Archive for August, 2007

The Simpsons Movie as a Christian vechile


Every movie is a little world that creates it’s own little precepts. The Simpsons movie though might very well be the largest critique of 90s American liberalism I can think of though. God exists in Springfield and Homer Simpson, whose Jebus joke once represented a growing national apathy towards religion, is now an outsider lacking the warm family values and influence on morality that Ned Flanders has. Homer’s “jebus” comment not only seems used, but he makes it in church where the humor changes from being freeing oneself from religious dictate to being oblivious to the insentitivty of the joke. Once upon a time Flanders was a shinning example of the confining strictures of traditional values, while Lisa expelled neo-liberalism, and Homer was a good hearted man whose pleasure seeking seemed a healthy, but self-obsessed past time. The Simpsons have now become something of the outcastes of their block versus the way they almost perfectly caught the dysfunctional, but loving aspects of the American family in the mid-90s. Flanders has become a foil who knocks Homer and his family off the block. While Lisa’s idealism has become more sharpened and she still commands a certian amount of respect, you can’t help but feel as the show changed from Bart to Homer it is now becoming little more than a vechile for Flander’s philosophy. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Ned isn’t a bad guy, but part of what made The Simpsons fun was its acceptance of our imperfections, the way not only god had died, but the way we’d lost our fathers and families had exploded from homogenous cultures like the Flanders to the plurality of views of The Simpsons’ address. Flanders was funny becuase next to memories of Tammy Fay Baker, the boredome of childhood church pews, and the utter exasperation of the religious right to deal with the yuppie ideals of the 80s as they became the engine of the country’s progress and enshrined in the form of tolerance, such an image of a Christian seemed not only ridicilous and out of whack with the country as a whole, but down right unwholesome. One gets the feeling that Murdoch and company have reshaped the show for a new demographic, but it’s telling that in order for the christian values of right-wing american to entertain, they have to borrow a story and a people from those that opposed them.

August 17, 2007 at 6:08 am Leave a comment

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August 15, 2007 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon… quickly

1. It reminds me of people. In particular two friends of mine from college, which of course means it captures youth perfectly.

2. It’s controlled. Chabon isn’t interested in splattering Michael Chabon mega-genius across every page, but rather it’s like he’s so in love with these two characters that he forgets himself and like Arthur, his words are plotted for maximum manipulation, humor, and pathos.

3. The gay experience if essentially the San Francisco of our generation. Everyone has had this experience, but that’s what troubles me about the novel, it’s ending ends with a call towards women as being preferable because they’re different, similar to my pronouncement a few weeks back that loving a guy is easy, but a women harder. I felt disappointed that Chabon wasn’t capable of providing me with more enlightenment beyond what I had already realized. After all while Phlox might have an engrossing world, this doesn’t quite capture the feeling of finding the right one, that special little opposite sex-er with the clever ideas and good haircut. Is dating the wrong girl really better than the right guy? Phlox, I guess, isn’t a good foil for Arthur Lecomete, who seems like a much better partner for Art than Phlox. Cleveland and Jane are a heterosexual couple that make out Chabon’s idea in a better light. Phlox weakens Art’s argument by her very vapidness, while Jane and Cleveland show how even the difference of sex can be a way of growing closer than Art and Art probably could.

4. Modern day literature seems to be marked by authors who gloriously expel their failures whether is Foster Wallace’s realization that he’s not a genius or Dave Egger’s humility or Steve Erickson’s repetition etc. However Chabon is genuinely a good author, unlike Wallace’s early stuff Chabon’s writing is the product of plotting and contemplation unlike Eggers he isn’t dependent on auto-biography for his stories, lastly he is able to bring his novels to a satisfying conclusion while making the story churn into the finely form ideals needed to not only lend it emotional weight, but to let the concepts take flight.

5. It made me rethink my own views of my own literature. It made me think maybe I could be an author… if ya know I only actually wrote something sometimes.

6. The ending nearly made me cry and the book’s characters really are so lovable it’s hard to believe.

August 15, 2007 at 5:58 am 2 comments

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August 14, 2007 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

day dreams

1. neo-Marc Bolan electronic music with a kinda Chromeo thing going on.
The refrain is (redneck black guy): HEY KING BUSTANUT, WAH CHA TALKInnNGgg ABOUT?
veeerrrrrrrrrr (tv tuning noises pharoah comes on TV)
Pharoah: (booming god like voice): Why I’m talking about Dolphin sex-becase it’s what’s next.
Uprising folkishness voices as if Marc Bolan is humming Led Zeppelion.

stories about falling in love with 3 – 5 dolphins. in between each story the refrain with the black guy and the pharoah plays. video takes place a in pool. dolphin 1 falls in love with Japanese girls (group of japanese girls trailing dolphin around pool) dolphin 2 lives indian guys (indian dude riding dolphin) then break into went out the ganges to meet some Hijra, hemaphoridites dancing by pool, dolphin 3 don’t know etc. etc. Includes the line song in Bolan-esque style “All the critic say, Mr. Jones why don’t you do I rock? and I tell’m becuase for 15 years all rock music has taught me is to be passive and weird.” oohhhh. slam.

2. I become a ladyboy prostitute, form a union with health insurance and a generous funding of post-secondary education, eventually create an escorts website for ladyboys, am featured in a small segment in The Economist titled The Value of Tolerance which is about how Thailand has benefited from it’s tolerance (seriously dude, there’s like an entire african-arabic disapora here), create world renowned recylcing center, create NGOs for the hijra in india and wind power in Lao, end up running multi-billionare dollar rna based cosmetic gene therapy center, am interviewed by Richard Florida for a scathing New York Times Mag. article on the young hip anti-american american disapora that forms during the 8 years of Bush administration. All while wearing a series of lovelyingly made ethnic dresses imported from tailors in Laung Prubang, Myanmar, and Mongolia. Am assaulted by various celeberities who want my clothes at a hip California conference where I am speaking about my new company that creates new products from naturally occuring ecological networks such as weather forecasts from the alagae blooms in the ocean’s gyres etc.

3. I am wrting a novel about a bacteria that eats plastic and expells a waste produce eaten by hepatitis C. Hence over night plastic becomes a reservoir for hep while it’s once permanent qualities degrade, at the same time an anthropologist is working with a group of researchers in Singapore to become a dog, a boy and an elephant are having a homoerotic relationship with a mountain lion, the town of Karachia, Pakistan mysteriously dissapears only to reappear in Blovia where they form a golden republic of sharia laws and persian systems of government in accordance with cuban catholicism, and a group of aliens crash land into earth unleaching a bacteria that eats plastic, proceed to take over the entirety of north america (with a rousing gun battle in montrael as french speaking cavalry jump McDonalds to crash land into an alien space ark), but the Aliens are a metaphor for Guns, Germs, and Steel (they turn out to be kinda like a cruise ship from another dimension with little concept of how their technology actually works), and yet the book is really about relationships, about people, about their problems and works, and how they all interact, it’s about neuro-diversity and the different problems we all have. Thomas Pynchon is qouted on the back saying I am the only author he respects, but secretly the people at McSweeney’s all hate and curse my name.

p.s. these are the most embarassing entries to write, but also the most entertaining. I feel kinda dead after words. Raise of hands please for other day dreamers?

August 14, 2007 at 12:53 pm 1 comment


When does a parental contract expire? At what point does a parent go, ok my kid is grown up, fuck it he can do itself? Years ago, when I lived in Orlando, I was invited up to Memphis for Christmas or Thanksgiving or something like that. Over tears my mother explained and my father chasised me that I could no longer live in Orlando, FL. The reasons were fairly sensical although the sterness was not, after all up to this point no one had told me I was draining all my mom’s savings as she month after month paid for a $500 dollar apartment and obviously landing a job in Florida basically turned out to be impossible (although strangely work in Birmingham, AL was remarkably plentiful, but in a way my move from Florida had a lot more to do with being a promoter and somehow the weird way that my Dad always objected to that (once while driving Jan Jelinek and Thomas Fehlman from Miami, he told me to get out of the car and leave becuase they were “using me”). Such paranoia racks my brain, till this day I sometimes can’t tell if people are lying or if they’re being sincere, am I being used etc, but it was fairly clear that Jan and Thomas had no intention of using me and even offered to pay for gas and beer as we drove and later the turnpike. For the last few months I’ve been offered the option to come back to the US for awhile to vacation… or as my mother told me today, to stay. My parents continue to express a polite offense when I decline this invite, but to be honest why would I want to see them? If all returning to the US means is being lectured, another intervention, etc. and perhaps a stern lecture on homosexuality due to my recent blog posts (still not gay, James is in love with a singaporean boy, Ole is out of town, no ladyboys, desperately in love with a prostitute down the street) what reason do I have to come back? My father’s decission in college was that I was to be a writer, an english major, when the only fields I excelled in where sociology and computer science? why do they insist on making these choices? what person, much less a child, would enjoy such a relationship? whose parents are like this? I know there are worse, but come on, I mean with the exception of a minor amount of money loaned when I lost my job in Taiwan, life has been pretty stable in Asia. Yet, nothing in my relationship through out my life with my parents could ever convince coming to Memphis for Christmas is anything more than a rouse, a simple way of attempting to instill some form of wisdom that not only radically misunderstands my life, but is in reaction to a world they imagine and I never inhabit.

August 14, 2007 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

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