Money is the reason we exist. Everybody knows that; it’s a fact. [???]
Lana Del Ray features a Kennedy/Obama motif for the National Anthem video that premiered yesterday. The inclusion of the motorcade style assassination of a black president provokes some controversy. But let’s be real, this little would be bone of contention is jammed inside a twinkie. And it’s bad taste in as much as eating 19 grams of sugar in three bites of cosmic matter is bad taste.
In typical form, Lana del Ray drapes a vintage aesthetic in gangster overtones. This time it’s an interracial first family. And in typical form, she pouts her lips and sings like breathy Marilyn Mon-ho. This time she’s going for a first-lady meets wife of a drug lord. Let’s call it Jackie Ho meets Sharon ho-Stone.
But what do we expect from Lana del Ray? Did we think that after her SNL flop, she’s going to flip the script and start making intelligent music with hard hitting political charges? This video is an unloaded gun between long red fingernails cooing at us as if to say, Naw dog, it’s not going to like that.
Lana Del Ray uploaded a music video via Instagram.
You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always? And with a straight face you’re gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia. Belgium has freedom! 207 sovereign states in the world, 180 of them have freedom. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you nonetheless are without a doubt a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period. So when you ask what makes us the greates country in the world I don’t what the fuck you’re talking about. Yosemite?
Listen Prince of White Glitter and the Snake, I get it. You wear plastic fox masks and the two of you make minimalist electronic beats that make people fashionably bored. I get that you had to ask your friend for money to break the twenty I gave you for the five dollar cover you referred to as a band donation. And listen, I get that you need that money because American Spirit rolling tobacco does’t just apparate every time you put a baby handful of shitty coke in your face. We all like to get down.
But here’s my conflict.
You didn’t play. This is probably because there were less than ten people in the audience. You certainly shuffled around for a couple hours drinking gin and tonics, perhaps hoping that your hot magnet of coolness would attract more people. I guess it didn’t. I guess the few of us that did pay spent our night throwing back drinks while listening to The Heartless Bastards discography that was getting pumped on the jukebox. Cool story, huh?
Here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that when you book a gig at a venue, you are enlisting your talents for hire. As per that contract, it is your job to entertain the audience, however small. When you decide not to honor that, it makes me wonder about your motivations for making music. It would seem as though you’re not creating for anyone else but the components of your image, and your performances are a conduit by which you fuel your hipster ass narcissism. I’m sorry that there wasn’t enough of us to reflect you hitting four keys on your Yamaha keyboard. It would be really tight, I bet.
This puts so much in the world to painful painful shame. This is one of those things that I actually Love. Like, if “love” was not a word overused to meaninglessness, I could say “I love everything this recording of Sam Cooke in 1963 stands for” and it would be one of those elusive True Things language tries to sneak up behind and lasso into mouth sounds, right here in the real world. If you are reading this, you have so much catching up to do to be as great as Sam Cooke. But try anyway.
Since it’s clear from your letters that you’re a person nice, and since it’s well-known that an overkeen sense of obligation tends to afflict the congenitally nice, I again want to implore you not to feel any obligation to read the BM any faster¹ than your own schedule and…
You will have moments that will make you feel so exposed and alone. Eating solo star at a restaurant on a Friday night, going to the doctor, walking around aimlessly by yourself at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and deciding to catch a movie, walking home from a bar unattended, taking a long subway ride by yourself, waiting at the airport for someone to pick you up. These things don’t hurt you all the time. On the contrary, they can bring you major contentment. But sometimes, on the wrong day, on the day where you feel like a raw nerve, any of these activities will leave you feeling so small.
Um, this is all depressing advice, so maybe I should end it on an optimistic note. One thing you don’t realize in your 20s is that anything is possible. It sounds trite but it’s true. This is your moment. People like to think that the odds are stacked against them. Crappy job market, no money, no support, no clue how to enter the field you desire. While a lot of this is valid, you have to realize that by being the new generation, it’s our turn now. Someone has to be the new, great filmmaker, artist, scientist, author, etc. So why not let that someone be you? What’s different today than back then is that there is no clear path anymore. Lines are smudged, career trajectories are murky. But that’s also what makes it so exciting, don’t you think?
“There are days when it seems to me that what it is to be a fucking human being is to be lonely; to be in this state of deep sadness and estrangement, and to know that there is something terribly wrong about this loneliness on the one hand, and on the other (in knowing the wrongness utterly), something also potentially beautiful.”
Taknaf, Bangladesh — Mohammad Rafique, a Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar, center, begs a Bangladesh coast guard official not to send his family back to Myanmar. Rafique’s wife, Amina Akhtar, gave birth to a son they have named Sangram at St. Martin island in Bangladesh after they fled ethnic violence between Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar a few days back.
I haven’t read the entire thing, I’ve read a decent amount— not enough, skipped some chapters and read others. It’s a hard book, that’s what they say. It is. But it’s also accessible in ways a lot of books are not necessarily accessible because the feelings expressed are so universal.
Moll is based off Joyce’s wife, Nora Barnacle, which is a real name. June 16th is the day they met. She’d end up resenting him for some brand of “ruining her life”. It was his ambition in writing. It’s a tremendously sad thing to me that writing was the best means Joyce had to express his love for Barnacle: “Here, darling, I have made you a masterpiece, it will go down as the finest novel ever written,” and that it is precisely that thing which alienated her from him. I don’t know why my mind always goes to that first. I don’t think something has to be permanent to be good. Or maybe there was something else. But these are my guesses. Anyway, if you need me, I’ll be serving Guinness up at the Blue Room today.