2.25.2007

Blizzard of id
Y'all, I've got to blog for a living so this personal blogging has been hung out to dry for a bit. Tonight, cabin fever + snowstorm + too many glasses of gratis champagne last night = my feeble attempt to get back in the swing. I finally fixed my statcounter so I see who's coming and going here. It's like the surveillance cameras have been disconnected around here. Who knows who's been lurking about.

I wasn't planning on doing any shopping today, I just wanted to sell some stuff but I ended up buying some threads from hejfina, this amazing boutique that's usually way out of my price range but right smack in my neighborhood. Hejjie still has some awesome deals. Guys get over there and buy the Fred Perry sneakers while you can. Skinny guys, buy the Rag & Bone jeans for $30. And second and more importantly I scored a bunch of krautrock and prog stuff at Reckless, something like 5 LPs for $30. Ridiculous! There's some Michael Rother and some Le Dusseldorf in there.

Also props to all the kids who came out to the DJ night at rodan. It was billed as a 'space disco night,' but that was really Gabe's department. He's smooth! No train wrecks. I got props from these hip-hop DJs for playing a Police album track that they didn't know. Easily impressed I guess!

Also must admit I'm wishing I was with my family in VA right now, with all the technological upgrades I'm hearing about.

Also, on an archival note, all my ’90s writing for Washington City Paper will soon be online and free.

2.16.2007

The first black president?
Those who fall for every conspiracy theory and alternative history are tiresome. I enjoyed reading and citing the People's History of the United States whenever possible in college to send the conservatives into an instant tizzy. But these days, there's so much just plain absurd stuff going around.

But with the Obama campaign underway, it's been interesting that some of the R&B and dusties DJs on Chicago radio have seen fit to mention John Hanson whenever possible. The first elected official to formally use the title President of the United States in Congress Assembled, he often shortened to President of the United States on signed documents. The fact is that Hanson was the third of a number of "Presidents" of the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation (predated by Samuel Huntington and Thomas McKean) but the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled. It's truly bizarre to me that Hanson is not better known Constitution or no Constitution. The Articles established the weak union of the thirteen original states. Appropriately, people freaked out when the Articles were adopted, celebrating with the fireworks that we now associate with July 4th. Did people give a shit that it was a unicameral body and not the tricameral government we have today? Do you even know what I am talking about? Snopes has a different take but I think it's slightly misleading in its description of the Continental Congress as something along the lines of NATO. Apparently there's a lot of misinformation about Hanson going around and you can read about it elsewhere.

But one of the dubious and just plain silly things regarding Hanson going around on the internet is that his biography is often accompanied by what appears to be a photograph. People, the man died in 1782! Photography wasn't invented until the 1840s. Turns out that the photo going around is actually of a different John Hanson.

As to claims that Hanson was a moor, no one is really offering any information or family background that would even suggest it, other than mentioning that his grandfather might have been an indentured servant.

This ties in with my latest cocktail conversation piece, acquired via the New Yorker, which is President's Day doesn't actually exist. We get Washington's birthday off, some Federal workers get Lincoln's off as well, but basically President's Day was made up by the friggin mattress discounters to sell some more back stock.

2.14.2007

Real quickly... no theme here.
So I heard about the Pazz & Jop cover controversy. My take: unintentionally racist and just a bad art concept overall. But coming up with cover images for a weekly is extremely difficult and for every good one out there, there's probably five lousy ones. Alt weeklies tend to do pretty well with photography but illustrations? Somewhat riskier. Art direction isn't taken seriously enough in this country and I mean that. I seriously don't remember what I voted for, but my picks are up. As I mentioned in a blog for Time Out, I would amend my poll to include the Blue Van's Dear Independence and probably drop Spank Rock or something like that.

In my vacation news, I just got back from one of my favorite spots in Mexico for yoga/snorkeling/eating where unsurprisingly they show a much more interesting variety of new music videos on the satellite cable channels. They also have these channels where they show a bunch of movies featuring the same star, as in three from Tom Cruise, four from Wynona Ryder, etc. Hence, I saw Girl Interrupted and Beetlejuice again without really trying.

I just ate a bunch of high-end chocolate truffles with my Malbec so excuse me while I ramble on. The island has a "socialist village" on it which is extra interesting considering its proximity to both Chiapas and Cuba. The sign to the left kinda says it all.