Past Prologue: September, 2009.

The end looms large, but is still a ways away and down the road a bit. But I kind of wanted to look back a little, month by month, at this blog. Maybe not every single month, but most, if I can. I guess I’m getting reacquainted with what I’m saying goodbye to? Or maybe in the back of my mind I’m always remembering that you have to put the chairs up before you turn the lights off and go home…

Right, so:

01.

09/01/09: The House Of Mice/Ideas,” by yours truly: This was back when it was announced that Disney had bought Marvel comics. Such a weird idea at the time, the idea of a mash up between your favorite comic book characters and your favorite Disney characters, or the concern that a certain “family friendly” and “neutered” aesthetic might bleed over into the monthly tales of your friendly neighborhood super powered costume fetishists.

Also, a chance to share links! I like sharing links. I like sharing a little bit of what I’m reading with anyone who might give an inkling of a shit.

from here.

The thing about the links posts is that I don’t claim to always endorse those links, their content, or their authors. I’m not saying, “I read this and I loved it and now you must read it and fall in love with it!” Hardly. Half the time when I would post these “mad linkage” posts, I had not read some of these stories I’ve linked to… yet. They were place holders, something easy for me to get back to and read later. Counterforce is and was my portal to the internet, just as I had hoped it would be for you as well.

02.

09/01/09: Apocalypse Please by Benjamin Light: I like this post. Usually Benjie trucks primarily in words, and yet I think he sets up a nice mood with a preamble of pictures of doom and destruction. As he’ll eventually say in the text bits, there’s a collective mood there, a seductive one of embracing the end (though not necessarily being consumed by it), that I think is somewhat universal.

03.

09/02/09: Humans Being by yours truly and “Lollipop Gomez,” otherwise known as the immensely talented Maria Diaz: This is us getting down and dirty and talking about the sexualized fascination and symbiotic relationship between man and machine, or whoa!-man and machine. In other news, (hu)mankind doesn’t want to just rise up and meet the approaching Singularity, we want to have sex with it. That’s either how we understand things, or how we go about not having to understand things.

from here.

In case you’re wondering, this is pretty much what it was like whenever Maria and I would talk. Pretty much every one of our continuing gmail/gchat conversations would be like this, and some nights we were just “on” more than others. I think about halfway through some of those conversations we realized that we were going to save this conversation and post it online somewhere. So perhaps during the second half we’re performing a little more. Posts with Maria were always some of my favorite because they were less about writing, and more about just being, and us bullshitting and having fun, which lead to some of the writing I most enjoyed reading.

04.

09/03/09: Between The Covers by Occam Razor, Maria Diaz, and Conrad Noir: We never did a lot of big group posts like other blogs and websites, but I think this was an interesting one, especially since it’s such a funny idea, the writers of Counterforce talking about summer reading selections. Perhaps because we’re so outside the norm of what other people on the internet would talk about for their summer reading, perhaps that’s why I like it so much.

by Andy Vible, from here.

Plus, it’s always nice to see anything from Occam Razor and Conrad Noir. Those guys are awesome. Looking back, the original title for this post should’ve been “The Pimp Game, Globalization, and Revolting Youth.” I don’t know. Something like that.

05.

09/04/09: F Is For Friday,” by me: Orson Welles’ F For Fake is a great movie. Half documentary, half essay, and an extra one half magic trick. What else needs to be said?

06.

09/05/09: Super Secret Smile Saturdays by myself: Labor Day weekend, links, and a lot of videos. This is kinda sorta what my average internet browsing probably looks like when I’m pretty substantially bored.

by Lily Camille Clark, from here and here.

07.

09/06/09: 1960s Dance Party by Conrad Noir: This is before I got Conrad hooked on Mad Men. I think this GIF perfectly represented what he saw whenever he saw people gushing about the show online.

08.

09/07/09: Why, yes, you should receive a Victory Medal for beating the¬†clap,” by myself: So weird to read this now. Not just because it’s old, but because it’s from a different time in Mad Men. The new status quo on Mad Men is so ingrained in me now, I guess, that it’s weird to time travel further back into the 60s and see Don and Betty still married, dealing with the trials and tribulations of their lives together, etc.

Also, I always enjoyed doing the Mad Men posts with August Bravo. It certainly kept me more on focus, I think, and made me ramble less, maybe. He would’ve been involved with this one, but he didn’t heed certain advice, moved to Manhattan, and got raped by some sailors, or something.

09.

09/08/09: The Kids Of America by myself: The Republicans were being dicks to Obama, trying to deny him even the most rudimentary respect deserved by his being our elected President of these United States. Funny how few things change. Stay classy, Republicans. Keep celebrating the fundamental lack of education within your party.

10.

09/09/09: 09/09/09 by myself: It doesn’t take much to amuse me, I tell ya.

11.

09/10/09: In my younger and more vulnerable years…” by myself: The Great Gatsby really is a great book, and truly one of the Great American Novels. I used to despise it because it was too simple, too easy, such a perfect textbook for a high school class, but now I suspect that’s part of its charm. I used to think the movie starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow was incredibly boring, but now I’m dreading the new one with DiCaprio and Sally Sparrow and the Peter Parker I’m hoping we can all forget about. At least it’ll be in 3D, as if that mattered.

12.

09/11/09: The Food chain by Benjamin Light: LOL.

13.

09/11/09: NEVAR FORGET by yours truly: Well…

14.

09/13/09: Bloodletting by myself: Just a nice reminder, I think, of how good the first two seasons of True Blood were. That’s not to say that the subsequent seasons have been terrible, because they haven’t, but the first two seasons were just excellent, I thought. Just a perfect balance between the human and the supernatural, between comedy and horror, between mystery and romance, between the darkness and the light.

15.

09/14/09: RIP Patrick Swayze by myself: Seriously. RIP Patrick Swayze. I’m going to go watch Road House again.

16.

09/14/09: Are you aware of the number of handjobs I’m gonna have to give by August Bravo and myself: Once someone says “hand jobs,” then BOOM, there’s August Bravo, suddenly out of nowhere.

Looking back, this was a very interesting episode of Mad Men, the biggest aspect being the birth of baby Gene Draper, but there was so much more going on there. Both in the episode and in our writing about it, talking about Kanye, for example, and for me finally realizing how truly amazing Alison Brie was.

17.

09/15/09: The Development Of Strange Things by myself: I like Harper’s magazine. I like it a lot. But I especially like the “Findings” section at the end, as you may have noticed here on Counterforce time and again.

* * *

Months are longer than we think, especially since we posted something every single day of September, 2009 except for one, so let’s take a break here and resume this after a…

TO BE CONTINUED!

Advertisements

Super Secret Smile Saturdays.

Saturday!

Let’s keep this brief. It’s Labor Day weekend. You’re probably out doing some dangerous and weird. Good for you. Right now, I’m doing the exact same thing, just with the internet apparently. and Sapporo. What else is new, right?

A brief confession: This doesn’t interest me at all. I’m trying to think of the last sonic pairing that left me just as flaccid… Oh, yeah, I thought of it. Real talk: She & Him sucked. But it takes someone like Scarlett Johansson doing music to make Zooey Deschanel sound interesting to me. I’m not telling you what you want to hear, I know, I know, but I am telling you what you need to hear.

Videos! Conrad and I are constantly emailing each other links to internet videos, partly because we get bored easily and partly because we’re sick people. For example, here’s one he sent me recently:

I have no idea what the fuck that is. It’s… Well, I just don’t know. So I sent this in response back to him:

The girl in that video, by the way, is Jenny Slate, one of the new cast members announced for the upcoming season of Saturday Night Live. Anyway, in response, I got this:

Let’s just say, it got pretty dirty from there. Including this clip from an old BBC TV movie called Secret Smile, starring David Tennant and Kate Ashfield:

Moving on…

No, really now. Seriously, moving on…

Other music/videos:

1. Someone doing a little thing to Lykke Li‘s “Dance Dance Dance.”

Isn’t that just the most precious, most twee thing you ever saw? It’s wonderful. And fitting of Lykke Li, who I like quite a bit as an artist, but still tend to view her as Bjork’s international and vastly more normal little sister who uses Robyn as a deodorant.

2. And old commercial for Levi Jeans.

This clip, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, was always a really interesting, really effective bit of commercial-ing to me. So much so that I remember it years and years later, partly because of the events, but also the fact that it’s set to Air’s “Playground Love,” which is just awesome. Was recently reminded of it when listening to Phoenix covering Air. I don’t think you have to pay royalties if you’re both French.

3. A music video somebody made for Harvey Danger’s “Carlotta Valdez.”

I don’t expect you to remember this band (at all), but I enjoyed their first album, back in the 90s, and they had two after it, both of slightly diminishing quality, but they still make an interesting 90s curio item of alternarock psuedo-smarmy intellectualism. Also, Vertigo is my favorite movie.

4. The Beatles “Something”

George! A sharp, lovely reminder that “the quiet one” was a strong songwriter in his own right. This song and “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” one of my favorites by the group, were breezing through my mind the other day when thinking about the break up of the band. Just timeless gorgeous pop music here. It’s especially fun with this video to compare the fresh faced beauty of Patti Boyd, the star of this song and Eric Clapton’s “Layla” with Yoko, who parades around with John in outfits that make them look like Mr. and Mrs. Warlock.

5. Just for Benjamin Light:

Quentin Tarantino talking about the top 20 movies that have come out since 1992. Some of these choices are incredible displays of crap, and some are actually excellent. But excellent in a “No shit!” kind of way, which is usually how QT works.

6. MF Doom “My Favorite Ladies”

I have no real comment here, honestly. After Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Doom is my favorite rapper. How could he not be? Anyway, I was reminded of this track/discovered the video when I also heard the song mashed up with this next and last group…

7. Flying Lotus “Infinitum”