Thursday, September 27, 2007

What if Vogue stopped trying to hide all the stupid behind Gucci?

What if they just went with it? Well, graphic designer Scott King went with it for them in his Vogue cover reimagingings for PS1 in NY. If he had his way, King would give the magazine an anti-war theme, but stick with the general sense of frivolity and privileged-class ignorance Vogue currently exhibits when trying to feign interest in "world issues." I particularly like the headline "769 things that make Scarlett Johansson angry at injustice." (I also like that the Blogger spell check recognizes when I spell "Johansson" incorrectly. Is that bitch's name in the dictionary now or something?)

Anyway, I also like this:

You can almost hear the socialites crying.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Words of the Day: Weirdcore and Fuckchop

Weirdcore: Another term for "freak folk," pertaining primarily to Devendra Banhart. Characterized by lyrics that, taken piecemeal are actually brilliant and don't seem all that strange, but taken cumulatively, add up to some really weird shit.

Fuckchop: Who knows. I overheard this in a conversation on which I was eavesdropping today. Possible uses:

"Please pass the fuckchops."

"You think you're better than me, fuckchop?"

"Get over hear and give me a kiss, you adorable little fuckchop!"

"I gave him two swift kicks to the fuckchops."

"Don't fuckchop me, bro!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"The autumn wind is a pirate."

This is a little belated, but I had the pleasure of attending my first ever Raiders game the other week. I say "pleasure," but actually I was scared shitless. I'm from Packers country, which is about as die-hard as you can get—but Raiders fans have always frightened me. All that black! All those huge trucks! All those mullets! We arrived early to tailgate and I got right down to drinking. If everyone around me was going to get scary and out of control, I was going to get there first, dammit.

Turns out, it's all hype. Raiders fans are gentle as kittens. In fact, by 10 A.M., I was far more obnoxious than the other tailgaters around us (I win!), such as Chains, with whom I am pictured here:

Seriously, I think he was a little bit freaked out by me. Me!

The game itself was maybe not quite as fun. We lost to the Lions, which I hear is the worst team in the NFL. And watching a game in the Oakland Coliseum is like watching a game in a blast furnace. I don't know how it gets so hot in there. But there was great people watching to be had. See below:

And then there's the stuff that just generally reminds you you're in Oakland:

Friday, September 7, 2007

Casual racism in the casual carpool.

The casual carpool is something I have a very hard time explaining to anyone who doesn't live in Oakland. The short version is: you get in strangers' cars and they drive you across the Bay Bridge and drop you off. But it's not what it sounds like! It's safe! A lot of people actually do it! It lets drivers use the carpool lane and avoid the toll, and it lets the carless hitch a free ride to work. But despite all that, there is one thing that is NOT good about the carpool. See, what makes it work is that no one talks. Riders traditionally say "Good Morning" when they get in the car and "Thanks" when they get out, and that's it. In my experience, any time this unspoken rule is broken, the conversation that follows is inevitably so uncomfortable that I have to fight the urge to jump out of the car at 65 mph. I don't know why this is.

In the last few weeks, I've gotten into a several cars where the driver and the other passenger besides myself struck up a conversation. Here is a sampling of what was said:

"Asians really don't know how to handle themselves on the road."

White driver to black passenger who is, mind you, a STRANGER: "Oh you lived in Houston. Did you encounter a lot of racism?"

Driver: "I don't know how this car will handle in the wind and rain."
Passenger: "I think it'll handle all right."
Driver: "Oh sure, I'll just believe you. Are you an engineer or something?"

"I was mugged near Lake I cross the street when I see black teenagers."

"I don't usually yell at other drivers this much."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mendo, braaaa.

This weekend, Derrick and I visited our marvelous friends Matt and Steve in gorgeous Mendocino County. We love them. We kind of want them to adopt us as our surrogate parents (our real parents are in Milwaukee and Des Moines) or at least as our really cool uncles. The picture above is the cabin on their property we helped them build and it's where we sleep when we visit. Anyway, we went on some punishing yet glorious bike rides through the countryside and, man, did it smell like reefer out there! After Labor Day, we returned to Oakland, and all this week Derrick has noticed that the drug dogs have been very busy in the FedEx warehouse. Some searches, however, don't require dogs. Apparently, it's not uncommon for people to actually write "marijuana" under "contents" on the FedEx mailing labels. Because it's medical marijuana, man!

Lo, it is the beginning of harvest season, and the cycle of birth and DEA incineration commences.

Here's Steve tending to some perfectly legal roses: