Monthly Archives: August 2011

Like Candy Flipping at a Funeral

The pews are half full this water glass is quaking. How many of the bereaved give good massages? Why oh why were there no traces of drugs in our dying beehive? What a waste of horn-rimmed devotion. Our rockers are neither consummate partiers, nor barely not derailing train-wrecks: they live-blog and focus on social media. Our tattoo artists have often been described as “professional to a fault.” Let’s, children, turn back to the twin decks, to the beat and the rhythm, to the absence of ego in disco-lights and to an orbit, to vertigo. The robots are better at wall-paper, they choose no longer neither rock nor scissors. I would like to be remembered as the founder of the Great Trance Room In The Sky as well as a person on the goddamn list with a plus one and a complimentary vodka drink. It is not so much to ask in retrospect and forever mumbling, caressing a feather, but I lay my case to the velvet rope. When I saw postmodernism I told myself now that’s a t-shirt I can wear. Inappropriation is a thing of the future perfect as imagined in the future imperfect. This jacket feels lined with infinite possibilities, seventeen kinds of sunshine in the heart of a hurricane. I saw a trail, wept in the key of C# and between 70 to 110 beats per minute. The failure of the double-rainbow concept costume this year will be the blight that marks our generation that is not a generation as a generation. Or at least stains our proverbial favorite pants. The meme is no more a way to memorialize the dead than carrying a torch. The Olympic flames we’ve lost by way of inefficient jogging habits and a poor attendance record, the kinds of kids that’ll scratch the mirror in order to offend a friendly but exceedingly shy peer in an un-politically correct manner. Amy Winehouse, you belong just as much to the bullies as the bullied even though you were probably pretty simpatico. You could’a served as a warning, a sad case, viva la meltdown, the forgotten lyrics, pill bottletops all scattered on the Venetian tile. The 4 am paparazzi would now like to hack into your phone and explore your textual relationships. You have become a document, a ghost in the celebrity machine, a wonderful supernova on the gall bladder of cultural production otherwise known as Soul-Nova, the New-Old-New, the Inflatable Horn Section of Berkeley Grads, the Kill-it Groovily, the Williamsburg Wha-Too-Sie, the British Invasion of 1776, Another Argument for Bee-hives and Baby-dolls, and just about anything with swing in the idea of it. At night you might still be clocking security guards in Shoreditch, getting the hell out of Camden, or maybe just singing a little bit and to yourself.

-Mark Gurarie


Towards Toweling

The tiny yet significant exchanges this sand cup for notoriety. The lifeguard looks like a lower rent Chuck Norris. A mustache like that is a lethal weapon: an addictive, dangerous, somehow majestic hook of bristle. SPF 60 on the greasy shoulders of your pornographic gaze, unrivalled this side of the valley. Ask not what the beach can do for you, ask what your game theory can do for this beach. For every beach. For every upper middle-aged upper tax bracket with twenty something Russian lover named Tatiana, the requisite runaway plastic bag. For every pack of gangly limbs and hormones on the boardwalk, three silly and impractical imaginings. In five years we find ourselves nowhere closer and filling up with sand, an hourglass app for infinite mobility and the subject of a copyright dispute. Or are our gazes’ various relationships strictly professional? ‘Am I wearing the pornographic sunglasses?’ I might ask the one legged seagull. ‘Is the beach your favorite fetish objectification?’ she might reply. Remember to kick your legs and remain hydrated. Do not fight the current, Pamela Anderson Lee, because for some reason—and I don’t know why—  you’re not on the guest list. Who plays David Hasselhoff in his Baywatch flashback dreams? The German youths were told there would be DJ’s at this thing but I had to remind them about the eternal capability for lameness that has clouded America for the last 400 or so years. All I ask for is five years, a salt chewed guitar, perhaps, and a mojito for the memories. The dolphin, too, is applying for unemployment benefits. Sea World will only hire you if you have previous experience. Even Hasselhoff was denied, red trunks and all, and but or was that a dream he had. Maybe a voice over gig circa 1989. The coast is no place for this bandwidth. The frequency of conch shell and tentacles, sunny, sunny and driving along the coast. The big wave asks that you remember your vibrations when you leave. They are called Brian Wilson and require quite a bit of maintenance. His nose bleeds follow the same lunar directive, the same clockwork. ‘Tides, dude, that’s what it’s about,’ the Big Wave tells Brian with a resigned sigh, a kind of smirk. We beaches can be so bemused in the wake. There, some two miles off the coast, another crest, and another.

-Mark Gurarie

Step Up to the K-Hole

by Daniel Stein


Back in the Summer of ’89, Channing Tattum and I invented a diet that would change the diet-world forever.  We sat around Channing’s dining room table up in Laurel Canyon, each man with his own bottle of Glenlivet.  We smoked four packs of Marlboro Reds a piece that night.  When Channing got the munchies, he turns to me and says, “There’s only one thing that’ll get my gut going right now.”  So there we are, bottles of Glenlivet in one hand, five lit cigarettes in the other, and three pounds of sunflower seeds between us.  “Chan,” I said, “Chan, this is all a man needs to live on.”  And he agreed.
By the fall of that Winter, Channing had locked himself up in a Ketamine hole so hard, he was a prisoner of his own mind for six months. Once or twice, I ventured into the K-hole in attempts to retrieve him.  But sometimes, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.  I had to liberate him the only way I knew how, one sunflower seed at a time.  Luckily, my machinations took to the skies when I remembered that Channing suffers from arithmomania like the modern vampire.  After shaving off his jail beard, Channing revealed that he had his passion project–a film idea called “Step Up.”  We took to the Glenlivet, the smokes, and the sunflower seeds, banging out the script in an hour’s time.  As daylight dawned upon that dining room table in Laurel Canyon, the last coherent thought I had before blacking out was, “Goddamn, we’ve done it.  We’ve re-created the New Testament.”
Years later, I found myself sitting with my dog company in Jerusalem’s Old City, flirting with the waitress who served me up the old single malt and sunflower seeds.  I haven’t spoken to Channing since that fateful night.  Some things are just too weird and impossible to recant.  All I can say is that we were both on to something that night.

I can play 27 on TV!

Don’t do me any favors, you see, or you will find that you are wasting your time. It is because I am not 27 that I can play that age, Hollywood, and sometimes, sometimes I don’t care for your lack of subtlety. According to my own cosmology every year after 27 is the afterlife and what is acting except the haunting of characters, the animation of fictions, embodiment? I am a ghost, don’t you get it, no more wrinkles. I sleep in a cryogenic chamber on the weekends. I have a chalet in Switzerland, where I drink a pungent mix of Echinacea root, Siberian Ginseng, and the plasma of the innocents. My breast milk tastes of Aloe and Kombucha. Yes I said it, ‘breast milk.’ Jeepers what are you doing with those creepers? My face is right here, hi! The concavity of my chest is considered handsome some fifteen years after the “Anorexic Plague That Is Swallowing Up Our Celluloid!” We eat even less gluten. It is because I never was heroin chic, never tried for that catalogue look, that I can play 27. More of an uppers person, really , if any at all. I was fifth in line to be the next “Doctor Who.” My false cockney is impeccable. Australians have called me an honorary Australian which, I suppose, is a kind of compliment. Whose mustache is this, anyway? Broadway is an ill-fitting stiletto jabbed through the heart. I have no equity nor have ever worked on it.

To which I counter offer that if you hire me, you can pay me in peanuts and Pellogrino. Within five years, I will be culturally aware enough to understand the proper contextual use of the word “rad.” You’ve never heard someone say that word until you have heard me do it, underwater, semi-nude, on a Volcom sponsored skateboard but I am not the type of guy that wears a “If you see something, skate something” T-shirt. I am well versed in the subtle and changing nuances of what is HOT! and what is NOT! and if you want celebrity meltdown I guarantee the covers of at least three important tabloids. It’s a simple proposition, the character is 27, my attitude is 27: The character is at the mantle and ready for the curtain call after all the pills and the Ketel One and needles have run dry, I have had the equivalent of three Long Island Iced Teas this morning. I can form dancing chemistry in a matter of minutes. There are so many different kinds of geniuses this season. The audience must decide on one. Which of the following dance moves would you describe as a “Gaga dance move”?

~Mark Gurarie


The conversation is reported with the usual novelistic markers of dialogue, and yet Mark Gurarie and Kevin Shea are not in the same room; they are not even talking, but conversing on “Gmail chat”. A common literary approach is to transcribe such exchanges in a sans-serif font; in writing them instead as traditional conversations, Lin is arguing that, for his characters, this constitutes talking to someone just as much as standing in front of them and speaking aloud.

-Stephen Poole, The Guardian (UK)


Like his book about the doomed, Willow’s presence offers the possibility of meaning. Her absence means emptiness, disjunction. He imagines calling everything in the world after Willow. He imagines every face being Willow’s cat face. Everything would be as clear as a book; the kind of book with which we’re all familiar. The author crafts a world of meaning pretending all the while it is actuality and denying that it is only ever possibility. For Kevin, without Willow, it’s nothing, just doomed. “He wants to drive into a mountain and make the mountain explode. Florida has no mountains. Florida has no Kevin. No Kevin; no future. No marshmallows. Mark stops thinking.”

-Stephen Mitchelmore, Ready, Steady, Book


Will Kevin Shea be at the platform when Mark Gurarie takes the PATH train into Jersey? Can Kevin escape his mother and visit Manhattan? The loving outcasts walk the edge of the Delaware River and wander Greenwich Village. They reveal important things about themselves and eat vegan food. They shoplift, have desultory sex and send digital photos to each other, all while dropping brand names like a couple of Bret Easton Ellis’s hipster nephews (of course Ellis gets a shout-out). Dialogue includes these zingers: “I’m going to cry on my keyboard,” “Life is stupid” and “I’m going to kill myself soon.”

-Charles Bock, The New York Times


Clever and Brave, the Fierce Mastodon!

I was pretty sure they could levitate. Like seriously I saw it, they sort of like hang there bobbing up and down approximately six inches. Morphin about and having a goofy old time. What is it, that thing that looks like a space dumpster, like a pipe-fitting spray painted salmon, like the promise of a plot-line, the promise coursing in the veins of the young and wild, the paradoxical responsibility that pretends to be carefree, that cares free of charge, rather that is usually, usually free of charge. These gymnastics are ready for the Dojo in the era of the pre-preemptive strike. Kick kick block. To use the natural momentum of your opponent’s body, release your demon wings because these poses are for beginners. And yet nothing can stop the opponent’s influence on your mind, the mind the mind the mind is the most important weapon. Except I do think Karate is for beating people up, and it is especially on TV that this lesson is made clear. Despite the speeches, as a matter of fact, almost because of the speeches. Sometimes the bullies are swiftly dispatched with like cherry pies and all unmoving the Motionless Silver Lips of Positive Thinking (MSLPT). Angel Grove, too, is in danger of nuclear apocalypse: don’t look now, but there is a piece of radiation in your carefree smile. Here take this lightning bolt, it matches your skiing goggles.

Your doubts will be destroyed, Rita Repulsa, by the power of a Black Morphin Mastodon, clever and brave Zorgs in the late afternoon. Peer pressure deflects an impassioned speech, but I, too would do a few little warm up dance steps into the urban youth demographic. The color scheme, Zordon, conditions us to remember which Trapper Keeper. The “Asian” Power Ranger is “yellow”- a saber tooth tiger robot. And so on. Go go little spandex suits as the wand releases the elemental in all of us. The casual and correct dose of prejudice. It is almost like second nature to me too now, you see, I know how to drive this thing. It is when they become that conglomerated dose of kick-ass, though, that dream in stock animation, in holding hands, that we feel that together we can save this paper mountain. Even if Captain Planet is still a total weenie, you know like a tofu-dog or actually a gluten-free tofu-dog. The belt buckle beats the ring. Remember: a Morphin sword is something to watch out for, to try not to talk about, to keep your identity secret. Remember: we are just a couple of lucky kids…. Not.[1]

And meanwhile the android understands humor in terms of flow-charts and pyramid schemes. It was and always will be hard to be just a regular kid with super powers. Anyone can be just a regular kid with super powers. Ask Scarlett Johansson’s publicist, the force behind NME’s 23rd best Album of 2008. He can levitate. I am completely fucking serious, dude levitates, both feet off the ground for way longer than a few seconds. It’s like this tai-chi type stuff, you know this cool pose or counter-pose or but it actually has nothing to do with, well, actual tai-chi. Or maybe just as much as anything does. He has not had a pony-tail for some time, be reassured. Seriously, he’s cool she might think often and in all seriousness. Not as cool as those you cover, darling. Never as cool as that. No belt buckle necessary.

~Mark Gurarie
[1] As if.

Jurgen Klinsmann Press Conference

by Alex Crowley

on that issue of style and what he just outlined everybody is important what they wanted to represent at the international level I have two questions are you looking at your staff before mexico obviously we’re busy and looking forward to the picture where they’re at with their club it’s not going to be easy we’ll get it off the ground that being said building a staff I would like to approach it I won’t confirm I want to see what’s out there I need to talk to people and get their perspective who can I invite so I won’t come in and say this is my staff you need to calm down right away we have that opportunity to see what’s coming through I kind of know already I will take my time hopefully by wednesday covering this country is a challenge there are pros & cons obviously to high intense environments you’re in a daily grind instead of once in a while I think it’s important to understand how you grow up and your priorities why is the program not really that important why are the kids going to school okay those are the reasons it’s a completely different setup and you have time to understand those different mechanisms for their future time other circumstances come in there whatever happens out of his comfort zone the fascinating topics for the next months and years you have the case where back and forth every weekend we will build a network and quietly it doesn’t have to be in the media they admire what has happened here the past twenty years would you like to see a uniformed style of play and is that a sticking point it’s actually a fascinating point it should reflect the mixing of cultures to find a path you won’t have a copy overall it should be a broader understanding and this will be one of the main topics going forward they will expand they will get bigger and bigger and it’s important you have your say in it they all wait for information they are knowledgeable they ask the same they are now speaking german they are available in back is it possible let’s do it in ten minutes we’ll get you what you need over here on your left how would you explain the mentality of this country studying your country mainly you don’t like to react to what other people do wades in seas and decide on its own what is next this guides me to impose but it is a starting point you want to dictate the pace so all those components you have to build it into a curriculum barcelona wasn’t born in the last couple of years I’m really curious to hear all the different opinions in the driver’s seat when we move overseas at the right age we will not ask for a prediction what do you anticipate to be the biggest hurdle expectations always built on being in a final here they are different how they grew going through the group stage where anything is possible you want to get better but you can’t promise anything I think there are a lot of different challenges ahead of us a foundation how much time they should spend with the ball but this is really important from the beginning what is really missing compared to the amount of time kids play the game just banging around the neighborhood this will show later on with his instinct a lot of work is ahead of us major steps forward it’s a very very hectic style slowly we have to get on the technical level with the ball there are environmental issues it’s come a long way we have a long way to go still

This Company is Hemorrhaging Staples!