Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
V: Yes, you, V. The show. The remake from of the iconic miniseries-cum-canceled-series from myne youth. When I heard they ("they" being "those Hollywood types" or something to den där effect) were remaking you, I was joyous. Then crestfallen. Then irritable. Then flatulent. Then hungry. Then drinky. Then sleepy. Then bored. Then smelly. And only the joyous part had anything to do with you! But then I thought more about you, and it occurred to me: I need to be working on that show! Then, a few minutes later, a fatter truth belly-bumped me: I had it backwards! YOU need ME to work on you! Now, I won't go into how I adored the show as a middle-schooler, and how I ran around pretending to be John (but really pretending to be Diana), and how I quoted it for years and how I even had the COMIC BOOK and read the paperback book The Florida Project. And I won't go into my "qualifications," because, as multiple comments on my resume have apparently proven, "irrepressible genius" isn't a very precise descriptor. At any rate, for my sonic abilities, you can check out my show on WFMU, The Ed Shepp Radio Experiment, or have a listen to my audio stuff, or just check out A Very Ed Shepp Christmas. For my visual abilities, just check out my facebook photos. They look good, don't they? I'm actually 57 years old. For my acting abilities (although I think I'd rather be behind the camera), just check out any Madonna movie. I guarantee you my acting couldn't be as bad as hers. (I love you, Madonna, but it's true. You stink up the screen like an open jar of skatole.) (Yeah, I'm into perfume chemicals. So let's do a V-inspired scent opera, why not then?!? Think it over.)
So I'm not going to try and convince you that you need me, even though that would seem to be the piont of this open letter. I'm just throwing this opportunity out at you like pieces of expensive pastry to a gaggle of expensive ducks, bred for their smooth bronzey beaks. So look me over, dammit! You want a resume? Well, I want an island in the Caribbean, but I'm not getting that. Help yourself to some belligerence, however. That's free. BUT--if you want just a brief overview of myne history and all that crap, have a listen to the piece I did to put in my next letter, the one to the King of Sweden:
About Ed Shepp
Well that's the squizz. It's all on you now, V. Don't disappoint! And now onto you, Madonna.
See here's the thing, see. A friend of mine, number 081993, was squawking one day about how Mariah Carey was coming out with her third perfume, and Hilary Duff with her second, or whatever the numbers are, and Celine has one and gobble gobble gobble nibble nibble... And then he wondered aloud why you haven't yet come out with a perfume, and it got me thinking. I assumed that you were planning to come out with one eventually, but were waiting for the right perfumer to work with. So I thought, "I should write an open letter to Madonna and introduce her to Calice Becker, my close-personal-friend-in-that-fictional-character kinda way. Or maybe whoever did Tom Ford's stuff. Because his perfumes are bombastic, and I think that would work for Madonna. After all, she supposedly likes Youth Dew and Fracas, two bold fragrances. Now do I want to go to Taco Bell again or take a bath?" But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I should simply suggest myself as the perfumer. Do I have experience? UGH! What IS it with this "experience" thing with you people?!?!?! I've blended Christmas scents at home and managed to stink up the whole house a couple times (sotolone's one HELL of a molecule, yo)--that counts, right? Yes. But more important than experience, I have PASSION. And BOREDOM. So I have, like, all day to daydream about your fragrance and frustrate the perfumers and compounders with my endless iterations. (See the links above for all the rest.) Choose me, and while I can't promise that it will be a blockbuster, I can promise that it will be something. And unforgettable. Isn't that all you need? Have your people contact my people. No, wait--I don't have people. Just contact me directly. KTHXBAI!
Well that's the gist. I'll be waiting to hear from both of you.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Welcome, comely and prudent reader, to the debut publication from the Swedish American Futurimagineering Institut (SAFI), our Orange Brief. SAFI is a genuine-fake-maybe-real-but-probably-phony-except-for-real-but-you-never-really-know-these-days-anyway culturobstretrical organization with a life-changing mission: to build bridges of understanding between the American and Scandinavian peoples. And in so doing, heal the universe. To achieve this we use the power of Ultramultiscience, a new way of thinking that fuses multiple disciplines—sound, embalmery, competitive eating—into a gel that, when mixed with bleeding-edge scientificalism, unleashes transformational power not seen since Nutella met Bisquick. Wielded wisely, it can fuel cars-that-go-boomlike engines toward a more pumpkinlier future.
This Orange Brief is a patent-pending hydron-condensed version of the SAFI Orange Paper*, a 200+ lb nectarine of cunt-punching erudition, bursting with scratch-n-sniff pop-ups and double coupons. The design is no laughed-so-hard-you-shat accident: Its brainfeel mirrors its subject matter—strange and familiar, wordy and unreliable, cursory, broad-brush, mythically sextronic. Loosely unarranged, it takes you on a fluid, urinelike journey into insight, contemplation and that feeling of release when the brain freeze abates. It assumes an "asymmetrically interactive" posture; you're thus encouraged to connect its themes to their oft-repeated parallels in convenience store hot dog theory. A "necessary cliché," as it were
Like an artistic masterwork or courtesan selling stew, the Brief will screw each reader individually. But a basic overview of it might help you feel less afraid: Parts I and II pop out of the brassiere of History to feel through the Experiment in blind boob Braille. Part III is your Dark Patchouli Mistress, buttplugging you into the bicycle-rich tumult of modern Stockholm straight from the scribbles of my notebooks. Part IV drives you up the mountain, forces its conclusions on you at Céline-point and grins smugly as you gaze upon the beauty below in the cupcake afterglow of the Acknowledgments.
Behold your adventure, taut and energy-conscious reader. Good reading, and may pumpkin's indecent ambrosia glide down your throat into your soul, filling you with oily orange Ecstasy.
For millennia, the idea of Sweden has enthralled the world's imagination with shots of hardbodied Vikings, ass-chapping winters, barbaric seafood concoctions, and fuck-off-style horned headgear that's perfect for when you're hung over and cranky. In modern times all this whimsical filligriboobery has ripened into a single prevailing stereotype: Sweden is a country of well-mannered blond beauties who celebrate high taxes, addictive pop hooks, cradling regulation, hard booze and isn't-that-dangerous? rituals involving candles. Until recently, this view was universally accepted. But a look beneath the latexy surface reveals that it completely misrepresents Swedish culture—the candle thing is completely safe, apart from a miniscule number of yearly burnt hair incidents (which, notably, fall well below average BHIs in the 63 NATO countries). Since a central centerpiece of SAFI's mission is to deglistenize the myths about Scandinavia and America, while simultaneously extolling their positive realities (muppetacular languages for the former and unlimited pizza buffets for the fatter), I, Researcher Ed Shepp, braved to conduct SAFI's first transcontinental Experiment: an observational visit to Stockholm, the self-described Scandinavian City That Almost Everyone Knows Isn't In Germany. The porpoise of the Experiment: To capture Stockholm's hot cultural jizz fresh from the spout, and use it in three ways: 1) as a launchpad to inform future research, (2) as a basis to issue edicts for change (3) as raw material for another bizarre Ed Shepp-style blog entry.
To prepare for the Experiment I baked the following recipe, with half the ingredients, for half the time and at half the temperature, for consistency:
Firstly, following my Facercise® instructor's practice of finding truth through bulleted lists, I created numberless agendas catalogues outlines timetables canons indices lineups and dockets. 37,000 pages of dots and fragments about everything conceivable: foods to eat weddings to crash snakebites to fake ways to wear a fake shit-stain on my pants and bring up the topic of Hitler at inopportune times. Purselessly I listenumberumerated until my consciousness reduced to only a beating heart composed not of living cells but of spreadsheets. From the tendrils of dusk to the fists of dawn, I steeped in this moment. Then I ripped the lists to shreds like so many paternity suits and flung the vodka-soaked mess on the Denny's floor and lunged to ignite it before security showed me out. And there in that life-giving parking lot, I willed myself to absorb all the lists and recall them instinctively when needed, like the street whore recalls the car of the plainclothes cop, before shapeshifting back into rat form.
Aquitionally, I gulped down many salty loads of advice, most of which reiterated the same plan: "Get laid a LOT!!" While such advice was adequately helpful, like a rubber butthole, I needed meatier counsel. Then finally one ghastly, grim and ancient raven volunteered an instruction that scraped the eye-boogers from my consciousness: "Assemble of your mind the Void," it crowed, "and ever you are given the tender, rejoin, YES! YES! YES! 'Fancy a herring-lingonberry-reindeer popsicle?' YES! 'Escape to Skåne for a Druid ritual and return riding atop train cars drunk on herring-reindeer vodka?' YES! Come to my flat and star in my movie, Herringly Insatiable: An American Annabel Chong in Sweden?' YES! And while, frankly, his examples seemed to me properly queer, the philosophy behind them gripped me like a crackhead octopus (or maybe just a crackhead), and I vowed to live it with the same devotion I live the Holy Orangitude of Brand Ed Shepp.
Further, I endeavored to annihilate all expectations I had (keeping, of course, a respectful fear for the cuisine, as one would for God or an ugly baby) and submerged myself in galaxies of disinformation, all to avoid creating My Own Private Stockholm in the gallbladder of my brain. Every night I drank Ukrainian amounts of a Nyquil-bacon mixture to corrode any preconceptions I'd formed. I appeared nude on Slate, wearing a blank foundation. (Remember, podiatry-aware reader, that it is only possibly to eradicate ones preconceptions to an certain limit. Brainwiping is an inexact science, like anal bleaching. Residue always remains. For more on residue, see Dr. Robert Mariah Carey Olson's seminal work, Streaks on a Microscope.)
Lastly, I'd like to introduce you to my Jonah Lehrer Magic 8 Ball. (For the unaware reader, Jonah Lehrer is a modern-day oracle, who provides counsel to people in need with his books and articles, through the lens of "science." His book, How We Decide, changed my waiting-in-the-airport-for-my-flight experience forever.) Sometimes, when faced with a novel challenge and neither a night of Correctol nor a chat with the mole people brings me clarity, I consult my Jonah Lehrer-branded Magic 8 ball. This was one of these times. You see, succinct reader, my adademinicity and scollershrimp have always served as my Achilles flaw, and I wondered if it would behoove me to approach my Experiment less intalectiually. I conferred with the JL8B, and it validated my intuition: "Let your emotional brain guide you," it said, "and you will absorb what data you need. Insight will surface, and bubble out like peroxide on a scab. Allow it to percolate and unfold, and it will bless you a unifying theory. Or a cowlick." Yes, his messages are incredibly long—thankfully the ball contains only one. Well, that's Banana for you!
II. MATERIA EXPERIMENTICA
The Experiment headquartered at fellow SAFI Researcher Nils Harning's laboratory, located in the dense thicket jungle of Södermalm. The central location permitted travel by the foot to all of Stockholm and the close proximity of the public transportation (known Stateside as "the shitbox"). The laboratory itself sported a Cluttered Gothic Trailer Kitsch theme, with, like the exotic dipping sauces at Burger King, a Swedish accent. As for Researcher Nils, if I were pacing a masturbatorium in a velvet jacket, smoking into a Dictaphone, 100 years ago, I might say that he had an artistic bent and involved himself in the theater. The Experiment spread itself over five days at the outset of summer and had no itinerary, thus allowing for 1) maximum serendipity and 2) the ever-lingering spectre of diarrhea.
III. INCOMPLETE EXPERIMENT NOTES UNORDERED IN BLANK VERSE
- Wu Tang Clan on flight! Swede from Philadelphia! Owner of purple ukulele! I'm smelling omens. The shitter's right behind me.
- Famous Swedes on airport billboards. Dolph Lundgren is an engineer?!?! Note: get MFA in 'sexiness engineering.' Matriculate at Karolinska Institutet.
- Checkmate. 7-11 victorious. Prize: ubiquity. Loss: Duh. Raise another glass for invasive species. Skål!
- Souvenir crap carts renew me. Thank you, Floridian heritage. I burp a silent blessing.
- Pistachio polymer chemasterpiece. Fashion me into tongue and pour your green sugar on me forever.
- Tree sign: "Caution: Deer Ticks" or "Gay Gnome Sex Ahead"? "Gay Gnome Sex"=verbal MSG.
- Borgerskapets änkehus: Once: "Home for Upper-Middle-Class Widows"; Today: punchline.
- Buildings that aerially resemble a hammer & sickle. Everyone's gotta rip off Disney World. Sheesh.
- Researcher Nils knows EVERYONE! ...So why hasn't he taken me to the elf underworld yet?
- Katarinahissen? I'll wait for the space elevator, tacksa meekay (Thanks Bark Maratelli for that spelling). Or taxi mocha (thanks Japanese friend of Nils!)
- Sample sale. Goo-goo-la-la-shi-shi-frou-frou-ding-dong. Pronounced: "Ock-NAYuh." Spelled: Acne.
- Gorgeous Gothik Lolita. Too nice to hate on. Stockholm Syndrome?
- Smell of Stockholm: rain, earth, white flower, crumpled up in a can of Glade Lilac Spring.
- Youths in shadows. Flickering light. Sounds of partying. Eurovision theme song. Not gay. Not gay?? NOT GAY?!???!?!?!? Not gay.
- Stockholm has enough streetlights to create artificial dawn? Or could that be REAL dawn at 2am?
- If news shows in other countries were food, they would be good Belgian waffles. Not stupendiferious ones, but delicious anyway.
- Election signs: everywhere. White tennis shoes: ditto. Starbucks: Oubliette.
- Yogurt? YES! Granola? YES! Cashews? YES! Too-thick milk! WHADAFAAAH???!!! ...Oh. "Yogurt."
- Plastic flamingo. Do they know it's Christmastime at all?
- Does oxytocin stain?
- State liquor store: great selection, always crowded, closed on Sunday. THAT's a business model I can get behind!
- Shower?? Shudder!!
- "American style"=thisiswhyyourefat.com
- Giggly girls: annoying in every language and culture.
- 40 kronor and my Big Mac is STUCK to the BOX?!?! Bitches need an exchange study program in Harlem.
- Black pudding: Apple butter if it liked horror movies.
- ---Hey guys, let's rent a Hummer stretch limo and drive around fucking in deserted parks!! Yeah, let's do it! While we're still teenagers! I've got Hummer fever!---
- ---God, Mr. Eriksson is such an amazing boss, renting a stretch Hummer limo and driving through deserted parks. He's so classy and sophisticated. I think I'll give him a hummer later on. Oh, I feel his hand on the back of my head! Maybe sooner than I thought!---
- "It's just too good here. It's too good in Sweden." I KNEW it. I KNEW it would be said sooner or later.
- Lost! Help! Key won't work! So many ways to have a breakdown—how can I lose??! Wait! Random stranger from doorway. Lends me cell phone without eye-rolling. Explains to me how to dial locally! Valeriee, these are not people. They are angels.
- Swedish hipsters DJing on boats. ...And we're back.
- Noise music. Yawn. Wait! GIANT VIKING HORN?!? Fireworks from deep inside my bosom.
- There's a Göteborg affliction of saying "or" after everything. If anyone can pull it off in the USofA, Ed Shepp can.
IV. FINDINGS and CONCLUSION
1) Bathrooms in Sweden are wrong. Exhibit A: Researcher Nils's. Behold the showerhead hanging lonely on the wall, unprotected by any curtain, door or tub. So when anyone takes a shower, the whole room showers with him, including the toilet and the gnome. This is wrong. Showers are one of the 37 experiences in life that live up to commercials: Orgasmic explosions inspired by hair conditioner are common. Stripping its defenses from the hostile world is to devolve the shower experience from that of a private sanctuary into one of a chambre of horror, reminiscent of those rooms where people were sprayed with hoses in prison or psychward movies. Imagine, pithy reader, attempting to enjoy a shower while struggling to avoid drenching your Naughty Dentists of Prague 1987 calendar or your 2-lb bag of Cheetos or the Readers Digest with the invaluable conversation tips, to say nothing of the paintings and the Mary Lou Retton commemorative plates. My scientific conclusion is that every bathroom in Sweden urgently needs renovation, and immediately. SAFI is presently in talks with DANIEL (not Mavis!) Libeskind about this important matter.
Note: Another Swedish-bathroom abomination exists, one that scrapes against the pinkest depths of inhumanity; but we at SAFI believe that its enormity demands nothing less than a direct communiqué to the King. Thusfore, hereinly it will pass unmentioned, like Aunt Tula's heart-stopping farts at Easter dinner. You didn't hear or smell anything.
2) Coffee in Sweden is wrong. Exhibit B: At every restaurant and coffeeshop I graced with my orangeness, milk flowed copiously, like a union of menstruating hippies. But half-and-half, in unspeakable contrast, was nowhere to be seen, its absence lingering like a fat ghost's fart. If you, price-wise reader, take your coffee as I do, with enough fat to lubricate every subway car in London, you will find yourself spasming and seizing in disbelief when you realize that no half-and-half can be had in Sweden. As both scientist and saint, I feel it my duty to speak out against this inhumane condition. Everyone, no matter how goatlike his airspace or gnu-like her countenance, deserves the lardicious comfort of half-and-half, in coffee, pee or any other nutritious beverage. Further research may reveal whether the void of half-and-half plays a role in explaining why the people of Stockholm appears so skeletal and undernourished compared to Americans. (Note: The adipose deficiency of Stockholm's residents is striking. Unprecedented and impossible, like skidless Saturday panties. Consider my experience with public transportation: Over multiple trips on different types of transport, I never once encountered another passenger's flesh spilling over her seat into mine. Not one person exceeded the seats' already lean capacity. In a deeply personal place, this saddened me. How desolate to never feel the plush, unsolicited caress of a fellow commuter's muffin top! It's been said that Stockholm can be a cold place, and in some ways, this rings all too true.) SAFI vigorously recommends that anyone moving to Sweden import a live-in cow to ensure that abundant cream is always on hand. Some h8ers in the medical community may brand drinking cow cream directly from the teat unsanitary and dangerous, but we at SAFI just call it "French."
3) Despite their emaciation, the people of Stockholm exhibit a statistical supersaturation of slammin überhotness. The factors that account for this are uncertain; perhaps the city sustains an mammoth sprawl of modeling schools; perhaps the contentious link between herring and hotness may contain more validity than previously thought. Surely intensive research is warranted.
4) The thoroughness of 7-11s colonization of Stockholm is staggering and strange. The phenomenon seduces you in stages: It perplexes, overwhelms, paralyzes, then transfixes, alarms and appalls, and finally soothes inexplicably, as if some neuronal Pixie Stick broke in your crapstorian lobe, slathering it in synthetic sweetness. Compounding the oddity is the Fanta-commercial-subtle slogan trumpeted from every 7-11 in Stockholm: "Coffee. FOR REAL." Judging by its flavor, the coffee's authenticity was indeterminate, but Stockholm 7-11s' coffee experience, compared to its American counterpart, leaves much to be desired. Example: American 7-11s are required by the Church of Neon Ubiquity to offer a vast selection of flavored coffee creamers. In Stockholm these creamers were inexplicably absent. All things ill-considered, however, this researcher must concede that if being able to get a Slurpee on every corner (even if it is a green tea-peppermint-jingleberry-salmon flavored one) is not a sign of an advanced society, then I don't know what is.
CONCLUSION: Further research is vital. (Indeed, it has already begun—this researcher is presently wearing Björn Borg underwear, measuring its putative advancedness.) Five days might suffice to grasp the phenomenon of Dolly Parton, whose wigs, layed strand-to-strand, could cover the entire land mass of Scandinavia six times over. But alas, It is a sorely inadequate timeframe to attain understanding of the culture that has given us Roxette, Absolut, IKEA, and herring gelato. Multiple projects are presently in development by SAFI's think tanks, and the many targets for study ensure a bright future for SAFI, and the Universe as a whole.
I'd like to thank everyone who made this research voyage possible: SAS airlines, Newark and Arlanda Airports, orbitz.com, Jesus for all he does for me every day--you da man!, CandyApple Sharonta productions, L'Orilivia Shite Management, Sharon Levine, the most patient editor on earth who will wait through the longest stretch of constipation known in the Western world, Avril--guuuuurl, we gonna do spa day again soon w00t w00t!, the borough of Södermalm, repreZENT!, WFMU, Courtney L. for all the hours you spent with me on the phone when I was freaking out or not--you are my therapist, the State of Florida for bringing two so amazing people together as my Mom and Dad, so they could then have ME. Oh yeah, and those two others. I love you, Mom. Peace up, A-Town down, Dad. No, I don't know what that means. Ummmmmm, let's see. I don't want to miss anyone but don't freak out if I do cuz guys, this is like crazy, ok?! A sincere thank you to the madwoman raving on the street: you gave me new life. I choose you. The entertainment you give the world can't be measured. Maybe in minutes. I'd like to thank all the great people on the World Wide Web who talked to a little American with a big dream. Thank you V and Nena and Mount Dora and Lake Square Mall and Burger King for the solid foundation you gave for my EdSheppness. Thank you to Tallahassee. And thank you New York for being such a shithole—if you never stank like you do or were loud and crowded like you are, I may never have needed the escape to Stockholm. Peace, my Stockholmies for speaking English with me and for pretending that they way I pronounced "meat balls" sounded like I was saying "butt balls." Thank you, SAS again, for the two complimentary alcoholic beverages! Thank you, other passengers, for not getting sloshed like I did. That's so crass.
And if these were real acknowledgements, I'd of course thank Researcher Nils for everything. And to D (and everybody) for putting up with my lost-sleep crabbiness.
Lastly, thank you Ed Shepp. You did good, beeyotch. You had a good trip and good things to say about it in your good epistolary piece. Rock out with your good self! W00t w00t!
*An Orange Paper, which can only be issued from the Swedish American Futurimagineering Institut, can be compared, for the unfamiliar reader, to a "white paper," in which it shares many characteristics, one of which being the gravitas and "officialness-n-stuff" connoted by the concept. Moreover, like many whites paper, it is neither white nor on paper. The most salient divergence, however, between the two is the name: The Orange Paper. And of course, if printed, it would appear on orange paper. A less immediately evident aspect of the Orange Paper is that it also exudes all the unique aesthetic and genius connoted by the color orange.
This has been an Orange Brief from Swedish American Futurimagineering Institut.
Monday, June 01, 2009
(Dammit, I've probably just built it up too big. Quick tamp down your expectations!!!)
Saturday, April 04, 2009
And believe me, after today I feel that I have earned the medal. Have you ever been to the post office in SoHo? No? Well, have you ever been to a crappy post office? I'm sure you have, and let me tell you: today SoHo was the worst of the worst post offices. Not only did I wait over a half an hour to mail a $3 package (because if you're sending a package overseas you have to put a customs form and someone behind the counter has to ask you if there's anything fragile or dangerous in it; meaning, you can't just drop it in the bin), but there was a guy in front of me in line who decided that his goal for the day was to be an asshole. He kept bitching to everyone in line in front of him about the guy who was mailing 30 packages. Yeah, it was a pain in the ass, but talking loudly about him in an effort to shame him doesn't help anyone in the real world. The guy was talking so loudly I feared that fisticuffs might develop! But what I feared more was that the guy would turn around and start whingeing to me. Luckily he didn't; I was sort of hoping that I looked strange enough that he thought I was a freak. After all, I was wearing me medal. Nonetheless, while in line I was trying to think of a strategy to use to deflect this person's complaining should he try it on me. I wondered if it would work if I told him that I don't speak English. Could I conceivably look "European" enough for him to believe it? And if he did, would he then start bitching about "immigrants" or tourists? I think if he turned around, I wouldn't have pursued that strategy, because frankly, it's never worked with solicitors. And this being New York, some wipe would probably try to "interpret." I guess I'd have to pretend to speak Old Finnish or something. Odds were that there were Spanish, French, German and Swedish speakers there. But luckily I never had to suffer him.
But let me tell you: it was absolutely horrible. There were weird smells, ugly people, ugly accents, that annoying guy with all the packages, and those postal workers, who are sooooooooooooooo slllllllllloooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww. Like unnecessarily slow. I've worked foodservice at theme parks and tourist traps in Florida, peeps, so I know when biatches are operating slowly. I didn't see any reason for the slowitude, but I had a theory: If the subways are a proof for the theory of evolution, then the post office is sure evidence of the persistence of lobotomies. I really think there oughtta be a sign in the post office that says something like: "Postal Service Employees Have Undergone Prefrontal Lobotomy." But enough of that.
I mentioned that I was wearing my medal. Well, you should have seen me. The picture in this entry is my rendering of what I looked like. I was wearing my red sweater with a black shirt and checkery tie, and tightass H&M pants with my medal and sneakers. The look that I was going for was "Supervillain cheerleader who is fundamentally good." Let's break it down: The sweater is a v-neck with white stripes. It feels very cheerleadery to me. If I pair it with chinos, I get the "cheerleader on a yacht" look. So it was the centerpiece. But instead of pairing it with the white shirt, I decided to pair it with a black shirt! :O That's how we get the "evil cheerleader" look. It's kind of like when you're watching a sitcom or Jem or a Mariah video: the "evil" version usually looks no different from the regular one, except ze's wearing black instead of white or has dark hair. Or cooler makeup, in the case of a cartoon. Ze's usually not very evil either, conspiring to "steal the cake" instead of something that you'd actually call evil. Anyway, so that's that. The supervillain comes in serendipitously: My glasses sit a bit crooked on my face, and it usually kinda frustrates me. But it totally works for the supervillain if you picture him as one of those who is hot-but-goofy in real life (the goofiness is supposed to connote a slight "offness" about the villain, sinister in the sense of sinister meaning left-handed) and usually becomes suave when costumed as the supervillain. I'm thinking Cillian Murphy in Batman, but I don't think he actually had crooked glasses. But think of that with crooked glasses. And, of course, the clingy pants from H&M, which fit into the look because they're not jeans, so they're more "wholesome," but they undercut the wholesome cheerleaderness by being too tight and fitting too sexylike. They're also ARGUABLY too young for me, so I bet there were people leering at me on the subway for that reason. But my thought was just like, "Yeah, biatch, I'm a 30something man rocking out a cheerleadery outfit and pants that fit tight AND a Medal of Kindness! You're just hating cuz you don't have a medal! Suck it!" And I say arguably because, while I may not have a great body overall, I've always had pretty good legs. Even for a guy. Because most men have what you might call "good legs" since men don't have cellulite and they typically don't deposit fat in the legs; but my legs are good even for a guys, if I dare say so myself. But enough of that.
So I think I'm going to be incorporating my Medal into my regular wardrobe. And if not my regular wardrobe, then definitely the "occasions to wear my Hermes tie" wardrobe. Because how can you get a Medal of Kindness and not wear it?!? I especially need to wear it because I have an unfortunate history of knowing h8ers who would go so far as to say that I am UNkind in public! Yes, the nerve! But I think my Medal of Kindness (and one from NORWAY no less, where you'd assume people are nicer because they have space and Norway has all that money, etc....) proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am in fact a kind person, even if I don't typically fawn all over people and kiss their asses. Another reason to wear it is when I do something very nice. Invariably (or maybe just with h8ers) when you do something very nice someone around you says, "What are you trying to do, get a medal???" Well, the next time someone says this, I can respond with: "I don't need a medal for kindness. I already HAVE one."
Incidentally I don't yet have a picture of the Medal, but I shall post one when I'm able to take a snapshot. I have no picturey phone, and my digital camera is on the fritz. And that's all for now.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Another thing I'm doing is basically the same thing as the first, but more the core of the matter: I'm just promising myself that I'm going to love it no matter what--if it rains, if it snows, if it goes all Cloverfied... Anything except missing the flight or some crap like that. That you can't make fun. And another thing I'm doing--and this is turning into a list of its own--is making it into some kind of social experiment. And probably recording it all too, cux I might as well make audio magic out of it too, right? But back to the social experiment. Yes, this is definitely going to be part of it. Hmmm, maybe 'anthropological observation' would be more fitting a term. Anyway, I'm going to observe any little thing I can think of, and I'll have to think of it before I go, and notate it. This all sounds way more highfalutin and smart than it is, but go with me here. So I'm trying to think of stuff to observe. And I've come up with two thoughts so far. So this will be the beginnzing of a bunch of lists, if not here than in my mind. Especially when I'm feeling contemplative. May it birthate many more lists.
(I think my 2Q:09 resolution will be to be the kind of person that people make lists about. Then someday 40 years hence I'd like to be talking to someone who is a close friend and have hir say to me, "Do you remember the Count of Boobookabooshkoo? He must have made 60,000 lists about you, he felt so strongly about you. For a summer there he had a staff of 1600 just sitting there paid top dollar to make lists about you all day. He had the country's best poets working for him. You know, like the person who wrote Toxic. Remember they were all published a couple years later and every contributor named a co-poet laureate of the country? It almost got a Nobel.")
NOTES FOR STOCKHOLM 1
--Look at the old people. You know how old people here, even the rich ones, look just ground down and beat the shit out of? See if they look that way there. Here's a rich, developed country with a good safety net and a populace with a reputation for good behavior at home. (Wow, Sweden really does have a good reputation, doesn't it? I suppose it can only be good for me to like it, right? I could imagine someone saying, "You know Ed? I used to think he was hopelessly godless, destined to blaspheme 1,000 things before he even wakes up in the morning? Well, did you know he likes Sweden? I always thought he'd want to live in some genie bottle lounging on rugs and inhaling and exhaling nothing but pure, overpowering pleasure. But maybe I was wrong--maybe he can live in a small town and behave like the good kids. I'm gonna introduce him to my friend Jesus again.") So add all these things together and surely you'd find "a good place for the elderly" in there somewhere. It just goes with the territory. That said, if that were the only thing that mattered to me, I suppose I'd be all about Japan, because they respect their elderly there. I think. But who wants to go through all that schooling and pressure?! And isn't that where they have suicide waves? Nej, tack. But more importantly, I think if life there really is easier because of social welfare and everything else, I'd expect the older people to not look as eroded as they do here. We'll see.
--Check out the rats in the subway. Are they huge and brawny, big as cats but a little icy and reserved? (Because it's becoming a cliche that they grow 'em taller in rich parts of Western/Northern Europe. Because they really do grow taller. And there's that Swedish cliche about the guys being tall and blond and built. So if the people grow bigger, do the rats? Are they well-nourished too?) Are they blond? Is there language very musical and heavy on the 'r' phoneme?
--Make more notes later. Bloggerate this so you don't lose it.
So that's my forsta list, in progress. More to come if I think of something and am not too lazy to put it up.
GLORP! (it's not the new beep, exactly; but I end my emails with various single-syllable such words, so I'm being colloquial here. But I'll beep anyway. BEEP!)
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
I have something to say! -Jerri Blank, Strangers With Candy.
I'm sure that I am a supergenius ultraexpert at something, but that this something doesn't yet have a name or definition. And since I can't pin it down exactly, I think it may be completely undiscovered, and therefore in need of invention. I have a suspicion that it's not a single trait, but rather a complex, or to coin a word, a parallex. If it were a medical condition, you might call it a syndrome. One of these days I'm going to give it a name and educate people about it. It's good when you've educated people so much that they think they've heard of it on Oprah instead of from you. Or when they say, "Did I tell you that Fularka has Glammertybork's Artstasia?" when they forget that you INVENTED G.A.! So I'm going to define this set of traits, and maybe monetize it. Of course, the existence of the syndrome prompts one to ask...
Is this a parallex that is a positive mutation in human evolution? Is it a superior genetic trait?
(Yeah, I made an emoticon.) (I farted too.) (Not really, I just thought that was funny.)
You know, I don't like the word mutation in that context. It has such a bad connotation. We should think of positive genetic mutations as adaptations. Because it describes it better. I read about some study that came to the conclusion that experience can alter your genes--e.g., if you have years of musical training, your offspring may inherit a certain aptitude for music, apart from their exposure to it as infants. How's that? That experience causes your DNA to change? The article seemed to imply that was part of the study's conclusion; but I doubt it. Experience/environment can cause your gene expression to change, however, and maybe that's how things get passed on. Who knows?? I'm just flexing my Cassadega lobe here.
The point, and I don't really have one, being that perhaps this parallex is a superior genetic adaptation. We won't know the specifics of it until it's studied at length, however. First I need to name it; then people need to parse it out, describe and categorize it; finally scientists need to locate the specific genetic sequence responsible for it, and what other effects it has besides giving rise to the parallex. For example, do the genes that code for the parallex also leave one susceptible to the pleasures of pumpkin pie?? Maybe someone with one or more of the genes turned OFF is resistant to pumpkin pie. Of course, that would be silly now, wouldn't it? Because it would seem preferable in evolutionary terms to like pumpkin pie--it is calorie dense, and therefore it would be good to have in a famine. ("No bread? Well then let them eat pumpkin pie!") It is also sky high in beta carotene. It may have traces of calcium and protein. And the preservatives in canned pumpkin mean that it will always be around. AND pumpkin pie MIX is great straight-from-the-can. So clearly liking pumpkin pie is a superior genetic adaptation. But I think I'm getting ahead of myself here, because there's nothing at present to tie pumpkin pie susceptibility to my particular parallex. It may be indicative of a completely separate parallex, which is also a desirable genetic adaptation. Oh, so much to know, and only one me. Le sigh...
Monday, February 23, 2009
1) Philly's not a shithole. Who knew?!!?! Well, Center City isn't.
2) Philadelphia's City Hall looks uncannily like City Hall at Main Street USA in The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida. Shit, that took forever to say. Anyway, I think Philly copied it.
3) The Liberty Bell (and I can't even think that phrase without picturing a certain episode of Strangers with Candy) looks like it's made of chocolate. I think they coated it with something, perhaps chocolate, to prevent further corrosion or something, because it's BROWN. And WAXY. The whole thing, not just the bell part. The funniest thing about the Liberty Bell is that it's a national treasure (like yours truly) and is surrounded by 99-cent stores and a petit craptown.
3.5) The Comcast Center is amazing. Well, the lobby is. Behind the reception desk there's a huge LCD wall that plays different animations, sync'd to music, when it's not pretending to be the same wooden paneling as the rest of the lobby. It's really unbelievable. The animations go in li'l segments, and the music changes for each. Actually, "animations" isn't the best term, since there's some filmed stuff in there. Like some great nature scenes--I wish I could look at those all day--and some cool stuff where they used actors/dancers to interact with each other "inside" the wooden panels. Or they would be carrying things across the wooden panels. And speaking of people walking, there are also sculptures of people walking across beams going up a few stories in the Center.
4) Whenever someone speaks Swedish to me, I have this brain gap that feels like about 10 seconds, where my mind processes what has just happened. When I realize that I've heard Swedish, I then have another brain gap where I see if I know what the phrase means. I saw Carl, who is from Sweden, at J's birthday dinner, and ever and anon he would say something in Swedish to me, and I noticed this brain freeze thing. It's only worked so far with real Swedes, however, so I'm not worried about it being some kind of kryptonite that people can use against me. You know, like, "Quick, say something in Swedish to him and grab the apple fritter from his hand."
5) If someone from China claims that Puerto Rico isn't really part of the United States, just mention Taiwan.
And that's the Philly blop for now, gooplers.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
No, blossoms, not in myne own entry, but as part of an entry on the song Beautiful Stranger. Yeah, it's small, but it's something. Scroll down to the Cover versions section and you'll see the last li'l blurp about me:
"Indie artist Ed Shepp recorded a cover of the song for his EP The Madonna Within."
And no, I did not do that myself nor did I put anyone up to it. If I did, I would have had them write "The Madonna Within EP." But it's all good. :)
And since the song is on my terapad, which keeps overloading its bandwidth (hmmph. or so it says! Gud på ett hjul!!), here's a link to the song if you wants to downlerd it.
Or you can just hear it here:
Of course, you can also hear it, in remixified formulax, in any of the Blips I've done for Billy Jam, since I'm sorta using it as my theme song with those.
Oh, and one more thing, which is overdue: Click over to Dope Astrology, (for Feb 17) and who's that sexy beast in the Scorpio box???? Yup! ME!!!
And det var allt for now.
Prince E. Quistvalden av Norwegenmark Trailer Park
Monday, February 16, 2009
OK, so my Valentine Blip dropped on Billy Jam's show the other day, and I don't at present have data to make any assumptions about whether people got what I was going for. Billy told me that he got some good comments on it, but I don't know what those were. Some of the comments on the page for the show are interesting: Someone says that the music was taking them back to the 80s, to "high-school." Yes, that's what I was going for. But then did they further get that the songs kept getting more and more recent, and the points-of-view more, erm, disillusioned? Pointing to what one assumes is the tragedy of the whole thing, the narrator who comes in periodically with "Love Tried to Welcome Me"? Let's have a listen to the blip. Hopefully you'll be able to download it from here:
So basically it's a "love story" of sorts, or rather the story of someone who failed to find love, or whatever. Listen to just the songs and I think that's what you'd get. But listen to the song that glues them all together: "Love Tried to Welcome Me." I've always connected to this song, sometimes for the melodrama but mainly because it took an unusual stance: The singer actively disavows Love. Even though he or she may lament his condition, and even admist to being "drawn to sadness," which doesn't indicate being drawn away from Love, but rather could allude to other things, a blueish temperament, perhaps----s/he may do this, but s/he still revels in the lyric, "Love tried to break me" as if it's a success or victory, which it may be. How would we know? So I think when it comes down to it, the song reveals a profound ambivalence about the idea of love, especially "modern" Love. If you look it like that, then you can see a progression in the songs: the first songs in the blip are filled with echo and are effected weirdly and are extreme examples. (Authentic ones, though: "I Love You Just the Way You Are" has a valentine connotation to me because it was on the car radio when my sister and I were so excited to open our li'l heart-shaped boxes of red hots. We must've thought valentine's day was the cat's pajamas. I think I did for a few years.) Then the songs get from middle-to-high school, and they're tinnier, with the bottom end rolled off and the pitch is higher, to make them sound bubble-gummy, and they all sound very naive. The last part of the songs are just a fast forward through disillusionment, since I didn't have time to really build the last chapter. "I Can't Make You Love Me" is the best of the series, but it didn't follow as well as I'd liked. Because who hasn't felt something like that before, really? For comic relief I ended with Creep and then burped in my "extro."
So it's sort of two narratives: an exaggerated one where all this experience with love leads to ambivalence, and an ambivalence that was always there, but manifested in certain ways until the person just eventually accepted his former emotional responses were inauthentic but it serves to elucidate the process by which they become authentic. Hmm, I'm probably not making sense and should be listening to Karpe right now, but there you go. And here's the song itself, that I stitched together from ther various parts. I call It "Love Tried to Lower My Formants" because I lowered the formants on the main voc without changing the pitch, and it's what makes it sound awesome. Click here and hopefully you'll be able to download it without registering.
Hmmm, that's all I can think of right now. Valentine's Day isn't worth discussing (cuz I mean, what would I do, right? It was Saturday: I slept in, I read, I walked around. No differnt from any other good weekend day). Nothing much else is happening. I'll hopefully be in between stuff for a while.