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Will I listen to Nirvana when I’m in my seventies? If I won’t, is it because I will have become soft and emotionally weak in my later years, not up for their brand of youthful nihilism? But shouldn’t an artistic expression of nihilism be timeless if it’s going to pack any real punch, like The Brothers K., a book you can read it when you’re age 16, 32, and 64, and Ivan’s nihilism takes on different meaning depending on where you’re at in your life?

Isn’t that the whole problem with rock’n’roll – you get older but it stays the same age, and your enjoyment of it becomes an exercise in nostalgia? Or is that just my problem? Would I serve myself better in general by embracing the sublime wherever it appears, and taking it for what it is – a prick tease delight that changes masks for you at different times in your life? Or should I be taking stock now, grabbing onto all the jetsam of an overstuffed culture and sifting through it, to find the winners?

Am I a throwback? Was Marx maybe right all along? How well do I really know my wife? Why am I so obsessed with my own mortality? What exactly do people mean when they say they’re ‘proud to be an American?’ What happens to your unpaid credit card balances after you give up the ghost – how does that work? Are narcissism and self-loathing related?

What if the whole thing is just going to shit? Do I feel contempt for people who get plastic surgery? What is the nature of contempt – is it truly an instinctive and involuntary emotion, or is it more a willed stance that we assume, so as to gain a feeling of superiority or power over someone else? What’s up with this ‘feeling obligated’ to read The Economist? Who is the next person I know who will die? Would I consider a high school reunion? Why am I sometimes filled with an indescribable, overwhelming feeling of happiness?

Date Written: May 17, 2004
Author: Phony Millions
Average Vote: 3.7778

05/20/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan (4): Yeah!
05/20/2004 scoop: You'll probably be listening to the Pixies and thinking, "man, Nirvana really did rip them off."
05/20/2004 Ewan Snow (4): The most philosophically probing question in this piece is certainly "What happens to your unpaid credit card balances after you give up the ghost – how does that work?" I like how the questions accelerate toward the end.
05/20/2004 qualcomm: i feel obligated to read Foreign Affairs. asshole.
05/20/2004 qualcomm (3):
05/20/2004 Dylan Danko (4): I've been reading The Financial Times myself and enjoying it immensely. Ewan, that credit card line was the one I liked the least b/c it reminded me of Seinfeld or something. But the rest of it was splendid.
05/20/2004 Ewan Snow: Yeah, well, Dylan, I didn't say it was the "best", I said it was the most philosophically probing.
05/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Scoop, everyone knows Nirvana ripped off The Replacements. Clock starts...now!
05/20/2004 TheBuyer (4): Depending on state/provincial law, creditors have no recourse or options to collect an owed when a person dies except to stand in line when the estate is divided like everyone else and be VERY polite to the family - dead people are usually uncollectable. Secured credit card debts, are normally resolved by liquidating the specific asset associated with the debt at the time of death, or slightly before, if the bastard won't die. fuck i hhate thois godddammn keyyboard!
05/20/2004 qualcomm: if by ripping off, you two mean taking certain elements of an inferior band's style and then applying better songwriting to them... (15 minutes, danko)
05/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Thank you, The Lerpa. Who's got a smile on his face? This guy!
05/20/2004 Phony Millions: Thanks for clearing that up The Buyer. Don't know the Pixies' music, Lerpa, but talked someone - you know her - who just saw them at that festival at wherever the fuck in Inland Empire, and said they were great. I guess Nirvana took the whole soft verse /loud chorus thing from them? Funny, when they hit, I thought that shit was so juvenille, now it sounds fucking raw.
05/20/2004 Jon Matza: Was intrigued by concept of "embracing the sublime wherever it appears" in context of music appreciation/consumption...wonder if author could provide an example.
05/20/2004 TheBuyer: Damnit, I did it to myself again. I owe you a star Brad, your work is too good to vote on first thing in the morning and I enjoy it more as the day goes on.
05/20/2004 Mr. Joshua: They all ripped off Husker Du, who in turn ripped of Mission of Burma.
05/20/2004 Jon Matza: 'Burma got its whole sound from Seger, just listen to the basswork on "Her Strut".
05/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Well, I was going to say Gang of Four but Matza's right. It's Bob Seger's Nine Tonight through and through.
05/20/2004 qualcomm: yeah, well they're all ripoffs of Utu, the first caveman to rhythmically smack stones together. assholes.
05/20/2004 Dylan Danko: Does Utu rule The Field?
05/20/2004 TheBuyer: Uta scragged his whole schtick off of Primordial Steve the single-cell sensation.
05/20/2004 Mr. Pony: Primordial Steve sucks.
05/20/2004 Benny Maniacs (5): I like the shorts that ask the big questions. I think you will listen to Nirvana, but perhaps not the smells like teen spirit number. Ninety year olds still listen to Frank Sinatra, and that was the rock n' roll of their day. Except of course, if you factor in rock n' roll, which was also around in their day.
05/20/2004 Benny Maniacs: I would also like to add at this point that I have been suffering from a lengthy bout of negativity on this site, and I am happy to say that I have shaken it off completely. Unfortunately, The Lerpa seems to have contracted this very same ailment, and who knows just when it will leave his system.
05/20/2004 scoop (3): This short is as boring as The Replacements. Sorry Frank Balck didn't kill himself, so, like, we could take his music so seriously. And maniacs if you keep it up with tha Trainspotting talk I'll tell you what In really think about your fucking edited hack-job of a short.
05/20/2004 qualcomm: or as kim deal put it, re frank black, in her seminal I Just Wanna Get Along... "if you're so special/why aren't you dead?"
05/20/2004 Mr. Pony: This musical debate is lacking some of the fire of some of our previous efforts. I can't shake the feeling the that something's missing.
05/20/2004 scoop: How about everyone's right except for me, and maybe The Lerpa because Nirvana does totally rock dude, and everoyne else is wrong esp. about The Replacements and that Burma Mission wathever band, and I know what the fuck I'm talking about because I can play the Monkee's "Stepping Stone" as covered by Minor Threat on the base mother fucker.
05/20/2004 Benny Maniacs:

Scoop = funny

Trainspotting = Minor Threat + Martin Amis + Fellini's Satyricon + King Arthur movie circa 1982

05/20/2004 Mr. Joshua: Well you fuckers, all I can say is, here's what legendary pop critic Jim DeRogatis has to say: "If you're searching for the missing links between punk and alternative rock, one of the first names on that list is Mission of Burma. The Boston quartet released only a handful of records during its relatively short career in the early '80s (including the incendiary single "Academy Fight Song," an E.P., "Signals, Calls and Marches," and an album, "Vs."). But its influence has loomed large in literally hundreds of bands that followed, from the Pixies to Nirvana. Techno maven Moby even scored a hit with one of the group's songs, "That's When I Reach for My Revolver," though he changed the controversial words to accommodate MTV."
05/20/2004 qualcomm: some dipshit completist critic says they're good?!
05/20/2004 Mr. Joshua: And this from the even more inestimable Peter Scholtes! "This is funny, because I have just put on their 1980 single "Academy Fight Song" for the 19th time this week--Paul Westerberg used to play the record over and over again as a kid--and I'm realizing how much easier it is to love than to explain....accurately sizing up Mission of Burma's legendary reputation among other musicians. Wasn't this the sound that influenced Hüsker Dü, the Pixies, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails--anyone pulling pop clarity from chaos?" If Mission of Burma were a horse, it would get a 125 Beyer Speed Figure.
05/20/2004 scoop: Your squandering valubale research time on this DeRogatis fucker. What does legendary pop critic Jim DeRogatis have to say about the Belmont Stakes?! Huh? Huh? Nothing I bet! Speaking of betting where are the latest picks, friend? You worry about the horses, the horses. Stay on target, baby, stay on target.
05/20/2004 Mr. Joshua: Scoop, I'll have you know I found DeRogatis after painstakingly entering "Mission of Burma + Pixies + Influence" into Google. Seriously, though, the Pixies even copy-assed the city that Burma was from. And you know what the chief does to copy-asses. If you don't, just ask the Lerpa. As for the ponies, don't worry, I'm on top of it. I'll be watching the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont this weekend, the last major prep for the Belmont Stakes. Those shit-asses Master David and Friends Lake, among others, will be running. We'll put it all together in about a fortnight.
05/20/2004 scoop: I'llm tell you whetehr or agree with you on this whole Mission of Burma thing after I see how your picks turn out, baby.
05/21/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum: Brad, congratulations on instigating yet another one of these delightful circle jerks.
05/21/2004 John Slocum (3): There is a focus to the first 2 paragraphs, it seems like a real thought process, like it's going somewhere. The latter half of the short seems like an aimless and homeless series of questions that doesn't stand up to a few re-reads.
05/26/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum (4): Slokes, I think the tendency toward entropy is kind of the point of this here short. I think it's cool that the author mixes some seemingly "deep penetrating" questions with other inane ones. It took me a while to rate this, and there are other Evans' ventures I like better, but I think this is a solid 4.
05/26/2004 Dylan Danko: I'm glad I missed most of the stuff below. Gang of Four, Mr. Joshua.
05/26/2004 qualcomm: now hear this: political punk sucks. thank you.
05/26/2004 Dylan Danko: Apropos of nothing, like The Lerpa himself.
05/26/2004 qualcomm: apropos of Gang of Four, you dumb-playing cunt.
05/26/2004 Dylan Danko: Oh, you prefer Shriekback.
05/27/2004 John Slocum: No, I prefer Kriek beer!
05/27/2004 John Slocum: Jimson: by entropy, do you mean: h(p1p2)=h(p1)+h(p2)? And did you know that "Like potential energy, entropy is defined relative to some arbitrary zero point. Like internal energy, entropy is a function of the thermodynamic variables of a system in equilibrium: for examples, the entropy might be functions of the pressure and volume of a sample of gas, or the length and temperature of a rubber band." ????
05/27/2004 John Slocum: Jimson: Sorry for the pissing about. Are you suggesting that Brad is "capturing" the entropy of rock music (as exemplified by Nirvana) in the arena of shorts, by devolving from focus to no focus? Was it necessary to pose 14 unrelated, non-sequitur-like questions to pull this off?
05/27/2004 Ewan Snow: Slocum: I knew that about entropy (mostly)! And, no, Jimson didn't mean that.
05/27/2004 John Slocum: whaddaya mean she didn't mean that. What did she mean? I mean, did you mean you knew what she meant? How?
05/27/2004 Ewan Snow: I don’t necessarily know exactly what she meant, but I’ll bet it didn’t have to do with saying that “Brad is ‘capturing’ the entropy of rock music (as exemplified by Nirvana) in the arena of shorts.” My understanding was that when she said the entropy was the point, she meant something more like that it was the point of the joke; the short starts off as if to be a series of important, introspective questions and degrades into a laundry list of arbitrary ones. Nirvana, specifically, doesn’t have much to do with the entropy she described and she didn’t mean to imply that said entropy was “capturing” the noisiness of Nirvana. Jimson, correct me if I’m wrong.
05/27/2004 John Slocum: Yes, Jimson, I shall wait by the computer refreshing every 45 seconds til you give me an explanation.
05/27/2004 John Slocum: Snow: the reason I asked if brad was connecting entropy to nirvana, or rock music in general is because the idea of "the short starts off as if to be a series of important, introspective questions and degrades into a laundry list of arbitrary ones" doesn't seem that interesting, but if there were a point to it, it might be more interesting. On it's own, the degradation of the questions seems like a pointless point. Love to hear from brad about it.
05/27/2004 Ewan Snow: Yeah, I dunno. Interesting or not, I think that was one of the things it was going for, though not, I guess, as I implied before, "the point". Brad, let us know the truth! Personally, I don't think this is Brad's finest work, but I think that the progression of questions is interesting and a number of the specific questions are good/funny/interesting...
05/27/2004 Jon Matza: I'll field this one, Brad. The point of my short was to both pose and yield a number of interrogatory situations that would invoke, or infer, really, a number of thoughts straight into the reader's consciousness. The false dichotomy Snow and Slocum make between important and arbitrary questions is a distraction from the short's ur-purpose, namely to incite and excite the cerebral stimulands. I am inviting the reader to follow me into a vertiginous funhouse of convex mirrors, trap doors, booby hatches and mechanical jack-in-the-boxes. The questions are not meant to be pondered so much as extrapolated, transposed, dismembered, recalibrated and finally, of course, interpolated. Picture the exoskeleton of a turn of the century roller coaster. Each architectural support-butress represents a concept-idea. As the roller coaster (the short's individual phonetic units and syntax) transverses each idea, the reader become the questions themselves! Both in a contextual and structural sense (i.e. we find ourselves contorting our bodies into the sinuous form of a question mark). When I wrote thisI was thinking in terms of the black and white keys of a piano; physically contiguous and interdependent but always mutually exclusive.
05/28/2004 Phony Millions: Virtu-fucking-ostic, matza! No, it was like Jimson and Ewan surmised - the funniness was maybe in the way the deep thoughts degenerated into more free floating stuff - the entropy. It's not one of my best because it wasn't intended to do that from the start; that happened because I couldn't keep with the Nirvana thing for a whole short - it was getting more and more silly and pretentious.
05/28/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum: Yes, indeed. That is what I meant, Snow. Not all that bunk about capturing the spirit of rock music. Sheesh, what am I, some kind of douche? Sorry so late in responding.