In my opinion, there is nothing in this world quite as depressing as the day after Labour Day. The summer is gone. It's dark by 8 o'clock. And if you're a teacher... well, enjoy the next 10 months (how one rises from bed on a day like today, after two months off, facing the prospect of having to handle the likes of my 15-year old bastard self for the next year is beyond heroic. God bless you all).
In order to help you absorb the fact that we have little more than 7 months of dreary weather to look forward to, here are some of the best things I've come across over the past few weeks. (Huge tip of the cap to Flats for providing an endless array of links)
Watch You Bleed, by Stephen Davis
In this excerpt from Stephen Davis's biography of the saga that is Guns 'n' Roses, Davis eloquently describes where the best line from their most famous song comes from. YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?...
Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilzation, by Douglas Haddow
I'm generally down with any piece that points to the egregious absurdity of skinny jeans, and this article taken from last month's Ad Busters does just that, and then some.
Haddow defines the "hipster" as "a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society", and he goes to great lengths to show how this "culture" drains all semblance of meaning from symbols that once carried cultural weight (Parliament cigarettes, Pabst Blue Ribbon, keffiyeh...)
A few of the highlights include:
Lovers of apathy and irony, hipsters are connected through a global network of blogs and shops that push forth a global vision of fashion-informed aesthetics. Loosely associated with some form of creative output, they attend art parties, take lo-fi pictures with analog cameras, ride their bikes to night clubs and sweat it up at nouveau disco-coke parties. The hipster tends to religiously blog about their daily exploits, usually while leafing through generation-defining magazines like Vice, Another Magazine and Wallpaper. This cursory and stylized lifestyle has made the hipster almost universally loathed.
An amalgamation of its own history, the youth of the West are left with consuming cool rather that creating it. The cultural zeitgeists of the past have always been sparked by furious indignation and are reactionary movements. But the hipster’s self-involved and isolated maintenance does nothing to feed cultural evolution. Western civilization’s well has run dry.
I think it's safe to say that the author has had at least one bad experience with some dude wearing his sister's jeans.
Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview, by Neate Sager (Deadspin)
While researching my piece about the top-10 drunkest crowds in Blue Jays history, I came across this great preview of the upcoming Jays season. It couldn't have been more accurate if it had been written by Madam Marie.
I love the idea that Jays fans have accepted the fact that we'll probably finish third every year, but that the playoffs don't really matter, because being a Jays fan is all about living for the moments you get while enjoying a few Delgados and rocking a powder-blue throwback jersey until they're mathematically eliminated sometime in September.
The Chameleon, by David Grann
This is easily one of the most disturbing stories I've come across: A twenty-three year old Frenchman assuming the identity of a sixteen year old Texas boy who had been missing for the better part of three years. His reason for doing it? Just because. The fact that he was able to convince the boy's family that he was their son/brother for more than four months is almost beyond belief.
If You Like Beer... Drink Here, by Graham Duncan
From Now Magazine's Beer Issue, here is a list of the best places to drink in Toronto (love the fact that the Cloak and Dagger gets a shout out). Also, Near Beer (from the same Beer Issue) lists the micro-breweries in and around the Toronto area.
The Alfredo Griffins:
For the fourth consecutive season, The Alfredo Griffins; overcoming adversity and the absence of our coach; were able to win the consolation division of the TCSSC co-ed, non-competitive softball league. A juggernaut of mediocrity. That's right: "We're number FIVE!".