Articles Archive for March 2014

Reviews, Videos »

March 26th, 2014 | Comments Off on Veronica Mars: Take the Long Way Home | Category: Reviews, Videos
<em>Veronica Mars</em>: Take the Long Way Home

No surprise: Veronica Mars: The Movie plays to the strengths of the franchise: Veronica’s chronically conflicted convictions, Keith’s ever-watchful eye, Logan’s inability to avoid controversy, the stability of Wallace, Mac, and Piz, and the loyal support of its fans. Full disclosure: I am one of the 91,585 Kickstarter backers of this movie, I watched it three times in as many days, I am a card-carrying Marshmallow, so spoilers and gushing abound below.
So, when the day comes to settle down,
Who’s to blame if you’re not around?
— Supertramp, “Take the Long Way Home”
Though the …

Essays, Reviews »

March 26th, 2014 | Comments Off on Mixed Metonymies: Mechanization and Culture | Category: Essays, Reviews
Mixed Metonymies: Mechanization and Culture

Meanings are malleable. Words bend and break under the stress of unintended use, abuse, or overuse. Like machine parts pushed past their limits, cogs stripped bare of their teeth, the language we use wears out, weakening the culture that carries it and our knowledge thereof.

Aldous Huxley (1970) writes, “In the days before machinery men and women who wanted to amuse themselves were compelled, in their humble way, to be artists. Now they sit still and permit professionals to entertain them by the aid of machinery” (p. 11). We use metaphors …

Reviews »

March 22nd, 2014 | Comments Off on What Means These ‘Zines? | Category: Reviews
What Means These ‘Zines?

I started all of this writing stuff making zines in junior high school. It would be difficult to overstate how much that experienced shaped who I have become. While the means of production and the channels of distribution have changed since my days at the copy shop, there are still some zines circulating. Here are a few of the standouts I’ve gotten recently.

The first issue of Andy Jenkins’ Bend zine I got was #7, which came in the mail over 25 years ago. That issue changed my own preset limits of what …

Essays »

March 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on Cool by Committee: Cultural Capital and Art | Category: Essays
Cool by Committee: Cultural Capital and Art

“Nobody wants to be uncool,” writes Chris Kraus in her book Video Green (Semiotext(e), 2004, p. 24). She’s writing about the trials of graduate school, specifically MFA programs and the inherent ambiguity in determining the value of art. The rigor of graduate work is part of the gatekeeping and cultural encoding that make the art world go ’round, that make cool art cool. Kraus continues,
…this two-year hazing process is essential to the development of value in the by-nature-elusive parameters of neoconceptual art. Without it, who would know which cibachrome photos …

Essays »

March 08th, 2014 | Comments Off on Social Media Fatigue | Category: Essays
Social Media Fatigue

The closer we get to each other, the less likely we are to have things in common. The more we know about each other, the more likely we are to fundamentally disagree on how the world should work. The more intimate the details we share, the more likely one of us has done something unforgivable in the eyes of the other. Dig deep enough inside anyone and you’re going to find something you don’t like. As my friend Lucas Molandes puts it, the only reason you’re with the person you’re …

Reviews »

March 07th, 2014 | 2 Comments | Category: Reviews
That Which Rolls: Bicycles and the Future

“If I am asked to explain why I learned the bicycle,” writes Frances E. Willard in her 1895 book How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, “I should say I did it as an act of grace, if not of actual religion” (p. 73). I grew up riding bicycles, so I often take the fun and freedom they afford for granted. Having seen several adults squeal with childlike glee after riding a bike for the first time in years or the first time ever, I am reminded of my own …

Reviews »

March 05th, 2014 | Comments Off on A Looming Resonance: Black Metal Books | Category: Reviews
A Looming Resonance: Black Metal Books

The threshold at the edge of a subculture is often difficult to discern. The unaware and the well-versed can be sitting right next to each other, unbeknownst to the other’s knowledge, or lack thereof, until that threshold is breached. Every few years a percentage of the population learns about the violence in the Norwegian black metal scene of the 1990s, endlessly annoying those who’d already crossed that threshold. It’s a story that’s been told over and over but only incrementally ripples through the culture at large, like a rock blown …

Reviews »

March 04th, 2014 | One Comment | Category: Reviews
These Books Were Made for Walking

For what might seem a most mundane human activity, walking has quite a body of literature. Even being such a normal, everyday act, it’s a theme that never wears out. As Karen O’Rourke (2013) puts it, “…contemporary artists have returned time and again to the walking motif, discovering that, no matter how many times it has been done, it is never done” (p. xvii). Are they making too much of putting one foot in front of the other, or is walking always already much more than that?
You’re walking
and you don’t …

About, Announcements »

March 02nd, 2014 | Comments Off on The First Time I Heard My Bloody Valentine | Category: About, Announcements
<em>The First Time I Heard My Bloody Valentine</em>

I have an essay in Scott Heim’s new collection The First Time I Heard My Bloody Valentine. I’m super stoked to be sharing pages and experiences with musicians like Bob Mould, Christian Savill of Slowdive, Ian Masters of Pale Saints, Kellii Scott of Failure and Veruca Salt, James Chapman of Maps, Gazz Carr of God is an Astronaut, and my man Alap Momin of dälek, among many others. The book is available for the Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and other e-readers. Below is the cover, designed by Joel Westendorf.

Here’s an excerpt of my piece in the book, in …