Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On the Humblebrag and Irony

Archie Grand Notebook  
The New York Times is just killing it with its ingenuity.  Just when you think that everyone has already said everything that could possibly be said in an era of Internet self-publishing (Thank you Shishboombang)-- print gets stronger and smarter.  In my opinion, the NYT takes the cake when it comes to the printed word.   Word!

As I write a NYT accolade from across the coast in Los Angeles, there are two recent articles that stand out in my mind as being worth a mention. The first, How to Live Without Irony, recounts how we have gotten so caught up in the culture of making fun of our own selves. Everything has become one big joke, everyone is just one big laughing-stock, and nothing takes on meaning of any kind. Entire identities revolve around jokes, gaffs, and the absurd.  "Irony functions as a shield against criticism" meaning irony functions as a shield against feelings.  The article begs the question: "Do we fear ourselves?" Maybe, as hipsters?!   

The second article, If I Do Humblebrag Myself, does an outstanding job calling us ALL out on the stupid passive-yet-over-confident-statuses that we post on Facebook, Twitter, yada yada and other forums of insta-feed.  I just posted one this afternoon, "I can (almost) write again! Hurrah!" What a complete sucker I am.

Article 2 oddly relates to Article 1 because once again the trending theme of how we all exist day-to-day is by making fun of ourselves as the per usual of life. 

These articles (please click the links which are embedded above and actually read them!)--though not earth-shattering or paradigm-shifting pieces-- provoke thought and observation about the world in which we live and the people with which we share our lives. With humor and wit, these articles make us more aware of the absurdities of every day life as well as brush us (or our parents) up on popular culture.  When it comes to current accounts of people (and the culture that inevitably comes with people),the NYT will not let you down as a source of insight into the human race. Human behavior is the best writing material, as far as I am concerned--simply because-- You just cannot make our $*% up!

On How Venice is a Carnival No More

Have you sauntered down Rose Avenue in Venice, California lately? Forget for a moment about the gentrification of nearby Abbott Kinney and Main St where there are the following
1. A hipper than its own good coffee shop- Intelligentsia (with its $7.00 coffee) 
2. Nerds- a Google campus inside a building designed by Gehry (yes, I am referring to the Binoculars)
3. A fancy clothing boutique for men-  Jack Spade/Steve Alan
4. a slew of popular eateries - Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, Tasting Kitchen--not to mention-- Gjelina, have you even tried to get a dinner reservation there lately? I think the waitlist puts you months back and gives you a time slot for dinner at like 4 pm or 11 at night.
5. "Enviro-health conscious" minded peeps --I cannot even count the number of trendy bikes strapped with yoga mats and latte holders I've spotted in Venice. 
My whole diatribe/mathematic equation about gentrification is besides the point.  

Let's get back to Rose Avenue and its fleeting grunge.  Also, the shabby-ramshackle-seedy Lincoln Boulevard might also turn the corner if it hasn't already with the most monstrous Whole Foods plopped at the corner of Rose & Lincoln. According to the LA Times, Lincoln Boulevard is sometimes now referred to as "the Linc" by weasel hipsters (okay, fine, I added the word "weasel").  

So does that mean goodbye to Venice grunge? The only place to find it might just be the boardwalk.  Epic drum circles still exist, but the homeless and the bohemians have been pushed off even the boardwalk and into the dirty sand (which might as well be the Pacific Ocean).  SuperBa, Venice Beach Wines, Cafe Gratitude, Moon Juice, some yoga studio, Big Red Sun, another yoga studio, and live/work lofts chic up the town.  That's cool, I am fine with it. I go to most of the restaurants on bike post-yoga anyways, but I have a question: As chic as Venice becomes-- Can the Tranny Clown stay?--as a symbol of yesteryear when we were cheaper, rougher around the edges, and even a bit tacky? 

On Making a Comeback

Image courtesy of Vogue
Hello dear Earthlings! Three long months have past without a blog post from the Shishboombang world.  I am not sure what happened. I drifted off to some Tumblr pages for awhile, got lost in the throes of online shopping, and have worked a ton.  Oh yeah, and then there was Pinterest. I want to come back to the blogosphere--will you take me back in? I am more than ready to post some blurbs that I only hope will shock, woo, and entertain you.