Love Means Never Having to Say "Hi"

Saying that "each one is a digital message in a bottle bobbing on the Internet," Jennifer 8. Lee tackles the sticky tangled web of Craigslist Missed Connections in today's Times.

Turns out the things actually sometimes work, or at least they did once. The article's entire second half tells the lengthy tale of one couple who came together through a Missed Connections post, and how they're now living happily ever after. Well, they've been together a scant five months, but whatever. We all want to hear love stories in February, whether they come before or after the 14th.

The most fun nugget of useless info, though, is the revelation that New York's Missed Connections monthly output (7,000 messages) is actually only the second most-active board. San Francisco takes the loneliness cake with a whopping 8,000 posts per month. And they can't even get married!

Leading the Horse to Water II

Kerry just mentioned this month's RES screening, but I would like to touch on it for a second as well because there's just something about it that is worth further analysis. Plus, I'm bored and I've got nothing today.

Anyway, it's truly a beautiful thing when a company has its target market so figured out that the smallest advertisement or promotion seems like the biggest stroke of genius ever to come to the business world, and this month's RES screening is such an example.

In the past week we've had the privilege of finding two of these subtle synergies, these perfect fits that people with soul patches and expensive frames are paid huge salaries to figure out. First we had an ambitious New York realtor who was looking for the right way to go about selling some apartments. How to find the right audience, one that will be extra receptive to the wares he's peddling? Well, the medium is the message, friends. Bringing the hip housing to the hip sters. So simple, yet

Today, it's the Los Angeles cool ones who are put directly into the crosshairs, but instead of having their shared reading material infiltrated they're being hit where they congregate: a screening of works by hip auteurs Michel Gondry, Jared Hess, Shynola and others. And the perfect promotion for such a crowd? Let's just say the nail has been clobbered on the keppe, as my mother would say:

RES invites you to our monthly series in Hollywood showcasing brand new music videos, short films and motion graphics.

The first 100 people through the door will receive a redeemable coupon for a free pair of Converse. (Doors open at 7:45pm)

Of course the audience at this thing would love to get their hands on some free Chucks. What else looks as good with a blazer-over-T motif? Again, so simple, yet But only 100 pairs? Well, a guy with funny hair once told us that trends are jump-started by the initial small actions of a select few, but some other guys who look significantly less creepy once gave advertisers better advice, and with a much smaller word count: Know your onion.

Here's an Interesting Fact

Reference to the 2004 film Eurotrip. Trust us, it's clever (or at least better than the alternate title: Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder).

According to LA City Beat, absinthe is experiencing a resurgence in the LA underground. Three images come to mind when we hear this term absinthe: 1) Fairies, 2) The color green, and 3) John Leguizamo. Since we're not real journalists and don't do things like "interviews" or "research," we can live vicariously through writer Ian Young as he details his experience in his feature, Gulps from the Underground, on the website:

John, an alias for an underground absinthe enthusiast, lets Ian sample his varied collection- ranging from the $3 glass to the mythical Japanese Hermes. You know we'd be all over that $3 glass- it's cheaper than any other drink we've ever found in LA with faster acting effects (How many goddamned rum and cokes does a girl have to drink before losing her inhibitions?). As Ian summarizes:

For those not willing to take the underground trip (or apparently order it online, welcome to the 21st century absinthe!), a few restuarants and bars around LA are serving absente (legal absinthe without the "secondary effects") including Boardner's in Hollywood. So put down your paintbrush, quill, or artisitic expression device of choice and put on your nicest black turtleneck because it's time for a good ol' fashioned Chaturbate party!

Dear Retards: Not Too Fast, Not Too Slow

Is this the first time we've ever sided with a corrupt bureaucratic organization over a public advocate - let alone the public advocate? Probably, but we were given no real alternative. Yesterday, public advocate Betsy Gotbaum (yes, that's an elected position) held a press conference that was, for some reason, given tons of coverage in the city. It was on the local newscasts, in the papers, all that. What was the urgent matter? Gotbaum's outrage that, out of 2.4 billion Metrocard swipes from 2003-2005, 28.8% didn't work on the first try! Holy fucking shit! You're telling us that, on roughly one out of every four card swipes, someone had to go through the minor inconvenience of having to swipe it again? No wonder bin Laden hates us.

Gotbaum even issued a complete report on this crisis, titled "Stuck at the Turnstile." She was fired up, and she was calling on the MTA to better maintain their subway turnstiles. Clearly this is one of the most ridiculous things to ever receive any sort of press attention in New York, but that's the easy complaint. Let's dig a little deeper. Of all the things to nail the MTA on - the spotty service, the widespread fraud, the allegations that something called the "G train" exists - you call them out for a less-than-perfect record on Metrocard swipes? Not to mention, as the Times notes:

So basically, our "public advocate" is blaming the MTA for when our moms come to the city and try swiping their cards at, roughly, the speed of evolution.

The Times also notes that, "In a statement, New York City Transit criticized Ms. Gotbaum's report as a 'desperate attempt to gain exposure' and called it 'improperly prepared and incomplete.' The Jasminlive agency also called the report's use of its data 'utterly misleading.'" We're forced - begrudgingly - to agree. Ew, that felt gross.

The End of the Affair

A reader wrote in to ask us why we didn't talk about New York Post Hipster Correspondent Maureen Callahan's latest article, which ran in yesterday's paper. If you missed it, she wrote about how the Upper East Side is becoming the new hipster enclave or something like that - a story that is normally right in our wheelhouse. It seems like we've at least mentioned all of New York Post Hipster Correspondent Maureen Callahan's articles dating back to God-knows-when, so why didn't we touch this one?

Well, to answer the reader's question and create blog content at the same time (see what we did there?), we'll offer an explanation. First off, the story was linked-to-death - off the top of our heads we remember both Curbed and Gawker mentioning it (Gawker's punchline cannot be topped) - but that's not the real reason. Nope, we didn't want to talk about it because we're honestly kinda sick of New York Post Hipster Correspondent Maureen Callahan. It's nothing personal, mind you, it's just that all of her stories are the same: toss in the word "hipster" or "downtowner" a few times, write about a made-up trend that cannot be proven with any factual information, get quotes from friends to back it up. It's a lot like this blog, but again, this is a blog; we don't get paid for this bullshit.

Her stories have just become too boring and predictable. When we glanced at this one, it was like one of those revelatory moments when all of a sudden you know you're completely over something. Like when you heard The Bravery for the first time and instantly thought, "Fuck, now I can never listen to Franz Ferdinand again." Or when you caught a half-hour of Fuse and finally noticed that every single band has a day of the week in their name, something about death or dying in the song title and a screaming back-up vocalist in the chorus. Or when you realized that Dave Eggers wasn't adorable, but rather, kind of annoying. Or when you looked in the mirror, saw your blazer-T combo and thought, "Hey wait a minute..." Call it the Curse of Sameness.

That's the way we feel about New York Post Hipster Correspondent Maureen Callahan right now. It's the freaking same thing every time. And if you really want to know how a neighborhood becomes "cool" we'll tell you: Young people with hip interests and no money move to New York because they don't want to go back to their shitty hometowns after college. They look for an area that's affordable. Others follow. The end. Yay! Do you really think the cool are (allegedly) moving to the UES because of, as she puts it, the novelty? If you want novelty give us $1,000 per month and come live behind our fucking toilet.

Sorry if that sounded angrier than it was intended to be (the Internet has a way of doing that, no?) but we had to get it off our chest. We're also announcing that we're taking some time off from New York Post Hipster Correspondent Maureen Callahan. We need a little space and breathing room. We're not going to mention her for a while - at least until the day she inevitably writes about how hipsters think Maureen Callahan is so over, think a different reporter is the new Maureen Callahan, and quotes Productshop to confirm that Maureen Callahan is, in fact, over.

Hugs Not Drugs

While surfing around this morning, I saw a link on MSN that was titled "Cure Hipster Boredom" in the Los Angeles section. Curious what MSN would deem "Hipster," I clicked through to see what they recommended. Low and behold, it was a Cuddling Party. This is kind of old news but still so ridiculously Los Angeles, I figured readers of ToTC might be interested to hear how soft the west coast really is. Citysearch has a brief description of this touchy feely event:

Friendly snuggling without sexual overtones is the objective of these traveling pajama parties. Founded by two relationship coaches trying to extend youthful affection in adulthood and enhance communication skills, these three-hour soirees encourage "cuddle monsters" (aka "participants")--to make contact. It sounds silly, it's no joke: Welcome sessions lay down rules for the nonalcoholic get-togethers, like "Ask permission before approaching," and trained facilitators mediate the nuzzling, pillow fights and pile-ons.

While I don't doubt that some contingent of Los Angeles attends these Cuddle Parties to cure their boredom, I don't believe that the hipster population does since they don't seem to go anywhere unless free Red-Stripe is being provided. And after all, you can't wear eyeliner to a pajama party since it will get ruined doing the portion of the evening when you do facial-masks on each other.