THE DAY THE WORLD TURNED DAY-GLO: Why is '80s music just better?I mean, look: I could listen to Nirvana all day long. Their "Unplugged" album is fantastic. But that's not the point. The '90s top-40 is pathetic. There are brilliant bands (Huggy Bear, PJ Harvey, obviously my lady Cat Power) but there aren't one-hit wonders. And one-hit wonders (a.k.a., the zeitgeist) practically define '80s music. "Mexican Radio"; "Land Down Under"; "Safety Dance"; "Karma Chameleon" (on the CD player just now); … [Read more...]

PAPER FIRES: Comics reviews. Two of 'em.Y: The Last Man, v.1: Unmanned: So you probably know the premise already. A mysterious disease kills all the men and male beasties in the world, with the exception of this one dude and his pet monkey. Very nice concept: simple and effective. The first volume is fun, working down various rivulets of this idea (a nun alone in St. Peter's, Republican wives staging a coup on behalf of their late husbands, former models hauling male corpses). I don't know that … [Read more...]

"WHARTON FEARS A COUP": So, I have become addicted, not to "The Apprentice" itself (sigh of relief) but to its recaps at Television Without Pity. I don't actually want to watch the show, at all--it's hard to imagine something less fun than watching real people really fight and bitch and crack under pressure--but one of my many, many obsessions (and possibly the one least satisfied by contemporary literature and pop culture) is team leadership. That's why I like the X-Men. That's one reason I … [Read more...]

STOP ME BEFORE I KISS AGAIN: Last night I was thrown a candy heart that read, "FAX ME." Now, that is pretty bad; but what I thought it actually said was the far, far better "FIX ME."This is one candy heart my world truly needs.In other partygoing news, this exchange: "Yeah, I heard that [The Talented Mr. X-ley] was interviewing at that one publisher... what's their name... Ragnarok?"OMNES: "Regnery."Happy Valentine's Day from the vast right-wing conspiracy. … [Read more...]

Baby, I got your blogwatch, don't you worry...Agenda Bender: "'Eventually the Cockettes will use up the past and the future and have to rely on the present for their material.'"Amarji: "A Heretic's Blog." Only, not in the bad way. This is the blog of the awesome Syrian liberal profiled in this week's New York Times Magazine. Kickin'. Via Hit & Run.Unqualified Offerings: "Self-defense is about as basic a right as one can conceive. The argument for abridging it via gun control was … [Read more...]

THE DAY JOB: "All of which has led me, through a painkiller-induced haze, to thinking about the differences between category fiction (what is often incorrectly called 'genre fiction'--primarily speculative fiction, mysteries, and political thrillers) and the so-called 'mainstream' (including both 'general' and 'literary' fiction). The day job is a significant difference. The subject matter and 'weight' of category fiction tends to revolve around the day jobs of the characters. Cops and private … [Read more...]

READING MANGA VS READING WESTERN COMICS--fun with page layouts and panel borders and whatnot. Really neat. … [Read more...]