Return to Tomorrowland.

Mad Men finally returns tomorrow!

About fucking time, right? Bring on the cure for the common television show.

All I know about tomorrow’s episode is that it’s two hours long and supposedly called “A Little Kiss.” Other than that, I’ve maintained a blissful sense of being unaware… What will year will the show be in when it returns? Will Don have finally married his secretary, or even still be married to her? What will be up with Peggy, and Pete, and the rest of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce? Will Joan’s husband have been killed in Vietnam yet? And, sigh, what will be the state of Betty Draper?

Those, of course, are just a few of the burning questions. And oh, how they burn.

I don’t have the answers to any of those questions, not yet anyway. And I guess you could say that I’m ready to be hit over the head here.

Until then though, this is talking about some previous Mad Men episodes and other Mad Men Mania:

Tomorrowland.”

The intoxicating weirdness of Jon Hamm.

Christmas Comes But Once A Year.”

Public Relations.”

The timeless wisdom of Marshall McLuhan.

Shut The Door. Have A Seat.”

The Dream Of The Fisherman’s Wife and the art fetish of Burt Cooper.

The Grown-Ups.”

The Gypsy And The Hobo.”

The Color Blue.”

Wee Small Hours.”

…and many, many more.

Anyway, we’ll definitely be watching tomorrow. And we assume you will too. See you in the future.

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And then…

“Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.”

-Jorge Luis Borges, “The Threatened.”

from here.

Can you believe that it’s…

…already? This year is going by so fast. Or so slow, I guess, depending on how you perceive time.

Previously on Counterforce: September came and went and Peanut St. Cosmo remained chillwave as fuck. Mad Men remains easily the best show currently on TV. Movie script endings. Those three little words everyone longs to hear. Bitches ain’t shit LIVE in Nashville. They are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired. Is the omission of chocolate a racial thing? A selection from the new Criterion Classics: The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2. And it’s mirror universe opposite: New Moon. You must defend your blog from intruders. Does anybody remember August Bravo?

Also: Blog nerdy to me. Right now you should be loving yourself in this country of winners and gladiators. “There is no difference between the behavior of a god and the operations of pure chance.” Diets of shame. Imagine Hemingway and Castro getting jiggy with it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt vs. Rob Gordon. Cosmic loneliness. R. Kelly is for real, no doubt. How to determine your philosophy of life. For a short time Peanut St. Cosmo was the interim finance minister of Japan, all until that unfortunate sex scandal.

from here.

And seriously not forgetting: Obama porn, bad poetry, and nonsensical costumes. ID-4… 2? Donald Barthelme, George Saunders, and a bunch of weird Japanese kids getting into hijinks. No hugging, no learning. Italian urologists and swans used as murder weapons. Explanations are for everyone but the explorers. Something something something Patti Smith. And: The Moon.

And where do we go from here?

Anywhere you like.

“2009, 2010, wanna make a record of how I felt then.”

Right, so now each month on Counterforce, at the end of the month as that chapter closes, I find myself looking back on my posts and just wondering about all the puzzle pieces left strewn about. Some things planned, some things decidedly not planned, some accidents, some just flat out mistakes…

Sometimes your blog is both a testament to you and a museum devoted to your mistakes and victories. It can be a lovely display of all those things you loved, or hated, or sometimes a combination of the two, and usually more about yourself than anything else.

I’ll never forget that an ex once told me that “nostalgia is for people who have no future.” I found that to be a rather curious statement and when I pressed her for clarification, she told me that, to her, too many people use the mirror as a reflection on the past and only rarely on the present. I asked her what was wrong with that, in certain doses, and she responded with, “You shouldn’t have time for that. You should be moving so fast that when you pass by the mirror all you see is a blur.”

She said that and then she was gone. I felt like all I got out of that was the blur.

This relationship was a long time ago. It was short, but it felt longer, and it feels like it was longer ago than it was, but it was probably circa the first Arcade Fire album (not the EP). And now they have another album coming out.

If one of the leaked songs had been called “Month Of June” instead “Month Of May” that would’ve been a lot more convenient for my blogging concerns, thank you very much.

from here.

Real quick, two things you should know about me…

The first thing you should know about me: The other day, on twitter of all places, I was self analyzing out loud and wondered if I hold better conversations via the phone or if my stronger quality is my voicemails (which are, quite frankly, amazing)(to the point that, ladies, you would have to hold the phone away from your ear for fear that said voicemails could put you instantly in heat), you know, from the perspective of whoever the fuck it is I’m calling. Honestly… I don’t care.

But that lead me to realize: When I talk on the phone, you can tell if I’m actually active in a conversation not so much by what we’re discussing or who I’m talking to anymore, but what I’m doing physically. I mean, obviously if I’m sitting there watching TV, then I’m not listening to you, but it’s more of a kinetic thing. If I’m up, walking around, pacing, then there I’m there, I’m really a part of the thing, the process, the bullshitting, whatever. My other mode, oddly enough? Staring at myself in the mirror.

It’s weird. You could call me up, we could be having a fascinating conversation and I’ve noticed that, without thinking about it, I might just walk into the bathroom and start looking into the mirror. At myself? No. It’s hardly ever a really conscious thing. Maybe it’s self reflexive, like staring out at the horizon, only in this case, the horizon is my face and it’s a portal to a larger gateway of either the honesty or just flat out sexy bullshit that I’m going to peddle your way.

Or, maybe, by looking at myself, with a certain visually conscious part of myself shut off, I’m actually subconscious recording myself looking at myself looking at myself looking at myself looking at myself as I talk about myself looking at myself looking at myself looking at myself… in some kind infinite loop of recursive blogitude?

The second thing that you should know about me right now, right this very second is that I have every intention of making this song the jam of the summa summa summertime:

I mean, that’s my intention, but as for you? You’re so vain, you probably think that summertime jam is about you, don’t you?

More and more this blog feels like a book to me, in a way. Like you could collect it into a hot mess of an interactive coffee table curio. A book in 12 parts, chronicling the year in which we make contact. But contact with… what? Ourselves? Each other? Slow dancing in the burning hotel room that is the past? Or staring at ourselves in the mirror, reflecting on the future? Or is “the future” just another aspect of right here and now because all times are one (especially on the internet)?

All of those and more, maybe. Maybe not. But, so far, in the section of this starship/book/beast/blog entitled “June” we have so far been subjected to:

The nature of time spent having fun in all these new worlds we inhabit.

Today and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and how each day is just another day.

Seeing words everywhere you look, just like a casual synesthete would.

The shape of our heads and of our favorite TV shows to come and return.

…or to leave us, as Peanut noticed, because, sadly, Party Down has apparently been canceled.

A lot of Doctor Who, a show about time and space, and just in time for this (hopefully bullshit) rumor about Johnny Depp starring in an Americanized big screen version in 2012 (of course it would be in 2012).

The oil spill and the music of this year, such as new albums by Stars and the aforementioned Arcade Fire.

Our lovers and our former lovers and the music they inspire. And schemes.

And bombs and explosions and more music.

And this:

And all accumulating to but quite possibly falling way short of a certain sense of… thisness.

But, as we already covered, tomorrow is another day. With a different mirror to look into. And a different version of ourselves reflected back in. Perhaps we’ll start to look more like ourselves as we strangely believe that ourselves should look or perhaps we’ll look like another stranger in a strange land.

Leave a few tools in the toolshed.

Just a quick word on three books that I’m currently reading…

The first:

Krakatoa: The Day The World Exploded by Simon Winchester, which is about, as you probably guessed from the title, the explosion of Krakatoa on August 27, 1883. Winchester is one of my favorite authors of general non-fiction, and I’d highly recommend his The Professor And The Madman, one of his accounts of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary.

from here.

Anyway, I could say quite  a bit about both of these books, but the book on Krakatoa just felt timely, what with the eruption in Iceland a few months ago. And Krakatoa was an explosion that significantly changed the world in quite a few ways, both lower the temperature of the planet much like Mt. Tambora and “the year without a summer,” but Krakatoa also affected the way we look at our world and us. For the first time, the “global village,” as Marshall McLuhan would say, was assembled through technology such as the telegraph and news traveled faster to and from more remote places, and in this particular case, that news was that the world wasn’t all that it seemed, and that our relationship with nature could be quite fragile in places.

The second book:

Love And Sex With Robots: The Evolution Of Human-Robot Relationships by David Levy. At first I thought this was going to just a silly little read, but it’s actually quite fun and interesting, dealing not just with human/robot couplings, but with mankind’s long history of emotional attachments to our technological creations, and our seemingly continuing return to synthetic love and how it can be as important to us as “the real thing.”

And, obviously, this is something we’ve talked about before here.

But it brought up things that I didn’t know before, which is embarrassing in a regard, but talking about the creation of the vibrator, the book brings up the word hysteria pretty much translates from the Greek as “womb sickness.” For a long time prior to the early 1900s, many woman would suffer from a “madness” due to “sexual dysfunction” and it would be the job of a doctor or a midwife to essentially bring them to paroxysm or orgasm to cure them.

And, of course, coincidentally, one of our favorite writers, Tracy Clark-Flory, would link to a similarly related article, “Turn Right, My Love” from The New York Times on her tumblr the other day:

Unlike my wife, my GPS voice is completely subservient. She gives me something I want and doesn’t ask anything in return. All I have to do is plug her in every now and then and she’s happy.

Our relationship is all about me.

And therein lies the boon to my marriage. Having someone around whose sole role is to serve me gives me what I want as a man (efficiency and attention) while not threatening what my wife wants as a woman (kindness and equality).

People are just so weird. It’s wonderful. Anyway, the book opens with a quote from this 2006 article from The Economist, talking about South Korea is pushing to have domestic helper robots in every home in it’s country by 2020 and then quoting Henrik Christensen, the chairman of the European Robotics Network…

Probably the area of robotics that is likely to prove most controversial is the development of robotic sex toys, says Dr Christensen. “People are going to be having sex with robots in the next five years,” he says. Initially these robots will be pretty basic, but that is unlikely to put people off, he says. “People are willing to have sex with inflatable dolls, so initially anything that moves will be an improvement.” To some this may all seem like harmless fun, but without any kind of regulation it seems only a matter of time before someone starts selling robotic sex dolls resembling children, says Dr Christensen. This is dangerous ground. Convicted paedophiles might argue that such robots could be used as a form of therapy, while others would object on the grounds that they would only serve to feed an extremely dangerous fantasy.

So, the question is: When do we start falling in love with our tools and how does that reflect our own personal reality and view of the world around us?

from here.

Oh, and the third book:

I haven’t actually started reading it yet, but it looks like I’m about to take the leap and join the rest of America in reading this. Who else has read this? What did you think?

I know Benjamin Light said he saw the Swedish film version of the first book in the trilogy – The Millennium trilogy, which is a name I like – and that he wasn’t crazy about it. I think they’ve already finished the third film over in Sweden, and any second now we should hear about casting for the American version of the films (which will still be set in Sweden), which will be interesting in a way similar to creation of an American version of Let The Right One In. I can’t wait to see K-Stew sneer her way through this one.

Tuesday, without a cluesday.

Well, first, there’s this:

from here and here.

Wow. That’s just a terrible picture. But it’s an instant classic example of FAIL, right? I’ve really grown tired of FAIL and the people who say FAIL ad nauseam, but this time, it’s justified. FAIL. An equal amount of fail to me, actually, is this picture:

ScarJo and Sandra Bullock sharing a calculated kiss at an MTV something or other? Fuck, could there be anything more boring?

Of course, it’s hard to get too excited about an awards show that’s seemingly calculated and concocted just to test the waters for a spin off movie starring a character that was a silly throwaway cameo in a previous comedy film and was assayed by an actor who had had some problems in recent years. Well, I guess the experiment worked.

I miss the classic train wreck celebs. Otherwise known as the genuine people tossed into the world of the glitz and glamor and stumbling magnificently in front of all of us. Too often celebs are no different from whatever brand of jeans or laundry detergent you’re buying. They’re just another product. Their lives are delicately planned and coordinated PR campaigns, as thoroughly put together as your average storyline in professional wrestling. And who’s the more remembered wrestlers usually?

The villains.

Who gives a shit about the heroes?

I’m tired and it’s hot and it’s 2010 and right now, I just don’t give a shit about all the goodness and sunshine in the world. Maybe I will later when it cools down and the stars come out and I’ve had a cocktail or three or four, but right now all I want to see are the naughty bits.

Or the crazy fun bits, I don’t know, maybe.

Or maybe I’m only happy when it rains?

I don’t want to see the super heroes today. I want to see the super villains, the ones who crawl their way out of their comic book storylines and snort a few lines between the panels of art and story.

from here.

The Sandra Bullock/Jesse James story… I have nothing to add to this. America’s Sweetheart and the motorcycle guy with tattoos and he cheats on her with a girl with neck tattoo and Nazi-esque leanings. It’s fascinating on the surface and the more you dig, it’s sad. And weird. Like a perfect soap opera storyline that’s mutated and crawled it’s way into real life.

And granted, these are people’s names being dragged through the mud and vilified and hearts are being broken and it’s making somebody somewhere money. A lot of money.

Actually, it’s probably making everyone in this situation a lot of money, in different ways. And it’s just one of billions of celebrity headlines that I feel like I’m bombarded with on a weekly basis and it only leaves me hollow. And more and more, I feel like it’s just people playing a role, filling a requirement that’s out there.

In an easy “no duh” statement, are celebrities are doing the work of our pornographers, but we look down on one (aspect of ourselves) and seem to praise and adore another.

This has nothing to do with anything, I just thought it was funny.

I’m not really going to dissect it because I really have nothing to add to it. Complaints, maybe, but it feels pointless to complain about it, like maybe I should be saving my breath for something else, something important. Between Sandy and Jesse and Heidi and Spencer and Tom and Katie (and Suri/L. Ron, Jr.) all the other potential Bennifers and Brangelinas out there, the last one that really made feel anything (and it was laughter) was some headline about how the thing that attracted Brad to Angelina and broke up his marriage to Jennifer was that she (Angelina) gave really great rimjobs and apparently that’s what Brad is into it. I mean, that’s so surreal and absurd and I absolutely hope it’s true because, as ridiculous as it could potentially be, it at least feels human to me. And I miss that, and I really wish that I could turn on the TV and see a bunch of humans doing something…

I mean, look at this: The Queen of England knighting Patrick Stewart. That’s just great. And yet, I look at it and all I see is an old robot being plugged and marching out of her crate to do some ceremonial animatronics on the king of Shakespearean Sci Fi.

The other night I was talking to Maria and I threatened to do a blog post of nothing but pictures of celebrities drunk because I was feeling low and that would give me a temporary laugh.

And Maria, the classic enabler that she wonderfully is, merely said, “DO IT!”

Some day I’m worried that I might. Out of desperation, fatigue, or boredom, I don’t know. Reiterating from yesterday’s post

…but either way: Internet, give me something new. Please, I beg you. Show me something with flash or sparkle, something that’ll make me laugh or widen my eyes, and I’ll potentially follow you anywhere.