Histories
1

Prog Rock: "Ideal Society Gunned Down the 70s"

"The death of real rock ‘n’ roll began one morning in 1964, at the Organ Center in the southern England city of Portsmouth." —So begins part one of Dave Weigel's life's work, the definitive history of prog rock.

34

The Night Clay Aiken Saved My Life

A room full of depressives, schizophrenics and recovering addicts will almost never agree on what constitutes “Must-See TV.” The only options that night were "American Idol" and a Mel Gibson movie, the one where the kids make tinfoil hats to ward off alien mind control. Watching anything brain-related in a mental hospital—forgive me, behavioral health facility—is pretty much verboten, so we decided on "Idol." Personally, I was more interested in my proximity to Mike on the couch, and how his hand had crept toward mine under the edge of the stiff, synthetic blanket on my lap. It was August, but you wouldn’t have known it. The air conditioner was [...]

32

The Tetris Effect

1. Computer Space

When I was in second grade, my teacher sent a note home to my mother. I had recently been skipped ahead from first grade to second grade and the new teacher was worried about me. I was keeping up with the class fine, I was having no problem with that, she said in the note, but she was worried about me because all I would ever write or talk or draw about in class or in my journal or for homework were video games. They seemed to be the only thing that I thought about. She wondered whether maybe there might be something wrong with [...]

144

Life After Zionist Summer Camp

It starts at a very young age. The summer after third grade, my parents sent me to Jewish sleepaway camp. I was deeply homesick at first and cried a lot in my bunk bed, but by the end of the month I didn't want to leave. So I went back, summer after summer—boarding the plane with a few other Jewish kids from my hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and flying to Appleton, Wisconsin, with a stop-over at O'Hare, where a volunteer from Hadassah would meet us at the gate and try to keep us from the moo shu pork at Wok-N-Roll.

Those summers blur together, but each day begins [...]

16

Das Racist And Other Friends I Never Made In College

Since I'm a graduate student and drunkenness on a Thursday night is practically required, last Thursday I was terrifically far from sober and, as a direct result, read an article about Das Racist. I read this article because whenever Das Racist pops up on my radar, I read about them, like I read about MGMT even though I've only ever listened to MGMT once, and that was their song “Kids,” and, when I listened to it, it was about two years after “Kids” was a hit. I try to avoid dwelling on Das Racist, but, like I said, last Thursday I was drunk. Even when I'm not drunk, [...]