Saturday, September 02, 2006

pop culture style

(Sorry, I forgot to post this when I wrote it!)

From 31 August @ 10am: This isn't the book review that I had intended to write (and listed on my to-do list yesterday), but I finished reading it late last night/early this morning, so I figured I should write about it while it was still fairly fresh in my mind:

TITLE: Signs of Life: Channel Surfing Through 90s Culture
AUTHOR: Jennifer Joseph & Lisa Taplin, eds.

This book was great because it was presented in such little bites (no short story was more than 5 pages long) that made it so easy to digest. I could pick the book up, read one or two chapters, and put it down again, in a matter of minutes. Poetry, prose, and art (primarily "cartoons", for lack of a better word) were presented. I do feel somewhat overwhelmed in trying to pick out some of my favorites to highlight, as there were so many (77!) "channels" (that's what they call their chapters) in such a short space (234 pages). Some I liked much more than others.... Three that particularly stuck out in my mind were Michelle Tea's poem, titled "Gazpacho" (I do love her), a story called "Sweet C" by Marci Blackman, and a comic drawn by the man who draws Optic Nerve (Adrian Tomine), called "Sleep = Waste". The odd thing is, I didn't realize I was reading work by people I had already heard of (in the case of the first & the last I just listed) until after I had finished, really liked the piece, and looked back at the author's name. So I guess it's kind of funny, that clearly the best people (at least in my eyes) went on to do more well-known work. Anyway, the entire book really was striking; emotions and thoughts get pulled out of you every instant, with every new word & image. It's cool because it read kind of like a zine that my friend would have made back in high school. And it was really interesting to me because it was from 10 years ago, when I was just starting to become aware of what really was "out there" in the world. It was published when I was a freshman in high school, before a lot of significant world events took place, and when the alternative music scene was just starting to take hold -- and it shows. But in a good, fresh, young, new way. I really thought this was a fun book, filled with awesome snippets & snapshots of the early 90s. The odd thing was, I didn't see nearly as many pop culture references as I would have liked, although I also might have missed a lot as I was just, like I said, getting into pop culture at that time. I'm not sure. I was a bit disappointed at the lack of it, but thankfully the book was still lots of fun.

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Beauty Myth
AUTHOR: Naomi Wolf

TITLE: Vegan Virgin Valentine
AUTHOR: Carolyn Mackler

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