“Availing himself to as romantic a backdrop as one could ever hope—not only the island itself, rich with ruin and religion and, well, riches, but also the twin eddies of the Greek economic crash and the Mediterranean refugee crisis—Bollen’s writing echoes both Patmos and the famous words brought up from its core. Sun-blasted prose is pocked with marvelous turns of phrase, and his pawns twist, flay and leak acid like lemons. Every painful and sexy and mysterious moment proves alluringly repulsive, like the heat—from behind designer sunglasses—of the vacation sun…or the end of the world.”
“Any discussion of male loneliness must begin with two caveats. The first is that our loneliness cannot be the fault of women; this is no fedora-wearing, MRA message board polemic. The second is that the issues which may exacerbate loneliness are our own fault, stemming from concepts of masculinity that have given us a pretty good shake for millennia.
Modern American Masculinity is the one I know best, and it feels defined by stoicism, by beards and guns and backwards Flexfit baseball caps. Such atavistic ideas can be deeply alluring; I know, because I have felt them, too. So when a man who defines himself by his Modern American Masculinity is presented with something corrosive like loneliness, he can either sacrifice a part of that masculinity and express his emotional pain or internalize it and immolate with rage. One guess as to what choice many men make.”
“Air Sex is, by now, most definitely a thing, in that it has been parsed and ogled and talked about in Jezebel, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Playboy, even the goddamn Huffington Post. Normally hosted by comedian Chris Trew—his demonstration of the form on America’s Got Talent perturbed no less a sybarite than Howard Stern—Air Sex has been making the rounds since 2007. A movie is on the way, which the Air Sex website describes as “part tour documentary, part comedy special, part exploration of sex in today’s society.”
Said site calls Air Sex the world’s first SPART—sport and art, the capital letters are theirs—a claim which Terry Southern, circus artists, and skateboarders, among others, would find laughable. But Air Sex is unique in what it can provide to both its participants and spectators: a safe environment for raucous, good natured, sex-positive… performance? Sex education? Avant-sports?
It’s not quite any of them, or enough one not to be the other. Which is a good thing, mostly. The less Air Sex resembles every other sex-related aspects of our culture—sterile “sex ed” classes or flubbily lewd comedians or stupid-mean cis-centric sitcom dumbassery—the better it is, overall.”
“Brown has often referred to himself as ‘The Hybrid’, a nom de guerre whose aptitude extends beyond the Motor City allusions (a Detroit product, of fresh heart and mind, who is also most assuredly of the city) and strikes at the heart of Brown’s appeal, namely his existence as a creature of both hedonism and intelligence. Brown’s dyadic obsession with depravity and desperation is, at its most potent, a locus for the larger implications inherent when one examines getting fucked up not in the sybaritic context but the escapist, perhaps even the therapeutic; this blending of penis and genius serves to not only make his more wanton lyrics palatable – and this is a loose thing to pin down, anyway, the palatability of graphic imagery, which we are constantly assured, in equal measures, is both upsetting and damaging and liberating and existentially critical, unpopular yet ubituitous – but pushes them past avant garde pornography and something closer to art; he is the rap game Sasha Grey, wielder of vice as vessel for social criticism or, at the very last, extremely well done songs about his preternatural talent for pleasuring women.”
Read the rest of my review of Danny Brown’s Old at The Line of Best Fit