I. AN UNWARRANTED ATTACK ON THE FELLOWSHIP
Long ago, last August, I valiantly journeyed into the dark nether-realm of the Twitter kingdom. While there, I attempted to engage in the repartee being held amongst the various scribes, wizards and virtuosos of modern lore. In my attempts, I came across a brash, red-haired, fair-skinned maiden who, by no sarcastic intent of her own, had admonished her fellow wordsmiths on the proper use of the King’s English, all the while using it incorrectly herself. Normally, I would turn a blind eye to a gesture of this caliber but, alas, the hypocrisy of preaching to the masses while ignoring her own advisement lured me in to politely call attention to the humorous blunder. Little did I know of the aftermath that my friendly instruction would bring upon myself and those dear to me.
In what seemed to be only sparse grains of sand through my hourglass, a full-fledged verbal attack of my own character and that of my trusty colleague, Eric Thomas Craven, had begun. Oddly enough, this attack was not perpetrated by the original syntax scholar herself. Instead, it was the stratagem of a creature that I had encountered before in my adventures, though only for a brief period, that had remained in my memories as one of the most slimy and bitter fiends that I had ever had the displeasure of rubbing eyeballs with. I pictured it as I last saw it; adorned in yesterdays’ pajamas with an unkempt nest of greasy seaweed pouring down its’ begrimed features; smoking compacted herbs contained within a papyrus shell as its’ offspring slept in the next room; intentionally referring to me as “that guy in that band” (as to mock some delusion that it mistakenly figured I had of myself) amongst other “Juno-esque” witticisms. I was also reminded of tales that other villagers had bestowed unto me regarding this dastardly miscreation. These consisted of such evils as the blatant and pathetic act of coin thievery from former bunk-mates and dwelling, recklessly, in territories (with its’ child in tow) frequently occupied by random drug addicts and other undesirables. “What self-righteous audacity?” I thought to myself as I witnessed how the Almosttiffany (that’s the moniker that the creature chooses to go by) declared that I was a 30-year-old loser, going nowhere and doing nothing with my life. It went on to proclaim that I was a drunkard, announced my good friend, ETC, as “that guy that makes poop videos” and informed me that that’s all either of us would ever amount to be. These seemed more like ill-perceived observations than the intended insults it had hoped to deliver. I giggled as I pictured this thing (that could maybe be considered ALMOST HUMAN) sitting in its’ flimsy, glass hut, attempting to chuck boulders at us and coming up with only pebbles, all in an effort to defend its BFF’s failure at cleverness. Needless to say, I sheathed my half-drawn Sword of Rebuttal and decided to take a more rational stab at defending myself.
II. DEFENDING THE KINGDOM
After momentarily contemplating the creature’s attempts at belittling us, I sent a messenger pigeon to ETC informing him of the things’ slanderous venture. I knew that shortly he would arrive to assist me in my newfound quest to clear our quasi-sullied names. In the meantime, I felt it was my duty to proceed with debating the creature’s baffling opinion. “What great feats will you have accomplished by the ripe age of thirty?” I solicited the thing. It was then that the creature laughably informed me that it already had obtained a more fulfilling existence than I by accidentally concieving, birthing and actually taking responsibility for its brood. Call me deranged, but I failed to see any logic in this theory. It then proceeded to boast of a magical ring that it had recently acquired from a seafaring voyager. It planned to use this ring to navigate itself and child to the distant and remarkable land of San Diego, where upon its’ arrival it would be made Queen by this naval nincompoop. Meanwhile, ETC and myself would be left here in the menial trenches of Horseheads to rot with the other local underlings. I chuckled at its’ naive chicanery. Having had my own exploits into the western regions end in eventual homecomings, I knew this monster couldn’t possibly obtain the crown out there. Furthermore, having served temporarily in the King’s Air Force, I was well aware of the uncontrollable desires that burn within the loins of young sailors and soldiers and how it usually leads to infidelity during their war-time absences. It was obvious, from my standpoint, that the creatures’ best laid plans would shortly blow up in its’ hideous face. I attempted to explain to the creature that life can and will change in an instant, with or without its’ discretion, and it too would most-likely end up a “loser” similar to the one that I apparently was. The creatures’ gargantuan pride had my warning fall upon deaf ears, but as the great book of fairy tales tells us, “pride comes before the fall”. Obviously, I didn’t need an enchanted ring to see her future.
It was around this point that my companion ETC arrived on the scene. Having also encountered the beast before, under different circumstances, he was well aware of its’ wicked ways. His appearance was conjoined with a verbal, long-sword onslaught of ridicule angled at the demon. It seemed to have no effect on the slimy things’ pride but did manage to sway it to retreat back to the murky burrow from where it had emerged, but not before it exclaimed one final and confusing allegation. My ever-fading memory robs me of the exact statement, but within it, my not-so-humble accomplice and I were refered to as “the oldest hipsters in Horseheads”. Then, as expeditiously as the creature appeared, it vanished. ETC and I were left, confused and somewhat feeling robbed of a victory. In both of our minds, the same catechism loomed: what the fuck was a hipster???
III. A QUEST FOR THE ANSWER
Having temporarily vanquished the Almosttiffany, my compatriot and I decided to adopt a new mission. We were to get to the bottom of this strange language that the creature heckled us with before its’ departure. Was the term “hipster” some accursed slang that meant certain doom for the both of us? I had heard of a Toddster before. Many of my tipsy evenings at the local tavern had been spent having my beverages prepared by one, but this new vernacular had both of us completely stumped. Fearing, at worst, our inevitable demise, we decided to consult the great and wise Wikipedia, a knowledgeable yet sometimes misinformed Elder who lived on the far side of the Wikimedia Forest. Surely, he would have an answer for us.
After venturing through the Bogs of Google News and stopping for a moment to visit some mutual friends that seemed very self-absorbed (just chattering away about all of their personal problems and tedious daily agendas) in the Facebook Meadows, we arrived at the shadowy threshold of the Wikimedia Forest. It was shortly thereafter that we were able to find Wikipedia and pose our curious inquisition. “Wikipedia, we so gratefully beg of thee… what is a hipster?” ETC bravely asked the astute being. We waited patiently for a reply. Suddenly, the wise one spoke. “Hipster is a term frequently used to refer to a subculture of young, recently settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers. Usage of the term reappeared in the 1990s and persists to the present. The subculture is associated with independent music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility, and alternative lifestyles. Interests in media would include independent film, magazines such as Vice and Clash, and websites like Pitchfork Media.” ETC and I looked at each other. “Oh” we gasped,”That’s all?” With a sensation of disappointment, we started to walk away. Abruptly, I turned back toward the genius to ask one more thing. “Wikipedia, why is the term “hipster” used as a derogatory categorization?” I yelped. “It’s the same as any other classification, young and handsome Tony Shaddock.” he replied,”The term was created by some idiot that couldn’t understand certain aspects of people’s behavior, lifestyle, appearance or interests. Much like when people use such terms as nigger, faggot and retard, just not as severely degrading. Sometimes it’s easier for simple-minded people to label anyone different from them into a ridiculous generalization. In the case of hipster, it’s usually folks who think they are “in the know” about everything regarding counter-culture modus vivendi but somehow, at the same time, believe that they don’t fall into that synonymous stereotype. It’s actually so stupid and contradicting that I don’t feel like wasting any more of my time discussing it with you and your stunning and brilliant partner, ETC.” Feeling rather annoying, we turned and walked away, both yelling back a simultaneous “Thank you, Wikipedia!!” before finally losing sight of the old stump of knowledge.
IV. THE JOURNEY HOME
On our homeward bound travels, ETC and I discussed what we had learned from our experience that day. “Remember how as children we would refer to our more pretentious peers as “posers” and sometimes the older chaps would do the same to us?” I queried my friend. “Indeed I do, Anthony. Indeed I do.” he smirked. “Well, isn’t that the same type of simple-minded taunting that was so imprudently sighted on us today? Only reversed in the sense that nowadays it’s apparently wrong to care about the art, culture and lifestyle we’ve always enjoyed, whereas formerly we’d be the ones mocking those who don’t get it but thought that they actually did?” I suggested. “Exactly, ol’ chum. But, you needn’t worry of such silliness. We were but witless lads then. Now, as grown adventurers, we are beyond lowering ourselves to such squalid levels of convention. Besides, we’re too busy guzzling hootch and filming excrement to be troubling ourselves with such youthful name-calling.” he assured me. “Even with Gingers?” I pried. “Have you forgotten, brother? I AM part Ginger!” he exclaimed. “Oh…yeah”, I shamefully replied “I forgot. Sorry.” There was a brief moment of awkward laconism. ETC slowly drew out his hand. I thought for a moment that he would maybe slap me. “My hipsta?” he invited. Cautiously, I moved my paw toward his. “MY hipsta!” I proudly exclaimed as our phalanges met in a humiliating, white-boy version of dap. We kept our hands tightly fastened and continued on, merrily skipping together all the way home.
That evening, upon my return, I happened upon a message from the Almosttiffany while trifling through my daily correspondence. It offered a back-handed apology for its insulting behavior, which to me seemed “too little, too late”. I had nothing good to say to or about the hellish being. I now saw it for what it was: a holier-than-thou half-wit with nothing better to do than attack innocent citizens of the social networking cyberworld that we all inhabit, in some vain attempt to either entertain itself or make itself feel better regarding its own mundane and pointless existence. This fact alone made me feel more confident and complete in my own routine permanence. I spent the remainder of the evening indulging in hard drink and pondering whether or not enough time had passed since Tolkien bit the dust. Would it be “hipster cool” for me to cheaply rip off his creations for the sake of a poorly-written article on a website dedicated to poop, barf and dicks??
V. A CONCLUSION
Eventually, the Almosttiffany embarked on that vocation to the great and wonderful land of San Diego. From what I gather, it never attained the position of royalty that it so confidently boasted of. Storytellers say it couldn’t even handle a mindless sandwich-slinging position at the big-city, corporate hoagie-house and soon grew to regret its decision to migrate west. Eventually, they tell, the sailor reclaimed the precious golden band that he’d placed on the calloused finger of the creature, thus exiling it back to our parochial locale. I have not endured the vexation of sighting the beast since it’s return nor do I wish to. I do, however, hope that eventually the creature took something positive or insightful away from our quarrelsome encounter, as ETC and myself did. Ah, who am I kidding? I hope that pious hag gets ringworm.
Earlier this week, I was approached by a jellyfish. Not just any jellyfish, mind you. This particular jellyfish donned human clothes and, apparently, had developed the ability to speak English in a fashion concurrent with that spoken in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Peculiar as it seemed, I found myself incapable of avoiding a conversation with this astonishing sideshow attraction. “Yo, you see that YouTube video of Dre an’ Snoop rappin’ wit’ a hologram o’ Pac?” it gurgled at me. I stood there for a moment, deciphering what I believed to be fortuitous babble. “Nah, man…how is it?” I ultimately replied. “Shit’s crazy, yo! Look’s like dat nigga’s really there!” it spit back at me. Briefly, I reasoned whether or not to suggest that it shouldn’t go around dropping the “N-bomb” so haphazardly, but came to my senses (being that it was just a jellyfish and I wasn’t completely sure if the slave-ship taboo of the word applied to it in any way whatsoever). “Hmpf,” I muttered…”guess I’ll have to check it out.” The jellyfish didn’t say anything after that. It just stood there looking at me, as if I were going to break out into some dauntless song and dance routine at any second. I had no intention of performing such a gleeful task (Ha! Get it?). Then, after what seemed like a championship staring contest, it finally turned its glutinous back to me, slowly crept away and let off a dim glow that lit its path the entire way before, at long last, diving into a sewer duct and, I imagine, returning from whence it came. “I like that guys style” I mused to myself.
Later that evening, I found myself online, sifting through the balderdash, claptrap and poppycock contained within my email inbox. I read notifications of local job opportunities, skimmed over the rundowns of injustices worldwide (compliments of Amnesty International) and immediately trashed “Cease and Desist” warnings sent to me by the attorneys of certain celebrities that don’t understand my rare form of fan-boy admiration. Despite having all of this electrifying edification laid plainly in front of me, I began to grow bored with the monotony of the process and soon found my mind wandering impulsively towards the jellyfish’s advice. Before my mouth could even spout the words “thug life,” my finger-bangers had already boarded the YouTube train and I was expressly viewing Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and what appeared to be a holographic image of Makaveli himself, performing “Hail Mary,” Shakur’s classic introspective on the duality of a young black man’s axiom in the face of his supposed “Maker,” while also trying to survive within his given environment. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed with, what I believed to be at the time, the flawless use and direction of light and lasers to project one of hip-hop’s greatest and most influential artists onto the Coachella stage. The 10-year-old science fiction dork inside of me had a raging 3-inch boner (not a far cry short of what I dangle on the outside as an adult these days).
While watching the dead shimmy across the festival’s stage, I began to fantasize about the various ways in which this scientific breakthrough could be used for mischief here at the offices of A New Low. Surely, given the rapid rate of advancement in its territory, the technology would soon be available to us (the general public) within the next year or so as a downloadable app for any of the various Apple iProducts. In no time at all, I schemed, we would be capable of mustering up a sequel to the cosmically-acclaimed Cal vs Dog Poo, starring none other than a holographic doppleganger of our long-absent budding star, Mr. Cal Biddle. Shit, we could even pull Joe Lentini out of the grimy bowels of Holy Matrimony and have his holo-clone give the skatepark another try! Even better, was the idea that we could save countless driving hours and gas expenses by relinquishing the need to go to NYC in order to film with Holden. If only we were able to procure the city’s culture, shopping, events and atmosphere here at home…we’d never have to set foot in that Rotten Apple again!! Certainly, I was on to something with these delusions of holo-grandeur.
It was at this point that my thoughts began to take a despondent turn. My inherent fascination with death (spawned by, I firmly believe, the demise of basically my entire immediate family throughout my own infancy on this planet) began to conquer my fairyland figments of special effect-laden, cyberspace dominance. What if I were to go and kick Mr. Bucket square in his jolly fucking face sometime next week? Would my friend since 7th grade, Eric Thomas Craven, use my holographic image for some post-humous editions of Toby n’ Deric? And, if so, would I be portrayed in a manner consistent with my own will? For all I know, he could forget to include the brownish-green glimmer of my teeth that, to some patrons of this website, have become my signature characteristic! What if my holo-twin was given a topless scene in a future skit? Would my asymmetrical chest hair patch be accurately reproduced? What about the winding trail of sporadic, cilium strands pouring down my back, leading into the brown, diamond-shaped thicket that grows where my “tramp stamp” should be? Would they be invited to the party? Furthermore, what if my double were to lose his pants in such hypothetical treasures as Son of a Bitch X: Sock Monkey in Space? Would he rock the “full bush” look popularized by frat-house staple, College Dudes or would he get an updated, clean-shaven schwantz for the world to enjoy??
Deliberating these questions, I soon found myself feeling less than enthusiastic regarding the use of laser light shows to accomplish anything except eye surgery and entertaining drugged-out Pink Floyd fans. Not only did it seem a bit creepy, it came across as moderately disrespectful, given that the person wasn’t around to approve (or disapprove) of the way they’d be depicted. Everyone, alive or dead, should be entitled to choose what they do or don’t affiliate themselves with, even if the audience is aware that it’s merely a projected likeness of that person. Am I wrong? Possibly. Or maybe I’m just a big sack of pussy-puss that is mildly spooked by the notion of dead celebrities parading around a venue, holo-lip-synching to their earthly chart-toppers while audiences hand over their hard-earned bankroll to cheer on thin air and listen to songs being played off the same iPod that most of ‘em have in their own pocket! And I thought Stones tickets were a ridiculous waste of money!! At least those legendary zombies are really there, in the FLESH!!! Not to mention, who gets all of that filthy lucre being brought in by these famous apparitions? The family of the deceased? Doubtful. I’m willing to bet that 9 times out of 10, their former record label is the fat cat raking in the foolishly spent greenbacks of these unfortunate fans (unless proper legal arrangements were made prior to the stars’ demise). If so, that would mean Suge Knight possibly received a generous donation towards his hefty legal debts directly after Tupac’s ghostly Coachella performance. I have no proof of this…just a few million pennies for your thoughts.
Before I bring this ripened rant to a close, I would like to point out something that was brought to my attention later in my research on this unsettling form of modern entertainment. These supposed holograms are indeed NOT HOLOGRAMS AT ALL!!! Real holograms utilize light or laser placement and direction to convey a 3-dimensional image that you could put your hand right through. These shams, that are currently on the edge of Trendtown, are merely reels of film projected into a mirror, which are then reflected onto a transparent screen, which the audience can’t see, creating an illusion of the celebrity just feet in front of the fools! It’s a parlour trick used by magicians and con-men since the 1800′s!
Apparently, the world is still just as gullible. Since I began typing this, I’ve come across numerous articles suggesting TLC do a reunion tour utilizing a Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes hologram, amongst a bombardment of other equally doltish proposals. I whole-heartedly endorse a boycott against this entire debacle. As much as I would cherish a performance from the likes of such cadavers as Joey Ramone, Layne Staley, GG Allin or Elliot Smith, I cannot logically or morally hand over even a cent of my limited scratch in exchange for any of these fraudulent concoctions. I’d suggest you, the reader, join me in this quest against musical psuedo-immortality. Together, we can put an end to this disgusting charade, wiping it from the face of the Earth, collectively. We can call it…The Holo-caust!
Eric Thomas Craven gives clumsy pal, Joe Lentini, a crash course tutorial on skateboarding.
To pack people into theaters for his new comedy, Wanderlust, director/co-writer David Wain did what any struggling filmmaker would do…he made sure the opening weekend coincided with the release of a DVD showcasing his collected work with global art, film and literary sensation, Eric Thomas Craven.
The DVD compiles Wainy Days, a relatively unknown web series that exploded into a mushroom cloud of thermonuclear popularity once David cast Eric Thomas in the gripping two-part segment, “Rochelle”. When ETC was given a copy of the script, he revised all of his lines—in fact, he omitted them completely and even crossed his character out of 98% of the scenes he was to appear in. David—who had the added stress of his previous film, Role Models, being released to the home market the very next day—fought tirelessly with Eric Thomas…he didn’t want to lose Rochelle’s shining star. Eventually, ETC convinced David an air of mystique was essential to the character…that he’d sell the performance through nimble mannerisms and facial expressions; that it was imperative his screen time be minimal. The dark complexities of the role would pose a challenge to audiences—yet, captivate them, with many projecting their own inner conflicts and moral ambiguities onto the character…ultimately, shaping him in their own image.
The results were outstanding. Rochelle earned David the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, seventy three Academy Awards, a Baseball Hall of Fame nomination and a fourteen month reign as WWE Intercontinental Champion.
These accolades certainly helped David in getting his new film green-lit, but securing a strong turnout at the box office would necessitate some large scale name-dropping…and that’s where the idea to finally release Wainy Days on DVD came into play—a little nudge to moviegoers, reminding ‘em that he once worked with Eric Thomas Craven.
Remarkably, Eric Thomas Craven was not offered the lead role in Wanderlust, with it instead going to Paul Rudd…strange choice, because at the final performance of American Idiot on Broadway, Paul sat behind Eric Thomas…by like three rows. Regardless, ETC fully endorses both Wanderlust and Wainy Days.
So, remember, folks…Wanderlust is in theaters everywhere, Wainy Days is available here and Paul Rudd cannot even compete with Eric Thomas Craven as a patron of the arts.