A Music Snob’s Lament

I thought I’d be more worked up about this piece one way or the other than I am. Reinforces my perception that it’s a generational thing. I wanted the VU/Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and the New York Dolls to become big stars so the masses could enjoy their wonders together, not for them to remain cult figures so I could continue to be one of the Kool Kids. I thought the confusions about “selling out” that clearly did bother Kurt Cobain on some level, were sad near-tragedies.

Pharrell Williams’s Little Girl Found

This video is quite the item. And this explanation is by far the most comprehensive I’ve seen. I noticed that even in “Space Dandy” (which confounded me by having a corker of a climax, overturning my problem with “Cowboy Bebop”) anime still has a bit of a Disco Sambo problem (huge Afros and garish dance-club duds played for “wildman” laffs).

How I Was Introduced to EC Comics Art Without Knowing It

I’m obviously rooting through storage boxes today, and disappointed by how little you can get for old books now, I’m keeping more items with sentimental value. One pre-teen work with tremendous nostalgia tugs and a strange personal history is Rusty’s Space Ship by Evelyn Sibley Lampman (1957). I got more of a reading kick out her previous book, The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek (back then, dinosaurs were not the staple of childrens’ lit they have become). But Rusty’s Space Ship stood out because for whatever reason it was not kept with the rest of my books but sat for decades on a shelf of the telephone table in my mother’s bedroom. It’s rather hard to find nowadays. Glanced at now, Lampman seems utterly safe and tame to me, exactly the sort of tales starched-shirt adults deemed good for kids in the Bland Era. But there are two surprising subversions in Rusty’s Space Ship.

The first is that the boy and girl protagonists are presented as friends and equals. I got the message that there were gals in this world who were plucky and adventurous and could be your pals, too. (Another childhood book that drove this home was T.H. White’s The Master.)

The second was the numerous, wonderful illustrations that had an irresistible bounce and funk and I wondered as a kid why I never saw any others by, er, Bernard Krigstein. I must have been in my 20s when I picked up the book by chance and the top of my head blew off when I realized the artist was B. Krigstein, one of the most famous comic-book illustrators ever. This was among the most delightful small surprises life has ever thrown at me and I sure as hell am not parting with Rusty’s Space Ship.

Friday Night Entertainment: The Forgotten-But-Not-Forgotten “Snouters”

Snouters

A wondrous parody of an exotic-animal book. The site contains the complete text plus several additions it has inspired over the years. The original tidy little book would make a lovely present for the right person. Since the whole thing is available online, I won’t stumble around trying to describe or explain it except to add in the ’50s and ’60s there was a wave of fascination with outre animal life, particularly in the tropics, as the world grew smaller in the wake of WWII. There’s not enough science satire that’s as detailed and on-target as The Snouters. I can’t remember how I heard about it, but I got a brand-new copy of the English translation when I was in high school. Yet more confirmation that I liked “weird stuff.”