American Intrigue #1
Adam Humphreys evokes his Lucky Dragon fortune once more with American Intrigue #1. Based off of some sort of ‘off limits’ premise Adam explores the seedy underbelly of what goes on beyond closed tabs. Currently America is working hard on its intrigue. This has been a long time coming. Obviously there’s more than a little nostalgia within the superstructure of America yearning for a time when secrets really meant something, of the wholesome sweetness of the Cold War or a couple of dead aliens at Roswell. With this release Adam Humphreys overcomes his obvious handicap of being Canadian and embraces America, land of the free.
Brad Troemel and Adam Humphreys square off in the first piece. Well it is less a squaring off than a teacher/student dynamic that exists between them. Obviously Brad Troemel is the preacher man countless interviewees mention in ‘Godspeed You! Black Emperor’ tracks. Using the phrase of ‘the man’ indicates that a man is behind all of these problems, the too much machines, and the too little rage. Adam points out how many problems exist in general to give the sense of a ‘seems bleak / unsustainable’ vibe. Helpfully Adam suggests that Brad put on some garments and preach from the bully pulpit. During the Shoenice segment things get interesting. The worrisome quality of what people will do for momentary fame is scary. People do a lot for very little. However the same thing could be said of work or art in general: lots of effort, lots of output, little response in response. By alternating between Brad and Adam the result is a teacher-student vibe right down to the red that Adam writes in, completing the feeling.
The ‘After Shitty Youth’ section shows off exactly what a real artist is. Ariana Reines, Tao Lin, and Adam Humphreys email each other in a whirlwind of responses. What being a real artist is depends on what the definition is. Internet versus reality, writing versus publishing, they all have these similarities that differ depending on the person. Eventually Humphreys drops out and Lin and Reines email it out.
Status updates are the window to the Facebook. Amber Steakhouse thinks the deep thoughts. Amber Steakhouse may be the Jack Handey of the fucked up generation. The statuses are more of open-ended questions. Nude beaches come up. Poor Steakhouse has never been to a nude beach. Nude beaches are beautiful things with lots of wrinkly parts. Wishes are unusual: to sit on every bench in the world. Oddly Steakhouse appears to feel bad about telling his mom he wanted to curb stomp her. Guilt is an important emotion. Religion is built guilt-tough. Good thing Amber Steakhouse gives a shout-out to all skanks. Skanks really love being called skanks it’s a skank thing. Bad drinks are probably the funniest status at least to alcoholics.
Jonathan Owen Black takes pictures of Laura Selfridge preparing for a triathlon. Exercise is important. Laura looks proud to compete.
Eugene Kotlyarenko is interviewed by the ever affable Adam Humphreys. Introduced as a chronic masturbator, Kotlyarenko is the creator of the infinitely fucked ‘Feast of Burden’. Running is required to catch up with Kotlyarenko. Moving at a mile a minute Kotlyarenko sort of expands into a vast universe. What makes the interview particularly interesting is the knowledge that Kotlyarenko and Humphreys possess about films. Both of them appear to hold their own over the course of the hour-long interview. For example the segment where Kotlyarenko talks of how one can be deranged on the internet. The internet was made for the deranged. How did normal people ever act crazy before the internet? Humphreys brings up how research that would have been borderline creepy before the internet has been normalized afterwards. Lots of films are discussed, the state of indie film, etc. Kotlyarenko graduated college a year early, in only three years, which makes sense given how extremely quickly his mind seems to process and let out information.
Zachary German makes his reappearance onto the internet with a review of Justin Taylor’s book ‘The Gospel of Anarchy’. Claiming that only five people would read his review, well German can now say six. Beach Sloth read German’s review. Things happen in Justin Taylor’s book. People eating out of garbage cans, classy people, make up Taylor’s book. German discusses the past, discusses various alcohols and their price. ‘Art In General’ gets a shout out from German though it is a bad one. Everyone at Art In General talked too much according to German. German is a man of Ger or action or something.
Alec Niedenthal finishes it with a review of Marie Calloway’s debut novel ‘what purpose did i serve in your life’. Marie Calloway works hard to show the degradation of humanity, person after person. ‘what purpose did i serve in your life’ sounds unrelentingly brutal. What’s more it focuses on the innermost cruelties supposedly normal or proud men perpetrate. The way Alec describes it seems to be of Marquis De Sade’s libertine woman writing about sadists from the victims’ point of view. This could be entirely wrong as Beach Sloth has yet to read Calloway’s debut novel. Marie Calloway is worth blogging about and worth reading however so Alec’s review (while it sadly contains no spoilers) should give hope.
Bulging with information this is a beast of a thing. Adam Humphreys knows how to put together a compelling piece of art.