Adventures in the Skin Trade, Vol. 4

Key: Nutty Charlie Manson divided by Pretty Orlando Bloom equals Folksy Devendra Banhart

Satirical Shallow

low culture: What Happened? (A Long, Interminable History)
by Modesty Blaise
Special to The Bizarro-Times Picayune

low Expectations: Jean-Paul Tremblay, left; Matt Haber (A/K/A, Guy Cimbalo), right. (The editors requested a photo of the creators of low culture to accompany this article and received this one.)
Walking down the streets of New York’s Greenwich Village, Jean-Paul Tremblay goes almost entirely unnoticed. Passersby young and old—and youngish and oldish, as well—walk by him, all but unaware that within their midst is a celebrity, albeit a celebrity of a wired, self-selecting, long tail-chasing, niche-y, early 21st century sort. Nobody knows that Tremblay, who is 29 but looks more like an undernourished 15 year-old street urchin in need of a haircut, a cup of soup, and a hug, is a bona fide celebrity of blogging: A blogebrity.
Then again, they may be walking by because he’s merely a B-List blogebrity.
As he walks the streets, occasionally fielding cell phone calls that make him groan theatrically, he stops for a moment to ponder the new issue of TIME Magazine on the newsstand. The cover shows Secretary of Defense Donald Rumseld wearing a Yankees cap, eating a banana, and listening to iPod. “In the old days, I’d probably run right home and Photoshop that shit and make a post out of it,” Tremblay says wearily.
“But now… I can’t even figure out the joke. I couldn’t even tell you where I’d begin.”
No matter how many bananas public officials consume in photos, Tremblay cannot bring himself to post about it. Call him a “no-blognik”: Lately, he feels he can’t bring himself to blog, which has resulted in a pitiable lack of posts on his site as well as a declining profile among fellow writers of free, ephemeral web content.
“Blogger fatigue is very real, and it very really affects real bloggers,” according to Dr. Owen Spielvogel, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s gossip- and media-focused Loud Family Institute. “Anecdotal research indicates it affects 1 in 10 real bloggers in a real way. Really.”
I mention “blogger fatigue” to Tremblay as he glances at the cover of Time Out New York, which features Wayne Coyne of the band Flaming Lips also, inexplicably, eating a banana, wearing a Yankees cap, and listening to an iPod.
Tremblay sighs.
An autumnal breeze rustles the trees above us. I can almost see Tremblay’s eyes misting up.


The Apple Falls Far, Far From the Tree

From today’s New York Daily News:

William Ross, a retired U.S. Coast Guard captain now working for the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Safety Administration, was being questioned for allegedly alerting his son of a possible terror attack – three days before Mayor Bloomberg and the FBI went public with the warning, sources said yesterday.
“As some of you know my father works for Homeland Security, at a very high position and receives security briefings on a daily basis,” his son, Nick Seligson-Ross, who runs a dance troupe, wrote in an Oct. 3 E-mail…


The Cover Story

Yesterday, ASME (that’s the American Society of Magazine Editors for you great unwashed) announced the 40 greatest magazine covers of the last 40 years. So how does one create a truly great cover? Well, once all the excitement died down, low culture began to search out the subtle threads that link so many of these great, iconic images. Next time, consider the following indicators of greatness before you go to press…
Nudity is Great
Pop Art is Great
Little Kids are Great
Gays are Great
Also consider: Black Backgrounds are Great, Vietnam is Great, Animals Doing Wacky Things are Great, 9/11 (2001 only) is Great


Hey, Jack: My Reality Distortion Field is Bigger Than Yours

October 17, 2005 (avail. on newsstands): “How Apple Does It,” Time Magazine’s cover story from the October 24, 2005 issue
October 13, 2005: “The Apple Polishers: Explaining the press corps’ crush on Steve Jobs and company,” by Jack Shafer, the “Press Box,” Slate


As Seen On The New York Times Magazine’s “Funny Pages”

Because nothing says funny like emotional abuse, POW’s, and Klosterman’s fat mug.

Grave Satirical

At least he’s not requesting a bathroom break

In this low culture EXCLUSIVE, we asked this young student at Delisle Elementary School in Pass Christian, Miss., to share with us the note that was passed to President Bush this past Tuesday. In greater detail below:
RELATED: ‘You are the best governor ever’, Guardian NewsBlog, October 11, 2005


Yes, troops, it looks like that’s a target on you guys. And, yes, the president’s got you dead in his sights. And, yes, he’s ready to wave goodbye. He’s been waving this entire time, you see.

President Bush waves goodbye as he finishes speaking via video teleconference to American troops from the 42nd Infantry Division on duty in Tikrit, Iraq, at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
RELATED: White House Iraq Group targeted by Fitzgerald probe for engineering attacks against the invasion of Iraq, Talking Points Memo, October 12, 2005
Report Says White House Ignored C.I.A. on Iraq Chaos, the New York Times, October 13, 2005
Because it’s all about supporting the troops, gang.


Give me grammar, or give me death

The Guardian (UK) reports on the suicide, or rather, ‘suicide’ of a senior member of Syria’s government earlier today.
Other notable Guardian headlines throughout history:

Nirvana frontman ‘commits suicide’
Federal building ‘bombed’ in Oklahoma City
14 students ‘killed’ at a Colorado high school
Medicare bill ‘passes’ through Congress
Texas governor ‘elected’ U.S. president

And of course, this has been yet another ‘brilliant’ low culture post.


Steve Jobs’ Reading List

Outside the Apple Store in Soho, downtown New York, Sunday, October 9, 2005
A close-up of the books featured in the window display, above.
Not one, nor two, but three copies of a book about “The White Power Movement”…?
Perhaps this reading selection explains why the black model of Apple’s new iPod Nano is particularly weak, and prone to scratching and complaints?