Lindquist stalks his prey on the icy sea. Photo: Michael Hanson
The author, Martin Douglas, and his father. I. Portrait of the Author as a Young Punk I was born around hip hop, but my life as a music fan didn’t start until the summer of 1991. My parents…
I took the SAT a grand total of one time when I was in dipshit prep school. This was 1993. Like any other kid, I wanted to do well on the test, primarily so that I would NEVER have to take it again,…
LENGTH: 13 minutes (3431 words)
Hunter S. Thompson was just 22-years-old in 1959 when he first began writing The Rum Diary, or what he initially called “the great American rum novel.” He envisioned it as something of a contemporary and rum-soaked version of The Great Gatsby, one of Thompson’s favorite books. Based on the time Thompson spent working for an English language newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico, The Rum Diary fictionally chronicles the drunken and debauched life of Paul Kemp, an American journalist sauntering through San Juan with a savage lust for women, blood and booze. Once finished, Thompson spent nearly a decade revising and shopping it to publishers before reverting to other projects. It wasn’t until 1998 that Thompson was finally able to publish The Rum Diary.
LENGTH: 1 minutes (490 words)
I marvel at Radiolab when I hear it. I feel jealous. Its co-creators Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich have digested all the storytelling and production tricks of everyone in public radio before them, invented some slick moves of their own, and ended up creating the rarest thing you can create in any medium: a new aesthetic. Take the opening of their show on the mathematics of random chance, stochasticity. The first aesthetic choice Jad and Robert make is that they don’t say you’re about to listen to a show about math or science. They don’t use the word stochasticity. They know those things would be a serious turn off for lots of people. In doing this, Jad and Robert sidestep most of the conventions of a normal science show – hell, of most normal broadcast journalism.
I want to hear about Be Here Now. "At the time, I was taking a lot of fucking drugs, so I didn't give a fuck," Gallagher says. "We were taking all the cocaine we could possibly find. But it wasn't like a seedy situation. We were at work. We weren't passed out on the floor with a bottle of Jack Daniel's. We were partying while we were working. And when that record was finished, I took it back to my house and listened to it when there wasn't a party happening and I wasn't out of my mind on cocaine. And my reaction was: 'This is fucking long.' I didn't realize how long it was. It's a long fucking record. And then I looked at the artwork, and it had all the song titles with all the times for each track, and none of them seemed to be under six minutes. So then I was like, 'Fucking hell. What's going on there?'"
Here is an interesting thought: Of the two most literarily compelling video games I played this year, one (Sword & Sworcery) incorporates maybe four pages of text total and the other (Surviving High School) is intended for the driver's-ed crowd. Exactly how damning is it that both games feature characters that play more fascinatingly against type than virtually all of the committee-written games that emerge from the other side of big-budget game development? Utterly and completely damning, I would argue. I would also argue that it suggests that the problems of so many narrative games are not, at the end of the day, terribly complicated. Maybe they are not problems at all but rather ordinary failures of human imagination.
I was calling Sleets because I wanted to talk to the man who invented the high five. I'd first read about him in 2007 in a press release from National High Five Day, a group that was trying to establish a holiday for convivial palm-slapping on the third Thursday in April. Apparently, Sleets had been reluctantly put in touch with the holiday's founders, and he explained that his father, Lamont Sleets Sr., served in Vietnam in the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry -- a unit nicknamed The Five. The men of The Five often gathered at the Sleets home when Lamont Jr. was a toddler. They'd blow through the front door doing their signature greeting: arm straight up, five fingers spread, grunting "Five." Lamont Jr. loved to jump up and slap his tiny palms against their larger ones. "Hi, Five!" he'd yell, unable to keep all their names straight.