1994

I don’t remember Kurt Cobain dying, which is strange, because I was 10 years old at the time.

I remember Cobain living, and I remember him having lived, though. I could tell a very illuminating story about being eight years old and watching “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on TV and being changed forever, being absolutely stunned by what I had seen. It would be a true story, too, except it would leave out the parts where the same thing happened with Pearl Jam’s “Alive” and Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” and Warrant’s “Cherry Pie.”

Back when video stores rented out CDs, I insisted upon one trip to Video-Ezy that we rent Nirvana’s Nevermind, and I dubbed it on to cassette. Then I listened to it over and over and wrote pre-teen proto-grunge songs of my own that were surely interminable, characterized by glum lyrics and descending chord progressions. It was the first time I’d heard that the world could be personally awful. (The music or the misery — gold help me if I start channelling Nick Hornby.) I don’t remember when the refrain from “Come as You Are” became quote-unquote ironic.

Later in 1994, or maybe 1995, we would visit my cousins Briony and Christian. Briony was my older cousin, in that she had a month on me, which she would never let me forget. On this vacation, my actual older cousin, Christian, Briony’s elder brother, had Become A Teenager and part of this would mean that he would stay in his room while Briony and my little brother and I did fun kid stuff. But sometimes Christian would invite me into his room — me, not my little brother or his little sister — and we’d listen to Nirvana and he would play for me his copy of Live! Tonight! Sold Out! and ask me to share in his awe of the now posthumous Kurt Cobain. Because I admired Christian’s maturity, I tried to do so, but I sort of didn’t actually like Nirvana that much, meaning I still liked some of their tracks a lot, but also that I didn’t want to spend all this time watching songs I didn’t know being played by a man in a dress.

In high school, my best friend belatedly discovered Nevermind, and I loved Nirvana through him. He and I and another friend would go to skate nights and debate which of the holy grunge boy triumvirate of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, or Pearl Jam best expressed our teenage angst. I would waver on this question, but even then I think I preferred the back half of Nevermind; like The Joshua Tree, the side without the singles is the more interesting one. One time we asked the DJ to play “Territorial Pissings” and he did. I’m sure this was awful for nearly everyone except us.

Kurt Cobain taught me how to play guitar, and how I do is modelled after him. As well as Green Day, I guess. Blink-182. Punk riffs with some blues musicology added post-facto.

Today I think I like In Utero best of all, but Kurt Cobain made three very good albums with his band, and even the Nevermind singles, riven into my mind, can still astonish me. He could be marvellously gnomic and concise, and now I am an adopted Washington kid, I like the quite specific hints of Evergreen State trash you hear in the band. It’s probably the flotsam I most often return to: “Been a Son” or “Verse Chorus Verse” or whatever. But “Teenage angst has paid off well; now I’m bored and old” is a hell of a way to kick off an album. (Hayley Williams might have matched it on her most recent.)

That is, twenty years is a strange anniversary, because I remember the life and the afterlife, but not the death. Kurt Cobain has always been dead; long live Kurt Cobain, and etc.


Between the predictably tortured ages of 11 and 15, I was of the opinion that “Miss World” was one of the greatest songs of all time. And I know this for a fact because — ever the personal archivist — on my birthday each year I would make a mixtape of The Greatest Songs of All Time. I never shared these tapes with anybody else; they were my secret equivalent of the pencil mark on the kitchen wall, documenting the ways I’d changed (or, more often, hadn’t) over the course of a year. With those creaky-staircase chords cradling Courtney Love’s fractured croak of “somebody kill me,” “Miss World” made the cut every year, always to my slight disappointment. In your pre-teen and early-teen years everybody loves to tell you that It Gets Better, so it was a bummer to check in at the beginning of a new year and confirm that the raw and throbbing pain encased in this song still rang unbelievably true. Really? Twelve still feels like “Miss World”? And 13? And 14? And…fuck.
4
Apr 12

AKB48, “鈴懸の木の道で「君の微笑みを夢に見る」と言ってしまったら僕たちの関係はどう変わってしまうのか、僕なりに何日か考えた上でのやや気恥ずかしい結論のようなもの” (2013)

When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like A King…

…”Sort of a little bit embarrassing conclusion I came up to after thinking for days about how our relationship would change if while walking along a road of plane trees I said to you, ‘I dream of your smile’” is the 34th single by the Japanese idol girl group AKB48…

(Title is the best thing about the song, sadly.)


For added context in the “Is Lorde Racist???" tiff, consider how Americans talk about New Zealand cultural practices.


So into people* who say things like “Taylor is new Springsteen” or “Taylor is new Dylan” with absolutely no regard for boring old types who would never be happy about a young pop-country woman being the new any-of-their-old-heroes.
(Also, like when I listened to Fearless for the first time I did think Springsteen; maybe it was the “Born to Run” in “Fifteen”/”White Horse” viz “That was a small town in my rearview disappearing now.”)
*esp people who submit to SwiftSecrets cause I kinda assume that everyone who does that is thirteen at most.

So into people* who say things like “Taylor is new Springsteen” or “Taylor is new Dylan” with absolutely no regard for boring old types who would never be happy about a young pop-country woman being the new any-of-their-old-heroes.

(Also, like when I listened to Fearless for the first time I did think Springsteen; maybe it was the “Born to Run” in “Fifteen”/”White Horse” viz “That was a small town in my rearview disappearing now.”)

*esp people who submit to SwiftSecrets cause I kinda assume that everyone who does that is thirteen at most.


taylorswift:

"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),It’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”E.E. Cummings

Now that T-Sweezy is on Tumblr I can share here what I said on Twitter, which is that I’m pretty sure this marks the point Taylor and What Taylor Does merged into a single entity.

taylorswift:

"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
E.E. Cummings

Now that T-Sweezy is on Tumblr I can share here what I said on Twitter, which is that I’m pretty sure this marks the point Taylor and What Taylor Does merged into a single entity.


taylorswift:

Taylor Swift is officially on Tumblr!
~Taylor Nation

guys. guysguysguysguysguys.

taylorswift:

Taylor Swift is officially on Tumblr!

~Taylor Nation

guys. guysguysguysguysguys.


First, the depth of the crisis is masked for the ALP by the electoral system. The two party preferred system inflates the focus on Labor when the real mood of the electorate is one of a cultural and emotional disengagement with the whole democratic system. The crisis is masked again by compulsory voting when representative democracy itself is now part of the problem as new horizontal and more direct forms of democracy permeate our lives, often online. But in Oz, while you are legally bound to participate in a system that, to say the least, is losing its legitimacy, democracy becomes more and more just an edifice. Of course, the same applies to the Liberals, but it matters more for the ALP because the right is always in power, regardless of whether it’s in office. Democracy is the only tool Labor has, the only source of power and influence. A sham democracy just results in the illusion of power when in office.

- Neal Lawson, "The challenge for Labor", Evatt Foundation, 7 April 2014 (via redrabbleroz)

jacking the important part from Oz’s quote.

Aw, hell, this on the ALP is good too doe:

Thirdly, its deep, bitter and, as far as I can see, politically meaningless factional divides deny the possibility of fresh thinking and the chance to form powerful and imaginative new intellectual alliances. The personalisation beyond any purpose, the hubris, the jobs for the boys and a few girls, instills rigidity and conformity when the very opposite is so clearly required.


Saul Austerlitz:

I spend most of my time, professionally speaking, writing about movies and books, and during quiet moments, I like to entertain myself by imagining what might happen if the equivalent of poptimism were to transform those other disciplines. A significant subset of book reviewers would turn up their noses at every mention of Jhumpa Lahiri and James Salter as representatives of snobbish, boring novels for the elite and argue that to be a worthy critic, engaged with mass culture, you would have to direct the bulk of your critical attention to the likes of Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer. 

lol

Saul Austerlitz:

I spend most of my time, professionally speaking, writing about movies and books, and during quiet moments, I like to entertain myself by imagining what might happen if the equivalent of poptimism were to transform those other disciplines. A significant subset of book reviewers would turn up their noses at every mention of Jhumpa Lahiri and James Salter as representatives of snobbish, boring novels for the elite and argue that to be a worthy critic, engaged with mass culture, you would have to direct the bulk of your critical attention to the likes of Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer.

lol


Biore, I don’t understand why you are telling me that using your product to make myself pretty is “disgusting”?

Biore, I don’t understand why you are telling me that using your product to make myself pretty is “disgusting”?

1
Apr 06


9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18