I have no idea why but I imagined Bane as Daddy Warbucks.
"The fire rises, Annie."
I have no idea why but I imagined Bane as Daddy Warbucks.
"The fire rises, Annie."
I think about the difference between our mothers.
My mother was born into poverty, illegally entered a Japan that was hostile to “her kind.” Her father, a patriarchal neanderthal by today’s gauge, promptly sent her off to America when she fell in love with a local. That poor family would go on to found a blue chip company worth millions of dollars that have driven siblings mad with greed.
His mother was born into a reputable Roman family; followed an American Dream free of the detritus of world war, full of promises of glamour. She left an Italy that then became sexiest in its reconstruction years. Her family would remain generous, if less wealthy.
Mine is grateful to be alive.
His is grateful she has lived.
Mine is full of regret.
His is full of judgement.
Mine struggles for penance.
His struggles for tolerance.
Mine is affluent in cheap affections.
His is spare with immaculate endorsements.
Mine can’t fathom anymore of her life serving a husband.
His can’t imagine a day without hers.
Mine can’t get far enough away from the past.
His is pathologically nostalgic.
Mine champions the artifacts of Asia’s future.
His rues the passing of Europe’s golden age.
Mine doubts she loves us enough.
His doubts her sons love her at all.
Mine gets a call from me about once a month.
His gets a call from him once a week like clockwork.
Post Office. Saturday afternoon. (I don’t relish in ever bombasting the USPS but it’s Monday so screw it.)
Clerk: Where is this package going? I can’t read this.
Me: Japan (points at big bold alphabetic letters at bottom of package). The customs form is in English.
Clerk: (Starts typing in the information on my customs form) Is that I-S-H-I-I?
Manager in background: I-S-H-I-I-I-I-I-I-~~~ (singing, then chanting the letter “I” over and over. Staff laughs. I believe at this point they may be on LSD.)
Very large black man behind me: (to my clerk) Excuse me, ma’am you said to come back here when I was done.
Clerk: Sir, you can wait right there I’ll be with you when I’m done with this woman.
Man: Did you just call me son?!
Man: Did you just call me son?!
Clerk: Sir, I said wait right there!
Me: We’re almost finished.
Clerk: (guffaws) This is going to take a while. (To me) He didn’t like what I had to say, he can just hear it from someone else.
Clerk: It’s good you wrote the address in Japanese. They’ll understand it in Japan.
Momofuku Milk at Carroll Street. Noon. I am second in a five-person line waiting for coffee. The one and only clerk is listing all of the lunch options to the guy ahead of me. The two people at the end of the line leave, impatient.
Clerk: With the lunch special you can get a bun, a beverage and a side and the sides are potato chips, kimchi slaw or a cookie.
Patron: I’ll have it with the kimchi slaw.
Clerk: We’re out of the kimchi slaw.
The Strand bookstore in New York recommends The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame as a “Great Graduation Gift.” I like the way they think! The book is in excellent company, alongside the works of Tom of Finland, Jean Genet, Reinaldo Arenas and Gore Vidal. I want to shake the hand of whoever was in charge of curating this table.
Photo by Avant~Bear (thank you!)
I don’t use Photoshop. I ABUSE IT.
As we flagged for you late last week, a local TV station on Friday ran what was one of the most cringe-worthy Asiana segments you’re going to see anywhere. A KTVU anchor read the “names” of the four pilots who were on board the 777 when it crash-landed in San…
I had a lot of problems with “Lost in Translation” when it came out, and when people fought my claims of its racism, I’d say, “you think Sofia Coppola would get away with this bullshit if it were set in Harlem? Or if she clowned Southern Whites?” No, of course not.
These days the movie offends me less, which is to say I won’t tell everyone I meet how much I hate it. But I’ve realized there are actually a lot of seemingly funny things, things we think are sweetly humorous, that aren’t really precious or funny at all.
1. A toddler in a temper tantrum.
A child, nay, a human screaming “I DON’T WANNA (leave the supermarket check-out line even though the end-of-shift Staples manager waiting behind my mother is psychotically gripping his twist-off Cabernet, counting the seconds till he is home in front of a television watching Storage Wars because it was that kind of work week hell)” is not asking us to “awww” at his dry little sobs and conclude “little Joey must be hungry.” He is telling us he wishes he was never born. A problem easily solved, by the way.
2. A cat swatting at a ball of yarn.
It’s disgusting, how we torture animals. Kipling’s abattoirs are no match for the psychological horror to which we subject domesticated cats. Don’t we see that the cat, by fighting a proxy prey, has been forced to bring out its most predatory instincts, for what? Our entertainment. Just imagine if we switched roles. Imagine a giant ball of yarn thwacking a helpless little cat till it fell apart. Would you have the audacity then, to video-record and publish it to YouTube?
3. Dogs farting.
How many of you have been in the presence of an aging Boxer? I don’t mean George Foreman. I’m referring to that most flatulent of dog species, who clearly has no understanding of its own disorder. Years of eating its own vomit—a canine perversion of body dysmorphia/bulemia nervosa—have led to irreparable damage on its lower GI and now it farts just to know it’s alive. Plus it smells fucking disgusting.
4. Straight men wearing women’s clothing.
Women have to wear women’s clothing every day. What are men trying to say here? That women’s clothing is “funny”? That it’s a “lesser” vestiment? That it’s a liability to the army or that it has smaller brains? Psh. I won’t be satisfied till we’re laughing at any woman wearing cargo shorts or a jock strap.
Free Priority Shipping in the US for all orders made this weekend: between midnight tonight (12am June 8) and midnight Monday (12am June 11), Eastern Standard Time.
That’s anywhere from 5-15 bucks off your order that you can use to add a pair of socks or a box of condoms to show your Daddy you love him.
UPDATE: FREE SHIPPING SETTINGS HAVE BEEN FIXED. TRUE FREE SHIPPING ON ALL US ORDERS NOW!
Video: Gengoroh Tagame (田亀源五郎) drawing a sketch and talking about his work with Max Freeman.
Check out the whole interview at The Huffington Post!
Freeman: Most of these stories happen in an indefinite time and place.
Tagame: There’s a piece I did called “Pride” which was very specific in its location and era, and unfortunately that one piece became obsolete faster than any of my other stories. I had characters with beepers and stuff like that, and it took maybe five years for it to just not make any sense. Or I mention cruising spots that just don’t exist anymore. I’ve been afraid of that happening to my other stories, so I calculate if it’s going to be modern, I don’t mention what year or where exactly something takes place. Just until last month I was running a serial comic in Badi magazine, and it involves someone using their iPhone to take pictures and video of people. I’m positive that by next year it’ll already be obsolete.
Freeman: Bondage keeps better than the iPhone.
Our Interview with HuffPo is up!
ALSO DON’T MISS TOMORROW’S OPENING FOR TAGAME: WORKS ON PAPER AT SHOOT THE LOBSTER.
-I was biking (on a cliché vintage piece of shit) through the East Village when I noticed a man in Armani-Casual attempting to parallel park a full-size Hummer into a space as wide as my fist. The bus behind him patiently waited but I made eye contact with the driver who shook his head. We smiled, and I snickered “what a douchbag” under my breath as I rode on and then a pigeon shit on my face.
-I rose above ground from the subway at 1am and beelined for the taco truck at 14th and 8th, hangry for a carnitas taco. I got on line behind a flamboyant Latino man with his significantly older (and dowdy) white lady-patron/client. He was very touchy-feely with her and she was so excited when he ordered chicken flautas in Spanish-Spanish (as opposed to Mexican Spanish). As I inched forward to place my order, a 7 foot tall black man walked right up in front of me and started ordering himself, in really shitty Spanish (as opposed to Spanish-Spanish).
Dose poh-lo tacos pararara var, por favor. Oh, and por favor, servietas.
I stepped up as close to him as I could, basically rubbing up on him, and STARED at his face until he would turn to look at me, and instead of saying “oh I’m sorry I didn’t realize I cut in front of you,” he says “These guys are so great, but it’s better to order in Spanish.”
Thanks for the tip, El Dickhead.
PASSION FOR THE PASSION OF TAGAME, a set on Flickr.Check out all my shitty iPhone pictures + Graham’s more beautiful camera photos of Tagame’s North American tour. CC Picturebox, TCAF, Chip Kidd, The Standard Highline
I’ve had the pleasure of touring gay erotica master Gengoroh Tagame through Toronto and New York City with the help of many friends this past week. I won’t name everyone (I’m slightly lazy, totally inconsiderate), but on our way to New York, Chip Kidd did a MAJOR last-minute favor for us in housing Tagame, after we discovered his original reservation at La Maison de Flea Bag International was not much more than a slave cot surrounded by plywood and latticed fencing for a ceiling. Without exaggeration, the first thing I thought when I saw his room was “comfort women station.” For a second I thought maybe this might work to Tagame’s advantage: it being feasibly the perfect setting for a hard core BDSM storyline. But no. A thousand times no.
Long story short, we moved Tagame into Chip’s place and Chip moved himself into his partner Sandy’s place.
So come Wednesday, Tagame and I were scheduled for a Skype video interview with BUTT Magazine. I went over to Chip’s with my laptop, and soon enough we were hooked up on speakerphone face-to-face with Zac Bayly.
Zac started with questions about New York and Tokyo, but swiftly moved into Tagame’s sex life (with the artist’s permission, of course). I mean, what good is BUTT if it doesn’t talk about butt, amiright?
How much of your work is based on real life?
What is the freakiest thing you’ve done?
[I won’t steal Zac’s thunder by belaboring the answers but I promise… you won’t want to miss this interview, so stay tuned over at buttmagazine.com.]
For now, just use your imagination. And bear in mind, I am uttering everything Tagame says in English, in the first person, for transcription. In other words, Tagame would answer at length in Japanese but what you end up hearing is me saying, “I am Gengoroh Tagame and I am a gay erotic artist.”
In the middle of Tagame’s barding, Chip’s door unlocks and opens itself. A diminutive middle-aged woman walks in. It’s Esther the housekeeper.
Esther: Hi, I’m here to clean the apartment. Is that OK?
Anne: Oh yeah totally. We’re in the middle of an interview though so if you wouldn’t mind just avoiding the vacuum for now?
Esther: Chip’s not here?
Anne: (Realizing of course that she has no idea who we are) Yes sorry, I should’ve explained that first. He’s staying here for the week (motioning to Tagame).
Esther smiles and goes to the kitchen sink for supplies. Tagame and I promptly turn our attention back to the screen and continue our interview. That is, I dive as if in media res back into the dialogue and translate what Tagame just said into English, in the first person, and it went a little something like this:
The first time I saw fist-fucking I thought wow how beautiful and how fucked up… (Again: see the rest of this at BUTT online!)
I went on in minute detail channeling a Tagamian voice. One anecdote involved duct tape and an old leather belt… and pre-cum. Such extreme details of sexual activity would make even the heartiest Dom perk up but the rest of us…
I heard something drop. A bottle of window cleaner. Or something. Esther. The housekeeper…
For five intense seconds we were all silent, and then Esther left the room. I do sincerely hope she has a bad ear or a good sense of humor. Chip: I apologize if you have to find a new housekeeper. Esther: God bless you.