I know that guys are breaking the gender rules of fashion a lot lately. They are shaving their chests, legs, wearing spandex pants, and plucking their eyebrows. I know all this because I work with the 25 year old set. But they missed the one thing that makes guys so cute – eyeliner!
Eyeliner was huge in the 80s, for women and men. I remember being really bad at it! I never got the hang of liquid eyeliner, so I tried with a pencil and just smudged it. But eyeliner was something that could make or break your goth look, or “death rock” as we referred to it in the 80s.
Think Robert Smith in “Let’s Go to Bed” or any other video that the Cure made. I think Robert Smith slept in his eyeliner!
And the adorable and witty Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh. Now he can do no wrong, so any amount of makeup would probably look good on him, but eyeliner suits him perfectly
There are many more who look great in eyeliner. Such as Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes. Eyeliner? Well maybe he just looks like he’s wearing it, becuase his eyes are so beautiful!
And how about Prince? Now that man could wear some eyeliner! Eyes you could get lost in.
I guess that is why he made them into the Purple Rain poster, complete with the eyeliner. But maybe that’s a woman’s eyes. At any rate, it’s great eyeliner!
So kids, that just goes to show, eyeliner looks great on anyone, at anytime. Now go practice!
Does pop music need to go along with memories in your life? There is a lot of good pop music – Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips, the list goes on, which I got into late and does not accompany any memories from my own life. I enjoy it just as music, for its own sake. It does not remind me of any lost lovers, or first time experiences, or nights out with my friends. It does not even remind me of some ground breaking new music genre discovery, because music genres have splintered so much or I don’t pay attention to them now.
Then there is the pop music that triggers those memories, like “She Sells Sanctuary” by the Cult. That reminds me of being in high school in Southern California, and going to the Scream and looking for the underground L.A. of Bret Easton Ellis, though we lived in working class Long Beach. Or Japan, “Obscure Alternatives”, which reminds me of 9th grade and played it on my headphones constantly, because I had discovered glam rock. Or “Los Angeles” by X, that reminds me of going to Melrose and the whole feeling of Melrose, L.A. sun beating down, bright pavement, kids in 50s dresses with red lipstick and driving old cars. And not every song reminds me a new music discovery. There is “If There is Something” by Roxy Music, and I had just met this guy. We had been out all day and had gone back to his place. I was about to leave, because I didn’t feel anything for him. But then he put on this song and started kissing me and everything changed. We ended up being together for the next year.
And then there is Nick Cave. Nick has been with me for years. When I was 14 and my best friend gave me the “Mutiny” album by the Birthday Party, watching Wim Wenders films like the breathtaking “Wings of Desire” and being taken in by those scenes of Berlin and Nick Cave in the cavernous club while Solveig Dommartin danced in a dreamlike state and the dark carnival music. Or the other songs that went along with films, not really real experiences, but very powerful images that made a big impression when I was young, like “Cat People” by David Bowie or “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” and The Hunger and those great scenes with Bowie and Deneuve roaming after dark with sunglasses on, in search of blood.
I would love for Radiohead to be part of my identity and have that power over me, but the truth is that I feel like an outsider looking in with them. I know it had something to do with the 90s, and early 2000s, and penetrating dark traumatic feelings, and sex and sadness. It’s the kind of thing that I might have had experiences to, had I been born later. But to me it’s just good music.
Why do songs sound better when you have a memory to go with them? It’s not that they sound better, they just sound deeper. You did something to them, or they changed you at a time when you were young. They might have made you what you are. I think that a lot of people can’t imagine music without these associations, and that is why they stop listening to new music after their 20s, when they stop trying new things as much. But for us lifelong music fans, we just have to accept that as we get older the music will not be as personal. That doesn’t mean it won’t change us at all. Maybe music changes us even as we get older, and our life experiences are not so dramatic, but we don’t see those changes until later. I’d like to think that in 20 years I will realize that Radiohead really did become part of me, even in my 40s.
I’m not exactly getting over this breakup like a mature adult. I know this because I will do something innocuous like take a walk, on a beautifu spring day with my headphones on, but then will suddenly find myself laying down on the grass, crying over my breakup. Crying over a breakup. That sounds so teenage. But come to think of it, a lot of the feellings I have are teenage feelings. It’s not like I’m trying to be young either. I just fall in love, and then if it ends I want to kill myself. This has happened over and over in my life. It’s my fate.
I once read an interview with Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s where she talked about how she lived forever in this teenage realm of intense feelings. I never bookmarked it, wish I had. But I understood her. I have spent most of my life in my own private idealized world. I’m picky in dating. I get crushes, like a teenager, and fall in love with impossible people, like people who are very far away, or people who have depression or drug problems and live in private worlds of their own and can’t be touched, either.
And then I put everything into it. I bring that person into my world and make them the center of the dark romantic fantasy. When the real-world problems like distance or lack of money burst our fantasy worlds and we break up, I want to kill myself by jumping in a lake. It’s this very intense realm of feelings that makes you feel like you are alive for about a year, but then you go back to just being part of the boring machinery of life, when it is over.
Most adults my age have anesthetized themselves to it by now. They stop falling in love over and over again and just go for sex and friends, or they are married, or they fall in love with people who could make their life work with them. I totally understand this. It’s a good idea. Why not be happy? But as for myself, I keep falling in love, for a year or so, just enough to see what living is really like, but then it ends and I’m heartbroken, again. I’ll probably die of a broken heart at age 70. Like everyone else will have heart failure, but I’ll have heartbreak. Oh well, its my choice. I prefer my private world, even if I always meet men who live in their own, and our worlds keep bumping up against each other without the real humans ever touching.
I’m on a roll, I’m on a roll
This time, I feel my luck could change
Kill me Sarah, kill me again with love
It’s gonna be a glorious day
I’m in a very negative and honest mood today. The truth is – I hate NJ. I have been living here for the last 10 years. When I came here, I thought it was New England. I had lived in Boston for 3 years and liked it there. but I quickly learned that this is not Boston.
Why do I detest NJ?
Weather. It’s either freezing, like this winter which has been endless, or in the summer it’s a sticky swamp. There are a few pretty seasons in between, and the leaves do get pretty in the fall, but it never lasts long enough.
People – Sorry. I hate you guys! People here have the worst accents. It’s nasal and harsh. I hope never to get one. Men and women around my age segregate themselves, according to ancient Turkish law or something. The women sit around and talk about cooking. Men talk about sports. Young men talk about trucks or games. Bruce Springsteen is a safe musical conversation choice for everyone. NJ people are just rednecks who do not live in the country.
The problem with the people of NJ is that they think these are great topics.
What do I want to talk about? How about video art? How about the books of Milan Kundera, or the music of Joy Division, or Radiohead, or Amanda Palmer? How about old buildings? How about the movies of David Lynch?
At least in other places that were dirty and industrial, such as the Soviet Union, or North of England, or Detroit, people hated it there and that led to interesting movements in art or something. Here in NJ people mostly just live with it and go to the mall, or Florida, so nothing interesting comes of it and nothing changes.
Potholes – The NJ Department of Transportation estimated 300,000 potholes that need to be repaired after the endless winter of 2014-2015. They are still there, and they are ruining my car.
Surroundings – There is nothing worse than NJ in the winter. Did I mention winter? First of all, NJ has bad planning. Anyone can just build anything anywhere. So they put businesses in houses and houses in businesses. Then there are power lines snaking in and out of everything. Then most of Central NJ is paved over and full of traffic, oil and litter that people throw from their cars. The combination of disentegrating houses, torn up sidewalks, dirty snow and litter all over the place makes winter into a fossil fuel mess, so I usually just stay indoors.
I wish I could give this a happy ending or at least make it a learning experience. The only thing i would say is – what if I liked everything all the time, and everything was happy, all the time. Yeah, that would be hell, too.
These are the songs that make me long for my ex-long-distance-lover.
Bitten by the Tailfly is the name of an Elbow song. He always tried to get me into Elbow, and I was mildly interested, at best. That was in the early days our our relationship – Elbow, Radiohead, Eels, Mountain Goats. I tried to act like Elbow was whiney, and juvenile, an “emo” band. But really I could not handle the intensity of the lyrics.
The next phase of our relationship was other bands – he got me into Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and Strokes. And I got him into Alt-J. Our album was “This is All Yours”. It was ours.
Gradually, I came to like Radiohead more and more. I had never gotten into Radiohead earlier because I was into Mudhoney more. But once he showed me how intense and painful and sad their lyrics could be. I was hooked. But Radiohead was too intense a high. I would listen for weeks and become depressed. I had to talk to him about it. We had weird conversations, and the fact that we were 3000 miles apart made them weirder. I wanted this to be our song for having sex. But it could only be our song for masturbating over webcam. The feelings were too intense for me, and again I tried to pretend I didn’t like Radiohead, and only liked stupid music like the Doobie Brothers. This song was almost too powerful:
Cherry Ghost was another band he got me into. And, thank god, they were less intense than Elbow, or Radiohead. I love this song which reminds me of the romance and longing that accompanied every moment of our relationship, where we could not touch each other:
And then, because we both loved Nick Cave all along, even from before we met each other, but that was just a given. Nick Cave was one of the things that brought us together, when we met on that music-oriented dating site:
And in the last part of our relationship, we were actually visiting each other. We listened to things together. I remember being stoned on the couch and laughing at this:
Finally, after 1 year, when we realized that we could not be together, because a relationship can’t exist only on webcam, we broke up. And one week later, I posted this on facebook, This is the song that reminds me of our breakup:
I am crying now, after listening to all these songs that remind me of him. But crying and writing sucks up all the banal hours, and keeps me going. I want to remember him, and the relationship that we built on love and hope and optimism, and music.
Recently, I learned about the other Princess Cornflakes. It is an independent French film, an “extra-large fashion comedy” by Antoine Asseraf and René Habermacher. You can see it here. I just watched it and from what I can tell, it’s a parody of girls aspirations to be beautiful and perfect models when they grow up, sort of a mini-Jane Campion. It’s creative and features special-effects scenes worthy of 50’s pulp fiction such as Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. I enjoyed Princess Cornflakes very much and I’m proud to share a name with this production.
My boyfriend and I both like the author Chuck Palahniuk. Well, my boyfriend likes Chuck better than me, but I like him too and we both refer to him as “Chuck Whatshisname”.
Chuck follows in the great tradition of writers such as Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Wolfe, and chronicles the extremes and excesses of American society in a genre called “transgressive fiction“. For example, Chuck’s book “Choke” tells the story of Victor Mancini, a recovering sex addict who pretends to choke on food in restaurants to con money out of people.. “Snuff” is about an aging porn star who choses to do the largest gangbang ever filmed. It’s a short book but is based abstractly on the story of Annabelle Chong, a feminist porn star who really did set out to make the world’s biggest gangbang.
I like Chuck’s books as they break through all taboos. They put everything out there. In our world where everything is available, but we are still expected to behave with Victorian decorum at times, Chuck’s characters are very refreshing. In Choke, for example, Victor logs on to a web site where a naked fat man is having monkeys stuff chestnuts up his ass, for all to see on the Internet. This monkey-stuffing man, who dispenses with all the layers of socially expected behavior, and clothing, and dignity, is totally liberated. I love this quote from Choke:
No matter what else you came up against, if you could smile and laugh while a monkey did you with chestnuts in a dank concrete basement while somebody took pictures, well, any other situation would be a piece of cake.
Currently I am enjoying Chuck’s Pygmy. Pygmy is about a group of Chinese exchange students who are actually highly trained special agents, come to America to live with host families, impregnate (or become impregnated by) Americans, and bring our society to it’s knees. It also involves a Midwestern host family where the mom is addicted to sex toys and steals all the batteries from her kids. The book is written in Chuck’s own invented pidgin Chinese.
The dialect reminds me of the broken English that you sometimes read on Programmer Forums. It can be hard to understand at times, but if you stick with it it’s hilarious. For example, Pygmy is describing the aisles at Wal-Mart:
Location former chew gum, chocolate snack, salted chips of potato, current now occupy with cylinder white paraffin encase burning string, many tiny single fire. Location former bright-color breakfast objects boasting most taste, most little price, recent best vitamins, current now feature bunches severed genitals of rose plants, vagina and penis of daisy and carnation plants, flaunted color and scent of many inviting plant sex life organs.
Or here Pygmy describes American pop music:
Useless American poetry and music no celebrate sacrifice lifetime to preserve state. No herald shining future of bright nuclear weapon, abundant wheat, and shining factory. No, instead most American song only empower to enjoy premature actions necessary for reproduction, grant permission commingle egg and seed among random partner occupying padded rear bench automobile.
I have no idea how Pygmy will take over the world. Well, actually I do, but I won’t spoil that for you my highly esteemed honorable blog reader of much fertile egg or seed.