Thursday, August 12, 2010

Marginalia 8.12.10: Kanye, Cathy, and PBR


  • Kanye's got a new track out and, daaaaaaaaaaamn, is it fire. "See Me Now" is a throwback to the silky pop-soul of The College Dropout and features hook(s) from Imma-Let-You-Finish-But-BeyoncĂ© Knowles and Gap Band frontman Charlie Wilson (not that one). It also features some of Kanye's choicest punchlines from his trip around the internet ("I might walk in Nobu with no shoes/He just walked in Nobu like it was Whole foods!") and an airy, effortless charm that Kanye hasn't displayed since Graduation. I see the track as the "Izzo" to "Power"'s "Takeover"; while the latter is evidence that a rapper backed into a corner turns out some ferocious, brilliant stuff, the former shows that Kanye's tribulations haven't robbed him of his sense of humor. If anything, I think Imma-gate injected some much-needed perspective into the music of a brilliant artist who had grown (defensively) solipsistic. Now if we could just do something about that new title (via We All Want Something to Shout For).
  • The Society Pages filed a story about how Pabst is capitalizing on the success of Pabst Blue Ribbon by sponsoring events that hipsters frequent rather than putting their money into traditional advertising. All kosher, right? Not so fast; apparently, PBR, the official beer of Joe Six-Pack, isn't even headquartered in the working class bastion of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It's actually headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Woodridge, which I know personally to be dull as vanilla because it's five minutes from my house. Even worse, PBR has farmed production of their actual beer out to Miller, effectively rendering them a private label for the much bigger brewery. The weirdest part of the story is that Pabst distributes a premium brand beer for the Chinese market which retails for just over $40 a bottle. The lesson? Nothing's safe from the imperialism of American corporate culture. Let an alternative product lay fallow for long enough, and eventually it'll be planted by some craven marketing assholes. Or maybe the real lesson is that hipsters should stop looking for solace in contrarianism (via Sociological Images).
  • Striking a defiant blow against the idea that the problems of whiny middle-aged women are anything other than insufferable, cartoonist Cathy Guisewite has decided to bring the seemingly immortal comic strip, Cathy, to an end in October of this year. Striking a defiant blow in favor of the same idea, however, Eat Pray Love is opening (to withering reviews!) nationwide this weekend. And to our one female reader, I'm not shitting on feminine ennui specifically. American Beauty can eat it, too. Ennui's something you should grow out of by the time you hit thirty. Or after you bang a hot housewife (via Vulture).