Playlist: Eugene Robinson
Eugene Robinson is the vocalist for Oxbow and Black Face, author of Fight: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ass Kicking But Were Afraid You'd Get Your Ass Kicked for Asking and A Long Slow Screw, a mixed martial artist, and the greatest editorial mind of his generation. For more information, visit http://www.eugenesrobinson.com.
DO-NOT-PLAYLIST: EUGENE S. ROBINSON
This list is probably bordered about on each and every side by my unhelpful realization that like The Meatmen said “we hate a lot of people and we hate a lot of stuff and whenever we’re in the right place we can’t hate enough.” I know it’s become popular for the kids to declaim those who hate but clearly, if I could help it? I would. As it is, I can’t and so I won’t.
So my list exists as a negative representation of what I might be found to enjoy. Or it might be viewed as just the sad ramblings of someone who is clearly past it.
DOMINANT CULTURE: There’s a great line written by David Milch: “Yankton is muscle and I hate muscle.” Well, I hate muscle too and the normative pressures that have you wearing wallets with chains or listening to Brad Paisley [truly one of the worst performers who I have ever had the misfortune to see live. Elvis shot his TV when he saw Robert Goulet massacre a song with his rampaging insincerity. Well, Goulet was as earnest as an undertaker when compared with Paisley] or saying with mock ironic confusion “really?” It’s terrible and it’s terrible what it does to you.
I’ll give you an example. When two men who do not know each other meet – in a gym or a bar – there will typically occur at some point in the conversation what I like to call “the fag test.” This is some threadbare occasion for one man to say something generic about women that is supposed to be positively received by the other man to assure him that there is NOTHING homosexual about two men chatting with each other in a steam room, or some such place. In any case it goes like this.
DUDE: Ah. Well, chicks, hunh?
OTHER DUDE: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
The pressure for men, even men who are actually GAY, to yield to this urge is almost overpowering. But overpower it you must. Like you must seek to overpower dominant culture. Some of it is not bad [SCARLETT JOHANSSON, for example. I LIKE her.] but MOST of it is horrible [Affliction t-shirts, backward baseball caps, sunglasses on said backward baseball caps, tribal tattoos] and horrible for you because it does not give a shit about you and after it mashes your rebellion into little boxes to sell back to you and you realize it? You’re 50, fat, and fucked to death by shit, absolute shit.
JACK BLACK: He’s still alive? Didn’t he die from a cocaine-fueled heart attack? Hunh? That was CHRIS FARLEY? Wait…they’re different people? So they are. Well, he’s the one that is horrible and a progenitor of what we can call “Near Miss” Culture. Movies, music, and whatever the hell he does that’s just funny enough to start the smile but never quite resolve itself into a laugh: it’s mediocrity incarnate for people who congratulate themselves with great regularity for being able to recognize mediocrity when they purchase the mediocre.
MADONNA: It’s not funny anymore, this pathological desire to be loved by us. We’ve loved you as much as we’re going to so please just stop and leave us alone. Or we’ll call a cop.
PRIMUS/THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS/METALLICA/MEGADETH/BLINK 182: It’s not funny anymore, this pathological desire to be loved by us. We’ve loved you as much as we’re going to so please just stop and leave us alone. Or we’ll call a cop.
Man. Where have I heard THAT before?
And because it can’t be all doom and gloom. There is some stuff that ALWAYS is on full blast.
BOHREN UND DER CLUB OF GORE
THE SERVANT: directed by JOSEPH LOSEY
THE CONFORMIST: directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
RAGING BULL: directed by the now-much-depleted MARTIN SCORSESE
LA DOLCE VITA: directed by Fellini
MR. LUIGI: directed by JAMIE GILLES [and the only porno on the list]
FIGHT: everything you ever wanted to know about ass kicking but were afraid you’d get your ass kicked for asking: Eugene S. Robinson
A LONG SLOW SCREW: Eugene S. Robinson
PALE FIRE: Nabakov
BLOOD MERIDIEN: Cormac McCarthy
THE GYPSY’S CURSE: Harry Crews
CATCH 22: Joseph Heller
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