Stowed a bottle of Wild Turkey under the checkout counter despite daily reprimands
Repeatedly launched hardback bestsellers at unsuspecting patrons, shouting, “Fire in the hole!”
Kept grumbling that Barnes & Noble’s Internal Affairs division had you on speed dial
Audibly classified every blonde in the store as an Ava or Winona, then hit on her
Handing over a back-ordered book to a customer, glared icily and said, “Next one’s comin’ faster”
Always referred to the major metropolitan city in which the store was located as “the holler”
Refused to write staff recommendations for any author but Elmore Leonard
When customers confused Leonard with L. Ron Hubbard, told them they had ten seconds to get out of the store, moved a hand to your waist, and started counting
White Stetson violated dress code
I just fired off a letter to The New Yorker in response to this Sasha Frere-Jones’ piece on Rick Ross. Since I don’t expect it will to appear in the magazine, I will place it below, followed by a succinct evaluation of Frere-Jones’ essay:
While the critical response to (Community star and ex-30 Rock writer Donald Glover’s alter ego) Childish Gambino’s debut LP Camp has been mostly positive, Ian Cohen recently eviscerated the album on Pitchfork’s web site, calling it “one of the most uniquely unlikable rap records of this year (and most others)” and echoing many of the criticisms expressed by Leor Galil in an earlier Forbes review titled “Childish Gambino’s Camp Is No Fun.” Said criticisms basically boil down to the following:
1) Childish Gambino is, as Cohen puts it, “preposterously self-obsessed, but not the least bit self-aware.”
2) Childish Gambino is a schizophrenic Kanye-wannabe.
3) Childish Gambino is a laughable name that compromises Glover’s credibility.
Let’s tackle these in reverse order, saving the most substantial (and hurtful) for last:
I had to pee halfway through AFI SilverDocs’ June screening of Life in a Day—a documentary out today on DVD and available in full on YouTube—but held it nearly an hour for fear of missing something captivating.
The film, directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, is a 95-minute compilation of 4,500 hours of footage shot and uploaded to YouTube by 80,000 people around the world on July 24, 2010: a giant pastiche, a powerful series of snapshots, a mash-up or remix of all these people’s lives or the thousands of documentaries that could have been. It’s like someone (Macdonald) culled the most poignant moments from a few hundred episodes of MTV’s True Life, spliced them together, and laid music over it to maximum effect. I don’t think this kind of documentary could have existed fifteen or even ten years ago considering the startling growth of remix culture and spread of The Narcissism Epidemic in the Digital Age, which surely motivated at least some of the film’s stars to record themselves for a day.
Regardless, what results is the Long Island Iced Tea of documentaries: on paper, so many disparate ingredients shouldn’t work together, but by some magic they blend beautifully and as you rise to leave your seat, you feel lit.
Cool, suggests Samuel Jackson’s Jules Winnfield in the intro (“Your Mom Likes My Intro”) to 19 year-old Chicago rapper Fonz-E Mak’s terrific debut, The 6:21 Theory, which—in the near-empty battledome of my brain—is now challenging Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 for the title of Hip Hop Album of the Year.
Of course, calling Fonz-E Mak cool can be hyperbole or understatement depending on how you feel about cartoons (Dragon Ball Z, Cowboy Bebop, Johnny Bravo, Recess), video games (Final Fantasy), sci-fi (Star Wars, Hitchhiker’s Guide), and skateboarding, all of which The 6:21 Theory has in spades—not to mention references to the Fresh Prince (“Breeze Owes Me Cash” samples the show’s theme song), Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper (“Hangin’ With Mr. DOOM”), and Mak’s trademark look: the red flannel and fedora (“My Super Dope Red Flannel,” among others).
Clearly Mak gives less than a fraction of a fuck what you think of him.
(Ed. note: If you read this recap of the Breaking Bad season four finale having not seen every episode up to this point, you are depriving yourself of some serious rocket fuel.)
For a show as dark as Breaking Bad and a finale as explosive as this, “Face Off” starts slow, opening with small comic moments and subtle chess moves. First there’s Walt racing into the hospital with his homemade bomb, its magnet awkwardly sticking the diaper bag to the metal ICU doorway as Jesse looks on in horror. Seconds later they’re bickering like Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg in 30 Minutes or Less: “So you brought the bomb into a hospital?!” Jesse (Pinkman) asks.
Then there’s Walt trying to slouch himself invisible when the ABQ PD approaches Jesse about his suspiciously specific ricin prediction, and later, in the interrogation room, Jesse telling the suits he “musta seen it [ricin] on an episode of House or somethin’.” Jesse never has taken to lying quite the way Walt has, which is one of the reasons he’s become so much easier to root for than his former teacher, who, oh yeah, has terminal cancer.