In GC’s latest Gonzo supplement, Luis Rivas reflects on his first poetry reading in the big city and Stalinophile Richard Nesberg offers some Cold War-era flash fiction. (Greg Oguss)
Escape to San Francisco
Welcome to the first installment of Gonzo Cupboard, a periodic nonfiction-themed edition of Mr. Wink’s Cabinet of Wonders. Due to a dangerous lack of supervision (says Wink via e-mail: “I am not going to play interfering dictator, do whatever you please”), I’ll be posting bits of irresponsible journalism, oddball humor, and an occasional work of tasteless fiction whenever the Gonzo inbox once again starts to overflow with words I like. Coming soon to my other tiny corner of Mr. Wink’s house: “Gonzo: A Sort of Manifesto.” (G. Oguss)
BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS…
Despite the historic election of Barack Hussein Obama to the Presidency of the United States of America, the race card is still the hole card of choice. That Ralph Nader’s election night use of the slur “Uncle Tom” in a radio interview earned him several minutes of face-time hours later on Fox News is proof enough of this. Chris Rock summed up Americans’ hypocrisy surrounding race and language a month prior to the election on his HBO special Kill the Messenger, demanding sarcastically, “But the question remains, can white people say the word ‘nigger’?” Rock had an appropriately obscure response to the controversy, offered with a grin, “Answer: not really.” (more…)
During my freshman year in college, and this would be year one of three years being a freshman in college, I met a girl who would forever live in my memory as Candy Mandy. I never can recall her real name. Neither Candy nor Mandy, I believe it may have been Alice. (more…)
Greg Oguss on Pop Culture
I AND I
Metaanything, as the self-proclaimed Internet webcocks refer to commentary about commentary, seems to be everywhere these days. On Gawker, snarky columns mock Wired for illustrating the backhanded art of the unflattering cover with a front page photo of former Star! columnist Julia Allison captioned by a headline about her paltry level of microfame. From Gawker to MSN.com to Newsweek Online, everybody seems to have an opinion on the media’s obsession with celebrity babies. In the early 20th century, literary critic Edmund Wilson wrote metaanything-style articles arguing that attempts by journalists like H.L. Mencken and Gilbert Seldes to democratize criticism contained a condescending notion of what Mencken dubbed the All-American “boob-oisie.” Although metaanything has been around at least a century, the Web has exponentially increased its visibility. Along with the invective spewed by Gawker and its rivals, metaanything is the principal reason people dislike the blogosphere. If Web invective has been accepted as another indignity of life in the digital age, the most debated aspect of online criticism is the constant use of the first-person, which is seen as a debased form of journalism by the pros. (more…)
Greg Oguss on Pop Culture
GAME RECOGNIZE GAME
“I know Todd Boyd. You’re no Todd Boyd,” a fiftysomething hippie poet named told me last fall, referencing the most quotable professor on the University of Southern California campus, aka the Notorious PhD. The hippie was correct, technically. Unlike the well-known African-American cultural critic Dr. Boyd, I’m a small-time critic, author and low-fi rock musician who was still pursuing my PhD at USC at the time. These days, I’m just another PhD drop-out. I’m still good friends with Todd, who was my dissertation chair and a mentor of mine to the extent I’ve ever listened to anyone’s advice on anything. Todd and I have both dealt with the sort of player-hating represented by the above quote that’s often directed at intellectuals who write for the mainstream. Todd has frequently written of his battles with haters in academia as well as the criticism he gets from African-Americans who accuse him of “selling out.” On the latter subject, Todd is apt to quote Jay-Z who once boasted that he didn’t sell-out but instead “brought the suburbs to the ‘hood.” (more…)
Back in my days of youth, in the semi-rolling hills just below the mountains of the Angelus National Forest, at the ass in of Los Angeles, I lived a normal life. Typical all-American kid, doing typical things such as riding bikes, swimming at the public pool during the summer, walking up the street to the liquor store for candy, playing stickball in the streets and chasing girls.
These were days before my nuts dropped and the realization that girls would or could be something more struck my like a drunken elephant center at a Mexican circus.
In my advancing age I have had time for gentle reflection and those visions often turn to where it all went wrong.
One, when my balls drop and the mystique of women changed from simple curiosity to morbid fascination to rampant lust and utter misery.
Two, when writing poetry became more than a tool to gain the attraction to young women to a devise that developed into utter madness.
Greg Oguss on Pop Culture
Coming Soon to an Intarweb Near You
This month’s regular programming of Cash Rules has been preempted. Instead of the usual arrogant column on a selection of random shit you’ve grown accustomed to seeing in this space over the past several months, you’re in for a special treat. The following is a promotional tease for an anthology I’m editing on pop culture in the digital age entitled God Is Dead But That Ain’t What’s Givin’ Me the Blues. The anthology features fiction, essays, blog-style rants and poetry. Some of the contributors are Gloom Cupboard folks like novelist and columnist Richard Nesberg and our founding editor Richard Wink. Other participants include a jet-setting Peruvian blogger who rocks an iced-out silver neck-chain bearing the letters C-U-N-T, the founding editors of Slurve Magazine, and an alcoholic bass player from Houston who goes by the name DJ Jesus Christ. Without further ado, here’s a discarded draft of an introduction I wrote for the book, which will no doubt show up in the tenth anniversary Director’s Cut edition loaded with those fab extras that get the fanboys all hot and bothered. (more…)