I feel like a dink for writing about Mike’s piece as if he wasn’t in the room, but writing “hey, Mike, I disagree on blah blah blah” seems equally facetious. The choice of tone would be obvious if I either knew Mike outside the net or if he was some unreachable celeb who I wouldn’t expect to see my response (no offense, Mike), but I have no idea how to express disagreement with genuine “tumblr buddies.” If you, like me, can’t help but occasionally voice disagreement on this likable, ironic gloss on LiveJournal, what tone do you take?
It’s hard to react in depth to Mike’s piece as it conflates two ideas I have beef with. One, that liberals should be comfortable with magical thinking. Two, that Inglorious Basterds was all that impressive. I sympathize with the former (I would like to figure out how liberals could be less self-defeating, too) and I respect the latter (Basterds is a rare openly historically inaccurate revenge fantasy, though I don’t think Frost/Nixon would be any better if Ron Howard admitted it was bullshit), but I don’t think they have much to do with each other.
Then again, Basterds is the kind of film that gets points for being a likable, ironic gloss on what Hollywood hacks have done since the dawn of film (unashamedly bend history to make it more satisfying) and not distracting us with much in the way of memorable dialogue or action (ymmv). In a sense, the piece asks for the Dems to come up with a likable, ironic gloss on Bushism.
(Edit: Ok I forgot what Bushism really means when I wrote this. But it should be a shorthand term for that faith-based reality-shifting philosophy he pushed).
And that’s why Inglorious Basterds was so wonderful: it was a full-throated celebration of what seems to me a fundamentally liberal value. Conservatives engage in this kind of thing, too—see Glenn Beck—but they don’t admit it as such, which appeals to the kind of people who are more interested in being right than in being happy. Inglorious Basterds modeled a kind of creative interpretation that admitted its own falseness as a way of asserting that this was not a foreclosed possibility for the past, but a wide-open possibility for the future. Invent something new, and if it’s good, then why not just keep pretending it’s real until we all accept it as such? That this almost never happens is just why we need someone to do it in public, to show us how being wrong is OK, to encourage us to keep doing it over and over until it works, to be wrong until we are right. Tarantino’s movie was a high-wire act of creation that made a case for the ability of swagger and style, properly framed, to bring about change. It was a hell of a movie, and a political statement subtle and believable enough that it might actually work. But if it doesn’t, that’s OK too.
Seeing as how there are a considerable amount of half-to-more-than-half-decent albums in Pitchfork’s #150-101 of the decade (and more I’d rep for in their entirety: Nine Times That Same Song, A Grand Don’t Come For Free, Things We Lost In The Fire, Give Up, The Sunset Tree, Franz Ferdinand - the increase in quality seems logical, seeing as how they’re going up the list), I guess I should give my snark a rest. It was fun while it lasted, though.
All of these factoids are taken from a minor celebrity’s Wikipedia entry. Can you guess who it is?
He has a tattoo across his chest reading “I WANT TO BE BRAVE”, written backwards.
He once dated the daughter of former NFL running back Mark Van Eeghen.
At the time he underwent an emergency angioplasty, he had 95% arterial blockage. He later underwent gastric bypass surgery.
He is an avid collector of weaponry, and his armory includes numerous firearms, swords, and a fully operational cannon from the American Civil War.
He carries weapons in any state where it is allowed, even wearing them onstage.
When he was stopped for speeding in Washington State, police discovered hidden compartments in his vehicle containing four rifles, nine handguns, a switchblade knife, a Taser, a set of brass knuckles, and night vision goggles.
He had a speaking guest role on Roseanne, and later wrote lyrics for the show’s theme song.
He provided backing vocals and “inspiration” for the Spin Doctors’ hit “Two Princes.”
He was a celebrity coach in the final round of America’s Got Talent.
Here’s the answer. Keep in mind that I did not include some amazing bits of information that totally gave away his identity. This wiki entry is pure gold.
I guessed it by “brass knuckles” and knew for certain by “Roseanne.” I should probably be embarrassed.
Recorded with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for an unreleased solo album meant for Rolling Stones Records (the tracks finally came out in 2001), when Mackenzie Phillips was indeed 14. Knowing what we know now, this may be the skeeviest song in the history of rock.
There weren’t a lot of people in Philly’s Jefferson Square Park last Saturday at 9pm (and rarely is there a legal reason to visit that late), but the number that will claim to have been there will grow over time, as everyone who saw Dick Valentine segue “Lightning Crashes” into “Brilliant Disguise” at the close of a sloppy, contract-obliging acoustic solo set will start their own Velvet Underground someday. Except that dickweed who accused me of stealing the bag with my pajamas and phone charger because he saw me grab a lyric sheet from the stage. No Velvet Underground for him. A Silver Apples at best.