Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why are fedoras cool to uncool people?

Were they ever cool? Why do people who aren't cool and have the occasion to act like a cool person (like late middle aged men at halloween parties) put on a fedora or hawaiian shirt? How are things that aren't cool transformed into signifiers of cool for not cool people?

It's as if not-cool people have a range of expression of what is normal for their not-coolness and the outer edge of it has this twilight zone of not cool things that are outside daily not-cool experience but are still easily accessible, so they become "cool" is only through their unfamiliarity. It makes sense, sort of. Something that appears to be outside of not-cool but actually is not-cool takes on the mantle of otherness -- and since the not-cool aren't cool and can't in fact be cool, they associate all perceived otherness as "cool". Because if they knew what cool was, they themselves would be cool.

I'm not cool. But I don't wear a fedora.


The Most Wanted and Most Unwanted Songs

The artists Komar and Melamid took a survey of music listeners to find out which elements of music were the most and least desirable. The following compositions were the result of those surveys:

This is the most wanted song

This the most unwanted song

I sort of like the most unwanted song.


40 percent according to Google

40 percent of World of Warcraft players are addicted to the game. Weekend Sales: 40 Percent Off at Saks. Flu vaccine matches 40 percent of season's viruses. 40 percent of Princeton students and faculty use Macs as their personal computers. 40 percent of Iraq's professional class have left the country. 40 percent of abatement could be achieved at “negative” marginal costs. The number of American consumers filing for bankruptcy increased nearly 40 percent in 2007. Afghanistan's unemployment rate is 40 percent. About 40 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by water, air and soil pollution. Bush approval rating at 40 percent - Sep 19, 2005. 40 percent of 3-month-old infants regularly watch TV. The sale of digital music globally hit $2.9 billion in 2007, up 40 percent from 2006. Five states — Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia, New York and Arizona — are next in line with minority populations of about 40 percent. 40 percent of all people with the autoimmune disease lupus have some kidney damage. 40 percent of illegal immigrants are visa overstayers.Your nonprofit salary might be as little as 40 percent of your for-profit equivalent. Vista is still a good 40 percent slower than XP. 40 percent of holiday iPod sales went to first-time buyers.

Asked about the article, MacBain said that she never commented on her private life, but described it as 'probably 40 per cent wrong'.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Songs explained

Labelle -- Lady Marmalade – A man has sex with a francophone prostitute and enjoys it.

The Beatles-- Getting Better – An affair cheers a man up so much that he stops beating his wife

The Who -- Who are you? – A man gets drunk and forgets his friend’s name

Spice Girls -- If You Want To Be My Lover -- A woman likes hanging out with her friends so much that it causes intimacy problems in her romantic relationships.

Styx -- I’m Sailing Away A man is about to go sailing, then has a psychotic episode with angel and aliens and shit.

The Rolling Stones -- Jumpin’ Jack Flash A man who has suffered horribly also enjoys dancing

War – Low Rider -- A self-assured man drives a car around slowly

Peter Gabriel – Shock the Monkey -- A monkey in cardiac arrest is helped by a man

David Bowie – Space Oddity -- A ground control technician is annoyed by an astronaut named Tom

Led Zepplin – Stairway to Heaven -- A lady likes and is really good at shopping

Grateful Dead -- Truckin’ -- A traveling man on drugs would like to sleep in, but people are being loud and disruptive

Rush – Tom Sawyer -- A rude young person walks around like he owns the goddamn world

Bob Marley – No Woman, No Cry -- A man makes a crude axiomatic assertion about the negative relationship of (a) woman and crying

REM – Radio Free Europe -- A man talking in his sleep is recorded


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Put me down on the murmur side of the column.

I share a large MAXI-Cube with three women. We each have our own decent-sized alcove with our own little cell and bookshelf that we can arrange our little fillips to individuality.

This is fine. True, I am an anti-social swine and my days are mostly spent weaving elaborate revenge fantasies against my enemies (people who speak loudly on the train, or the tourists riding the top level double-decker bus who dare peer at me… you know, ENEMIES, but these three women are modicums of tolerance. They are always considerate, kind and appropriately friendly with me, a sort of vile Quasimodo-like bastard. Nice, nice people. Very charitable.

But here’s the thing; they whisper. Not about me. About work. This is because, I think, they work in a different department then I do, and do not want to throw their garbage in my yard. They also share managerial duties over a fairly large group of people, and so obviously and correctly must maintain discretion.

But goddamn, the whispering gets to me. If you have ever lived with mice in your walls, you know the feeling; the high frequency skittering that picks at your brain when you’re at the edge of sleep.

I’m all for murmuring. Murmuring happens at the frequency of conversation, so it doesn’t ring some reptilian brain bell, alerting you to the fact you are about to swarmed and eaten alive by scores and scores of fangy little mice. (They go for the eyes first, you know). Murmurs don’t rustle, or twitter. They rrrrollll and bump.

If I were a spy or a cat thief, I’d murmur.

But here’s the rub, and something tending toward a point (as close as we’re going to get in this post): how do you, or do you even, enter that conversation.

“Hey yers, just a point of style… could you murmur? Sort of like this: murmurmurmurmur? I respect the gravity of your communications, but the hissing found at the peaks of your delivery has on occasion shown me the shores of insanity.”

Seems churlish to me.

Also, C., a fellow copywriter, laughs very hard at his own jokes. It bums me out.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Ruby asks a question I am not prepared for

Ruby: They made Frankenstein out of parts from dead people, right?

Me: I believe that's what the story says, yes.

Ruby: So did Frankenstein have some dead person's penis?

Me: I don't think the author got into that in the book.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Good day at work

Wrote some funny scripts before lunch. Listened to Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel on headphones in the afternoon. That's a good routine. Think I'll make that a regular thing.