Hipster Issues: What is Lame is Cool Again

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At a certain time in life, one realizes that there are certain things that they can never be. You cannot be an astronaut. You cannot be a firetruck. You cannot play professional baseball.


However, there are some people that can fill these positions. Everything is relative, and they have their respective impasses to other desirable tracts. But it does not quell the desire to still be such things. I will, and never shall be, able to become a hipster. I realize this: the barriers to entry is too great compared to the efforts that I wish to exert. That, and I prefer to shave.


The old adage goes as so: “Those who cannot do, teach.” Of course, I have never been down in the trenches, or should I say, the moshing pits. I can only comment on what I see, in brief glimpses, from what I read online, and other slighted empirical methods. I try my best to read Philebrity, to keep “hip to the streets”, but it’s like reading a foreign publication – this is certainly the same alphabet I use, but the names, venues and issues are outside the realm of my understanding.


Most of my clothing was purchased five years ago, or poached from the closet of septuagenarian. My physique most closely resembles packed hamburger. Bartender, can I get a Dogfish Head? As I write this, I’m listening to Randy Newman. This is just a short list of my problem areas.


So, as I do research for this post, and I look at the pictures of the checkered-plaid, bicycle-riding, appropriately-scruffy, scrawny forerunners of cool, I have come to a realization that I am not uncool, I’m just ahead of my time.


In todays subculture, music is the great arbiter. Maybe it’s because music has always been the medium of the people. The music scene is certainly the most important nexus of hipster culture. And boy, is there a lot of it. There are people who can casually throw out a list of the super-obscure, the kind of encyclopedic knowledge and criticism attributed to librarians and curators. I do not have the patience for keeping track of the exponentially growing list, much less the live performances of packed, sweaty throngs. But these performers, as they wield the power of creating the music that controls the culture, they are like demigods, those to aspire to.


Sometimes the music is easy to control and manipulate. Then, spectacle becomes the next important trait. You gotta fit the look. From this, the lesser spectators can only mirror, and you mirror back any trends. It’s a continual creative process.


I signed up for last.fm, in efforts to expand my bland musical tastes to something more exotic. But, as I retreat to safer artists, I view their information on last.fm’s external application, which has revealed to me some interesting images.


Let’s take a look at some of the lamer adult rock idols. Some might easily slip into the latest hipster occasion, sipping Pabst and waxing on the adoption of public bicycle programs based on European success.

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If we were to pull away it may reveal a fixed-gear bike, a 40 oz. cleverly concealed in a paper bag, and probably Art Garfunkel.

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“Torchy Rock” ironically is the name for Urban Outfitters’ Spring ‘08 catalogue.

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Throw on some tattoos and you got Yusef a hipster!

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C’mon, JT, you can’t convince me that your mustache is anything but ironic!

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He considers Miller “High Life” as one of the “Finer Things.” It’s ironic, get it?

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She ironically complains about the big yellow taxi that cut her off on the way to Johnny Brenda’s.

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These days he seems to think a lot, during his lunch break at Trader Joe’s.

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Hipster Schmipster.

Statistics

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Number of Weeks Worked with Late Night: 9
Number of Days Worked: 45
Number of Days Blogged: 4
Total Percentage of Blog Internship Coverage: 8.89%
We are approaching excellence!

Grrrr-Baaah!

Typo is driving me up the wall. Honestly I do not undestand it’s wacky nature, from comments not posting to the comment feed not updating.

I’m looking into going with Wordpress software instead, but I’m waiting for the Webmeister to get his internet set up so he can administer the change. I’m going to suffer Typo for the next couple weeks until I can make the switch.

Sic semper tyrannis!

Of Supplementation

There’s a certain saga going on, an addition to this and this. While this news is over a week old, and most parties who are privy to this sort of information were informed (for the most part these people are the only ones who read the blog for starters), I felt it was appropriate, for the record, to amend yet again, Last-Minute Internship Opprotunities.

Where we last left off, I had received a rather stock email from the show’s internship coordinator. I was humbling, as I never expected the whole thing to fly to begin with. I resumed my life and worrying about the end of semester. The next week I get a phone call from NBC Human Resources, who the internship coordinator put in a good word for me with. Thinking this could be chance duex, I prepped myself from a phone call. After praising NBC and flaunting myself as best I could audiably, I was considered for two positions: Bravo and iVilliage, both in positions on the tech side than actual writing. I mean, they’re not Conan, but they were with NBC in NYC. That had to be worth something.

My dad was not at all convinced on either of these internships, and this caused a little riff in the Pro/Anti Internship front, pitting my mom and myself against my dad. Tensions rose throughout the night as I pinged calls between the two. I went to bed with my dad strongly encouraging me to turn down a position, and my mom and roommate telling me that it would be crazy to do so.

I get a call from a 212 area code the next day, figuring it’s someone from Bravo in New York, and it was time to make Sophie’s Choice. Turns out, it was in fact the script assistant from Late Night. They had some things shift around, and now had a position to offer me. As the initial rejection was less than a week old, I immediately said yes and figured I’d deal with the consequences of my dad later down the line (he said that Conan made more sense than Bravo or the others, so he was down).

Now, to make it official: I am working for Late Night this summer, as a scripts intern. I will, as I understand it, prepare, distribute, photocopy scripts. And run coffee. I’m not going to write anything; I’m actually barred from pitching ideas to the writers. I’ve heard that working for Late Night is like going to comedy school, and I’m strictly a student.

My uncle graciously offered to put me up in Conneticut for as long as I liked, so I’m taking that for the time being. I’m sort of wary with living outside of the city (see: Jenkintown), because from this past years experience it’s touch to keep connected with people when you have to leave by a certain time to get home. But, I’m very appreciative of the offer, I’ll see how that goes.

Jinx!

Per the last post, I exhausted my luck and fell short of achieving the Conan internship for this summer. This might be what happens when talking about something in detail before it actually goes through.

Also, it might not be wise to do so on the Internet where the prospective employer might be able to read about it. Na ja!

Last-Minute Internship Opportunities, Postscript

If you are one of the ±2 people that read my blog, you may recall a recent comedy tidbit called “Last-Minute Internship Opportunities“. In fact, this was my last post since my true Last-Minute Intership Opportunity. I shall now regale you with the full and unabridged tale, as any good writer should:

My roommate was very excited to inform me that Conan O’Brien and some LateNight writers would be speaking at the Museum of Television and Radio. It piqued my interest, and after some diliberation we decided that we would try and get tickets. There’s a heirarchy over there at the Museum, so members get first dibs, and when purchase was finally opened up to the public, we were essentially S.O.L. for theater seats. I was kinda cool to the idea of watching the interview in a remote room with closed-curcuit broadcasting, but thinking that this would be a once-and-done deal I bought two tickets to the show.

We headed into New York on Thursday, April 5th, and had a very informative and entertaining evening. After the show, we had a bathroom pit-stop before our way out to the train, but upon leaving we saw a crowd of people gathering outside. I figured that Conan and his writers would be coming out, and possibly do a meet-and-greet. When they did come out, Conan was immediately swamped with people, and the writers sort of lingered, being met by anyone who didn’t feel like mauling Conan or didn’t bring a camera. I decided the person I wanted to meet was head writer Mike Sweeney.

I quickly caught him as Conan and the rest of the writers were being ushered into their vehicle back to NBC, and asked if there was any fast-track to getting an internship specifically with Late Night. He said he would forward me some information, but I was quicky intercepted by the Head of Late Night publicity. He handed me his card and assured me that he would forward any message I had along to Mike.

My roommate spent the walk back to Penn Station telling me the exact steps I needed to take to try and get an interview for the internship. It involved sending both the publicity guy and Mike an email not speaking of things internship but if they had any advice concerning getting into the business. To me, this was going to be about as easy as writing this email without an “e” key.

I spent the whole day on Friday, from the moment I got in at 8 am, formulating what to say in the email. Most of the day I was running back in forth with edits, and we argued over who specifically to send it to, what to write in it, etc. I believe that my roommate flip-flopped on what to say several times, so I eventually had to put my foot down and make a decision. At around 3:30 pm, I sent out an email that went something like:

Thank you both for providing the event. As someone pursuing
an education in media writing, specifically in the area of
comedy, it was very informative to discover more about the
writing process at Late Night. I was particularly interested
by the intricacies of translating work from the writer’s room
to air, and the unexpected directions the show’s writing can
potentially go. The relationship between the writers and
Conan appeared very organic, and it was refreshing to hear
about your credos of absurdity in comedy.

I was wondering if either of you could offer any advice for
someone entering the field, and if it would be possible to
contact the both of you with particular questions.

I look forward to hearing from both of you in the near
future. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Now, I was under the impression that the whole process would be me asking them questions over a period of weeks before the question of internship would ever come up. And when it did, I thought that my resume would be reviewed and then the waiting game would start anew. This was the email I recieved in less than an hour later:

Were you interested in an internship? If so, send me a resume and I’ll
forward it along to the internship coordinator for the show.

I had to laugh, because despite all my roommate’s carefully planned efforts, it turned out that he could see through my bullshit after all. At least he was now giving me audience to present myself.

I spent the weekend working on my resume, specifically that of my objective. Once that was completed on Sunday, we argued once again about including a cover letter, who to send it to, etc. I finally bit the bullet and wrote the cover letter to the publicity director, because I hadn’t known the internship coordinator’s name. I sent this all out around 10:30 pm Monday the 9th.

With everything sent, I reverted to normal function, returning my attention to my work and studies. I got into work around 8 am Tuesday, and mounted the morning task of printing out photographs for my boss (which requires me to keep my email open). At 12:30 I get an email telling me that my resume was forwarded, and almost immediately received a voicemail from the internship coordinator at Late Night asking me to schedule something with them ASAP.

We arrange for Friday, the 13th. Despite obvious ominious overtones, I was able to arrange everything, I had smooth sailing up to New York. Once I got up to the Late Night offices, I was greeted by Chris, the internship coordinator, who was extremely nice and even excited to meet me. The reception area was swamped with Spring interns, and I was ushered into the writing room which was catered, albiet picked over. I grazed a bit, but didn’t want to spoil my appetite for the lunch I was going to have afterwards with my aunt. Finally Chris returned and we toured the studio (he pointed out things along the way: the Masturbating Bear costume, giant Conan head, etc.).

The interview went very well, and he seemed to even try and convince me to take the General Production internship instead of the Scripts internship which I expressed internship in cover letter. We moved from the dressing room, where we had our meeting, and I went on to meet with three people in the Scripts Department. They were totally deadpan, which I accounted for because of it being a) Friday, b) several hours before the show, and c) the last day before they had to head out to San Fransisco. Despite them seeming totally drained, I was able to get them individually to laugh, so that was the only indication everything was going well. Once I left them, I was sent off by Chris, who maintained his good humor, and honestly I can say I was humbled by his overall enthusiasm for me interviewing.

I am not guarenteed the internship, but I feel safe to say that I have it in the bag. It goes to show you that I guess this business is about being in the right place at the right time, and there is, in fact, a “fast-track” to getting an internship after all.

I Watch TeleVision

Normally I don’t touch our television. On very rare occasions, mostly lulls in schoolwork or other projects, I will sit down and push buttons on the magic brick that turns on that big piece of glass which shoot rays into my eyes. I arrived home late last night, as I do on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I quick made myself a dinner of Chicken Cordon Bleu, Asparagus, and Mashed Potatoes (Thanks, Trader Joe’s!) and sat down for some good old-fashioned “TV.”

And I turn it on to this:

I was blown away. I can’t believe that Olbermann has the gall, and the support of the NBC network, to be able to say this. During Prime Time, even! I’m ambivilent towards Mr. Olbermann in the past, mostly because I’m propitiated by his brash behavior and left-wingedness, but this also annoys me because this same behavior on the other side of the spectrum would greatly piss me off.

The great thing about Olbermann’s speech in this, however, is how eloquent he sounds in comparison to such others as O’Reilly, Hannity, or Limbaugh. It’s almost poetic! Dripping with hubris, but lyrical! If only more politicians could talk and prepare speeches like he exhibits, and maybe our standards as a nation would rise (think Lincoln!).

Although, “Good night, and good luck” might be a bit overdoing it. I know where he’s coming from, but if that phrase wouldn’t be so topical, it would seem like a legit throwback, but since they only made a movie about it, it doesn’t seem so fresh. Maybe he should consider something else. “I’m Keith Olbermann, and I’m kicking ass and taking names.” I like that one.

Dispatches from the MURL, Part I

So in case you don’t know, when I’m not going to school and sleeping in, I’m a student worker for a program in the Temple Journalism Department called MURL (Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab). Now, I’ve contemplated starting a “development blog” on Blogger (where we host the MURL blogs now) in which I document my progress in designing the website and components. But I’m just so tickled pink on how the redesign of the MURL logo went I wanted to share it here:

First, the Original Design, made circa early 2000-something:

And now my awesome Web 2.0, Aqua redesign:

Much prettier, eh?

Once and Future Blog

So, my partner in crime managed to blow up the previous iteration of the blog about two weeks ago when I kindly asked him to update the blog software for me. Whoops!

There were things in the interim, things that I things that I wished to discuss in gruesome detail, but when Wait, Wait… touches upon it then, baby, that shit is old.

My roommate has a cornucopia of films (fil?¢‚Ǩ¢UMS) that I have yet to watch. There are television shows even! I’m really getting into this “SCTV” and they have a fantastic skit that has a running joke about Michael McDonald, a joke that trumps even “Dance Troupe.” Watch it!

You are laughing now, aren’t you? Believe it!

I have nothing.

EDIT: I took the video off and instead linked to it, because the .FLV file is 37 Mb (I’m still working on reducing the filesize while best maintaining the quality) and I have yet to figure out the “click to start” function that YouTube employs so well.