New: Book Report: Phonogram

I canceled out of the stuff I'd planned to do today. Instead, I am sitting, napping, eating. I wore myself out last week. First, getting over a cold. Then, having just gotten over the cold, staying out late to go see Sonic Youth play in Berkeley. It was a fun time. Maybe not such a great idea, though. The day afterwards, I just kind of flopped around, wiped out. Now it's the day after the day after and I'm determined to recover.

After the concert, Dave and I and hundreds of aging hipsters stood waiting at the train station. Dave made a move somewhere among a squat, a jointed slither, and the Charleston: he crouched and swung his knees, as if he were getting ready to jump to the side. "For tennis," he explained. Dave plays tennis. I tried a similar maneuver which I'd seen in various martial arts movies, but I couldn't hold the position. But I had a realization.

I said, "That pose would also be good practice for The Hover Maneuver."

He said, "What's The Hover Maneuver?"

"You remember how I was talking about the guy who always used an 'ass gasket' in public restrooms and how he was proud to have handled a gasket-less restroom, like sat down and all that?"

"Erg, yeah."

"OK, so someone else said that ass gaskets are pretty rare in the Southeast USA. And then someone who was from that area said that she grew up in the area and that she learned The Hover Maneuver."

"So it's--"

"Yeah, in that context, I think you gotta figure out what it is from its name."

Dave was somewhat nonplussed: "Why don't these people just sit down on the seat?"

"I dunno. Maybe if you go into a public restroom and you see the ass gaskets there, you figure they're there for a reason. Huh."


I explained my sudden thought: "So maybe the Hover Method is good training for tennis. Are there any tennis schools in, in Florida?"

"Yeah, there's G__________. They're pretty big." (I forget the name of the place he said.)

"Dude, it's because of the Hover Method."

Sonic Youth. I didn't listen to much Sonic Youth back in the day. On Thursday night, I just tagged along to that concert so I could hang out with friends. But I had a good time. Tagging along in someone else's musical nostalgia can be fun. Oh, right, that must mean I'm segue-ing into talking about the recently-collected-into-one-volume comic book "Phonogram"

Phonogram doesn't seem like something that I would like, yet it is--maybe due to excellence of execution or something. It's a comic book set in a magical world. The sources of magic are pointed out, but the exact mechanisms are left mysterious. But it's not yet-another urban fantasy where we're supposed to be all impressed by the notion of a mystical amulet called Eye of Avacados or whatever. The main character in this world derives his powers from pop music. There are long discussions about the meanings of old Britpop songs. I don't even care about Britpop, but I still loved reading this comic, watching the B.S. of musical criticism intertwine with the B.S. of woo-woo fantasy... somehow, when you put these two awful things together, something wonderful can emerge.

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Posted 2007-07-21