I remember being on holiday in Prince Edward Island, woken up in what seemed like the middle of the night; me and my best friend Nicky eleven years old and still not certain if the new LL Cool J or the new Fresh Prince was going to change our lives more.
In the cottage’s dark bedroom, one of my parents told me that our cat, the eponymous Kitty, had given birth to a litter of two.
A grey and a black tiny baby kitten awaited us when we returned from our week in the sun.
The grey and fluffy one my folks let me name, and to their minor chagrin I named her “Klunk” after the kitten in the TMNT Michaelangelo saves xmas one-off from 1985. My mother has tried to subtly revise history ever since, pretending to only remember ever calling that cat “Charlotte.”
I could tell you stories about Charlotte’s brief stay with us, but I won’t right now. She disappeared without warning or a trace one day before she was grown.
The sleek and black one was named by older, younger sister, Maggie. She named him Tim. There is some dispute as to whether this was after the protagonist “Tim Catchamouse” of the first Puddle Lane book in 1985, but although our Timmy is not known to ever have caught a mouse per se, we might have thought of him by that full name when a full name was required upon formal occasions.
Perhaps due to my early alignment with Klunk, I never really felt like Tim was MY cat. We had a relationship that could have been described as aloof or mutually indifferent at times, but we shared a home for ten years and we both are warm-bodied and we would find ourselves in common cat/family situations often enough. He would curl up on or near me and I would pet or scratch him and I filled his bowl more than one hundred thousand times and I let him in and out and he might rub up or headbutt me or do what it is that cats do for whatever reasons they do those things.
Sometimes we would be sitting on my parents’ couch, and I would be scratching behind his ears and he would be purring in the rich baritone of a healthy young adult cat and I would think you know, Timmy is really a pretty alright cat. He keeps his nose clean, he doesn’t scratch or bite unless you wantonly and deliberately torment him like Dad does. He’ll just about do, I think.
When I started making lattes and cappuccinos for a living, I couldn’t do much on the art tip. And a year and a bit later, I still can’t! I find that I just do a little wiggle when I’m pouring the last bit of the milk in, and then pull through, and it will produce either some variety of fauna (a leaf or laurel or in rare cases, a flower) or a wonky valentine heart.*
I would arbitrarily make one or the other, and then hand out the drink, and usually since I was so new, that was when I would get my first look at who had ordered it because I was concentrating on doing an okay job up to that point.
This is the point where my version of this story diverges from what a new guy said to me today! See, he related pretty much the same first part as above (only less eloquently or charmingly because I am fucking the best at words), and then said, “…and I always seem to give out the heart to some DUDE!” with a note of wrinkled nose in his voice like GROSS like CAN YOU IMAGINE like IT MAKES ME SEEM GAY.
And I had been with him right up to that point, because he told my story to me (strumming, as it were, my pain, as it were, with his proverbial fingers, as it were). We were both chastely focusing on our craft, and then presenting a loaded symbol to a world primed for hasty and awkward interpretations.
But I always ended my story more like, “…and I always seem to give out the heart to the most homophobic looking dude" and go on to emphasize HIS reaction, how he seems weirded out by it or behaves strangely toward me. As time has worn on, I realize that that was just my self-consciousness most of the time and whatever weird vibe I got is because people with real jobs are often fucking rude to minimum wage earners for no reason.
But I felt a wind whistle through me for a minute when the stories were so similar and, to me, so different.
I guess what’s supposed to be funny about my story is that the insecurity of the homophobic customer causes him to project intentions onto me, and what’s supposed to be funny about the same story when my coworker tells it is the hapless misfortune of giving the humiliating impression that he could be gay.
I guess neither story is really HILARIOUS anyway, ha.
*Sometimes in a macchiato I’ll make a peach, which looks kind of like a bum. That’s like finding a four-leaf clover.**
**I can’t do a four-leaf clover design***, although lots of people can.
***I did once accidentally just make a huge, thick penis-shape. When I gave it to the guy, he knew exactly what it looked like, and so did I. We looked at one another, and kind of both shrugged, and he took it away and poured it down his throat.
Hey guys! November’s creeping up, so I am putting out the call - if you’d like to have a custom bit of artwork for yourself or as a gift, I’m taking orders!
I’ll be doing these straight through November and a bit of December, just so everything can get mailed out on time.
Prices as follows:
Peep Mike’s tumblr for his recent series of “Mikenesses,” self portraits in styles lovingly appropriated from his heroes and influences in the field of comics and illustration. That should give you some idea of how versatile the kid is, and what you could be commissioning from him.
“We formed a new religion
No sins as long as there’s permission
And deception is the only felony
So never fuck nobody without telling me
Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real
Sun coming up, 5 a.m., I wonder if they got cabs still?
Thinking ‘bout the girl in all leopard
Who was rubbing the wood like Kiki Shepherd
Two tattoos one read ‘No Apologies’
The other said ‘Love is Cursed by Monogamy’”—Kanye West, No Church In The Wild (via lyngay)
Complex’s Insanul Ahmed talks to Method Man about all kinds of awesome shit - rice ketchup, Fred Durst, Cappadonna’s wardrobe, Biggie’s writing habits, etc. I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes like yo god I already read three books on Wu-Tang, knowledge god but I assure you that this contains quite a bit of previously undocumented and downright incredible information about the group. (I know I’m late with this but maybe I don’t have sixteen hours in a day to click through a thousand click throughs, alright?)
I swear to you that if you have any interest in the music and/or personage of Method Man AT ALL, you will find this feature to be the most charming thing you have ever encountered in the entirety of the internet. COMPLEX stays killing it with these record run-downs! My other favs: Shock G, Soulja Boy.
I identify with feminist movement. I have never been asked to refrain from doing so by a woman, but I often encounter incredulity from outside of the movement when I relay that identity or express admiration for feminism.
It hasn’t made me uncomfortable in my stances, if anything I’m too comfortable in some of them, but in light of how often I encounter that incredulity, and even more to the point, of how often I encounter men who express admiration for the aims of feminist movement as they understand it but balk at identifying themselves as its agents, I would like to quote a few bits from a revelatory chapter in what may be one of the best books I’ve ever read.
The chapter is called “Men,” and it’s in the book Feminist Theory : From Margin To Center by bell hooks, and published in 1984.
In the concluding passages, she says this (but the emphases are mine):
Men who actively struggle against sexism have a place in feminist movement. They are our comrades. Feminists have recognized and supported the work of men who take responsibility for sexist oppression - men’s work with batterers, for example. Those women’s liberationists who see no value in this participation must re-examine the process by which revolutionary struggle is advanced.
Even though more men than ever support the idea of social equality for women, like women they do not see this support as synonymous with efforts to end sexist oppression, with feminist movement that would radically transform society. Men who advocate feminism as a movement to end sexist oppression must become more vocal in public in their opposition to sexism and sexist oppression. Until men share equal responsibility for struggling to end sexism, feminist movement will reflect the very sexist contradictions we wish to eradicate.
Separatist ideology encourages us to believe that women alone can make feminist revolution - we cannot. Since men are the primary agents of maintaining and supporting sexism and sexist oppression, they can only be successfully eradicated if men are compelled to assume responsibility for transforming their consciousness and the consciousness of society as a whole. After hundreds of years of anti-racist struggle, more than ever before non-white people are currently calling attention to the primary role white people must play in anti-racist struggle. The same is true of the struggle to eradicate sexism - men have a primary role to play. This does not mean that they are better equipped to lead feminist movement; it does mean that they should share equally in resistance struggle. In particular, men have a tremendous contribution to make to feminist struggle in the area of exposing, confronting, opposing, and transforming the sexism of their male peers. When men show a willingness to assume equal responsibility in feminist struggle, performing whatever tasks are necessary, women should affirm their revolutionary work by acknowledging them as comrades in struggle.
For my part, I’m not hung up on whether men are acknowledged as comrades so much - this book was written with an audience of feminist women in mind.
My friend Sarah said, in discussion of this topic, “I really don’t care what a dude calls himself. I do care very much about his actions and how he interacts with the women in his life. Definitely concerned with whether he listens to or talks down to me.” I think her priorities are impeccable here, to be sure. I wouldn’t argue with her that it’s AS important, let alone MORE important, that a man call himself feminist or identify as part of that movement than it is that he behaves in a way that is not oppressive.
But I the arguments put forth by bell hooks in those quoted paragraphs do give voice to what makes me dissatisfied with men who reject an identification with feminist movement. I think it’s the only way to openly identify taking part in the struggle to end sexist oppression as being MY RESPONSIBILITY.
Ahh I need to make rent money! Get FREE SHIPPING with any purchase over $30 at my Etsy shop - there’s Patton Oswalt & Dan Telfer posters, Pixies and Fucked Up prints and little 5x7 daily sketch prints!
Something for everyone - shop for Christmas or something!
Mike did the fantastic cover artwork for the vinyl edition of Humble & Brilliant, but he has also done SO MUCH MORE that you can put all over flat surfaces! His posters for Patton Oswalt, The Pixies, Sloan and other exciting acts are, themselves, VERY EXCITING. His new cover of The Coast magazine featuring FUCKED UP is super clever and wise!
Oh my god just go and put some art in your house why don’t you!??
‘Now I haven’t read Howard Zinn, but I’m sure he’d agree with me That power’s influence can be seen most egregiously To corrupt, you supersuckers pay your taxes, follow all their Laws… I’m taking down the system with my blog.’
Aw, look at this! It’s the song that MC Lars invited me to join him on in 2008 or something!
It’s called “No Logo,” and it’s a tribute to Naomi Klein (by trashing people who think they are activists but are not really helping!), and it appears on Lars’s album This Gigantic Robot Kills. The album was named by Wesley Willis. Weird Al Yankovic appears on the record, playing accordion. No for serious.
If the bass riff sounds familiar to you, it isn’t because it is ripped off (like YouTube comments all suggest). It’s because Lars asked Ian Mackaye of Fugazi if it would be okay if we interpolated part of their song “Waiting Room,” and he was fine with it! It’s still DIY if you have some help from your friends, or even very famous strangers.
Few years ago, I used to be knee-deep in the “nerdcore hip-hop” scene on the internet. Kind of a silly idea now that I think back to it, but there are still a lot of talented folks running around with that label. One point of contention was whether or not certain artists were “nerdcore” which…
Although this album is available for purchase on iTunes and CDbaby and Amazon and all those things, I am touched by how nice this post about it is! Go ahead and siphon it from this location, if you’re interested in the music I was making from 1997-2001, but if you really like it, please consider either buying it from one of those legit sources, or making a contribution to the fund to release Humble & Brilliant on vinyl!
“Rap in large part is about how many different ways can I talk about how cool I am. And so that’s always the driving force. We consciously avoid talking about things in too straightforward a manner. We don’t approach it meaning to say anything specific, but by virtue of who we are and what we think about, its going to come out in the creative process. It’s very cathartic: these are the 80 or 90 things running through my mind, and these are the 10 things I am gong to use from that list to toss into places between the spots where I talk about how cool I am.”—
I feel bad that my only contribution to the discourse on the Occupy movement has been that sarcastic picture I posted when I had only seen like five “we are the 99%” pics and they all seemed to be people who were fine but mad they weren’t raking it in. I’ve seen quite a few more since then that are touching stories and basically I think I jumped the gun. Maybe if I had had the perspective to acknowledge the broader picture there would have also been a place for me to be critical in that way, but I didn’t bother with that.
Also I misunderstood the accepted intent of the percentages cited, and I was looking at it GLOBALLY rather than in terms of Western or even just North American (or even just USA?) economic split. I think that even a debt-ridden, broke and struggling member of the North American working/middle class is in the top 1% economically, globally.
But that’s not what the point was.
I don’t like AdBusters because I think they appropriate the form of activism and giving a shit in general and use it as a perverse brand identity for causes that usually don’t put a dent in anything that’s actually going on, but this Occupy thing feels more like something actual, the more I read about it. Mostly I am reading critical perspectives from women and people of colour and when those perspectives are optimistic, and when they tell stories of having been heard and not just railroaded by white men who know what’s best for them, then I feel optimistic, too.
I don’t really know the whole deal there, but I know capitalism is bad for us. So everyone out there taking a stand against that - thank you, and I’m sorry I was a dick before.
I’ve started getting more and more involved with the local campus radio station, CKDU. We’ve just started our annual funding drive and we’ve got a goal of $27,000. That’s so much money! But there’s a lot of love in this community. You also get some rad swag when you pledge $30 or more.
Maybe spread this around a little and help us out?
CKDU made me everything I am today. Please help them continue to exist.