Monthly Archives: May 2007

The Unique Allure of the Nixon Mask in American Sexual Fantasy

Ice Storm

Let’s grapple with the continued and out-of-all-proportions popularity of the Richard Nixon face mask, and in particular its close associations with sexual, and more even specifically abnormal, sexual activity.

Wikipedia gives a partial overview of Nixon mask appearances in popular culture – TV’s Full House once put a streaking father figure in a Nixon mask – but I want to concentrate on four appearances of the mask, two in the movies, two in real space.

1. The Ice Storm (1997). Nymphonic teenage girl seduces prepubescent boy in a 70s rec room. All familiar territory. But then she puts on that Nixon mask, and suddenly we are in a world of creepy.

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Posting Notice


This is one of those excuse pings for not posting. Work’s been, etc. I went to Mets-Yankees tonight: Reyes stole home in the first. Our man in the next seats over made a nice game of redubbing A-Rod “Gay-Rod”, loudly, which all of us liked but none so much as the eight year old in the next aisle, who kept having to wear his earmuffs in all the night’s obscene kerfuffle. Anyway, our man took a piss behind the seats so as not to miss the bottom of the eighth, which prompted me to move my bag over away from his stream. In doing so, wouldn’t you know, I kicked over our post-seventh-inning reserve beer, which flowed right down the aisle into a dam formed by my relocated bag. No regrets though, considering what might have been.

My subway ride home–two hours!–was filled with warm love for all of the inhabitants of New York City. I was amazed by the ability for all different stripes, Mets fan or Yankee fan, to coexist peacefully. A nice young man warned me that my subway seat had become unhinged from the wall and was liable to collapse at any minute. After I got up four people sat in that seat and made it from Times Square to Atlantic Avenue, but never mind. I had some new songs on my mp3 player, and all the people in the subway were smiling at each other, like I was watching a Modest Mouse-montaged final scene from an episode of the OC. (That was a bit David Brooks of me — I don’t actually know if Modest Mouse ever soundtracked an OC montage, but it feels right.)

Modest Mouse “Florida” deep link

Let’s Go Sailing mp3s


The Brooklyn presale sold out in 15 seconds. I had no chance of getting into Hammerstein. They’re playing the sunset slot at Austin City Limits again this year, but it’s the week before my wedding and I can’t seem to get anyone excited to just go anyway, because hey it’s only vacation days and we can only spend money once. It never lines up for me and Wilco. They promised us this album was going to be filled with twelve-minute long Fela Kuti-ripped off dance tracks. Lies. But I’m not mad at them. They can do no wrong.


They’re playing Prairie Home Companion this weekend:

Wilco–>Prairie–>Altman–>Elliot Gould–>Kicking and Screaming (Grover’s dad)–>Squid and Whale–>Park Slope–>Buscemi–>Lebowski–>Tara Reid–>Eugene Levy (American Pie)–>National Lampoon’s Vacation–>Harold Ramis–>Animal House–>Kevin Bacon.

Bam. That’s like 14 degrees. Where is my inefficiency?

Viacom Defeats Google

Viacom defeats Google

So Google got back to Viacom this week on that $1 billion suit filed back in March, issuing Viacom an effective “Bring it on.” Google wants to bring the case to jury trial. “We are not going to let this lawsuit distract us,” Google’s attorney said. I, on the other hand, think I am going to let this lawsuit distract me, just as I let YouTube distract me when I should be paying attention to more traditional forms of entertainment.

The whole Viacom-Google thing displays a fractal symmetry that deserves extended comment and reflection. By fractal I suppose I mean that looked at from different angles, at different magnitudes, the case shows similar patterns to itself, and at the center of these patterns is the pure aesthetics of corporate power.

Google fractal

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McGovern acid