The Weekly Roundup: 5.21.2010

Exquisite Corpse
I am very fortunate to live in a college town. On Thursday nights while class is in session, a bunch of the English majors hold an informal, public coffee house that they call poetry night. People read original pieces, recite their favorite poems, and singer-songwriters perform in the living room of a small house off Main Street. If you drift out to the back porch you can overhear research topics, party plans, and book recommendations. The whole thing just buzzes with creativity and positivity. This is the artistic ferment of my hometown. By 1am the air is thick with cigarette smoke, and with bellies full of wine the poets and their supporters attempt to reenact the best moments of the beat generation. They are the bohemians of postmoderity, still worshiping at the hallowed shrine of Bacchus, wildly rollicking up to the stars, yelling words loud enough to be heard at the end of the night. If you are not fortunate enough to have such doings in your town, I've found an interweb equivalent. Exquisite Corpse is an online 'zine of sorts featuring creative writings, but also a broad range of other subjects and expressions. There are regular contributors, but you, yes you, can also submit your work for consideration. Exquisite Corpse serves up an intimidating amount of intelligence and inspiration all under the editorial direction of renowned author, Andrei Codrescu. You should give it a read.

Lauren Monaco
Jack Kerouac, Samuel Beckett, and Flannery O’Connor are awe-inspiring authors, and illustrating their work is a daunting task. Surely, this is one of those situations where the line between bold and stupid is indeed fine. However, I think illustrator and Communication Design BFA student, Lauren Monaco, has found success thanks to her talent and style. Here sparsely understated style pairs beautifully with basic nature of Kerouac's haiku, and the simplicity of Beckett's Waiting For Godot. Big thanks to my friend, John, for sharing her work with me.

From Here I Am: Illustrated Interpretations of Jack Kerouac's Haiku by Lauren Monaco (2010)

Breakdown Girl Talk
It's quite possible that no one samples more prolifically or diversely than Girl Talk. Whenever I listen to his work I constantly recognize samples, but frequently can't remember the source until after repeated plays weeks later. Thankfully there are people out there more dedicated and motivated than I. Some guy going by the name Edd Hannay put together a website with a widget that shows you the source of each sample as you listen to the Girl Talk album Feed The Animals. Brilliant! It's all kinds of open source and awesome. I highly recommend you check it out. I love labors of love, and this project surely took a considerable amount of time and effort from one avid fan.

Slaughterhouse 90210
Quotes from famous intellectuals paired with iconic pop culture images: an unlikely match made in heaven? Yes, at least on this tumblr. Slaughterhouse 90210 is one part illumination to one part hilarity. This was the best way I found to waste an hour of my paid existence this week. At least it made me feel better. Thanks out to my friend and fellow wage slave, Casey for this lead. Here's are some snippets from the site.
&#8220;I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.&#8221;<br />&#8212;Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
“I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.”
— Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

&#8220;You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.&#8221;  — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

DIY Skateparks
As I've mentioned on here a couple times before, I really believe in DIY. It's the best way for people to be independent, and it's the best way for communities to be grassroots. I have undying respect for any and all subcultures develop through the do-it-yourself mentality of their participants. Lately, I've had a lot of friends and acquaintances help push for skateparks in their towns. For the most part, their efforts are grassroots and DIY. Mad love to them. I couldn't support their efforts more. Skateparks are community centers. They can be a safe place for kids to call home, who sometimes would have no where else to go. Plus, skating promotes being active and outside. Skaters For Public Skateparks offers up a whole lot of guides and information on building DIY skateparks. And, even if you're not from Delaware, please take a moment to sign the petition to Support Development of a Skatepark in Newark Delaware. My friend Brian would never forgive me if I didn't also mention the skatepark finally being built in his hometown, Bethlehem Skateplaza. Finally, The Pink Spot is my favorite new DIY effort, and they are accepting donations online to buy concrete. I went to check it out Saturday, and was thoroughly impressed. Photos will be post next week.
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