Reading is nice.

Wells Tower. If this man was not actually born to be a writer, then his fate was most certainly sealed upon receiving his name. One cannot help but be intrigued by the title of his first collection of short stories, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, but hey, why let it stop at intrigue when you can just up and read the title story about “reluctant Vikings,” and find out for yourself? Okay, okay lazybones, if you can’t or won’t read for yourself, is it possible for you to at least listen to the man himself read it aloud? Or watch the (very) short animated version? But for God’s sake, do something.

Break it dooown.

Insofar as my daughter is “hardly ever” allowed to watch tv during the days I take care of her, we have had occasion to run across Yo Gabba Gabba. Is it a show for kids, or is it a show for parents who might at one time have considered themselves ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ and may even still be those things, but for the fact they are parents of children?

Wanna see Biz Markie do a COOL TRICK? Of course you do. Of course you’d prefer it if your kids preferred the Shins to the Wiggles, but how on Earth do you even start a project like that? Like this, I suppose.

Break it to me in French, please, wouldja doc?

An e-mail subject line that is currently quite popular around my workplace, and probably other workplaces as well:

FW:  Human Swine Influenza virus /Virus de la grippe porcine chez les humains

I am struck, not for the first time, by the classiness of the French language, especially in a side-by-side comparison with English. The English is so, “You’re sick, and it comes from pigs,” while en Francais, it’s more like, “In spite of all that’s come to pass, your nurse will be pretty and kind.”

Lester

I loaned Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung to a secretary I know a few years ago. I miss it, but because I am the sort of person who will maintain possession of borrowed items for periods of time that are altogether too long, I’ll not pass judgment on the fact that it’s not yet been returned. By all accounts, Lester was himself a generous man and in that same spirit, I think I’ll just send out the ‘give it back or pass it on’ signals and hope for the best.

Tomorrow is the 27th anniversary of Lester Bangs’ death. Really. You could look it up. There’s lots of reasons to love Lester’s writing. He was an anarchic, contrarian genius, his writing every bit as rock and roll as his subject matter.

No one here is disputing the fact that 27 is a tough anniversary to get worked up about at the best of times, but factor in an economic turndown and an impending pandemic (say it five times, fast!), and seriously, no one could blame you for your day being mostly booked up with other stuff, but do yourself a favour – sandwich a little bit of Lester in between a couple of tasks you’re especially not expecting to enjoy, and see if he doesn’t help you out a little.

If he does, then try taking the next step: call in sick from work tomorrow, drink lots of cough syrup, and let it blurt.

Here’s a link to the second review of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music that Bangs filed, because you want it.

Were you looking for this? Then you’re in luck.

My good friend and radio co-host, Tom, is a billionaire playboy who is probably the biggest Queen fan on the south side of Edmonton, and he had an internet connection installed right in his brain so he can spend every spare moment locating stuff exactly like this and e-mailing it to me.

Whether you’re talking about arena rock god fashion, accoutrements like the mic stands cut in half, or his total subversion of the notion of the rock and roll frontman as hyperheterosexual he-man, that Freddie Mercury was one innovative guy.

But this – how he predicted the sound of the machines that would one day imitate him – that was the true genius of Freddie Mercury.

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Oh, the heartache. We’ve all experienced it. A perfectly good anniversary of one thing or another that you definitely would have observed in an apt fashion, if only you had gotten a little more lead time to prepare. But you didn’t, so you didn’t. It would have been better if you did. But you didn’t.

As of this date, you’ve got two weeks until the anniversary of Lester Bangs’ death. Get thee to a cold medicine aisle.

I Don’t Know What You’re Talking About

Billy Bob Thornton, freak-a-zoid. Man, anyone who can make me feel the teensiest bit sorry for Jian Ghomeshi must be acting like the worst kind of a shitbag. Times like this, I wish I lived in the alternative reality where Ghomeshi loses all regard for consequences and chases Thornton out of the studio with a golf club.

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