CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 

Latest Posts

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Nov 22, 2007
MisshapesAuthor: Geordon NicolPublisher: MTV PressSeptember 2007, 288 pages, $16.50

Misshapes
Author: Geordon Nicol
Publisher: MTV Press
September 2007, 288 pages, $16.50


A brief point of information before the review: the Misshapes, after which this book is named, are a band-cum-party throwing collective which hosts weekly parties in New York. These parties feature a constellation of sarcastic facial hair and tube socks (trendy 20-somethings and celebrities of a similar ilk often watching indie artists and DJs perform). Ubiquitous at these gatherings is a photographer who documents the glam antics and dress of these hipsterati, keeping the Misshapes finger on the throbbing pulse of esoteric music and booze lovers. This book is a collection of said photographs.


Misshapes is a book which will inevitably offend the sensibilities of almost anyone. Hipsters feel slighted because it portrays the tragically cool as actually tragic, having nothing better to do than dress up in outrageous, self-parodic fashion and attend the same party every weekend. Non-hipsters are offended simply that such people exist, annoyed by the requisite pretention, irony, and vapidity of the people displayed. Celebrities bump shoulders with your average white-bread American Apparel-onesie-wearing-uberchic reminding the reader not only of their less than superhuman realities but their similar sad weekly pilgrimage, clad in their lamé worship garb, to the Misshapes’ hipster mecca.


Does all of this amount to me not liking the book? Absolutely not. In fact Misshapes has earned a permanent place on my coffee table (and in my heart). The photography is gorgeous and the layout is one the cleanest and most aesthetically pleasing I have ever seen. Furthermore, hating hipster culture has become so inculcated popular belief that such sentiments are just as trendy as the sequin bandeaus adorning the Misshapes’ crown. Furthermore, just as haute couture fashion is relevant to the everyman in that its tenants eventually trickle down to your local Kohl’s, the hipster elite’s exaggerated dress will be seen in Forever 21 and Sears in just a few years. With that in mind, Misshapes serves as an exciting catalogue of a flourishing demographic as deserving of attention as much as any other subculture. What do I say to the hipsters themselves who feel the book misrepresents them? It doesn’t. As much as you like to think of yourself as more refined than Pete Wentz (who gracefully makes an appearance), you still wake up, from time to time, in a pile of Pabst cans with your slip-on shoes missing and a girl dressed head to toe in jersey next to you.


 


 


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Nov 22, 2007





 




 



Over here, where my feet have taken roost, this is a day of celebration. One of the limited few marked on our calendars and installed in national practice. It began with a story lodged in local lore: of settlers enduring a severe winter and being confronted by likely death and indigenous people coming to their last-second rescue. From that brush with finality came the lesson of appreciation for others, a moral of helping one’s fellows, of caring for those less fortunate. A value still rooted somewhere in this nation’s collective psyche. The Bushes and Cheneys and Rumsfelds, notwithstanding.


 


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Nov 22, 2007

While purists palpitate over the aspect ratios presented (Kubrick’s preference for open matte remains a widely debated messageboard topic), this newest collection of motion picture masterpieces (2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut) provides two disc redefinitions of the maestro’s magnificent output. For the 2001 and Orange updates alone, it’s priceless. But Warners then adds the bonus DVD documentary Stanley Kubrick - A Life in Pictures to round out this must-own package. Argue over their relevance to modern moviemaking, but Kubrick remains an ingenious rebel. This set confirms that well-earned reputation.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Nov 22, 2007

Imagine: the tale of Moby-Dick told—nay—brought to three-dimensional life in a mere eight pages. Sam Ita manages this with comic book-style panels and graphics and masterly pop-up paper art. This humorously beautiful work of story and sculpture is billed for all ages, but I’d warn against allowing a single sticky finger near its artful pages. Nor, despite its clever brevity, will it serve like a Cliff Notes substitute for the lazy college kid. Rather, those worthy of this bound beauty have read the entire Melville masterpiece, endured that long, dreadful journey into the depths of Captain Ahab’s dark obsession, and loved it. Only such stalwart, adventurous souls are qualified to bring this pop-up version down from its shelf on high, and share the full ship and sails, the drunken sailors, the thrashing leviathan—ah, ah! don’t touch!—with those who but dare to dream of such things.


 


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Nov 22, 2007

It’s not often that first person shooters combine elements of pulpy 1950’s science fiction, 1920’s art deco design, and the fiction of Ayn Rand, but Bioshock is an Xbox 360 game like no other. The “shoot everything in sight” style action may be standard stuff, but what sets 2K Games’ masterpiece apart from the rest of the crowded genre is the stunning graphics, fascinating setting and a plot that resembles an Aldous Huxley cautionary tale about a utopian society gone wild. Bioshock is set in an underwater city called Rapture. There, a scheming industrialist named Andrew Ryan has created a libertarian paradise that goes horribly wrong when gene technology that allowed people to change their genetic code begins to drive people mad. The substance called ADAM may have been bad for the now murderous people of Rapture, but on the other hand, it grants you superpowers like the ability to shoot fire or lightning out of your fingertips. Bioshock may not quite deserve the breathless hype it’s received by the media, but if you can look past the fact that it’s probably not the best game ever made, it’s an epic sci-fi/horror/first-person shooter you don’t want to miss.


Bioshock (Xbox 360) Gameplay Footage



Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2015 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.