The quick and the dead:

1. Finally Getting The Evens – It only took me, oh, about three years to catch up with The Evens. Being the Fugazi fan that I have always been (since the Repeater days…), I do question my sanity as to why it ever took me this long to get around to it. Better late than never, as they say. Both releases (self-titled first release and their second release, Get Evens) are quiet yet intense pieces of work. I felt the call when Ian MacKaye just wouldn’t leave me alone. Firstly, I’ve been on a Fugazi binge lately. Then Ian popped up in some fashion and design zine I looked through. Thereafter, his mug showed up on some website I was perusing (I can’t even remember which site it was!) – all within a few days! So, I answered the call and I’m all the happier for doing so.

2. The Rise of the Butcher Class - Who’d have thought that indie butchers would make a resounding thud in the culinary world of today? But then, who’s really surprised after the recent successes behind artisan bakeries? People actually like hand-made food products! Go figure! With shops such as Fleisher’s in upstate New York (as noted in Saveur‘s 2008 Saveur 100), your local butcher is making a hell of a comeback. ‘Tis a good thing, methinks, considering beef like this keeps heading out to the mass market….oh, and the photo of the owner, Joshua Applestone, in the actual Saveur magazine itself (which I cannot find online for the life of me…) is priceless. His t-shirt says: Bacon – The Gateway Meat.

3. Mythology – Riding on the back of my post discovering The Evens, I have to state something related to Detroit. One thing that Dischord Records did and still does phenomenally well is the mythologizing of not only the music and bands of Washington DC, but of the entire DC area itself. It’s as if DC lives and breathes through Dischord’s sonic and visual documentation. Barry Gordy did that reasonably well for the Motown acts back in the day, but what about now? Where are the labels, writers, and artists making Detroit something of a myth? Why does it seem there is no cohesion of arts? Are the various facets of the music machine that is Detroit (and, seriously, it is still a music machine) that self-absorbed that they only really care about mythologizing themselves? I’m lost on this. Come on, if Detroit has anything beyond its art alone, it’s a damned good story to back it all up.

4. Malcolm X – I finally saw Malcolm X tonight – yeah, another one of those, “Jesus, man! Where’ve you been?!?” moments. I thought the movie was good. Malcolm X’s story was tragic in that he seemed to move from one bad position to another all through his life. It was sad, really. Nonetheless, I understand his story more fully now and that was what I was trying to do…sixteen years after the movie’s initial release and just about 43 years after his assassination.

5. I Like You, Andrew Sullivan – As a self-proclaimed conservative, Andrew Sullivan isn’t all that bad of a guy. Having seen him quite a few times on Real Time with Bill Maher, I’ve come to have a love/hate relationship with the man simply because you can tell he’s torn. Being an openly gay conservative in an openly gay marriage must be tough (all while being Catholic, nonetheless!). I’m sure it hurts his cred amongst many conservatives. But, damn it, the man thinks! Sure, I have conservative friends and most of them give thought to issues and, in the end, we can still smile at one another and shake hands. I have some acquaintances that don’t think and toe the line, and they’re really not much more than, uh, acquaintances. Andrew Sullivan has proven time and again that even before branding himself a conservative, he thinks first and reasons out arguments. And, y’know what? This is a good thing. I’d buy him a beer.