Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Violence and Making Sense

Three years ago, I set out to write a novel about Cho Seung-Hui, the shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre. Since Columbine, I have held an unhealthy interest in the way the media, and by extension, the greater moralizing population, processes mass killings. Cho was a Korean-American from the South who had entered college with dreams, however mangled and bizarre, of becoming a writer. That same sentence could have been written about me. As the evidence of Cho’s derangement began to surface in the videos, short stories and plays he left behind, it became clear that Cho had been trying to tell a righteous story, where the “rich kids” and [...]


Jacob Lusk, The First Extrasexual Soul Singer

A few quick notes on Jacob Lusk's "American Idol" performance last night: I think we can collectively agree that what happens at 1'22" needn't be discussed. He's air-humping the lady who wrote "Man in the Mirror." But 1'34"-1'44"!

He starts with the classic Etta James move—close your eyes, lift your hand up near your head as the note fucks up the audience, and then get straight into the next move because fucking up the audience doesn't mean shit to you. X-Tina also does this pretty well, but the only young gun who really knows how to pull that move off right now is Adele. (Being overweight helps with this move. [...]


Four Takes On "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word"

I’m thinking today about Hedwig and "The Origin of Love" and the time when the earth was still flat and clouds were made of fire and mountains stretched up to the sky, sometimes higher. When folks roamed the earth, like big rolling kegs, with two sets of arms and two sets of legs and two faces peering out of one giant head, who sang the songs?

Last night on "Idol," Mary J. Blige came and visited Jacob Lusk in the studio and when they embraced, I had a vision of the two-headed, four-legged singing genius, who, by the cruelty of Zeus, was split into two separate pieces, each [...]


A Move-by-Move Divanalysis of Jacob Lusk's 'American Idol' Performance

This happened last night, on TV. Let's just get into it.

1:39: Pinch your pointer finger against your thumb, bend out your elbows and shake those hips.

Also known as the "gettin' loose" move. Used by pretty much every female singer who ever sang a Motown song. Perfected by Aretha, who uses it in the following clip, at 0:16.


Who is the Greatest Diva of the Last 25 Years? We Offer Scientific Proof!

By way of eulogy to the dying animal that is the Diva, my crack team of consultants, statisticians and graphic designers have assembled DIVA-OFF 2010, a highly scientific (we used computers!) evaluation of the greatest divas of the past twenty-five years. A list of divas was evaluated on eleven levels of diva-ness, and, because each diva characteristic is not created equal, we scaled the values in the hopes of creating an aggregate diva number that will serve as a reference point for future generations.

Here is why we needed to do this. On April 14, 1998, at the Beacon Theater in New York City, VH1 put on a [...]