I’ve gone to some new low in outsourcing life functions, both by asking the echo chamber for blog post ideas, and–as of today–ordering Christmas dinner to be delivered. I just can’t imagine hauling a turkey to the wee little apartment with the stove whose burners won’t light without a match if the oven’s on. For less than I paid for dinner last night (for just myself, and tapas–we didn’t even eat a “meal”), I can get a big pre-cooked turkey, two starches, two veg, and a pie delivered to my house. And all the sides can be microwaved. It’s heaven. You can add a wine order, too. I think the whole thing is some sort of feminist victory…one that is standing on the shoulders of income inequality.

Anyway, I used the “extra” time I won’t spend cooking, shopping, nursing pulled muscles and the like to get back into the news and entertainment flow. Imagine my surprise when I learned that Beyonce isn’t even carrying her own baby–she’s got some surrogate with a contract of silence cooking up her baby in a West Village apartment. Who knew.

I found this amazingly thorough and amusing take-down of a Slate editorial. I love that the editorial argues that book culture is sustained by Amazon. The author also argues that “indie bookstores” have no impact on literacy and social capital (at least not compared to the positive impact of Internet BoxStores and other Large Boxy Things). He rounds it out by claiming that Farmer’s Markets help support local communities, but indie bookstores do not. It takes the simplest of arguments and about 1 column inch to destroy the argument to shreds. I think I also love the piece because I’ve been fantasizing about my own step by step demolition of a recent student review which might be one of the most sexist, idiotic and unusual critiques I’ve read in a while. I’ve decided against the shredding (’cause really: who cares?), but suffice to say that the rhetorical high water mark is when the author discourages peers from enrolling in my courses because I have “only” one book published and no Nobel. Kids.

Only after suffering through a terrible Spin word jumble was I able to realize that I’ve been hearing this Yuck song all over and that on some subliminal level had realized it reminded me of 90s era rock; notably, Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell, Sonic Youth, and especially Paul Westerberg and his cloying “Waiting for Somebody” partly because it was the most earwormy-est of the songs on the soundtrack to the film Singles. A mash-up of the soundtrack to Singles is what this song sounds like.

And all this brings me to the real highlight of the day, which is SFJ’s round up of the “Best hip hop of 2011” at the NYer. The textbit begins with an explanation of the logic of the exercise that sarcastically suggests next year’s list might be sorted by:

affinity groups according to which companies the acts have granted ad licenses (fragrance rockers on Tuesday, booze m.c.s Thursday, Apple bands Friday, etc.) or maybe by file size…

As someone who studies (and so questions) the logic and necessity of categorization systems in culture, this warms my icy little heart. I also love that he thinks the real “Watch the Throne” is not as good as the one we imagined (which is certainly the truth, and probably some kind of Truth), but that it brought Jay Z back to the mic in a way he hasn’t been tested (tested himself?) in years. We might get a great solo/collabo album from him, post push. And just in time! SFJ says, and I agree, that the best Lil’ Wayne song (“6 foot, 7 foot”) was only so-so and were disappointed by the album. There is too much profanity, and with little point. I guess the whole “I’m going to prison to work on my album” idea is a bad one.

Strap in, because I didn’t even realize my favorite Lil’ Wayne freestyle (which might be…SSHHH…my favorite of all freestyles) had a video. So, I can share it. Killer. I am telling you, I’ve listened to this easily once a day. For…I don’t know…the last 3 years?

The Nas single “Nasty” gets props (god, am I still seeing the world using “props”? I’ve got to get out more.), which is great, because you’ll see it on the 2011 mix which is on it’s way to a free music service near you. And tho I’m still feeling the blog, so I’m loathe to throw shade on Das Racist, I really don’t love anything on the new album “Relax.” It’s too neurotic, or techno, which makes it sort of odd that I’m loving the new and pretty dirty (not for kids!) single by Azealia Banks, “212”, also sourced in the SFJ column. She also sounds Euro-techno, but in a way I don’t mind.

That’s what you get for now. Something in there for Brayden, though it’s really just me bootstrapping on the work of others. I’ve got half a mind to suffer through the first half of that Black Keys album, since a former student convinced me that the B-side had some pretty great guitar and blues themes. I can’t promise anything, though. Tomorrow’s my first day since August whatever without kid-related work, so I’m hoping I can pull a research rabbit out of a computer hat.


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