Thursday, July 27, 2006

I’ve long liked Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk (after reading of it being Lindsay Buckingham’s coked-up answer to Brian Wilson and Brian Eno) but I recently pulled it out again and just today sprang for the remastered version that came out a few years back. Some of the remaster actually makes it sound more rickety and toy-like than the crappy version I got from one of those BMG-or-whatever CD club services, but Stevie Nicks’ voice on “Beautiful Child”: Oh. My. God. I’d like to see anybody sit on a couch and try to move while it’s playing. Good luck with that. Even in a fire, or a piranha attack. (Or for that matter underwater.) The only thing I ever bought off TV was a videotape of a nature show I once saw about piranhas that had old grainy B&W footage of tribesmen pushing a live cow into the Amazon River to watch what would happen when the razor-fanged fish went after it. A long take of water splashing furiously as the cow writhes and presumably screams (the footage was silent, sans narration—what could one say?) that then went close-up on the head, in which the flailing of piranhas was discernible beneath flesh that rippled and stretched like a probability wave put in place to account for the location of a quantum particle. It’s the most disturbing image I’ve ever seen by a good measure. I think I moved on the couch during that one, but not much more than a twitch.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

So Thursday marks the premiere of the newly redesigned and expanded print edition of The Onion, which has commandeered most of my waking hours of late. I couldn’t be happier with it after all this time. (Some of my best and most impassioned writing, I’m convinced, lurks in long memos about fonts, style points, and visual syncopation.) The local section in New York (which I edit) has expanded to include features about things outside our regular orbit. And, overall, the weirdness factor has been ratcheted up considerably. Pick up a copy if you have one at your disposal. I think it’s worth the smudge.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Great New York scene on the late-night subway ride home: Guy with natty dreads compulsively filing through his iPod and screaming about Black Power while dude beside him reads, with quizzical indifference, a tattered copy of Naked Lunch. Hats off to all involved!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I’ve been finding the whole Zidane affair almost unbearably sad to watch footage of the past few days, this stately legend jogging taxed and tired in the waning moments of a glorious game before turning around to make a really major mistake on a world stage he obviously remembers he’s on about 1.8 seconds after an incident that nobody wouldn’t regret. It’s some real DeLillo shit. I’m sure this has been written about in places I haven’t read, but the thing I’m most tripped out by is the fact that using his hands to shove the guy or throw a punch never even seems to have crossed his mind. His arms just don’t figure into the equation. So soccer. I won’t claim to know enough about the sport to rate how the whole thing will either linger or fade, but I do know enough about this last World Cup to register some serious separation anxiety over its having ended. The whole past month has been flush with the worldly feeling of like sitting around reading The Economist while waiting on an international flight.

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