Monday, March 26, 2007

3-Word Film Review: The Host

"Monster, Wes Anderson."

Info: IMDb


3-Word Record Review: Wilco, Sky Blue Sky

"Totally Jackson Browne."

Release date: May 15, 2007
Info: Amazon
Listen: "Hate it Here"


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Seattle Weekly printed my ... err, Beth F's letter

Third letter in this week's Weekly:

I'd like show an image of the cover (it has some war dudes on it), but VVM has other ideas:

Note that after hitting the send button, I had no contact with Mr. Seely or anyone on the Weekly staff regarding Beth F's missive. Mostly, it's because I forgot which e-mail address I sent this from (to my surprise, ******@***.com isn't legit).

By the way: This marks the 653rd letter the Weekly has published from one of my 653 unverified pseudonyms. Which is funny, considering that in real life, I'm Mike Lacey.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What about the bitches, Mike?

I made the mistake of reading Seattle Weekly this afternoon. Why? The cover-story headline was "The F-Word," and its writer was Mike Seely. I thought: Ann Coulter plus this guy (on left):

Instead, the "F" in question was "frat," as in "frat boy," which Seely apparently was. And he can't beat the stigma, thanks to those hateful indie-rockers in Seattle:

Kurt Vonnegut was a frat boy. So were Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Larry David, Will Ferrell, Zach Braff, David Spade, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Ben Stein, Billy Crudup, David Schwimmer, Matthew McConaughey, Drew Carey, Jeremy Piven, Bob Woodward, P.J. O'Rourke, Dennis Miller, Brad Pitt, and Jim "Jesus" Caviezel (UW Sigma Chi, class of '90). Both Simon and Garfunkel were frat boys, as were R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and current alt-country darling Bobby Bare Jr. ...

[But] here in Seattle, the self-proclaimed capital of all things indie, the schism between creative types and supposed Greek conformists couldn't be more pronounced.

Throughout the piece, Seely nicely quotes a ton of Seattle-area fraternity brothers, fraternity alumni and indie-rocker types. Most echoed his refrain about an "indie-frat chasm and the stereotyping therein."

But in the war of words, Seely says (or at least implies), it's the indie-rockers who've ended up stereotyping:

The stigma associated with frat boys is not a one-size-fits-all-proposition, but has rather been expanded over time to signify anything that anyone might find remotely annoying about white heterosexual males.

I know, I know—poor little white boys. To that, I'll grant you that of all the oppressed groups in society, ex–frat guys should be low men on the totem pole. But like cheerleaders, gays, urban Republicans, white-collar defense lawyers, and Air Supply fans, we deserve to be out, proud, and freed from the shackles of prejudice, once and for all.

All well and good. Except all the dudes Seely chose to address this divide for the long article were ... dudes. Which was weird.

Even weirder, I wrote Seely a letter. Full disclosure: I wrote it under the guise of an acquaintance, Beth.

--- Beth F ******@***.com wrote:

> Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 17:36:59 -0700>
From: "Beth F"
To: <>>
Subject: What about the bitches, Mike?>

Hi Mike. Just read your "F-Word" story on the indie-vs.-frat cavern.

Where were the women in this article?

A few got groped by John Roderick (lovely!) and another hypothetical one was hypothetically hit on by a publicist.

In real life, ladyfolk do comprise a large sector of the hipster and indie-rock contingent that could be defined as creative types. And in many cases, yeah, they're anti-Greek-conformist. Just like they're anti-football. Or anti-beer. Or just decidedly pro-cat.

To me, this is what fuels the divide between creatives and Greeks. Creatives build many of their social groups around gender neutrality, usually because the music and art they flock to does as well. Greeks, meanwhile, live and usually hang out in all-dude or all-chick packs.

Now I don't mean to come off like I just finished a feminist studies lecture at Evergreen State. I graduated from the largest public university in Missouri in 1997. I look back at the bands I played at the college radio station, drove to St. Louis to see and ultimately used to help build my circle of friends -- and all either had women in their lineups (Sonic Youth, Pixies, Sleater-Kinney), came off as adorable pussies who wouldn't physically mess with us (Sebadoh, Pavement, Elliott Smith) or were fags (Magnetic Fields, REM). Girls listened to these bands. Guys listened to these bands. We had nothing else to do, so we all hung out together.

Rereading the last two paragraphs of your article, I do see that you're trying to liberate the term "frat boy" from being a blanket term for "idiot." OK.

But why use "hipsters" and "creative types" as the counterpoint and defendant of the blanket use of the term without bringing a single woman into the argument? We fucking run the hipster planet, dude. It *is* all about sex.

Beth F