Free Carwash.

It's like the post title, only neoner.

I wrote something pretending to be profound here, but deleted it in favor of nonfiction since dismissed, as you may or may not continue on to read.  Sentiment is for another forum.  This one is for criticizing hipster monocultures of cultural regurgitation and making Majora’s Mask references.  I’ll save the sour musings for the My Little Pony diary.

Dear diary: cutting is the only thing that makes the pain go away...

Hipster admonishments aside — yes, Tyler the Creator and Tegan & Sara have a common enemy, tomorrow’s dollar-short blogger latching on to everyone else’s coronations when blogs like Mostly Junkfood are holding court on artists they’ll come to worship falsely some two years down the line (read: Goblin was a shitty album, shame on bloggers who blindly label it revolutionary) — I’ll take this one back to a transparent carwash on 116th Street where I was near certain my 16-year-old self was soon to be entombed.

There stands an outdoor carwash on 116th Street that appears to be some kind of transformed greenhouse.  It’s completely transparent, a glass shell, so apparently everyone can marvel at your ’03 Saturn L200 when it’s getting the latest line of road salt washed off.  I don’t quite understand the concept, but then I didn’t go to school to be a carwash architect.  Although I wish I had.  I would have designed one with a self-serve burrito station halfway through.

This year’s Architect of the Year Award goes to…Collin!  His burrito self-serve station has forever revolutionized the way cars are baptized.  Honorable mention goes to Salazar Slytherin, whose Chamber of Secrets will surely one day make for a lukewarm Chris Columbus film adaptation.

Doug daydream concluded, I was in the car with one of my best buds (honoring my policy of not using names so as to embarrass people, except Trevor, who sold me out to the Pacers, the bastard!) leaving school for that day.  Don’t think I was quite old enough to drive then, freshly 16, so I was sitting shotgun, getting a ride home.  Along the way, it was decided that we would take the car in for a car wash, because driver-friend had the free car wash code.  Which if you know anything about living in insignificant-land, is equal in value to either six Frullati punch cards or one alcoholic genie who doesn’t give you three wishes but instead gives you a free corndog every Tuesday before heading to his A.A. meeting and spending the duration convincing himself that the last handle of Bright Dark Eyes was the last handle of Bright Dark Eyes.  Stupid emo groups.

(Which isn’t to poke fun at alcoholism — a serious disease — but rather Robin Williams and Shaq.)

Right, so, carwash.

Free carwash code is entered.  Carwash bay door opens.  Open sesame, I say.  But not really.  Because nobody says that.  Ever.

(“Open sesame,” said Kazaam to the vodka handle.”)

It’s likely also worth noting that it’s early March, and it’s Indiana, so it’s cold.  Like freezing cold.  Like frozen water is ice cold.  Like carwash is full of water that will freeze and create ice cold.

The carwash starts fairly normally.  I’d give it a six out of 10.  Theatrics are there at the onset, a symphony of scrubbers and twirling thingamabobs, but the big spinning thing (technically called the “large rotating item”) was a disappointment.  Just didn’t have any oomph to it.  Like a Subway sandwich artist who just lazily scatters banana peppers on your sub because six hours into her shift and having survived Saturday soccer outings, she’s clearly past the point of caring, and very well may quit on the next squirt of mayonnaise.

So the C+/B- carwash show ends, and the car pulls up to trip the dryer.

Except it doesn’t.

To recap: Harry Potter and Deathly Carwash Part 1 = water + scrubber doo-dads + 45 minutes of aimless teenage angst in the woods:

The world's first cheese-powered carwash.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Carwash Part 2 = the blow-dryer, the heavy action, the big blast to send the saga off safely, a subtle shot of Emma Watson’s cleavage:

Engorgio!

Except the dryer mechanism never tripped, and the dryer never activated.  So we just sat there, waiting with no idea of what to do next.  I’d imagine this is what it’s like getting tricked by a leprechaun.  Free carwash, he says, but nothing about cardry.  It’s like when your neighbor invites you over for free beer and buffalo chicken dip on gameday, but fails to mention the demon in the cellar with a severe case of the soul-munchies when he asks you to grab some cold ones from downstairs.

(Of course, if it’s IU gameday, having a demon gorge on your soul is probably preferably to watching the game anyway.)

So we’re stuck in subzero temperatures in a soaking wet car, trying to figure out how to get the dryer to work.  My friend eases the car into reverse and tries to trip the sensor again, figuring he’s probably missed it.

And then the car-crypt closes shut.

So now, not only will the dryer not work, but we’re locked in the carwash.  The exit door has closed.  And the scrubbers are warming up again.  We appear to be destined to loop endlessly in carwash purgatory.  Like some time travel conundrum.  Only not that at all, and in a transparent carwash where our plight is public spectacle.

We try honking to get the attention of someone nearby, namely the police car parked directly outside, but it’s no use.  Everyone would prefer gawk.  Why?  Because studies show that people suck.  Hardcore.

At some point, it’s apparent that someone will have to get out of the car and attempt to manually…I don’t know, do something.  At all points, as the mist begins to build from the infant wash cycle, it’s apparent that that person is not me.  Because I am a total, unabashed coward.

What can I say?  My favorite hobbies include reading, writing, playing soccer, playing Risk and not drowning in a sea of (free!) subzero carwash foam.  I’m not extraordinarily adventurous.  I don’t take a lot of risks.  I don’t even take a lot of risks in the game of Risk.  I usually just squat on South America or Australia, build my armies forever and don’t attack anyone.  Yeah, I’m the reason you’re falling asleep over the board at 2:00 a.m.

Thankfully, though, my friend is not paralyzed by inaction.  Like the hybridized offspring of a kraken and a mermaid, he braves the battering rains of The Works Plus to seek out an emergency release lever for the exit door and, shrugging, engages it.  Trust me, it would have made an awesome Marines commercial.

The door opens.  Glorious sun, the soothing rays of victory come pouring in.  Wait, no.  I got that description wrong.  Indiana winter comes pouring in.  The exterior of the car seems to start taking notice as we drive away.

So by the time we reach my house, naturally, all of the undried doors — which are, coincidentally, all of the doors — are frozen shut.  Great.  Substituting on icy, windowed tomb for another.  At least my grave has a nice music library, I figure.  But after enough work and a few inexplicable nosebleeds, we’re able to force the doors open.

The next night, Tony Todd shows up at soccer practice, which I think is odd because usually he only shows up at my gymnastics lessons.  Not that I ever took gymnastics, I mean.  At age 10.  At Danna Mannix.  With trainer John Green.  He goes on to explain how I’ve cheated death, and it will come to reclaim me.

A long succession of improbable events and unfortunate accidents ensue.  In 3D.

The end.

Bieber.

Bustin Jieber, Golf Wang.

I will never understand the world’s contempt for Justin Bieber.

Before I get into my thoughts on Biebz, I want to share a story with you.  A parable, if you’ll allow.  About one frosty-permed boy band poster child who was once held in the same regard.

This guy was the subject of countless jokes and derisive comments.  No talent prettyboy, said the masses.  Queer.  Lame.  Fag.  Whatever.  People hated him so much that that they actually claimed he was the least-talented member of N*Sync…and that was saying something.

(And this all glossing over the predictable, vomit-inducing mass homophobic labeling that popularly comes with denigrating anyone with prettyboy appeal, which is a separate rant entirely.)

Justin Timberlake is so GAY, dude!  I can’t believe anyone listens to that shit!  Now excuse me while I go listen to real music, like Matchbox Twenty or Fastball or Eagle-Eye Cherry!

Timberlake couldn’t have made more covers of MAD Magazine if he had majority share in the company.  Now fast-forward 10 years and tell me, with a straight face, that there is a better all-around talent in Hollywood.  I’m talking the full act: singing, dancing, acting.  Usher might take two of the three, Chris Brown one-and-a-half, but name a better all-around talent than Timberlake.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

In the 10 years since it stopped becoming cool to bag on Justin, the dude has made more money and bedded more beautiful women than every other act from 1999 combined.  He’s been on more albums than most of them.  Been in more award-winning films than all of them.  And he gets in VIP rooms Derek Zoolander is even excluded from.

Oh, but I mean, I’m glad you were listening to real music.  How’d that Eagle-Eye Cherry discography work out for you?  Glad you’re fully-stocked on Pearl Jam shirts?  Lose your virginity with Fastball or some similar canned alternative bullshit straining through the car stereo?

(Okay, maybe that’s a little unfair to Pearl Jam, but still.  You get me.)

Now people act like they never hated on Timberlake in the first place.  Am I the only one who remembers what it was like to be 12 years old in the year 2000?  Queersauce, you probably got a Justin Timberlake poster in your room or something! The barbed-wire banter of 12-year-olds fighting for alpha.

Fact is, people hated Timberlake because it was cool, and because he represented the world’s most famous boy band (though the Backstreet Boys may beg to differ, 98 Degreez what up?)  It was more what he embodied than what he actually was.  And as soon as he said “see ya, suckas” to Joey Fatone and crew, he was off and running and swatting away the benjamins belting him in the breeze like desert grains in a sandstorm.

And now, of course, we have Bieber.

I never understood the hate for Bieber.  For one, he’s a damn kid.  Is it not completely irrational for a 35-year-old hipster to hate a 16-year-old kid for cutting a freaking album?  I’m just imagining the contingent of grown men who actually find some measure of pride in bashing a kid for doing something he loves, because it’s representative of the larger consumer-rape culture.  As if Biebz has any active say in the business model designed to rob fathers of preteen girls blind.  You could argue that he’s a willing participant in that system at best, but he’s a damn kid.  You think he’s making any of those decisions, drawing up any of those business models that bleed parents dry every time a new swoop-haired backpack comes off the production lines?

Hell no.  He’s probably getting blazed with some groupies in the back of his tour bus and playing Xbox.  He’s 16.  What the hell, is the assumption that he sits in a swivel chair stroking a 200-year-old, overweight housecat with his cold, puppy-crushing robotic arm all day long, gleefully setting in motion plans to transform America into a synthesized monoculture where everyone listens to the same poppy excrement and alteration of three chords or keys courtesy of Dr. Luke?

People want to make Bieber the face of an age-old corporate feeding model, and they say the same things about Bieber they used to say about Timberlake:

He looks like a girl.

He looks so queer.

His hair is so gay!

His music is shit.

He hasn’t even hit puberty yet.

He’s getting paid MILLIONS to put out the same song over and over again!

(Jelly too!)

Listen, I don’t like Bieber’s songs either.  It’s not like I’ve ever listened to a single one all the way through.  I don’t think I could.  But I’m in JBiebz’s corner.  WHY, you ask?  WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU EVER SUPPORT THIS CLOWN?!

Because I am banking on the most incredible 180 you have ever seen the second this kid turns 18.

First of all, he can play out that Donny Osmond image all he wants, but you know what’s going on in that tour bus.  Dude has 8.5 million Twitter followers and probably thrice the worldwide groupies.  You think he just smiles and waves at them?  Hell no.

Admit it, you’d play the role of auto-tuned popstar if you had those numbers in your favor.  Even the most adamant of the anti-industry hipsters would give in to the depravity-on-demand lifestyle.  So shut up with your Bieber hate when you know you would kill to have thought of his gig when you were spending your junior high years rolling houses and overanalyzing the blur of Channel 78.

Bieber is already a burgeoning #WINNER, without the stigma of being 40 years too old to pull it off.  I can tell you right now what’s going to happen, and it’s going to be awesome: he’s going to turn 18, start losing his fanbase slowly in the same way as the Jesse McCartneys and Drew Lacheys before him and just say hell with it, I’m throwing a coke-fueled rager in international waters and every beautiful person in this world who might do something legally-regrettable is invited.

He’ll probably rack up a drug bust or two.  If we’re lucky, we’ll get some sweet Insider Edition footage of him assaulting small children for being unambitious in their sandcastle construction before he does his first stint in county.  But I think before all that happens, he’ll join Odd Future’s lineup in some form or another.

Imagine that: Bieber, overnight, becoming the antithesis of Bieber.  Bustin Jieber.  You watch.  He’ll freestyle over “Yonkers” completely disowning the same model that made him possible and unraveling the universe in the process.

It.  Will.  Be.  Epic.

Jieber’s obscenity will make Earl Sweatshirt look like a radio edit.

He is going to break the hearts of the last few strands of his fanbase desperately clinging to their aging idol while the next teenage wonderboy is promoted up the ranks, and their tears are going to make for great album art.  WHY, JUSTIN, WHY?  I USED TO BE ABLE TO LISTEN TO YOU ON RADIO DISNEY WHEN MOM WAS DRIVING!

And, hey, even if I’m wrong about that specific brand of self-revolution, maybe he’s another Timberlake.  Everyone said the same things about him.  Look where he is now.  Ask yourself: how sure are you that you’ll look back on your Kings of Leon or LMFAO playlists 10 years from now and still think this stuff is awesome!

Whatever he turns out to be, though, he’s like, what 16 now?  Stop hating on a kid.  It’s pathetic.  Let him live out his dwindling shelf life as a teenage idol.  You don’t even have to work to phase him out of pop and quash the genre, it will happen naturally!  That’s the beauty of it.  You don’t have to bitch about how much you want him off the radio because once he’s in that 17, 18 range, he’ll be fading off the airwaves anyway because it’s getting harder and harder to pass for 15-16.

Just give the kid the waning stages of his teenage pop career, and his tourbus and Xbox and all the illicit activities in the back and stop bitching about it!

You’re going to regret it when he’s punching mimes off the boardwalk on a Four Loko bender.

Harmony Korine Is Not An Auteur, You Stupid Hipsters

If you watch Gummo backwards…it’s still a pretentious piece of crap!

Harmony Korine, for those who have better things to do than watch the Independent Film Channel at 2 a.m., wrote the Larry Clark cult classic film Kids and has written and directed a number of grotesque art films like Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy and Trash Humpers.

You’ll excuse my second concentration in film studies; it wasn’t my major.  I’m not a filmmaker myself.  I am nowhere near the almighty authority on cinema culture.  But I can tell you that Korine’s films suck on just about every conceivable level, and it continues to blow my mind that hipsters parade his filmography as art and his status as some sort of observational mode fictional verite auteur.

My response to that: no.

Anyone else pens a dreadful script with a grating soundtrack, they get slammed for it.  Korine slaps a piece of bacon on a bathroom wall and — VOILA — art!  It say something!  There is subtext!

No.

Korine is a second-rate screenwriter who scripts for shock value.  Hey, wouldn’t this scene be awesome if a seven-year-old made several obscene scatological references?  Wouldn’t this character arc be awesome if the husband pimps out his mentally-retarded wife?  Let’s add some nude Chloe Sevigny in here!

See, this is why I hate celluloid hipsters.  They don’t like film because it’s good film.  They like film because it runs counter to good film and polarizes their perspective from everyone else’s.  And that’s not even a badfilm argument, per se, that’s just what hipsters do: hey, here’s something that completely contrasts with the norm, let’s automatically assume it to be cool and culturally-relevant!

No.

Attitudes like these make me applaud the gentleman in New York who went to the trouble of setting up hipster traps around the city:

Pictured: PBR, American Spirit light cigarettes, pink sunglasses

(Although I know a few non-hipsters who might spring that trap, too.)

I don’t know if this is a rant against Korine, hipsters or both.  But Korine films really have no redeeming values.  That probably reads like a purist argument or some sort of advocation for censorship, but I’ve seen worse that meant more.  And Korine is hardly the only avante-garde filmmaker to make a movie that got the masses talking through abstract symbolism and scum-of-the-earth central characters.

My problem with Korine, then, is that his films spend so much time wallowing in the absolute pits of America, focusing on the proverbial dregs of society and going to such great lengths to show the disgusting underbelly of the forgotten…and do nothing in the process.  Yeah, we see he’s gross.  Yeah, we see they’re morally-bankrupt.  Yes, this place breeds a culture of sub-humanity.  So?  Now what?  Congratulations, you’ve killed a cat.

Korine still doesn’t have anything on Bret Easton Ellis.

In the end, Korine’s films don’t say anything.  I wouldn’t argue that every film has to say something, but if your film is pretty much complete crap from every conceivable angle (acting, writing, cinematography, soundtrack), there kind of has to be a point.  Otherwise, it’s just the summation of substandard filmmaking.

Hey, I like badfilm.  I don’t know that I would go as far as to say I can watch The Brain That Wouldn’t Die and enjoy it ironically, but I’m okay with badfilm.  Korine doesn’t qualify for that, though.  Korine qualifies as pretentious, as some nihilistic artist drowning in his own self-assured urine-soaked genius.  All you hipsters that enable that?  I hate you.  I hate that you allow Korine to keep making films.  I hate that every Korine film that comes out is the exact same as the one before, but sputtering on shock value because he’s practically exhausted his supply and still completely void of content.

Advice to hipsters?  If you want to roll around in the rat droppings of Meth County, Middle America and pretend like it means something, or that the meaningless means something, charge up your economy car and drive out to Tipton, Indiana.  I doubt their gas stations sell American Spirits, but you could probably find some PBR if you look in all the wrong places, and you’re completely entitled to converse with the locals and hopefully catalyze more conversation than the stilted half-dialogue that plagues Korine’s scripts.  More than likely, you’ll get a few grunts and a secondhand high.

Still better than sitting through a Korine flick and convincing yourself it’s art.