Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

The Manifesto is itself a Revision or, I am Bubble Gum; I have poppers

When in the course of marginalized events, the necessary bonds which tie so few us to even fewer—by which I mean “you” to “me” and “here” “now”— become extraneous; become bogged down by their own absurdity or perhaps it would be more accurate to say lack thereof; become too much of a silly appropriation, or not enough of one; or one that is silly but in an increasingly more meaningless way, it becomes the inalienable duty of those assembled here— by which I mean “me” “here” and “now” and therefore by extension “you” and “here”— to break aforementioned bonds, tenuous/nonexistent as they may be, and in doing so to create new ones. Where there once was a cat’s cradle, here, find an unsolved Rubik’s Cube, a kaleidoscope with a smudged viewfinder, a different drag, a brand new joke that resembles and is deeply indebted to the previous joke, the joke that precedes it in evolutionary progression. In the parlance of another history altogether, one often falsely accused of being linear, of working in a progression (while often working with progressions): The Sex Pistols dissolve into PiL, Joe Strummer grows tired of The Clash and becomes Mescalero, NWA splits into a five headed hip-hop hydra of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella, the Jackson 5 become the Jacksons become the place where Michael Jackson forgot to grow up. Where are our Talking Heads, David Byrne? The point is: we are allowed to live under the delusion that we can change our minds about things, and perhaps even, believe that such minute rewirings are in fact and some actually objective level important. And “you” “here” are witness to such re-birthing, or more cynically put, rebranding. Tao Lin is going down, but I will remain neither. Let us then dive through this screen together, or not at all, because it is so important that it is not in fact important. Choosing from a list the appropriate emoticon, commenting on a hair cut as if it were a masterpiece in oil and found materials, writing off the undeniable tidal shifts while proclaiming a skepticism about the idea of a generational identity. Give me your chewed up bubble gum, dear readership under double digits, or give me poppers (if you even know what they are). I have teeth to rot; I have tastes to kill; I have a brand new mane and perhaps thereby a brand new name.


-Mark Gurarie

Questions of Ontology (after Matt Yeager)

Is Tao Lin more like Paul McCartney or John Lennon? Does Tao work well in a group setting? How much for your cooperation? Will there be beverages provided? Is this a catered thing? What kind of Tao would you be? Navy or Marines Tao? Deep Space Tao or Cowboy Tao? Baby Tao or Golden Years Grandpa Tao? Does the camera flatter you? Wouldn’t you rather live in Philadelphia? Whose girl, Michael Jackson’s or Paul McCartney’s?
Who would win in a fight, the desert-island list of the five books you would take or that of Tao’s? Why the violence? Why the anger? Is this more jealousy or boredom? Could it be in equal measure? What is an equal measure in the world of Tao? Who is in charge here? Have you ever been to Philadelphia? What kind of Tao Lin reader are you: a Beatles or a Rolling Stones? A Tupac or a Biggie? When does the Dirty South get in the picture?
If you could have lunch with Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, and Tao Lin would you order calimari to start with? Soup or salad? How about the entree? And the beverage pairing? What is a steak done “between medium and medium-rare”? Does Tao Lin eat meat? Does Tao Lin shop locally? If your carbon footprint is roughly a size 8, what is Tao Lin’s shoe-size? When did you give up and self-identify hipster? Are you still in hipster denial? Is Tao? What if (stage whisper) you don’t know?