Quantcast

Video of the Day

Masthead

Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
(e-mail)

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.
Thursday
Jun112009

In Which All We Want Is Someone To Be Nice To

Looking For The Nice Guy

by TYLER COATES

I consider myself to be a Feminist in the sense that I've always thought, "Yeah, ladies are just as good as dudes, right? I mean, why not?" I never was one to shout about it, though, mostly because I've never been a very politically correct person. It's pretty hard to be politically correct and hilarious. I'd much rather be funny than someone who pretends to respect everyone.

But seriously, folks: womyn really got it rough these days! And not just in the political, economic, and social departments. Fuck the glass ceiling; I'm talking about how the guys that try to date girls are dumb shits.

Now I feel like I can write about this because, even though I'm not a girl, I do date guys, and right now I am severely anti-men. Sure, that's mostly gay guys, but generally, I don't like men very much. Also, I've been reading Jezebel a lot lately, and all of that feministing has really started to affect me. This Recording favorite Julie Klausner once had an essay in the NYT's Modern Love column. I spent all day thinking about it because I've been there, lady.

Julie describes a brief, unsatisfying fling with "an indie rock dreamboat," which began in the most modern way: emails and text messaging. If you're a gay man living in a city, you've most likely gone through this routine, and I found Julie's descriptions of her first impressions pretty damn accurate:

"He already annoyed me, and we hadn’t even met. I would soon learn a lesson men have known for years: that it’s possible to be attracted to somebody you don’t like."

julie & smiley muffin

I wasn't really aware of that until recently. I'm admittedly new to the gay thing, having spent most of my post-adolescent awkward stage (which, um, just ended about two years ago when I was somewhere between 22 and 23) thinking I liked girls. When I had crushes on girls, I fell hard, spending months pining after them with, obviously, very little success.

I didn't think I'd ever want to date a guy until I found myself in my first relationship. It turned out to be a disaster, but part of me kept that relationship going because I liked the challenge of having to make an effort to get what I wanted. I wanted this guy to like me. And I realized later that when I entered into those courtship rituals with other guys, I was more interested in the ones who didn't like me than those who put a lot of effort into the pursuit.

Back when I was going after girls, I considered myself to be a Nice Guy. You know the type: the nice guy is the dude who is your friend, who is a little too shy to make a move, whom you would never call "a player". Look at Coop from Wet Hot American Summer, for example: Michael Showalter's character is the quintessential nice guy pit against Paul Rudd's bad boy.

The nice guy is the cute, skinny, nerdy guy who listens to The Decemberists instead of Dave Matthews Band, who would rather watch Amelie and cuddle than drink and beer and watch "the game." Of course, the nice guy is full of shit, and this is coming from someone who thought he was that guy.

Sure, I'm no philistine, but that doesn't mean I didn't break my fair share of hearts. Did I end brief, month-long relationships by not calling someone back? A few times, actually. Yeah, I feel bad about it now, and try not to be such a jackass and consider the thoughts of others occasionally. I wasn't doing it before on purpose, or out of some sociopathic game I was playing. No, I was just a dipshit who didn't know how to treat the guys I was courting.

From Leigh Dragoon's Nice Guys 101 Series

There's a great quote that is floating around from an interview with author Amanda Marcotte:

"The Nice Guy syndrome arises from men who are really conflicted about women’s equality. They get angry real fast when, after being 'nice,' they don’t get rewarded, or they are rejected. Guys are oblivious to the fact of their entrenched privilege, the very notion that women are there as available eye candy for them. It is unnerving and uncool."

It's almost as if sometimes men think they should be rewarded with sex simply because they didn't actively (or at least aggressively) pursue it.

But that idea is completely the opposite of what one looks for in the nice guy. The nice guys shouldn't be calculating and manipulative of your feelings just to get you into bed! That's the bad boy, the one you're not supposed to like. So why is it when someone like Julie Klausner falls for the unassuming, sensitive musician, she gets spurned just as if he was that bad boy in disguise? That's because nice guys are the bad boys in disguise.

Now, I'm not saying all guys suck; I'm sure there are a few out there that are genuine and respectful of whomever they pursue. But if you're with someone who calls himself "nice," nip that shit in the bud. And if you're uncertain, here are some helpful tips to see if your potential mate is an actual dickhead nice guy:

1. Does he think he's awkward? If he describes himself as awkward, there's a problem. (To quote Edith Wharton: "[T]he inner vanity is generally in proportion to the outer self-depreciation.") We're misusing that word most of the time anyway. If everyone's awkward, then no one's awkward, okay? (That's the closest I'll ever come to Ayn Rand Objectivist thought.)

2. Is he a currently attractive former geek? That's a red flag. He's probably not looking to settle down, even if he plays you Sufjan on his guitar. He's most likely looking for help discovering his newfound hotness.

3. Does he perform improv and have a huuuuge crush on Tina Fey? Look out! You might think those loose-fitting khakis paired with Nike sneakers are endearing and the prospect of having a guy watch Mean Girls with you sounds like a dream come true now, but it's only because he thinks she's a hottie on 30 Rock. Would he have dated her in college?

4. Does he still listen to The Shins? All I'm going to say is that the dude from The Shins roughed up his America's Next Top Model girlfriend. I didn't even see that one coming.

5. Does he have a blog? YIKES.

Be wary, ladies, of the seemingly sweet, inexperienced guy who declares his emotions, because beneath that nice guy exterior is a guy who just doesn't know how to be around - or, hell, even respect - women (or other men, for that matter). Klausner wrote about this on her year-end blog post, where she included "Emo guys who have crushes on Pam from The Office" in her list of enemies. She said:

I get it, fellas. She's not intimidating, like one of those women who wears make-up and styles her hair, and has a good job that she enjoys, and confidence, and a...what do you call it...an adult woman's sexuality. There's nothing scary there, because there's no mystery: she's just like you! Mousy and shy. And one day your fantasy will come true. You'll meet a nerdy, cute girl just like that (like you), and NOBODY BUT YOU WILL KNOW SHE'S PRETTY! Shhh! It's a secret! And she'll melt when she sees your record collection, and she'll swoon when you play her the song you wrote, and she'll never want to go out to a party where you'll be forced to talk to people of social status, or comb your hair, or buy grown-up shoes, or demonstrate a hearty handshake, or make eye contact, or basically act like a man.

So what's the moral here? Does a guy have to spout out misogynistic bullshit about women to reveal some kind of deeper evil? Absolutely not! Take this speech from my favorite movie, Broadcast News, for example:

What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No, I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing. He will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance... Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen. And he'll get all the great women.

Tyler Coates is the contributing editor to This Recording. He tumbls it all right here.

digg reddit stumble facebook twitter subscribe

"Little White Lies" - Deer Tick (mp3)

"The Ghost" - Deer Tick (mp3)

"Houston, TX" - Deer Tick (mp3)

Wednesday
Jun102009

In Which I Always Imagined That Paradise Would Be A Kind Of Library

Computer Carrels

by MOLLY LAMBERT

Library Photographs from Curious Expeditions

There's a Bruce Springsteen song called "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)." Bruce looks better now than he did in 1990. (Doesn't everyone?) The song is about cable and how 57 channels are not enough to satisfy us. Of course now with the internet there are 57 million channels and yet sometimes, bafflingly, there can be nothing on

As a kid I used to fantasize about watching television all night long, until it went "off." I assumed there was a manual operator who had to press a button to end TV. As an adult I have lived this fantasy many times over, as I'm sure most of you have at one time or another. Long before the advent of DVD box sets or torrenting sites, I longed to immerse myself permanently in the state of watching television. Of course I learned that TV never really does go off, it just turns into informercials for a few hours.

The internet doesn't turn into informercials *yet, but even with the ready availability of Surf The Channel and Hulu and YouTube, a seemingly endless supply of entertainment, there are times when we hit the wall. This New York magazine article speculates about whether over-stimulation makes us smarter or the opposite.

I know that before I had the internet, I watched TV, and when I couldn't do that, I read magazines and books. Distraction is nothing new. How useless the new forms of distraction (twitter, facebook, et al) is still up for debate. The author of the NY Mag piece decides that Wikipedia cannot be useless if it taught him about the Boston Molasses Disaster. If you've run out of internet, read Alex's google shares.

For those of us who enjoy libraries (and if you read This Recording, you probably do), Wikipedia is like endless rows of stacks. And there are always more videos you can watch, more articles you can read. But you still reach your limits. No matter how many channels or webpages are available, you build up a tolerance. Or you get eyestrain

But as the internet continues, there will be more outlets. More online magazines (none as good as This Recording). New ways to dispense movies and television and images as well as the written word. Words won't get left behind. Text that is typed on a computer is every bit as authentic as something scribbled in a notebook or tapped out on a typewriter. There is no hierarchy of mediums

"Jennifer's Body" puts a crimp in the plans for my horror comedy "Victoria's Secretions" about a girl whose vagina lubricates poison; Megan Fox thinks she’s a role model for strong, young women. The Transformers star, who recently likened herself to a prostitute, wants to help teenage girls “feel strong and intelligent and be outspoken.”

Fox also called herself a "bull dyke" this week with reference to a time she gained some weight. I wish she would stop being such a 3rd wave feminist and get on board with the 9th wave. It's feminism in the ninth dimension. Seriously Megan, I want to like you. You're so ridiculous. Get on my level ho!

Accidental Mysteries

Ex Libris

Blind Pony Books

Seven Roads

Time Tales

Socus Locus

Ephemera

Confessions of A Bookplate Junkie

How To Find Images On The Internet 

 THE JUKEBOX IN HEAVEN IS STOCKED WITH PRINCE

 "Jack U Off" - Prince: (mp3)

"Let's Work" - Prince: (mp3)

"Annie Christian" - Prince: (mp3)

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She also tumbls and twitters

digg reddit stumble facebook twitter subscribe

Tuesday
Jun092009

In Which Print Is Dead And So Is Patrick Jane

Rogue Intuitionist

by ELEANOR MORROW

For a long time I have felt that Patrick Jane has that Regina Spektor song on his iPod, the one about God coming down to earth and causing a serial killer to kill his wife and child.

Back then Jane was nothing more than a TV psychic who pissed off the wrong serial killer. It takes a very specific kind of person to piss off a serial killer. In fact here at This Recording we go out of our way to acede to the wishes of serial killers, especially Charles Manson, who is incredibly still alive as of this writing.

In the incredible season finale of this first season of The Mentalist, our favorite intuitionist got set up by the serial killer known as Red John, the same guy who punk'd his wife and daughter. At one point I was gripping the sofa so hard I almost broke a blood vessel. "Revenge is for fools and cowards," Jane once told a hot little mother-daughter combo after he solved their husband-father's murder (it was some dude pretending to be Special Olympics, spoiler alert stolen from Primal Fear).

Jane loves mouthing off to people, especially women. He sees men as the weaker sex, more transparent. After he talks to them and he believes they are innocent, he lets them go. All men are lost, Patrick Jane believes, because he is lost.

In a show that is essentially a procedural, Rome creator Bruno Heller has built in plenty of moments never before seen on television. Jane thinks of himself as a motive, his desire to avenge his family's deaths is his only reason to live. After Red John killed his family, he had a nervous breakdown and then started solving crimes. It's also how I've dealt with most of the challenges in my life.

We haven't seen much of Jane's wife. He had a little bb, and we can understand the general love of father for daughter, but not the love of a handsome Californian for his wife. What exactly he lost can only be inferred from the way he treats women on the show, a fascinating case study in alpha male behavior.

The show did a whole episode in which a pick-up artist was a prime suspect for the murder of a wealthy socialite. Of course it is Jane who is the real pick-up artist: at one almost got with a widow at her husband's funeral. He comes on as strong rhetorically as he does with men, but one word summarizes his treatment of women on the whole: forgiveness.

He takes mercy on all the show's women. He is always making allowances, for their gruffness, for their sexuality, for their life choices. It is how he pretends to understand them.

The women of The Mentalist are stereotyped into two major categories. First are vulnerable women, which Jane is usually hard on, because he's teaching them to be as tough as he is. This is of course a kind of mercy.

Then there's women he sees as equals. Often this kind of person is deceptive in some way, so he is appreciating them purely as a way to bring our the truth in their behavior. There are no strong women in the show's incidental characters. There are no strong people. Strength is merely a front for a greater weakness.

These is even true of the show's two primary female characters, Detective Teresa Lisbon and Detective Amanda Van Pelt. Lisbon is played by Robin Tunney, who has evolved into a strangely beautiful muppet-like creature with a weird body. She is the managing director of the California Bureau of Investigation, and as such she has little in the way of time for petty shenanigans like dating or friends.

Detective Van Pelt doesn't exactly have time for dating, either, except the one dude she was fairly fond of turned out to be a serial killer. Come on! Her Ross-Rachel like experiment with fellow detective Rigsby has only one probable conclusion -- she will hook up with Patrick Jane and ruin the whole thing. After all, he knows her better than she knows herself.

Are there any strong women on any show...on CBS...in history?

Eleanor Morrow is the senior contributor to This Recording. She tumbls here.

reddit stumble facebook twitter subscribe

"Killing the Ghost" - Matthew Ryan (mp3)

"Jane I Still Feel The Same" - Matthew Ryan (mp3)

"They Were Wrong" - Matthew Ryan (mp3)