Monday, March 30, 2009

Who's Who in the Monkey Bar Mural

I wrote about the Graydon Carter's soon-to-open Monkey Bar today for Urbandaddy What didn't make it in to the piece is the part where I interviewed Ed Sorel, the guy responsible for the mural in the backroom. With great surety, I can assure you that a large part of dinner conversation at the Monkey Bar will be a pissing contest game wherein one Associate Editor for a dying dead tree magazine will try to outdo another by recognizing who is depicted. It won't be easy. But, in the interest of pissing better, here's Mr. Sorel to give you a guide:
There was a question of who to put in, and laying it out. It took months, the question is the theme. The theme of the waverly inn was the Greenwich Village. The theme was at first Graydon had wanted it to be cafe society between the wars but who constituted cafe society was a kind of a blur so we decided essentially on a who's who of who is in New York between the wars. We have Fred Astaire, this is the Fred Astaire who appeared on Broadway with his sister. There's also Henry Luce, Herb Ross, Conde Nast, Blanche and Adolph Ochs, the Fitzgeralds--Zelda and F Scott, Billie Rose, Dorothy Parker and Edna Ferber.
So start Google image searching like a fiend and try to get your friend at Conde--like stories of whore fucking, everybody seems to have at least one!--to get you a reservation.

[Photo: Courtesy of the one and the only, Urbandaddy.]

Fucking Ikea Piece of Shit Crapssuck

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Ikea, Swedish utopian lifestyle supplier, is one of those places where everything works great until it doesn't and from then on, you are doomed and there is no escaping your doom. This weekend, Wifeana and I went to Red Hook to by desks. They fucked up one of the orders and didn't include hardware. Today I went back to demand I get screwed. Screw me they did. After waiting for an hour for them to move through 4 numbers at the Returns desk, the obese woman finally called my number--385. But of course, she didn't know what part I was talking about and, after fifteen minutes of research, when she finally did figure out that yes, it was indeed purchased yesterday at IKEA and yes indeed they do carry it (which I knew because I purchased it at Ikea yesterday). After a half hour of aimlessly lolling about amongst the Blue Bins, she returned with a baggie full of screws. Only later when I returned home did I realize she had given me the wrong screws. What do you expect from people who can't spell Thursday? Now I have to reenter this crapsuck cycle of shitty Ikea bullshit and I'll never--I feel--be able to escape. Is this what being an undocumented immigrant is like? I think so.

But the real point of the post is thus: Ikea's uber simple sans serif straightforwardness only works as long as they maintain a base level of competence. Usually their system of cheap and easily assembled products does work. But there exists no mechanism, or no well working mechanism, for remedying what happens if something does go horribly wrong. The system can't cope and can't fix itself. Instead, it sucks you into a blue-and-yellow inferno which stretches from here to the last Thrusday in hell.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Psychological Evaluation of JDS, Age 9



In 1991, when I was nine years and five months old, my parents took my to a psychologist to be evaluated. Last weekend, over my sister's wedding, my mother thought it would be a good idea to finally show me the evaluations. This is what I learned: Over the course of eighteen years, I haven't changed at all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where Hipsters Come From....Surprisingly Not Only From Hell and Exurbs

From 1967's Hustlers, Beats, and Others by Ned Polsky:

[Beats] resent any label whatever, and regard a concern with labelling as basically square. But insofar as they speak of themselves generically and are forced to choose among evils, they prefer the word "beat." Until recently "hipster" meant simply aone who is hip, roughly the equivalent of the beat. Beats recognized that the hipster is more of an "operator"--has a more consciously patterned ifestyle (such as a concern to dress well) and makes more frequent economic raids on the frontiers of the square world--but emphasized their social bonds with hipsters, such as their liking for drugs, for jazz music, and above all, their common scorn for bourgeois career orientations. Among Village beats today, however, "hipster" usually has a pejorative connotation: one who is a mannered showoff regarding his hipness, who "comes on"" too strongly in hiptalk, etc. In their own eyes, beats are hip but are definitely not hipsters.

Although beats are characteristically ignorant of history, even of their own history, most know the oft-discussed origin of "beat" as applied to the postwar disaffected but all are in the dark about "hip." The few Village beats with any opinion suppose that it comes from the "hep" of early 1940's jivetalk. Actually "hep" and "hip" are doublets; both come directly from a much earlier phrase, "to be on the hip" to be a devotee of opium smoking--during which activity one lies on one's hip. The phrase is obsolete, the activity obsolescent.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

This Woman Has An Amazing Voice

If all law school classes are this fun, sign me up. Let me in, give me financial aid, then sign me up.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ben Bearly


My friend Ben got married to Emily last weekend at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Lovely ceremony. Ben made a crossword puzzle that went in the wedding program. My favorite clue was "Gustapo" [sic]. The answer was SS. During the toasts someone brought up this video which I had forgotten about but which is wonderful. Embedding is disabled but it's worth the click through.

Ben Bearly [Youtube]

Heavenly Light

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No big fan of the New York Times' Vows section I but Katie Orlinsky's photograph of Christie Love and Rev. J. Lee Hill Jr. in today's edition is pretty wonderful.