Baby Carriage Full of Beercans: Okay, okay, I don't love Whitney Pastorek....

Baby Carriage Full of Beercans

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There's nothing sadder than an aging hipster. That's why I've been so uncool all these years.

Friday, March 5

Okay, okay, I don't love Whitney Pastorek....

I've since Googled her and found a bunch of short stories she's written and are featured at various places all over the internet. I have discovered that she's an acquaintance of Dave Eggers, who wrote one book I enjoyed, and appears to hobnob and move/shake in semi-important (fame-wise) circles, which may give some people a thrill. She has also interviewed the White Stripes, which gave her quite a thrill, judging by her ridiculously lengthy article on the whole process of interviewing her favorite band on earth! In this interview, she used her lit-school writing skills to articulate her teenie-bopper-like adulation.

Whatever happened to asking rock stars questions and printing their answers? I barely care what rock stars think, so I certainly don't care what the interviewer's impression is of them! The interviewer is the filter, the article is the medium and, god damn it, the medium is not the message! Well, okay, the medium is the message if we're talking about art, in which case the artist is actually in control of the message delivered through the medium. I'll be hornswaggled in buttermilk if a celebrity interview is art, despite the existential need for validation of music-writer-nerds and wanna-be-Barbara-Walterses. I can make up my own mind without the smiling hero worship provided by the Entertainment Tonight mentality.

But, maybe the "art" in the case of this White Stripes interview is how the artists manipulate the interviewer into saying just whatever the White Stripes want, generally speaking, through this filter of Whitney Pastorek. This reduces the interviewer to a puppet on a string, rather than the self-important critic and journalist. In this case, The White Stripes prove to be very talented artists; they can tune up the guitar and sing rock songs, but just as skillfully, they can wind up a writer to sing their praises. And even more impressively, they can wind-up a non-writer (me) to write something about the writer (Whitney Pastorek) who wrote about them in the first place. The White Stripes oeuvre and mystique are magical weapons for self-empowerment and we shall all bend to their will!

It's weird to me that otherwise intelligent people can become fawning douchebags in the presence of celebrity. True, in this case, I wanted to read about the White Stripes here, not Whitney Pastorek, but that does not make me a fawning douchebag. That just makes me an ordinary douchebag with a mild curiosity regarding the White Stripes. I want to know what they think, what they've said and done, in their own words. I don't want to read the impressions of a giddy school girl. But, I digress...

The day becomes longer and I am more bored, so I go back to see what more I can learn of Whitney Pastorek via Google. It soon becomes clear to me that she does not like to display pictures of herself publicly. Or, what I mean is, she chooses to display pictures of her feet rather than a mugshot (charming or annoying?). In fact, she seems downright interested in footwear, I'd say. In one story of hers, entitled "Cartwheels," in the first paragraph's third sentence, she's relating her attraction to some guy on the subway and his sneakers. She writes: "Adidas, new, tastefully gray (none of the fluorescent orange stuff the kids are so crazy about these days)." Oh brrrrrother.

I start to wade in her circle of friends, as Dan Clowes might say, "looking for a reason to hate" them as well (but, I say this in good humor). I see that a great many of them are writers as well as designers, entrepreneurs, inventors, idealists, and basically they seem to endulge every creative impulse they have. I'm not putting them all down, mind you, because that pretty much sums up me and most of my friends that I have known, who have been mostly writers, artists/designers, etc. since I did go to an art school and mostly hang out with "idea people."

There is a point in life, though, when certain people eventually come to realize, that while they can be agents for change, visionaries and geniuses, ultimately opinions are like assholes: everyone has one-- or, in some cases, everyone IS one, depending on how opinionated they actually are (myself included, of course). At that point of realization, something happens to a person... suddenly their thoughts and feelings are not as important as they once were... perhaps fluorescent orange sneakers aren't just for kids... perhaps the White Stripes are just a couple of lucky musicians who are no more important than the bum you kicked out of your hallway this morning...

I wonder if Whitney Pastorek is part of the newer crowd that started to frequent local dive bar, O'Hanlon's, in recent years. Suddenly, a new "black-rimmed-glasses and Manhattan-Portage" kind of snooty crowd started flocking to O'Hanlon's in droves. By all appearences, their countenance suggests that anyone who is not "unique" like them is not at all welcome to talk to them. A different kind of conformity and herd mentality. They reserve a certain expression of disdain for people who would wear fluorsescent orange sneakers (for example). I judge them not solely (ha, ha) on appearances, however, as they simply did not get along with any of the previous regulars there (I, personally, never bothered to go out of my way to befriend them, after seeing a number of unsuccessful attempts by some of the regulars, who I did not feel the particular need to snub in any one of my previous visits to O'Hanlon's).

Interesting. Here I am an artist by trade and I even wear black-rimmed glasses... and here I am, judging those I deem "too judgemental"... I really should get along with them just fine! Shouldn't I? And yet, I opt now to travel several blocks out of my way, when I feel like going to a bar, to the even-more-divey, more rockin' bar (which shall remain nameless, but is hidden nicely in Astoria). Strangely, this bar is filled with people in bands, with tattoos and black-rimmed glasses galore-- and yet, everyone is really mellow and really cool to everyone else. Perhaps because the majority of people there are "uniquely" cool, everyone has relaxed their disdain and I slide in as "cool" under the radar. Or perhaps it really is just a better group of people.

In any case, no, I don't really "love" Whitney Pastorek like I said before. Yeah, she shares many of my own opinions... but, what do I care? I'm an asshole!

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