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08.30.2003

Three Men and a Container Full of Bath Toys

These past few weeks I've been listening obsessively to Eminem. It started innocently enough - a VH1 special back in March, a pleasant evening spent watching 8 mile. Next thing you know, I've turned into Michael Bolton from Office Space, shocking the cows with explicit lyrics as I zoom by on the morning commute. I realized that things had gotten bad today when I walked in on the better half singing "Kim" to herself as she stirred up a pan of chili garlic tofu. "So long, bitch you done me so wrong... gack!... mgghh!"

I have nothing to say about Eminem that's remotely as interesting as this pair of Rolling Stone interviews, one in 1999, and the other in 2002:

Lately, I've been taking [my daughter] to the studio, because that's where I spend most of my time. She has fun there, there's video games for her and stuff. Coloring books and crayons - thank God for those. We watch a lot of movies, just typical shit. She's real into The Powerpuff Girls and Hey Arnold! and Dora the Explorer -- ever seen that one? It's the same episode all week long because it teaches kids numbers and how to speak Spanish. By Friday, you know it by heart. I watch that with her, then I go listen to my songs over and over. I'm gonna fucking jump off a bridge.

Resistance is useless!

----

When the music stops, I've been reading and re-reading books by Chris Ware. In Los Angeles, I finally shelled out the money for Jimmy Corrigan, and now I have that familiar feeling of kicking myself sore for waiting so long to discover something I should have read years ago. But in the dim hope that there are still people left who haven't read the book, another pair of interviews to whet your appetite:

Our culture permits, even encourages, middle-aged men to buy fast red cars and listen to sexually-charged fertility music. It's unsightly. We've finally found the fountain of youth in America, and it's our major export. One of the reasons teenage kids are shooting each other is that they have nothing to look up to -- in a culture which celebrates their age group, what do they have to anticipate? How can any kid respect a dad who's wearing muscleshirts and listening to Van Halen?

Don't miss it, or his books, including the ACME Novelty Library.

--

Next week brings the world a new album from Frank Black and the Catholics, Show Me Your Tears. The best I can do in the interim is offer two final interviews and complete the trifecta. Especially nice is the Blogcritics interview, where Frank Black demonstrates how to handle a whole string of stupid questions in a row without losing his cool:

KL: I had a column about crazy UFO stuff in the San Francisco Chronicle last week, and a reader caught me describing Montana cattle killings as a "wave of mutilation." Yet I didn't realize I was quoting a song at the time. Can I sue you for subliminal attacks?

FB: You have a very odd way of connecting things. I don't understand why you feel there needs to be litigation.

DO: Also - what if any chance is there of a reunion tour with new Pixies material? P.S. I love Teenager of the Year

FB: Sure there's a chance. Know any promoters that want to do a show on the moon? P.S. Thanks.

If you're searching for a unifying thread in this post, the tip-off is that Frank Black is fresh from a divorce. So any way you slice it, you'll be getting a dose of vicarious emotional pain.

---

If you want nothing to do with emotional pain, read instead the heart-lifting story of a lost cargo of rubber duckies that have crossed the Arctic ice, and are making their way to a New England beach near you.

Collect them all!

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