Quality of Life
Directed by Benjamin Morgan
[FILM] Let’s face it—I’m a pretty terrible writer. But, the thing is I can be a terrible writer LEGALLY. The police aren’t going to show up on my doorstep demanding I stop writing. Well, for now, at least. What happens when your preferred form of self-expression is illegal? A provocative writer once said that the first step in controlling your world, is to control your culture. Quality of Life is a gritty indie film depicting the daily lives of two graffiti artists, Vain and Heir. The storyline takes place within the Mission District of San Francisco. Here are two people that really suffer for their art. While I get the occasional “Are you an idiot?” Vain and Heir face laws such as trespassing, property destruction and even evading arrest. If the story doesn’t draw you in, the soundtrack might. Featured artists include Modest Mouse, Sebadoh and Built to Spill.
Mindless Self Indulgence
[MUSIC] Over the years, Mindless Self Indulgence has mellowed a little. You can almost hum along to some of their newer songs and there are even whole sentences that are explicative free. Even so, I still wouldn’t allow preschoolers and clergy within earshot of their most subdued songs. The beats of If are Mindless Self Indulgence’s standard fare of industrial meets techno then sleeps with techno’s best friend, pop. It’s said that many Mindless Self Indulgence songs actually have clever cultural commentary beneath all the vulgarity; but on the track “MDC,” that commentary is glaringly obvious. If you prefer your music sans mentions of erectile dysfunction and prescription drug abuse, I would avoid If. But, if “it’s three am and she won’t put out” go ahead and pick up the album.
When You Are Engulfed In Flames
[BOOK] I was introduced to David Sedaris by my mom, via his novel “Me Talk Pretty One Day.” From then, I was hooked. My mom, like many things involving me, regrets it. While the previous entries were proactive in their self-destruction, Sedaris takes a stoned slacker’s mentality to life. That is to say, he wanders outside a little bit, grabs a couple of snacks then seemingly forgets what he was doing in the first place. In his sixth novel, Sedaris’ dry wit and talent for self-deprecation steals the spotlight. Think you’re having a bad day? Imagine how Sedaris felt when he tried to quit smoking…in Tokyo. Upset with all the restrictions on plane travel? Sedaris will remind you of true mortification when he recounts the time his accidentally spit a lozenge onto the lap of a sleeping, fellow traveler’s lap. Bad days are always better when you put them in perspective. MTW