To Whom It May Concern…

I smell something burning, hope it's just my brains…



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  • Lost Underground

    Lost Underground

    Los Angeles’ subway system is not as bad as common sense would lead us to believe, but the bar is very low. America’s second largest metropolitan area, spreading from the Pacific coast to the San Gabriel Valley and down to the borders of Orange County, has long been synonymous with American car culture for a reason. Ever since the last Red Car lines were pulled up in the 1950s and 60s, the freeways have dominated. At first the giant asphalt and concrete basilisks co-existed uncomfortably with the sunshine, the beaches, the mysterious and beautiful chaparral. But over time they’ve come to merge in the popular imagination.

  • Less Than You Desire, But More Than You Deserve: Three Films About Rich People

    Less Than You Desire, But More Than You Deserve: Three Films About Rich People

    Hollywood’s apparent mistrust of the rich has always been cynical and insincere. Rich people know that an effective way to part poor people with their money is to produce a commodity that also seems to hate rich people. A commodity can’t actually hate anything of course. But the rich people who produce them certainly want us to think it can. And in the past year, when everything other than the most mindless Marvel bullshit struggled at the box office, studio executives are more than happy to lean into this tried-and-true trope.

  • Fire in the Gap

    Fire in the Gap

    I cannot remember what happened. It is a hole, a blank spot, an infinitesimal chasm in what was my mind. The moments leading up are hazy, as if I saw them through layers of gauze.

  • I Dream a Parade: On Joe Strummer

    I Dream a Parade: On Joe Strummer

    There was a time when all I wanted to write about was the Clash. This, among people of my age group, is not exactly unique. I was twenty when Joe Strummer died, and, having already been raised on the legends of what the Clash meant – for punk, for music, for radical culture, for the world really – I was naturally devastated. Call it my first genuine parasocial relationship, insofar as any parasocial relationship can be “genuine.”

  • I Wanna Be Nostalgic

    I Wanna Be Nostalgic

    It’s 1994. I’m twelve years old, and music is – to my parents’ bewilderment – suddenly the only thing I care about. I’m searching out anything harsh, dissonant, and confrontational, and the louder it is the louder I want it to be. Of course there was plenty of Nirvana given that Cobain had just died, Green Day was just breaking out and exposing my sheltered suburban world to the sounds of the East Bay punk scene. But I was also trying to dig deeper into the sounds that had chewed away at the edges of the mainstream for years. Violent Femmes. The Pixies. Dead Milkmen.

  • What Does Real Life Look Like?

    What Does Real Life Look Like?

    The most important thing currently on the internet is “The Infinite Conversation.” This is a never-ending conversation between filmmaker Werner Herzog and philosopher Slavoj Žižek. As a pop-up informs you when you first navigate to the site, “Everything you hear is fully generated by a machine. The opinions and beliefs expressed do not represent anyone. They are the hallucinations of a slab of silicon.”

  • Time and Space, Music and Crisis

    Time and Space, Music and Crisis

    Nobody needs to be reminded that we find ourselves in a bit of a state, an impasse, a roadblock in front of our ability to imagine a future better than one of climate catastrophe, and the socialized sadism of far right. Positing that what is missing from our discussions of revolutionary strategy and vision is consideration not for the theoretical, but the aesthetic, the creative, is bound to furrow a few brows. This isn’t because the argument indulges in fantasy, but because it demands of us that we take a more probing view at the fundamentals of daily life and the role that aesthetics and creativity might play in them.

  • All We Want is More Time

    All We Want is More Time

    For the second time in less than a year, a major, headline-grabbing strike has been averted. Not with the employers giving in to the unions’ demands. No, that would be too sensical, too much of a break with the cruel absurdity of our moment.

  • Desert Double Bill

    Desert Double Bill

    The Mojave Desert. Brochures have us thinking that its allure is made up entirely of artificial oases. First and foremost being Palm Springs, a city best known as a retreat for the likes of Sinatra and Dean Martin. Insofar as the larger cities are seen as desirable destinations, it’s so tourists can arrogate themselves above nature. But the freaks and stoners of the 1990s Palm Desert Scene – Yawning Man, Kyuss, Fatso Jetson and the like – knew that there was something far more interesting in the desert itself.

  • Awful Fun

    Awful Fun

    Despite its carnivalesque reputation, what stands out more than anything in Las Vegas is just how repressed everyone is. Walk along the floor of a casino at 8am, and you see hundreds of people parked in front of slot machines, smoking cigarettes or drinking gin and tonics, the sums on their credit cards slowly but surely climbing.