Yesterday, Phil Ochs would have been 70, and this was very much my “John Lennon would have been 70.” I was going to post a miniseries aggregating his narrative, combing the highlights of my archive, the handful of books written about him, and crazy listservers past, but I balked.
I always get tripped up by sentimentalism—it feels sheepish to attempt to describe something in certain terms and then come to realize that it is just unconditional love. Phil Ochs is dated and uncomplicated and brilliant and hilarious and artless and sardonic and heartbreaking.
“One Way Ticket Home” was released on his last studio album, Greatest Hits; between its sarcastic title (it was all new material!), tagline (“50 Phil Ochs Fans Can’t Be Wrong”/deprecating play on 50 Million Elvis Fans ..), cover photograph (commissioned gold lamé Nudie suit*), and material (very 50s country, nostalgia-themed), it just kills me!
On January 5, the Phil Ochs documentary that has been “in the works” for about a decade is being released at the IFC Center in NYC; I have a dental appointment on the 6th, so I guess plenty of time to be emo on the return bus ride?
*By 1970, he believed that the only hope for America was if Elvis Presley were to become Che Guevara, and since Elvis was not so inclined, he would have to do so himself.
Way back when, during the massive Tumblr outage of ‘10, I was going to lament about how I accidentally deleted the folder that contained two days worth of recently-bragged-about scanning. IDK WTF (I suspect it occurred when I was soggily catching up on contemporary melodrama Grey’s Anatomy* and I was ⌘ + deleting recklessly while the display on my laptop was distorted), but of all of the sweatshop tasks I encounter in my dubious fine art endeavors, I hate scanning only second to audio transcription. In short, it was a low blow.
But then the now infamous outage came to pass, and it was like Blackout 2003 without all of the communal barbecuing.
I will be in NYC for the next few days, so drop a line if you’d like to share advantage of the last days of my museum staff reciprocity**, friends.
*everyone should have a shallow hand of drunken tear-inducers, duh
My fellow Bostonians—at least those without a cable or satellite subscription—are probably familiar with the Boston Neighborhood Network’s Community Message Board, which is basically a classified’s section PowerPoint with the occasional local event notice. It has looped the same ads for years (500 VHS Tapes with pinewood cabinet, $500/OBO; Fur Coats, various sizes, $50-100; Four Velvet Covered Bar Stools, Never Used, $25/each), and the above listing was a constant source of outrage in my household (yeah, it’s hard to believe, but even with three telemundo channels at times there is simply Nothing On). HOW COULD THESE PEOPLE POSSIBLY BE SELLING A 14 YEAR OLD FERRET?! THAT IS SO ABOMINABLE. I MEAN, GOD, IF I DIDN’T HAVE A PHONE PHOBIA, I WOULD CALL THEM UP AND …
Well! It turns out that the blindingly neon effect of the slide background colors in combination with the chosen font as represented by my CRT TV caused us to misread this listing for years, literally! The ferret, as you can clearly see here, is ONE YEAR- and not FOURTEEN YEARS- OLD .. or rather he was at the date of this listing. By now, he is probably four. Where are they now.
The Community Message Board is no longer accepting new ads and will go off the air this month. That’s just the way it is.
I was going through cold storage, attempting an autumn ultimatum (launder/dry clean*/goodwill, oh my) and came across this vintage bullet bra. I keep almost getting rid of it with each annual purge because I hate to hold onto things that I don’t wear into the ground, but how harassing would it be to suddenly need a bullet bra and know you’ve given one up?
*Lets be honest: my versions of “dry cleaning” are (a) wash cold, drape over chair to dry (which has since restored the above hand-me-down pink cashmere), or (b) throw in dryer sans washing.