Advertisements
Tag Archives: cocaine

Sherman Ave Interviews: Renee Engeln-Maddox (Part 2 of 2)

30 Sep

Earlier this summer, Sherman Ave editors Ross Packingham and Sir Edward Twattingworth III interviewed Psychology professor and Allison Hall live-in Renee Engeln-Maddox at Sherman Ave Headquarters.  If any cultural references seem slightly out of date, it’s because that’s what happens when we decide to wait to publish interviews for three months due to reasons.

Read Part 1 here.

The professor who will forever be remembered as "the one who couldn't remember twerk or flabongo."

The professor who will forever be remembered as “the one who couldn’t remember twerk or flabongo.”

———————————————————————————–

Packingham: When someone asks you what courses you teach, do you ever just go, “Intro to SIIIIIIKE!” and punch them in the genitals?

[silence]

Renee: If I’d thought of it…

Twattingworth: Follow-up, will you start doing that now?

Renee: Do I have to punch them? Cause that could hurt my back. What about like a kick? Or a knee? And I’d have to do the “SIIIIIIKE!” better than that. You need to get the “IIIIIIIII” a little higher.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Album Review: FIDLAR’S “FIDLAR” – LA Punks Take It To The Beach

9 Apr
The Miller High Life of rock (this is a good thing).

The Miller High Life of rock (this is a good thing).

Have you ever hummed the theme song to Hawaii Five-O and thought, “Man, I wish someone would start screaming over this”?  Do you sometimes listen to Weezer and find yourself thinking, “Mmm, this is good but I wish these darn lyrics weren’t so deep and metaphorical”?  (Sample Weezer lyric: “I’ve got an electric guitar / I play my stupid songs / I write these stupid words / And I love every one).

You should check out the LA surf-punk band FIDLAR.

“FIDLAR?” you ask.  “As in, ‘fidlar on the roof?’”

No, no.  In this case, FIDLAR is an acronym, which stands for Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk (a phrase made popular by skateboarders in FIDLAR’s hometown).

Continue reading

Authors That Would Make Bad Writing Infinitely Better

6 Jan

As a manipulator of the English language myself, I hold several beliefs dear to my heart. They are as follows:

1) If you are over the age of 12 and still cannot successfully distinguish when words should have apostrophes (confusing “it’s” and “its,” “your” and “you’re”), I cannot respect your education. Why are you stupid?
2) If you can’t write something nice, don’t write anything at all. I’m not talking about pleasant or polite; I’m referring to “nice” writing as the opposite of writing that is bad, boring, poorly written, wrong, pointless, confused, frustrating, or Rick Perry.

Yeah, I know. It’s radical. Of course, not as radical as Rick Perry. But let’s face it: there is some literature/film/music that simply should have been penned by someone other than the original author. In some cases, aforementioned art is a slice of brilliance that got tarnished in the current writer’s incapable hands; in other cases it is an unsalvageable failure whose only option is to get worse so as to become presentably heinous.

In fact, may I make a few suggestions?

Twilight
by Terry Pratchett*

We’d all like this series so much better if Ms. Meyer’s attempt at a love story about a girl next door (translation: exposition on How To Have A Dysfunctional Relationship) had relatable and quirky characters with different fonts for every time they spoke. P-rad knows exactly how to make a totally impossible instance (Death playing Santa Claus? Criminals becoming post-men? Women in the army and not in the kitchen?) plausible, insightful, and funny — qualities which are all completely lacking in the hands of its current author.

Miley Cyrus’s memoir, Miles to Go
by Lemony Snicket

I haven’t read the original, but here is what I imagine it will read like, “My daddy is the only reason I’m famous. My brother croakmoans uncomfortably horny music to an audience that hasn’t got boobies yet. My boyfriend is way too old for me. I like drugs.” Are you attached to any of these characters? Do you care if the melancholy wit of Lemony Snicket creatively kills them off? Me neither. Just add a narrator who regularly urges you to stop reading, a meaninglessly depressing end,** and illustrations by Brett Helquist, and we’ve got ourselves acceptable piece of literature. It might even be appropriate for children, unlike everything else about Miley. Which brings us to:

“Party in the USA”
by Adele

Face it. She’d sing it better. Adele’s been so angsty lately (trying to set fire to the rain and all. She must be so frustrated) I’d like to see her getting down and shaking those God-given gifts. We know that when a Jay-Z song is on in Adele’s taxicabs, you better believe she puts her hands up.

Freud’s Early Theories
by Tara Gillespie

If you think about it, it wouldn’t be too different: My Immortal (the world’s worst fanfiction) and Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams are both mostly about sex/mostly wrong about sex. But if our favorite “goff” wrote it, we’d have the added pleasure of trying to decipher what words were behind the awful spelling in addition to laughing at his concept of penis envy and her concept of orgasm. Maybe she’d throw in some Harry Potter references*** along with her My Chemical Romance worship, extensive description of fishnets, and use of the phrase “passively frenching.” On the negative side, there will undoubtedly be a morbid amount of it’s/its confusion, but on the plus side, as far as we can tell, Tara wasn’t on cocaine, unlike Freud.

Glee
by Tommy Wiseau

Oh hai: it’s another artist who lacks command of the English language. Be honest with yourself — you don’t watch Glee for its**** gripping storyline. Having America’s most multi-untalented artist write/direct/produce/star/fornicate in the musical TV show can only make it more interesting. You know you want more of the writing that made Tommy’s masterpiece, The Room, so fantastic — what better way than to sit down with a bowl of popcorn to a fusion of pop culture featuring quotable magnificence such as, “You ah tearing me apaht, Wachel!” and “I did NAHT hit on Kurt. I did NAHT.” Best of all, we get to hear more of his wonderfully attractive accent/speech impediment as applied to music. Which, of course, he’ll arrange and sing entirely by himself.

Unfortunately for you, I have no suggestions on how to improve your terrible English paper. And so, I leave you with the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:
You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes,
You have heinously read all Sir Twattingworth spews.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose
(Just as long as it sounds like Erman Shmavenues).

——————————————————————————————————————————
*Another soul who understands the beauty in a footnote. All I want for Christmas is his semen in a petri dish with the reproductive cells of Bristol Bacchus. Bristol, dibs on being godmother.
**I’m all for realistic children’s literature, but I was really attached to Uncle Monty. And did anyone else develop a phobia of Lachrymose Leeches in Lake Michigan?
***Godwin’s law of NU: the longer a conversation continues between two NU students, the more likely a Harry Potter reference becomes.
****Did you see that apostrophe? No, you didn’t, because it does not belong there. It belongs in the first sentence of that paragraph.

Things That Suck: Coffee

15 Dec

Coffee: Sir Twattingworth's anti-heroin

Fuck coffee.

I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Not because I’m the protagonist of a Robert Heinlein novel, but because I don’t drink caffeine. I’ll pause a moment to let your mouths fall agape as you shout “WAIT WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTT.”

True story. I’ve never drunk coffee in my life. Okay, wait, there was that one time when I was a curious young four-year-old and my dad let me taste his coffee and I was so horrified that I jerked violently and spilled it all over my Charlie Brown pajama pants. But other than that I have usually abstained from the black stuff. And from Red Bull. And Monster, too. Fuck that shit.

Final exams may be over at Northwestern, but I know there are a bunch of other poor unfortunate souls out there who still have to cram months’ worth of learning into their skulls before exams. As a result they may, in all their mortal vulnerability, be tempted to turn to the evil that is caffeinated beverages. I am here to hold up my hand and say the same thing I would say to anyone planning to read Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666: Don’t do it!

My body is like this temple, in that it is a temple.

That’s a picture of a temple. I included it in this article because, like the Baha’i Temple, my body is a temple. When I stay up till four in the morning writing a six page essay about what Henry David Thoreau would think about the Weather Underground, I do so simply on the sober strength of my own fucking willpower. I understand that if you start thinking about this metaphor, some obvious contradictions might jump out at you like the T-Rex face in my old dinosaur pop-up book. But I’ll remind you that most temples have alcohol in them. You can put wine into a temple without damaging it, and Christians have done so for ages. But something tells me that if you shot lightning at a temple to “give it energy,” you would really just blow up the temple. That’s my visualization of inserting caffeine into a human system.

Shoot a temple with lightning and it will never be intact again. Give me Red Bull and I will never sleep again. I have enough trouble as it is. The first time I stayed up past midnight on a day that wasn’t New Year’s Eve, it was all over for me. Once I crossed that threshold, it became impossible for me to ever fall asleep before midnight again. At night my productivity goes up, and I suddenly remember all the Grantland articles I wanted to read and all the episodes of Dragon Ball Z that I wanted to watch that I somehow forgot about during the daytime. Before I know it, it’s 2:30 and somehow the knowledge that I have to telemarket for three hours the next day doesn’t stop me from looking up YouTube clips of old Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches until my eyelids finally take executive action and shut themselves, only to be jarred awake hours later by an alarm just in time to swallow a mouthful of Cocoa Puffs before huffing it to my French class with all possible speed. No rest for the weary, and I am nothing if not weary.

I am not alone here. I have friends who drink coffee like it’s water. As a result, they go to bed at midnight and wake up at six every day. They think they’re fully functioning modern human beings. I think they’re more like zombie robots in danger of falling apart at any second. I don’t want to see that happen, so I’m finally coming out against the horrid black stuff.

She is hot. Coffee is awful.

That’s a subjective take on the general suckiness of caffeinated drinks, so I’ll throw in an objective approach as well. I feel like I shouldn’t have to mention this, since it is as inherently obvious as the blueness of the sky or the hotness of Kate Middleton, but caffeine is gross. Coffee is gross, and everybody secretly knows it. I’m not just talking about the people who pour mounds of sugar into their mugs to deaden their sorry souls to the fact that they’re drinking liquid poop. I’m talking about everyone. We all seem to have agreed to forget that coffee is disgusting, the way we all agreed to forget that George W. Bush was appointed President by the Supreme Court.

And not just coffee. Red Bull is gross too. I admit, I’ve tasted it a few times, and I’d sooner hang out with Michele Bachmann for a few hours than repeat the experience. But even if I hadn’t been capable of offering this personal testimony of awfulness, surely the list of ingredients – which looks like something Walter White might cook up in his basement to pay for chemotherapy – would probably be convincing enough. 4Loko actually tastes kind of good, but it’s illegal, so that’s a given. I won’t even talk about 5 hour energy drinks until they make better commercials. If my RTVF roommate could make a better commercial than the one you put on TV, you probably don’t deserve to exist, let alone be talked about in the valuable Internet real estate that is this website.

Would you rather drink coffee or eat poop?

I realize that this anti-caffeine argument is difficult. Sometimes the AP curriculum makes it seem as if the College Board just assumes that every AP student is injecting caffeine into their eyeballs (Either that or no one told them about the existence of time-consuming extracurriculars, but either way they’re a bunch of douchemuffins who gave me too much homework in high school). Then there’s the necessity of being a hipster in order to have any social currency in this hyper media-literate world. That means you need to read Pitchfork regularly and wear clothes originally designed for girls Europeans, but it mainly means that you need to spend a majority of your time in darkly lit indie cafes sipping black energy so you’re wide awake and prepared to unleash a shitstorm of ironic Tweets the next time Bon Iver releases a workout video. Caffeine has been so prevalent in our society for so long that we just accept it as a given fact of life. But the fact that people in the Eighties were accustomed to the idea of nuclear Armageddon didn’t make it okay. Nuclear holocaust is never okay, and neither is coffee, and don’t let Henry Kissinger tell you any different.

Society seems to have ordered its priorities like this:
1. Work
2. Sleep

But that is so, so wrong. Our society has forgotten the value of sleep. Let me tell you, there was one Saturday earlier this quarter when I slept until 3 pm. It was the greatest day of my life. We all need sleep to recuperate from the horrid heinousness of everyday life, and coffee prevents that. It sucks. Finals suck. Life sucks too. But you just need to get over it. Do it all natural or not at all, that’s my motto. Sleep well, my friends.

(And for those of you wondering about the fate of my aforementioned Charlie Brown pajama pants: They did not survive their encounter with coffee, and were promptly retired to the dustbin of history. The world is a worse place for it).