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ISSUE 41:

THAT'S OUR STORY AND WE'RE STICKING TO IT LIKE DUMB COUSIN TOMMY'S TONGUE DID TO THE MONKEYBARS

In this here last issue of 1997 (the one that'll have to tide you over 'til about March of '98 when we return refreshed, rejuvenated, and with that new-fangled happy chip installed in our Medulla Oblongatas...), you may notice something. If so, please let us know and we'll have it removed immediately.
Scott Hefflon, "Prelude to a Lick"

It was the last moment in time when anything could be taken at face value - before long, cynicism and irony crept into the culture, a chill fell over interpersonal relationships as harsh as the textures of the videotaped porn that took film's place, and sickness, addiction, and death put the final kibosh on unconscientious fun. No wonder Boogie Nights, like the films it most resembles - Altman's Nashville, Scorsese's Goodfellas, and even Tarantino's Pulp Fiction - utilizes the decade's trappings as canvas for a cinematic action painting, a messy statement about the American dream and how it helps to be spiritually asleep to go after it.
William Ham, Boogie Nights

The current state of movie culture has sunk to a level where it's more important to be clever and reactive - both in films and in the reviews of them (when a film critic begins and ends a column with a pun lifted from the title of the film being reviewed - isn't this just unnecessary ego bullshit? Does this really have anything to do with movies?).
Adam Haynes, "The Ending of the End, Part One"

If you've seen the ads and previews (why they're called "trailers" when they're at the beginning of the films and come out long before the movie is beyond me), you've basically seen Con Air. Only the movie's longer.
Chaz Thorndike, Con Air

...more fun than a trunk full of dead nuns and otters, but I already used that analogy during a poorly-received eulogy last year.
Rowan-Morrison, "Rowan-Morrison's Guide to Home Video"

Usual 'zine-style interview: the interviewer can't write, can't edit for shit, and has only a smattering of knowledge about the body of work in question, not to mention that most 'zine editors (title cap withheld 'cause they don't deserve it) are hack writers with poor judgment in the first place and wouldn't know how to salvage an insightful interview buried by gross ineptitude if their pathetic, misplaced ego-driven excuses for lives depended on it. (Note to self: Editors ought not review 'zines.)
Scott Hefflon, Bloodsongs

Due to the vagaries of the music business and of popular taste, the same source materials that once fetched downwards of twenty-five cents in the yard sales of the cultural elite have been plucked from their attic-scented cardboard homes, given complete makeovers ("That dark complexion of yours will never do. One application of this Sony shrinkage cream will give you a nice, smooth silvery cast, and the special remastering agents will bring you down from a bulky twelve inches to a nice, svelte five."), and relocated to upscale neighborhoods lined with compact glass houses with higher rents.
Nik Rainey, "Remake/Remodel/Reissue"

What's gonna come out of the Art (Alexakis) Painmill by album #10 (if it goes that far; there's something funny 'bout a guy who writes a song called "One Hit Wonder" that's obviously not about himself. Is that balls or not knowin' whose face that is in the mirror?): "I Struck Out in Little League"? "Junior High Pimple-Boy"? "I Wasn't Voted Most Likely to Succeed So Now I Hate Myself and Want to Die"?
Jon Sarre, Everclear

The Raspberries'... "Go All the Way" (is) a lounge hair ballad as sickening as it is malignantly delightful. This weirdly casted medley - the Beatles, Bad Company, Shaun Cassidy, Queen, and the Beach Boys - comes off like howling rednecks seeping through the gauze strips holding the decade together. The overwhelming sentiment is the sound of a cinderblock falling into an empty dumpster and echoing throughout middle America.
Katy Shea and Monty Woods, Poptopia: The '70s

Early on, after crossing into Mississippi, Zeke was apparently coming on to the benefits of Minnesota pure blue-green algae, and was behaving something like a hungry dog in a landfill... he hauled out a huge kazoo, and began laying out the canon of Rodgers & Hammerstein, chronologically.
Todd Brendan Fahey, "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad"

Have you lost your job? Been injured in an accident in your home or your car? Legal and medical fees piling up? Depressed? Suicidal? That hangnail acting up again? No, we can't help you, but for a nominal fee,Lollipop will hire Elton John to rewrite one of his old songs for you.
William Ham, "The Culture Bunker: The Future is Now, Bill Me Later"

No job no money no food. This is only fun if you have nothing to fall back on. Being poor means your girlfriend has to screw a loser. My girlfriend already has a deadbeat ex who calls me and threatens me with death. I tell him to get a job. What the hell am I going to tell him now?
Austin Nash, "Nashing Teeth: Bitch Slap the Mother of God"

So let me leave you with the one, ruefully humorous (in the bleakest possible way) revelation I have come up with through writing this feature over the last couple of months. For all my insistent disavowals and scowls at the media's vision of my age group, I have realized that I traffic in cheap irony, wasted talent, and aggressive, self-indulgent passivity more than anyone else I know. This is the cheap irony to end them all: I am Generation X. Fuck.
William Ham, "High Dudgeon and Low Self-Esteem (I, X)"

Jean-Paul Bavard: ...So many artists have such reticence in speaking of their Work to the paparazzi. Of course, I understand. I remember my many conversations with Tarantino on the eve of the release of Pulp Fiction. He refused to discuss the semioticrelevance of the Travolta dance montage. He ignored my inquiries, merely smiling his savant-like genius smile, leaving his Neo-Quasi-Noir Nouveau masterpiece to speak for itself. Which of course, it did. Les brilliants, they seem to intuitively sense that words are unnecessary, that images are everything. Meaning is only conveyed by context, of course, as we see from the oeuvre of the tragically maligned rap innovator Sir Mix-A-Lot, who is rightfully hailed as a genius only, ironically, in Belgium, in a field near Brugge. As a celebrity, you are aware of such things. Why?
Courtney Love: Are you talking to me?
Jean-Paul Bevard (translated by Daniel Davis), "A 'Hole' Lotta Love: Courtney Love, L'Interview"  


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