Pop song. So I don't know what's real anymore. Thankfully, it doesn't matter because once you hear the Dum Dum Girls you forget the question. They're awesome! All tired ennui and lazy, hazy sexfulness, like in the above clip "Jail La La."

I bought their album at Other Music on Saturday along with that Best Coast album you've been hearing so much about. I brought both CDs to the register and the check-out girl got really excited that I was buying them both at once. "Great combination!" she said and I heartily agreed. If the Dum Dums are Blondie with a hangover, then Best Coast, which is essentially a one-woman show brought to you by Bethany Cosentino, delivers the lo-fi power pop album Connie Francis always wanted to make but couldn't because in the 50s it was illegal for women to play guitars.

The point is, summer is almost over, so hurry up and enjoy these jams.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ann Coulter's Neck to Headline Gay Republican Event in NYC!

Ann Coulter's Neck will be one among no doubt many ragged phalluses appearing at Homocon 2010, an event that exists! Somewhere! In New York City! It will take place on Saturday, September 25th. Where, I hear you ask? In NYC, I said! But specifically where? Again, my answer is "In the City part of New York." Jesus.

OK, stop asking your tedious questions about exactly where this event is being held because that location can only be known by gay Republicans, apparently. Trust me, I've been all over the website of GOProud , the organization hosting the alleged event (again, yes, it exists), and I can't find anything about a venue. WTF? GOProud? Gays love a party! Give it up. Where's it gonna be? Will there be poppers? And will we get to pet the Neck? (I'll never wash my hand again!)

The only thing that could make this event better is if Sarah Palin's Weave shows up.

Political Leakage Dept: Promotional Video for Sarah Palin's New Book!

Folks, does the sound of Sarah Palin's inane twaddle, spat in that god-awful mean girl yelp, make you want to, one by one, jab a whole can of peanuts in both ears, while crying? Does it make you want to grab your cat and run its claws down the chalkboard in your living room so as to drown out the horror? Also, does her Twitter account make you wish the Internet had never been invented by Al Gore?

In short, does Sarah Palin's whiny, grating, hella bitchy snarl of voice make you reflexively want to go back to high school and smack that bitch you hated in the face with a rubber chicken? Repeatedly?

And when you heard she has a new book coming out, did you consider eating your own face off?

This video is for you. Watch to the end, not just because it gets majestic but also because if you make it through the whole thing you earn a Cub Scout merit badge for carpentry/masochism.

Thanks to the Primitives for the music.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


[I'm reposting this tragic story from my girl Rachel Roth's blog because the world--especially the part of it in Bushwick--needs to know.]

About 3 months ago, Todd’s brother bought us a couple bikes. It was Todd’s birthday and he thought it would be nice if Todd could ride around town…and he thought it would be nice if I could go along with him. We received them in the mail and took them down to the local shop to get them put together. We were thrilled. The last couple months have been great. We don’t pay for cabs as much, we exercise and it’s kind of an adventure everytime we decide to go for a ride.

I bought a rack, but that wasn’t working so hot so Todd bought me a basket to attach to it for my birthday. That was 2 weeks ago. I had finally gotten my bike just the way I wanted it…and hills were seeming easier to get up daily. Last night I even put my records in it and went to dj.

So today I had to go to the drugstore and figured I would ride. It is not far, but bikes are faster than feet. I got my drugs and was right near the giant supermarket Food Bazaar so I decided to go there. This place is the size of a GD Sam’s Club and they have everything…and since I now have a basket, I can get anything and not have to carry it home…little did I know….

I moseyed on up to the Food Bazaar and looked for a place to park. In our ghetto neighborhood there is always a kind of barrier around a supermarket. It is made of metal and it’s there so the douchebag thieves can’t steal the shopping carts. At this particular store, cars back up to the gate so customers can load their groceries with ease, so the only good place to park was off to the side, out of the way. I tied the chain around the METAL gate and through BOTH tires, hooking together both ends with my U-lock, and attaching my helmet to it, removed my seat and went inside. 20 minutes later my bike was gone. Nothing remained. And when I say nothing, I mean NOTHING. Not even any GD metal chards. How the fuck did they get through my lock and chain and leave no evidence?!?!? How is it that the tens of twenties of people outside didn’t see anything?!?!? It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon people! You saw nothing?!?!? Can you tell I am livid?

If you see my bike, please email me! If you live in Brooklyn, please repost! Thanks.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm Confused By It

Like all of you, I think that Rachel Maddow is at her funniest when she's not trying to be funny. When she does her little high-concept skits she can be quite tedious and grating (especially if that godawful ginger sidekick is involved), but when she's just reacting to a video of someone like Sharon Angle or Pat Buchanan or Sarah Palin saying something retarded (sorry, Trig) by saying "hmmm" in that high-pitched, incredulous tone, she totally earns her comedy stripes.

But there's something I've been noticing on her show recently that isn't funny "ha ha" but funny weird, and I need to know if I'm supposed to laugh. So Rachel will be doing an interview, like the one shown in the above screengrab with smoking hot Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, and the interviewee will be talking to her from within a teevee screen (beamed in from Tattooine or wherever). Then, there will be a split screen so you can see both of them talking from within teevee screens, like this:

But then there will be a switcheroo and all of a sudden you'll be looking at smokin' hot Ezra or whoever at a desk talking to Rachel, who is now trapped in a teevee screen. I thought Ezra was on Tattooine!

So my question is: wtf? Weird, amiright? Why aren't they sitting in the same room? I never do interviews with someone via television screen when they're just sitting on a stool in my kitchen. Why should Rachel? And this wasn't just a one-off. I saw it last week, too, but at the time I thought maybe I was just seeing things after too many vodka 'n Diet Cherry 7-Ups. But I hadn't had any this morning (well, only one), so this is a real thing. Is it just a new cable news convention that I don't understand, like Sarah Palin being interviewed on Fox about anything?

Answers, pls.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Today in Disappointing Cracker Jack Prizes

It's been absolutely forever since I bought a box of Cracker Jack treats, but I did a few days ago when I had one of my patented diabetic low blood sugar attacks. I was wandering around the store going down the line of the sugar-packed options on the shelf and saying to myself, "boring," "boring," "gross," "not gross enough," "boring," "too gooey," "gross," "not gooey enough," etc. Then I came upon the Cracker Jack boxes and paused. Hadn't had that in a while. And there's a prize inside!

So I picked up a box, bought it, and tore into it as I walked back to my office. (The food-type substance inside, by the way, will now be filed under "gross.") When I got back I was all set to throw the box into the trash and out of my life when a tiny slip of glossy paper (above) emerged from the box and onto my desk. Oh shit, I'd forgotten about the prize.

There was Cracker Jack himself, saluting me and urging me to "guess what's inside." Since I tend to follow whatever orders I'm given by a uniformed sailor, especially if his orders are that alluring, I wasted no time in opening along the perforation and embracing my destiny. And you know what? As usual, my destiny was lame.

I don't even know what to say about this. A "pencil topper"? What does that even mean? Who uses pencils in this day and age? I remember the days of yore when a Cracker Jack prize was something useful like a recipe or a cock ring. But this?

My Package Gets Noticed

Folks, as you know, I'm pimping my book (Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries, available on Amazon here) in immoral and disgusting ways that my mother would frown upon. Thankfully, mom doesn't read this blog and rarely ventures out into the smutty online world of tumblrs and 4chans and whatever else. (Btw, what's a tumblr? And who is 4chan?) She usually only reads the daily devotional/Obama-is-a-secret-Muslin forwarded emails she receives in the email, so I can freely do whatever it takes to get some notice from the seemingly impervious media machines of NYC without fear that something embarrassing I've done will pop up on mom's newsfeed.

Well, I'm happy to report that my idiocy has paid off, sort of, in a way, fleetingly. A week ago I sent a review copy of the book to NYC's The L Magazine and, even though I didn't pay the extra money at the post office to receive confirmation of delivery, I got something so much better: the magazine posted a picture of my big package on their site, with a link to my blog. It tickled them! If you've clicked through from the the L, welcome! It's so nice to have visitors who have come here for something other than pictures of dudes in Speedos or nude photos of Patrick Wilson. (Don't click on those links, they're exhausted.)

Now I'm just waiting for Michiko Kakutani from the New York Times to follow the L's lead...