by: L.P. Hanners
The office is swept adrift in a series of massive highs, and crushing lows, in “The Crash”……
What does it feel like to have a vitamin B super-dose, akin to a whopping fix of amphetamines, injected into your gluteus? One that promises to invigorate the creative juices and keep them flowing for a good 48-72 hours easy. I am not entirely sure, but I can only guess that it feels something like watching this week’s episode of Mad Men, entitled “The Crash”. A select few of the employees of SCDPCGC (for now) did just that – took a needle in the hind from a medicine man that left Don flash-backing to his youth, Kenny tap–dancing, Stan bleeding (from the arm, and heart), and all of our heads spinning. This Sunday’s episode of Mad Men was the weirdest to date, a wild ride that could be described as David Lynch-ian in nature.
The entire episode felt like a dream sequence. Or more aptly put – the episode possessed all the wonderfully poignant confusion of a really intense acid trip. One that is a little bit scary, and where you are not quite sure what is really going on at any given point, but each moment seems easily more weird and interesting than the next, and ultimately far more important. And, just like any productive acid trip, we harvested some previously concealed insight, and we learned a few things amongst all the madness….
By: Michael Shields
A look back at a decade of music that finds me here today, bathing in falsetto….
How I grew to love Bon Iver……
I guess the root of it can be traced back to my older brother. It’s always your brother, or somebody’s sibling I suppose. The benefit of a few more years on the planet, and with that the chance to educate yourself on what’s popping, handed down to the young ones so they can work on getting their comeuppance. When able, when the menacing creature who once raised me above his head in one movement and sent me hurtling towards a couple months of sulking about with a broken clavicle, was out of the home, I would inch into his room and wear out his cassette tapes. I remember all the covers so vividly – a prism transforming a single white line to a literal rainbow of colors, four men returning their zippers to their upright position after relieving themselves on a lone concrete slab, and so on. It was my first real taste of the adventurous and abstract nature of music as I was, when not robbing my sibling’s taste, simply gulping down with vigor whatever MTV was feeding me at that point, which wasn’t really all that bad truth be told, but this was different. Jim James is quoted as saying “we are all victims of classic rock”. I, too, was a casualty of that war.
The groundwork laid, the foundation of how I ended up bathing in falsetto is pretty much what you would expect from a kid straight out of a stereotypical suburb. But that isn’t the whole story. There is much more to it.
Posted on May 17, 2013
by: Chris Thompson
Struggling to live in a world without flavor…..
On Friday May 10th, 2013, around 6:15pm, my sense of smell and taste disappeared. Took off like a thief in the night. Only what was stolen from me wasn’t some prized family keepsake or an expensive piece of art. No, what was taken has no value in the material world, falling easily into that category simply entitled: priceless. 2/5th’s of how I now perceive the world is gone and I’m desperate to get it back.
How is this possible you may say? One’s senses simply do not disappear. That’s true. For me it’s quite simple actually: I’m suffering through one of the worst sinus infections I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s crippling. It’s left me listless and numb, deafened and dull, feeling like a visitor in my own body, clumsily trying to control my limbs with a brain foggy on drugs like Multi-symptom, Maximum-strength, Mucinex Fast-Max Cold and Sinus, chock full of designer compounds like Acetaminophen and Guaifenesin and Phenylephrine HCL. I’m actually struggling to write this essay right now, transfixed by this perpetually blinking cursor……Where was I? Oh, yeah….these drugs I’m taking, they only treat the symptoms. They do nothing to treat the affliction.
Posted on May 16, 2013
by: Douglas Grant
The best thirty seconds of your day……
There’s a daily ritual you have that gives you a tremendous sense of peace. It happens first thing in the morning, every morning, and it doesn’t matter if the weather is scorching or frigid, sunny or rainy. Every day, on the way to your office, you pass by the community garden, and these brief few moments set the tone for the rest your day, often putting matters in perspective. But today you’ve grown extremely agitated, almost irrationally so. Today you blew right by the community garden without even glancing in its direction, and the disappointment you feel toward yourself because of your negligence is rather troubling.
It takes you approximately thirty seconds to walk from the community garden’s north end to its south. Thirty seconds in your entire day. You learned long ago that you benefit the most from structure and routine, and regardless of how much you may boast about how willing you are to experience new things, you acknowledge that you are a creature of habit. You’re grateful that this garden has been placed in your path on the way to your office. You’ll never pick up the pace when you’re strolling by it, even if you’re running late, and yet neither will you linger in an attempt to prolong the experience. Thirty seconds is all you get. Sometimes when you walk along the pathway while listening to music and sipping on your coffee, you’ll gaze through the chain-link fence and consciously raise your awareness. You become truly appreciative of the collective efforts of the young caretakers who brought their vision to fruition. The sight moves you. You won’t realize it then, but this may be the highlight of your entire day.
Posted on May 15, 2013
by: L.P. Hanners
Join us for an in-depth look at the John Slattery directed “Man with a Plan”……
”Whatever that relationship is about (Don and Sylvia) is a lot of what the season is about” -Matt Weiner
Following last week’s game-changing episode, “For Immediate Release”, we knew we were going to be spending some time picking up the pieces. We knew layoffs were immanent, and we knew there would be way too many cooks in the kitchen. What we didn’t know is how the gang from CGC was going to be received walking into SCDP, particularly Peggy. What we also did not know was the name of the new company. And after this week’s episode, entitled “Man with a Plan”, we are still holding our breath awaiting that answer……
by: Chris Thompson
They didn’t need a story. They just needed the real world. Until eventually, they became the story.
Hermes was like shaking hands with a hurricane I thought as his iron chariot flew us down the wind-swept back country roads, the truck throwing up a billowing cloud of dust as the miles fell quickly away. Or maybe he was like trying to argue with someone in a language you did not speak. Just misunderstanding and frustration, all bombastic and fervent and wrapped up in semantics slamming up against an impenetrable wall of comprehension.
But whatever he was I thought, I had never felt so alive. It was as if Hermes had ignited something in me. Had drenched my soul in gasoline and touched a match to the mossy fathoms of my brain, replacing my heart with a thundering grenade blast. There was an infectious nature to his brand of reality and it had gotten in deep, achieving in me a certain level of harmony with the world. And as I huddled in the back of the truck, my good friends pressed in close, our bodies awash in an endless stream of newfangled experiences, the effect was exhilarating.
by: Michael Shields
A new documentary takes you on the road with The National, while exploring what it means to be brothers….
Tom Berninger is a fuck up. A classic case. He is a true to form slacker metal-head who, at the age of 33, lives with his parents and is still trying to figure it all out. In college he directed a few slasher-films about ravenous barbarians, but since then has accomplished little else.
Tom Berninger is Matt Berninger’s little brother. Matt, as many know, is the lead singer of the band The National. He is by almost every standard an enormously successful rock star, and in regards to making something of one’s life Matt and Tom are polar opposites. In 2010 Matt invited Tom to join his band on tour in support of their latest record, High Violet, as a roadie. During this international jaunt Tom, in lieu of his assumed duties as assistant to the Tour Manager, wielded his handheld Canon Vixia to, supposedly, film a documentary about the band. The result of Tom’s time on the road with The National is the recently released documentary “Mistaken For Strangers”, which surprisingly led to a trip down the red-carpet at The Tribeca Film Festival for directionless Tom, as the film served as the opening film at this year’s event.
by: Shiloh Whatley
In the name of the father, the son and the…..
“My country is the world and my religion is to do good” – Thomas Paine
I am not a religious man. This should not be interpreted to mean that I have a lack of Faith however, for of that I have plenty. It merely indicates that I prefer to not belong to any team.
Don’t get me wrong. I was force-fed Catholicism at an early age so I’m familiar with its feel. Was raised on the crushing guilt that comes with being a Catholic despite the weekly absolution of my sins. I did it all. I wore the outfits and said the prayers, sang the songs and went through the motions. It’s so much a part of me now that I could easily put it back “on” like the donning of a suit. But it never felt right. Like a wool sweater shrunk too small. Or a turtle neck a bit too snug around the neck, all itchy and tight.
Posted on May 8, 2013
by: L.P. Hanners
A business-centric ensemble episode forever changes the landscape of SCDP. “For Immediate Release”….
This week’s episode of Mad Men was an unadulterated barnburner. The first series of scenes felt like a dream sequence, thrusting us into the action so swiftly we hardly had a chance to strap in for the ride. So much has occurred since last week’s episode: SCDP was preparing to go public, Peggy and Abe are settling into their new Upper West Side digs, Roger – finally thrust back into the spotlight – is carrying on like a horny teenager with a stewardess (and invaluable informant!), and everyone’s favorite mother-in-law is back in town. This was merely the beginning, as last night’s episode was easily the most deliberate episode of the current season, not to mention the flat out sexiest.
by: Katie Sigafoos
A guest contributor bestows us with a tale for all children……
Once upon a time there lived a dear old woman whose cheeks were rosy and whose hair was long and braided. She was old in her bones yet young in her heart and fervently beloved by the town. This woman was wise and she spent many afternoons wandering the woodland and making sure the animals were living peacefully and fairly, that the squirrels and birds were sharing their hollow-tree homes, that the dogs were sharing sticks and she also made sure that the bulbs were planted in Spring and that the flowers were watered in Summer.
The wise old woman had many friends who would ask for her good advice “How do you grow such beautiful flowers every year without fail?” some would ask, “How do you get the squirrel to follow you through the woodland? And how is it that you talk the same speak as the birds?”