May 7, 2003
I have tried, because I am cooperative and reasonable, but I can't manage to get swept up in SARS fever. Perhaps I'm just not ready to move on after Iraqattack 2003, because I never got the sense of closure I needed from a climactic warehouse fistfight between Saddam and Bush, say, or the discovery of actual weapons of mass destruction. But I think I've been fair, and SARS doesn't have what I look for in a global panic event. A hyped-up remix of the flu? This is truly an era of diminished expectations. I try to be polite to SARS followers and give a duly serious nod in response to their concerns about my heading to Japan, because that's what they're into, and one thing I've noticed is that nobody's really likes hearing how something they're interested in isn't all that good. Of course, I'll take the necessary precautions while I'm over there, such as not making any day-trips to small towns in China for a festive round of doorknob-licking. But, really, there's going to have to be a mutant SARS monster or something on that level for me to get into this.
My pre-departure vagrancy tour finds me in my friend Henry's apartment down in our old college town for the next couple of days, following stints in downtown Chicago and Wisconsin. He has a relatively new computer but still has the same keyboard from when we roomed together six years ago. From this keyboard, dwarves were sent forth to attack my trolls in Warcraft, and in brighter times, dwarf-troll alliances were formed against our other two roommates' dwarves and trolls. It's hard not to get sentimental. The collected grime of six years of use has taken its toll on this fine-tuned machinery, though, and I really have to earn each response from the space bar. We spent a merry night compiling research on the current projects of Sir Mix-A-Lot, Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer. (The rumors are true: Hammer is, again, an MC. You can go home again, it appears. Tom Wolfe is therefore deemed unable 2 touch this.) A brief report:
MC Hammer: "Active Duty" (2001) album finds him wearing a number of horrendous outfits, many of which are entirely unsuitable for active military duty, such as fur coats; no longer raps, just kind of shouts in sub-DMX fashion. Unbowed, still refers to self as world's foremost entertainer and spiritual leader.
Vanilla Ice: "Bi-Polar" album (2001) combines two separate albums, one rap-metal ("Scabz") and one rap (hit single "Hot Sex"); both are crap, but do sound different. Has roped in an obscure affiliate of the Wu-Tang Clan for credibility, although said member is likely no longer possessed of vocal cords, as one imagines that loaning the Wu-Tang name to a Vanilla Ice project would be be rather difficult to explain to Ghostface Killah. Online store announces closing in April. "Word To Your Mutha" tour ambles through Canada.
Sir Mix-A-Lot: Still in his prime. Extensive documentation available of every critical list on which "Baby Got Back" (song and video) has placed higher than other, more commercially successful rap artists. Clips from UPN's "The Watcher" curiously unavailable.