Wednesday, April 25, 2012

B Bridge.

I came across this picture on Yahoo and I kinda just love it.

There is more of the like here.



This poem has been – very fondly – on my mind all day today. “Longing, we say, because desire is full/of endless distances” is one of the most perfect things I have ever read.

Meditation at Lagunitas

By Robert Hass b. 1941 Robert Hass

All the new thinking is about loss.

In this it resembles all the old thinking.

The idea, for example, that each particular erases

the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-

faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk

of that black birch is, by his presence,

some tragic falling off from a first world

of undivided light. Or the other notion that,

because there is in this world no one thing

to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,

a word is elegy to what it signifies.

We talked about it late last night and in the voice

of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone

almost querulous. After a while I understood that,

talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,

pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman

I made love to and I remembered how, holding

her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,

I felt a violent wonder at her presence

like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river

with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,

muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish

called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.

Longing, we say, because desire is full

of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.

But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,

the thing her father said that hurt her, what

she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous

as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.

Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,

saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.


Some Combination.

A friend of mine whom I have not seen in awhile recently ended a Facebook message by saying:

Your FB feed suggests that you are either at work, backpacking, weekday drunk, or some combination of the three at all given times

Am I that easy to figure out?




Saturday, April 21, 2012


by james bezerra

Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1794 when he was twenty-nine years old and it - sorta - changed the world. Overnight it made Upland Short cotton into ‘King Cotton’ and elevated the Antebellum South as an agricultural and therefore economic powerhouse. It inadvertently kicked off the Industrial Revolution in the United States. By mechanizing and expediting the tedious process of removing the seeds from the cotton, it also created a greater demand for more raw cotton. Which created the demand for a larger agricultural labor force, which could have been very expensive. But wasn’t. Not the way America did it.

Later in his life, Whitney manufactured muskets for the Continental Army. He died in 1825, when Abraham Lincoln was 14 years old.

In the darkest days of the American Civil War, President Lincoln, a student of history, would sometimes mumble frustratedly to his staff, “This is all that damn Whitney’s fault.” An early draft of the address Lincoln gave at Gettysburg included a section where the long-dead Whitney was to be personally excoriated. The President later decided not to include the section in his speech, “This is the wrong time to speak ill of the dead,” Lincoln told one of his aids before crossing the former battlefield to make his address.

Lincoln’s erstwhile forgiveness was not felt by all Americans however. Sometime in 1867 Whitney’s remains were stolen from the Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven Connecticut, where they had laid at rest since 1825. To this day the Yale-owned cemetery officially denies the theft, however many students and faculty have claimed to have seen Whitney’s unhappy ghost standing impatiently under the Egyptian Revival gateway to the cemetery. Some students claim that he bummed cigarettes from them. The cemetery officially denied this as well and cautioned Yale students against smoking regardless.

A precocious and insomniatic Yale undergrad names Fox Luckner made a short- form documentary about Whitney’s ghost. She interviewed him every Tuesday night for four weeks (he tended to be most corporeal on Tuesday nights). The first two sessions were primarily dedicated to figuring out exactly how to light a ghost. Whitney, imbued with natural curiosity and an engaging mind, offered many suggestions, but owing to his inexperience with electric lights, this only served to annoy Luckner. By the third session Whitney quietly stood off to one side while Luckner set up her lights. He puffed unobtrusively on the Pall Malls that she had brought him.

“Were you aware at the time of the massive repercussions that the invention of the cotton gin would bring?” Luckner can be heard asking in the final documentary.

Whitney’s round, smooth face crinkled a little, “I really just want my body back,” he replied. “I thought you were going to help me get my body back.”

“Surely you must have thought about the ramifications?” Luckner pressed.

“Don’t be one of those people who blames me for the Civil War, okay? I was dead by then. I had nothing to do with it.”

“But when you patented the cotton gin you set in motion a whole series of events which led inexorably to the institutionalization of slavery and eventually the war.”

“Not every place that had slavery had cotton and I kind of resent the implication,” said Eli Whitney’s ghost. “You know, I also invented interchangeable parts, do you want to talk about that?”

“No,” said Fox Luckner.

“Fine. Do you have any more cigarettes?”

The documentary cuts quickly and when it comes back Whitney is reveling in a Pall Mall. He smokes it, it is quite real in his ghost hand, held between his ghost fingers, but after he inhales the blue smoke just billows out and away like a thin cloud.

“Do you have any opinions on the modern age?” Luckner can be heard asking.

“I think that people have no respect for other people’s remains anymore.”

“With all due respect, your body was stolen more than a hundred and fifty years ago.”

“Probably by Jews.”

“You’re anti-Semitic too?” Luckner asked.

“I don’t know what that word means.”

“It is actually not a word, it’s a compound word.”


“Nothing, forget it.” Luckner can be heard off camera flipping through her notes. “Do you know what the internet is?” She asks almost as a lark

“Of course I do. You think we don’t get the internet?”

There is a pause as Whitney smokes and Luckner tries to recover from her shock. “I’m sorry, did you say that you ‘get the internet’?”

“Yeah. Sure we do.”

“Who is ‘we’?”

“You know, all the dead people.”

There is another long pause. Then Luckner can be heard to ask tentatively, “Could you explain that a little more? Please …”

Ultimately Luckner chose to premier her documentary at Cannes rather than peddling it as an academic oddity on college campuses. She would later explain in a NEWSWEEK magazine interview, “I felt that the world at large needed to know about these revelations.”

“How did you feel,” the NEWSWEEK interviewer asked, “upon initially hearing Whitney’s description of the ghost presence on the internet?”

“Well, I was quite taken aback, as you might imagine. I mean, when you watch the documentary, you can hear me stuttering.”

What Whitney had described while puffing agitatedly on his Pall Mall, was the remarkable confluence of the afterlife and the internet. “I can pass more freely from my dead state to the internet than I can from my dead state to this one, where I am at with you right now.”

“You’re not always in a ‘dead state’?” Luckner had asked.

“Not at all. Do I seem dead now?”

Luckner had not responded.

“It is all just …” Whitney took a long drag, thought and then went on, “… energy. It is all just energy. The flicker of a candle, or a ghost or those light things you have so much trouble setting up. The internet too.”

“What do you do on the internet?” Luckner had asked.

“Mostly we watch all of you. It is amazing how much you can be aware of when you don’t have a physical body to limit your perception. We watch you buy things, we watch you type to each other. Sometimes we just watch you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, all your computers have those cameras on them now. Sometimes I like to just sit there and watch.”

“What do you mean?” Luckner asked again, her voice had the sound of little creaks and waves in it.

“Just that,” Whitney puffed, “we can see you, through the cameras. Next time you sit down at your computer, spend a second to let you eyes flick up to that little camera lens up there above your screen. You can’t see past it, but you never know, one of us could be there. Looking out at you. Watching you. Maybe it is someone dead who loves you, who is watching over you. Maybe not. There are a lot of unpleasants out there, floating in the ether, watching you. All of you.”

Luckner said nothing. It is the most tense moment in the documentary.

Finally Whitney said, “Look, are you going to help me get my body back or not?”

At that point in the documentary it cuts to Luckner racing back to her dorm room (she always claimed that she hadn’t realized that the camera was still recording, that it was a happy accident discovered in the editing process) where she covers the camera on her computer with a piece of electrical tape.

Following the release of the documentary a mild hysteria ensued. The sales of electronics dipped for two straight fiscal quarters. The U.S. Congress passed multiple laws seeking to restrict the access that ghosts had to the internet, though none of the laws offered clear technical suggestions as to how this might be down. People started unplugging their computers and wireless routers at night. Google promised to make their websites more secure against ghosts.

Eventually the hysteria subsided. Luckner went on to make another documentary, this one decrying the habitual properties of high fructose corn syrup.

Soured by his experience with Luckner and the newfound modern fame that she had brought him, Whitney refused to grant any more interviews to anyone who couldn’t help him find his body.

Interestingly, Whitney’s sudden notoriety gave rise to new debates over whether his invention of the cotton gin had in fact lit the long fuse to the Civil War in America. Without fail, whenever these discussions took place online the websites always crashed.


Some Modern Proverbs I Am Trying to Get Off the Ground.

Here are some modern proverbs I am trying to get off the ground:

It is better to have a dozen ducks in your living room, than one howler monkey in your bathroom.

Never Google anything you don’t want Google to know you were Googling.

Don’t take a knife to a gun fight. Better to just not go to the gun fight at all.

Sometimes the grass actually is greener on the other side.

There are only two kinds of women, those who want to sleep with me, and lesbians.*

There are only three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can’t.**

No matter how much or how hard you work today, there will always be more work to do tomorrow.

Never trust a man who likes Mad Men too much.

Chess is not a metaphor for life and you’re a douche bag for acting like it is.

Even Han Solo had girl trouble sometimes.


*This one is not mine, it was said by my friend Mike the Director’s dad.

**I’m pretty sure someone said this to me recently, though I simply cannot remember who or where or when.




by james bezerra

I am taking a class

and I really hope to pass!

It is teaching me

exactly how to be

much more classy!

I’ve learned how to throw a dinner party;

how to choose cheese and wine

and conversationally delight

all the articulate friends of mine.

But sadly I think my friends just might

have to take this class now

because they just don’t appreciate how

difficult it is to properly pair

wine with fish to add some flair!

In class we also practiced

how to talk about Renaissance paintings

and how to sound like the placards affixed

to the wall next to Renaissance paintings!

We also attended a gala event!

To a fancy gallery we went

on the night of a photography opening!


the art did not amuse me,

not really one bit.

You see, the exhibit

was just photos of me

with placards below which all read: Douche-y.


The Incredible Hulk.

The Incredible Hulk.

by james bezerra

What I really don’t want to see?

I’m not worried about when the Incredible Hulk gets angry,

I just don’t ever want to see him horny.


Deep in the Forest.

Deep in the Forest.

By james bezerra

Deep in the forest,

a beetle realizes that he missed

the latest episode of “Glee”.

But then he remembers that he does not like “Glee”

because he is a beetle

and not a Beatle,

so he has no sense of musicality.

Or Ears.


Once Upon a Time this Poem Would Have Gotten Me Killed by The Gestapo.

Once Upon a Time this Poem Would Have Gotten Me Killed by The Gestapo.

by james bezerra

Did you ever see

that one movie

where Tom Cruise tried to kill Hitler?

How about the one where Quentin Tarantino

killed him in a big bullet-y crescendo?

Or that one Dirty Dozen wherein

the Dozen nearly does Hitler in?

Now Hitler really was a difficult guy to kill.

They say he died in 1945

but I think time will tell,

that he actually escaped in a submarine.

And that he is still alive

and has engineered a race of very mean

undersea soldiers who will

stop at nothing to restore

their very old emperor

named Hitler!

We need to mobilize Hollywood

to find out how they would

finally kill this soggy old jerk Hitler.




by james bezerra

You know what I like best about Genghis Khan?

The fact that he is long gone!


Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa.

by james bezerra

When a blind guy goes to a museum

Does he get to touch the paintings?

Since he can’t see them?

And if so,

Then next time that I go

I’m going to tell them

that I’m a blind guy too

because there’s some things I’ve always wanted to do

to the Mona Lisa!


A Word from the Editors.

A Word from the Editors.

The Editors here at Standard Kink would like to apologize if that last poem was offensive to any of our blind readers. Obviously it was meant simply in the spirit of whimsy. We here at Standard Kink are adamantly opposed to making fun of those with disabilities and we certainly do not habitually make inappropriate sexual gestures at blind people on the street, no matter what that cop said that he thought he saw that one time.


Many Moons.

Many Moons.

by james bezerra

How much mass does it take

to start to generate

one’s own gravity?

I only ask because I think it would be great

if small moons orbited me.



by james bezerra

Do you think the President of China

would be offended if he came and saw ya’

and you set out your fine china?

Like how that one cold night in Afghanistan

you asked an Afghan to pass you an afghans

to warm your frozen feet.

And he told you to beat a quick retreat,

because there it’s just called a ‘blanket’.

Or would the Chinese President

shrug and slyly grin

and tell you that when

China takes over the planet,

making an insensitive social miscalculation

will just be called an “American”.


Things that I Know Are Wrong but Which I Still Always Initially Think I Know to be True.

Things that I know are wrong but which I still always initially think I know to be true:

That Ricardo Montalban was also a racecar driver.

That Willie Nelson used to be in Hall and Oates.

That Ryan Seacrest started out as an MTV VJ.

That all of the dinosaurs were all alive at the same time.

That the guy that played Harry on “Night Court” had a cocaine problem and that’s why the show really got cancelled.

That the O.C. is still on TV and that I just stopped watching it.

That Luke Wilson is also in “Armageddon”.

That I know the names of all of the Hawaiian Islands, or how many of them there are.

That I have been to Chicago.

That World War II was going on the whole damn time that Roosevelt was President.

That I can remember how to make French Toast.

That America got into space first.

That Julia Roberts and Keifer Sutherland are still together.

That Mark Hamill did the voice of KIT on Night Rider.

That Magellan got all the way around the world (he was actually killed in the Philippines, but the ships got home safely).


Friday, April 13, 2012

Karl Marx, Gods, and Goats.

Hello, yes, it has been awhile. So long in fact that maybe we need to get to know each other again? You know, before we get in too hot and heavy into all of this blogging. Maybe you’ll sleep in the guest bedroom tonight? That way neither of us feel any … pressure … you know? Thanks, that’s super cool of you. I really appreciate your being understanding; it has just been awhile … since we blogged last.

So what have you been up to lately? Really? Well that is just fascinating.

Me? Not much. Working mostly. Although I did recently participate in the alleged theft of some rocks glasses from a local bar … I went to see the very cool The Heartless Bastards.

Also, I have been reading a lot. I FINALLY got around to reading Neil Gaiman’s very very long “American Gods” (it was quite good, though I never quite got behind a protagonist named “Shadow”) and I just started Gideon Defoe’s anarchic “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists” (Basically it is about some pirates who hang out with Karl Marx on an adventure. Here is a snippet I particularly like from page 92”:

‘Really? I didn’t know that,’ said the albino pirate.
‘You see, wax is basically bee sick.’
‘What if there aren’t any bees about? Bees get all sleepy in winter,’ said the pirate who knew a bit about nature.

The whole book is like that!).

I have been bi-polar-ly seesawing lately between being in love with everything in the world and hating everything in the world. I think I’m not eating enough fruit or something.

For a brief moment recently I had completely forgotten about the fact that I totally want a pet goat! But I was reminded of it recently by my roommate Rainbow Chrysanthemum. For your edification and my amusement, here is a picture of a goat in a taxi cab:


Watching The Flyer.

While stumbling aimlessly across the internet the other night I happened across this painting and was kind of struck by it. I’m not saying that it is the Mona Lisa or anything, but it seemed familiar and weird all at once. Sort of calm and restrained but still freakish. Like if Salvador Dali did a Kafka book jacket.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout out to Linda R. Herzog (whom I do not know and will never meet) and here is where I found her work.


Ultralightening Up.

I will try to keep this short and sweet because I know you did not come here to read about my (probably unhealthy) fixation with something called “Ultralight Backpacking”, however, I recently stumbled ass backward across a fairly stunning (yet somehow super-obvious) metaphoric connection.

(“Ultralight backpacking” is just regular backpacking but with a Base Pack Weight (BPW) of ten pounds or less. BPW is all your gear and stuff less “consumables” like food and water.)

See, I have been extremely stressed out over the past month or so, work has been simply out-of-control-legitimately-unreasonably-unhealthily-stressful and some things in my personal life have not gone EXACTLY how I wanted them to (you know how that annoys me) and so I have been feeling it in my neck and my shoulders and my back and my general sense of exhaustion. However, what I have found most relaxing lately is to make a simple dinner (usually chicken and vegetables) and eat it while I read blogs about ultralight backpacking. While I do that, I have a spreadsheet open and I add up the weights of various things to assemble various “systems” (that is what the backpacking-blog-people call them). I have even found a system that I think will work for me, at an anticipated weight of about six pounds. How does one achieve such a low BPW, you exclaim? Well, by being dangerously unreasonable about what they’re willing to sacrifice! I mean, come on, if you subtract the wine out of my life, I basically lead a largely ascetic existence (My breakfast and lunch are both of the meal-replacement variety and I already described my dinner. I barely even eat cookies anymore and only actually sleep in my bed when I’ve had a really good day.)

But by this point in this blog post you’re getting bored, right? Well then I will get to the point … the way you get down to six pounds is by not having a tent (which usually weighs 2 – 6 lbs). I will be using a bivy sack (16 ounces) for shelter (some people only use tarps and I used a hammock in the Grand Canyon) also, instead of a sleeping bag (30 – 50 ounces) I’m going to use an Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivy (8.5 ounces). And instead of a regular backpack (2 – 5 lbs) I am modifying an Embark laptop backpack from Target (20 ounces). These are all decisions I have made recently, while sitting at my kitchen table. I haven’t gotten to use any of this stuff yet, of course, but it is still pretty cold here in Southern California (yeah, laugh it up Alaskans). The reality is that I will probably use this “system” once and freeze my ass off so bad that I come home and jump into the hot tub and simply refuse to ever leave it ever.

Oh! But have you caught onto the metaphor part of all this yet? Well here is it: the more and more and more stressed out I am by the simple act of living my life, the lighter and lighter and lighter my theoretical weight is getting. This is what those of us in the numbers business call an “inverse relationship” (actually, it is what everyone calls an inverse relationship). I realized this the other day when my 8.5 ounce sleeping bag-replacement arrived in the mail (it is basically a very special and fancy metallic emergency blanket) and the first thing I did after taking it out of the Amazon wrapping was weigh it.

So the cogent and cognitive part of my brain laid on the brakes and went, “Woooooah there buddy, is it possible that you may have gone round the bend?” But the sensitive and humanistic part of my brain was saying, “Look, this I what everyone does. People buy sports cars to feel cool, go golfing to feel active and become cops because they have mother issues (that’s 100% true BTW), so why should you feel bad that thinking light weight helps you enjoy life more?”

The problem, of course, is that this particular psychosis is all leading toward an inevitable night where I am alone on the side of a mountain somewhere freezing to death or getting attacked by a bear and not having a proper camping machete with which to fend it off. So I suppose there is some actual danger, but, you know, what’s life without a marginal but appreciable amount of danger?

So that’s it! That was all I had to say about all of that! I can talks some more about the various nuanced aspects of ultralight backpacking, if you want, but I think that really you would just feel obligated to keep reading out of some misplaced sense of politeness and I would feel obliged to make things increasingly more interesting and so would have to start lying about things (“I hike with no clothes on and just one match, that’s how light I go!”) , only you would know that I was lying and it would just become embarrassing and uncomfortable for both of us.


Very Very Poor-Quality Photos of My Cats.

So you know how much I like it when good things happen to me which required absolutely no effort on my part? Well this week I was offered a totally free digital SLR camera. It is a hand-me-down and not bleeding-edge top-of-the-line or anything (it is a several years old Olympus E-500) but that is fine because I would have absolutely no idea what to do with a bleeding-edge top-of-the-line digital SLR camera. As it is, I will have virtually no idea what to do with this thing once I get it. I haven’t actually set an F-stop since I was a senior in high school (which, in case you are keeping track, was seven hundred years ago). However I am VERY MUCH looking forward to receiving this thing and am hoping to find a community college class to take over the summer to learn how to use it!

Between you and me, I had actually been saving up some money to buy a Rebel or something, you know, a quaint entry-level digital SLR. In the past year I have adventured to Catalina Island and New York and into The Grand Canyon and to several very interesting other places and I was often saddened by the fact that I didn’t have the ability to take any really good pictures along the way. Now, do not misunderstand me, the pictures I will be taking for the next year or so will probably look like this:

However, I am a quick learner and will probably be able to take pictures that are at least this good in pretty short order:

The truth is that I once dated a very very talented photographer and so never worried about whether or not there would be good pictures of a trip, because I knew there would be. Well I have felt a real lack over the past couple of years because I enjoy having good, stylistic, artistic photos around. And I did always like being able to point at the wall and go, “Yeah, that one is from a trip to Boston …” stuff like that.

Now I know that the proliferation of camera phones and crazy good digital point-and-shoot cameras has created a world wherein a person can have really cool pictures without having to commit much energy to it, but there is a part of me that wants to learn the art of a good picture. So many settings and dials and things to know! Part of me wants to climb up the side of a hiking trail somewhere just to get a picture of a flower and actually know how to dial in the focus. There is a delightful steampunk-ian combination of archaic mechanism and imaginative whimsy that go into the making of a good photograph, and I want to learn how to do it. For the same reason that I would like to own a very nice old typewriter.

So, anyway, this is just a warning shot I guess. Please get used to seeing a large amount of very very poor quality photos of my cats.


Bitches in Bookshops.

Do you enjoy rap covers about reading? Do you have four minutes and twenty-eight seconds?


Songs for My Band’s Next Album.

As you probably know, I play the variable-speed blender in a very progressive and completely fake band. The members are real (I let anybody in, I’m kind of a whore) but our resolve to practice or actually learn to play music is very much not real.

However, just in case that ever changes, I keep lists of song titles for our next album (not to blow my own horn, but word on the street is that this next album will be our seminal work). Here are the songs which you will (or won’t, it is up to you) be rocking out to soon:

The Investment Banker from Norway

Two Eeks

A Pedantic Gadfly

Some of These Ideas are Not Yet Well-Formed

Whiskey Breakfast

I Would Like to Hang Out with You in the Water Closet with Just a Cardboard Box Between us While We Play Guitar

I Will Cut You

Nurture, Tortilla Chips, and Fear

No Breaking Dishes Here

Absolutely No Dress Code Enforced; Black Tie Preferred

I Left My Virginity at Your Summer Camp

Nelson Rockfeller’s Secret Children

Your Mom was the Special Guest Star Last Night

I Did Not Intentionally Look Up Animal Porn*

Well I Can Invent a Helicopter that Doesn’t Work Too, da Vinci.

* This was actually said out loud by my roommate Colossal Blossom during a game of “Is it a Website?!” which, if you have never played it, is one of my favorite games, as described below.

Is It a Website?!

If I recall correctly this game was invented back when I lived in San Diego. Here is what you need to play:

- A few fun people
- Some booze never hurts
- A laptop with internet

Here is how it works: You think up web addresses that may or not be real. You type them in. You find yourself constantly amazed, delighted, appalled, transfigured.

That’s it. That is the whole game. It is perfect in its simplicity. I understand that right now you don’t think much of it, but go get some people together, pop open a bottle of wine and try playing. It is simply and always (seriously, 100% of the time) a super fun way to kill an evening.

And hey, maybe along the way your roommate will be forced to defend herself for looking up animal porn.


Under Pressure.

Since moving across town and across the street from a small shoping center (complete with a grocery store, a hamburger place, a Chinese place, a Mexican place, a dry cleaners and a Honey Baked Ham store!) I have found myself finding excuses to walk over there simply because I love being able to walk over there. I will be sitting around the apartment bored out of my mind and thinking, “You know, I would really like some peanuts, I should walk over to the store and get some peanuts.” And then, you know what happens? Yeah, I walk over to the store and get some peanuts.

On a recent weekend day which I had dedicated to doing absolutely nothing but reading (I actually ended up reading and also drinking wine and hanging things up around the apartment, which I’m sure pleased my roommates to no end) I ended up walking over to the store like 5 times. Just to get stuff that I kept thinking of. Luckily I refuse to let myself buy truly frivolous things, so I’m basically always walking over there for cat food or canned green beans or some such banality.

So now you’re asking yourself, ”Why do I care?”

Well listen, jerk, no one is forcing you to read this blog!

But if you stop now you will miss out on the super awesome playlist I was about to tell you about … yeah, see, now you care.

Well when I walk over there I put my iPod on and since I am normally walking over there shortly after I get back from work, I am still all super stressed out. I realized the necessity of having a de-stressing mix for after work. So I made one and it is awesome. Here it is, enjoy:

Under Pressure – David Bowie and Queen
(Just classic and never wrong)

Crazy in Love – Snow Patrol
(Yeah, Snow Patrol covering Beyonce. It is the coolest/creepiest thing since The Flaming Lips covered Kyle Minogue)

Hey Ya – Michael Schulte
(A slow, sweet, acoustic cover of OutKast’s “Hey Ya!”. Hilarious and also, somehow, very good and touchingly sad)

We Are Young – We Are Young
(I WISH I could claim to have heard this song before it was used in that Super Bowl ad with the cars doing stunts, but I cannot. Anyway, this is one of those songs that’s so good that you have to forgive it for being so pop-tacular)

Alphabet Pony – The Kills
(The Kills are an aggressively weird band and this is an aggressively weird song. Kinda sexy, kinda mean, kinda occasionally spastically arrhythmic)

After Hours – We Are Scientists
(If you do not know "We Are Scientists" just think of a really cute man who is also talented and funny and genuine and just an all around awesome guy who you would totally hate except that he’s so fucking cool. Well this is what his life sounds like. [His slightly less cool younger brother sounds like Vampire Weekend, BTW])

Kiss With a Fist – Florence & The Machine
(Everybody knows and loves Florence by now, but this is, I thought, the most wickedly catchy song on her first album. I have had relationships that this song might as well be about)

Out of the Races – The Rapture
(Oh, The Rapture, they were one of those 90s bands that was always on the cusp of becoming the next big thing, sadly though they never quite made it. That fact aside, they are consistently one of my favorite bands in the world and this is kind of their flagship song. I structured a whole novel around this song once!)

Blah Blah Blah – Ke$ha
(Yes. Ke$ha. Deal with it. This is the dirrty song on her first album)

Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
(Hey! Remember when “500 Days of Summer” came out and this song sort of changed your life for a second? Then remember how it was used in a Diet Coke commercial that tried to make drinking Diet Coke seem cool? Side note: I have become pretty certain that “500 Days of Summer” is about me and I just never realized it)

Boom Boom – The Animals
(A charming and delightful friend of mine recently turned me on to The Animals. Of course I had heard of them, but had never really paid any attention. Well they are old - school, kinda dirty and all around undeniable)

London Bridge – Fergie
(Chuckle all you want, but this song makes me happy! Side note: I actually happened to be in London when this album first came out and was walking across the actual London Bridge and guess what had been put up just at one end of it? Yeah, a giant billboard for this single. The perfect symmetry of place and shameless marketing)

This Fire – Franz Ferdinand
(Does it get cooler than Franz Ferdinand? No, no it does not. In my imaginary life I go out at night to dark LA ultra-lounges and wear a trim-ly tailored pinstriped gray suit and somehow emit the sound of Franz Ferdinand)

Senorita – Justin Timberlake
(Look, at this point if you still scoff at Justin Timberlake’s talent, then you’re basically the same as a Holocaust denier. You and the nation of Iran should have a good time hanging out, because I will be busy listening to this song with a giant grin on my face.)

And then, when this playlist is over, I do not feel stressed out anymore.



Although, all that above being said, today when I walked to the store (for cat food, Aloe Vera juice, microwavable chimichangas and a Rock Star) I didn’t feel like listening to the Under Pressure mix and so set the iPod to shuffle and it spit out Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Op. 8 No.4 : Winter, which I have now decided is probably the most perfect piece of music ever. But what do I know? I publicly admitted to creating a playlist with “London Bridge” on it.


Baboons Can Read and The Robots Are Losing!

Out there in the ether of our culture I imagine that there are people having arguments about whether it will be the robots or the hyper-intelligent primates who take over the world (these are probably the same people who concern themselves with the inaccuracies of vampirism in “Twilight”). Well, if you’re keeping score, the primate people are now winning!

This is Dan. Dan is a Baboon. Read, Dan, Read

(The baboon in this picture is not one of the reading baboons featured in the article, but just look at how fricken’ cute it is!)