Monday, December 6, 2010

Gifts for the Hipster On Your List / Film Criticism of the Day

As the holiday season approaches, we'll be offering occasional advice on what to get the hipster on your list who isn't satisfied with the perennial case of PBR. Today's choices:

1) Dave Eggers' new book of animal sketches, titled It Is Right To Draw Their Fur: "Most of these works are of unusual mammals, most often accompanied by slogans with ancient, heroic, or just plain odd overtones" (McSweeneys).

Here's an example:

Chip: "I rarely tire of looking at beavers."

2) Children's shoes designed by the members of Animal Collective: "the band has teamed up with the apparel company Keep to create a line of shoes. Proceeds from sales go to the Socorro Island Conservation Fund...and each shoe pre-order comes with a cassette of previously unreleased music" (Pitchfork).


We're big fans of Soft Skull Press (after all, they published our friend King Tosser's book: Rebels Wit Attitude: Subversive Rock Humorists). Now they're releasing a series called Deep Focus, four books of film criticism. In the first book of the series, novelist Jonathan Lethem tackles John Carpenter's They Live:

"At first, this seems like a parody of postmodern ideological criticism, with its mania for reducing all culture to a codified system of consensual oppression (indeed, Lethem quotes long passages from an admiring essay on “They Live” by the ­Marxist-Lacanian critic Slavoj Zizek). But Lethem excels...Lethem may deconstruct “They Live,” but he does not destroy it" (New York Times).

Chip: "Well, he destroyed it for me. I don't want to think about Lacan. I just want to hear Rowdy Roddy Piper say 'I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum.'"

Go here to enjoy one of the greatest lines ever:


Capt Criticism said...

Lethem is a self-satisfying douche. And his writing sucks. Anyone who writes a short story that includes a child eating a bowl of cereal that is actually a bowl of tiny penises and vaginas floating in milk is fucked up.

Now, if it were just vaginas floating in the milk, that would be a different story all together. And one such as myself would barely be able to contain himself at the opportunity to shout with childish glee: "you are what you eat!"

he's no Franzen said...

Fine points, Captain. We too tend to find Lethem less readable than the other literary-hipster Jonathans (Franzen and Safran-Foer). Our copy of Chronic City remains largely unread.