Look, there is plenty to make fun of here. It’s essentially a low budget compilation of potshot invitations. Whatever, go ahead. 

But, like, musically, this is a pretty serious hit. The guitar and fiddle handoffs and the cadence and rhyming structure; the vocal inflection and roll from deep to high voiced sing talking is a wonderful example of traditional Hard Country stylings. It’s all there. Rich subject matter aside, this  is the best Merle Haggard impression I have ever seen. 


lace curtains
the garden of joy and the well of loneliness

i like imagining this album being played on someone else’s record player. i really cant do this without your help. here is a link to buy the vinyl lp. it costs 15$ including shipping within the united states (contact me for international shipping costs).


the fact that the lactose intolerant milk taste better than actual milk is crazy the feds gotta be responsible fa that (n none of u nerds reblog dis wit no random milk facts neither)


this shit has gone too far

A lot of the more popular critiques of the NYMag profile of Benjamin Kunkel suggest that Kunkel’s credibility as a “Marxist” disintegrates because he flies internationally and has apartments in both New York and Buenos Aires (baitingly, referred to as a “pied-e-tierre” and an “airy two-bedroom apartment with 14-foot ceilings,” respectively.)

This is a very easy and pithy conclusion to draw. It fits in to a tweet! And, probably more importantly for those that are lobbing it, a remark like that shores up the political credibility of its pitcher: the bells of leftist credentialists ring loudest for he who exposes the hypocrisy of a poseur. Remember when MIA ate a “TRUFFLE FRY”?!?

The trouble is, remarks like this set up political life as a performance, as something you can do “better” than someone else by better embodying a political stereotype. But, strong political understanding isn’t a cultivated aesthetic. This sense that wealth—especially wealth acquired through sales of a novel—disqualifies someone from leftist ideology is an absurd criticism built on the flawed glorification of exploitation.  Also, If international air travel and second homes in nice neighborhoods are only accessible to the wealthy, that’s not so much an indictment of wealth as it is a condemnation of a society built around the idea that those things should only be available to the wealthy, right?

Look, I’m not out here carrying a flag for the ultra-rich and I’m not denying that wealth distorts your worldview by a hideous degree. It just seems counter-productive to most agendas to jump around policing how and where a progressive thinker should live. Kunkel could be a total asshole, I don’t know him, but let’s ignore his pay-stubs and at least let his book—a BOOK OF ESSAYS OUTLINING HIS POLITICAL IDEAS—dictate his credentials.


Richard Prince has a pretty boring twitter but I stay following him just to see if he ever learns to post a photo from his phone without screenshotting it first. 

Like, he knows how to post photos from his phone, obviously, but like, only from the screenshot? Just imagine how confused he must be. 

I posted this a few months back and was, for some reason, thinking about it today while I sat bored and hungry in a Kings County Grand Jury room and I realized I’d gotten the situation pretty much completely wrong.

Prince isn’t “confused,” he is using screenshots in pretty much exactly the same ways he’s used appropriation and rephotography. What happened was, I got so excited by an opportunity to point out how Olds Use Twitter Bad that I ended up wholly ignoring the possibility that someone could/would use twitter differently or more creatively than me. There is a pretty obvious cultural lesson to be learned from this.

Anyway, earlier, when I realized that I had misstepped, I got really embarrassed and tried to delete the post using my phone, but the wifi in the court house was spotty and it was taking forever to load and if they catch you using your phone while the Assistant District Attorney is presenting they hold you in contempt of court so I got nervous and gave up. Anyway, this is my mea culpa for all of that. Sorry.


"How To Communicate In A Corporate Environment"

Sam Herring is incredible and we are all better human beings for having watched this video. 

I had the opportunity to write about the fascinating career of Jobriath on The Awl this week. You can read it here if you’d like.

If you’re pressed for time or don’t feel like reading, you can just listen to this wonderful, previously unreleased piano version of I’maman. Thank you.

some pretty good cultural criticism, for an aside from an interview about Jeopardy!


Look, we all know that there’s a trope in the movies where someone of a minority race is flattened out into just being “good at X” and that the white protagonist is the one we root for because unlike the guy who’s just “good at X” the protagonist has human depth, human relationships, a human point of view—and this somehow makes him more worthy of success than the antagonist who seems to exist just to be good at X.

So we root for Rocky against black guys who, by all appearances, really are better boxers than he is, because unlike them Rocky isn’t JUST a boxer, he has a girlfriend, he has hopes, he has dreams, etc. This comes up over and over again in movies where the athletic black competitor is set up as the “heel”—look at the black chick in Million Dollar Baby and how much we’re pushed to hate her. Look at all this “Great White Hope” stuff, historically, with Joe Louis.

So is it any surprise that this trope comes into play with Asians? That the Asian character in the movie is the robotic, heartless, genius mastermind who is only pure intellect and whom we’re crying out to be defeated by some white guy who may not be as brainy but has more pluck, more heart, more humanity? It’s not just Flash Gordon vs. Ming the Merciless, it’s stuff like how in the pilot episode of Girls Hannah gets fired in favor of an overachieving Asian girl who’s genuinely better at her job than she is (the Asian girl knows Photoshop and she doesn’t) and we’re supposed to sympathize with Hannah.