A few weeks ago, I attended the New York Antiquarian Book Fair for the first time. It was one of those days in early March when there still aren’t any buds on the trees, but the sun seems to hint at a warmer future. Walking toward the Armory on 67th street, Park Avenue seemed to be full of dazed New Yorkers wandering the streets after a long hibernation. Bookish types gathered on the sidewalk in front of the Armory in small clumps, as a steady stream of attendees wove in and out of its yawning doors.
This past January 30th was Fred Korematsu Day, a state-wide holiday in California celebrating the legacy of Japanese American activist Fred Korematsu. Born in Oakland in 1919 to parents of Japanese ancestry who owned a flower nursery, Korematsu was one of three Japanese Americans who protested against the United States’ internment policy during World War II, eventually taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court.
A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across the trailer for Jobs? Never!!, a new skateboarding film directed by, and starring, Jim Greco. Through its nefarious algorhythm, Instagram has correctly pegged me as a former skateboarder and distant fan of the sport, and so these kinds of clips pop up in my feed pretty often. Still, this one seemed different. The video didn’t show any tricks–no flashy 360 varial flips, no nollie crooked grinds–just a man pushing through the streets of L.A., a dusty suit jacket flapping open in the breeze.
In the opening pages of Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud spends a great deal of time describing Rome. It’s meant as an elaborate metaphor to convey the variegated layers of consciousness and memory that make up the human psyche
As a teenager and young man living in New York, I wore a lot of black clothing--black surplus peacoats, black skinny jeans, black crewneck sweaters, and lots of black shoes. In the circles I ran in, black is a way of rebelliously blending in, appropriate for all occasions, and always flattering.
If cinema has taught me anything about policing, it is that the key to being a good detective lies in having the proper outerwear. Nowhere is this more true than in the dystopian future imagined in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and sequel Blade Runner 2049, in which detectives skulk through a dark and grimy Los Angeles searching for rogue humanoid replicants to forcibly “retire.”
I have a hard time imagining the elevator pitch for Neo Yokio, an animated series on Netflix about a pink-haired “magistocrat” named Kaz Kaan, who jets around a futuristic city analogous to New York on the back of his robot butler trying to boost his social reputation and win back his old girlfriend, while slaying demons on the side. And what if I told you that all of this outlandishness was really window dressing for a series of mediations on fashion and consumerism?