Negative Capability

Fuck Your Symbols

Negative Capability

Fuck Your Symbols

The First Zine Mash-Up

My close friend the internet has helped to popularize a genre of music called the “mash-up” that I find absolutely wonderful. They’re made by taking different songs and literally mashing them together. One of the best ones I’ve ever heard is “Love Will Freak Us” by an Australian prodigy called Dsico. who put the a cappella vocals from Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” over the music of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” It sounds like it would suck but it’s unbelievably good and one of the most motivating songs in my iPod’s workout mix. Click the link to play it .The most popular source material for mash-ups is Eminem and I have a guitar rock version of “The Way I Am,” a mix of the Bob the Builder theme and “Without Me” and one of my favorites, “Without This Charming Man” which features Em mashed up with the Smiths’ “This Charming Man.” The songs are usually credited as being one band versus another and even though it seems like they’re everywhere, it’s a concept that I first heard on a Rugburns bootleg cassette years ago where they did “Stairway to Gilligan’s Isle” and mixed the music of Zeppelin with the story of Gilligan’s Island. I wish I had the skill to make a mash-up of my own because I have some good ideas but instead I’m going to do a written version of the mash-up.

Allow me to present my original mash-up, Al Goldstein vs. Karoshi vs. OCD Infinity, “Pee Chills.”

I answered a help-wanted classified ad that was looking for a copy editor for an “adult” web site. The ad didn’t explicitly say “porn” but even if it had, I might have at least gone in for an interview. I’m both a fan and consumer of porn and the industry could use a little creative help, I think. When I got a call saying they wanted me to come in to interview for Penthouse magazine I was a little excited. I’d never considered a career in porno, despite my natural gifts in the field. I told myself that I could go down there and as long as the work was interesting I would try to get the job.

I was interviewed by Ed, a balding chain-smoker who was probably forty but looked fifty from the smokes. He actually had an ashtray on his desk and asked me if he could smoke during the interview. I let him smoke because I was too much of a pussy to stop him. I own it, man. I wanted a job. He talked to me a little about what I would be doing, which was essentially getting freelancers to write the porn for the web site, editing their work and then putting it online in a timely fashion. I would need to know a little bit of HTML but most of the editing would be done with a word processor.

One of his questions during the interview was how I felt about Penthouse. I felt a surge because I felt like I could be honest and let my personality come out a little. I told him that I thought it had more balls than Playboy for getting a little dirtier and showing more. I wanted to say that I thought it was reprehensible to publish nude photos of celebrities that were acquired from scumbags, but I kept that to myself. I told him that I enjoyed the letters in Forum the best but I didn’t really elaborate because I thought it might take the whole thing in an even less appropriate direction.

He told me that in recent months Penthouse had “broken new ground” by publishing pictures of women peeing. I can’t imagine what kind of guy would pay money for glossy pictures of women peeing, but my wife doesn’t understand how I can enjoy murdering people in Grand Theft Auto more than four nights a week. Ed told me that they had been getting feedback in the letters column—people were responding positively to the new, urine-friendly magazine. Then he leaned into me and whispered, “To tell you the truth, Bob [Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse] is into the whole pee thing and he writes the letters that we publish.” He gave me a big conspiratorial smile, like what he was saying was anything less than disgusting. You can keep faking “Forum” letters and I don’t care about the pee stuff, but an editor faking letters to his own magazine to promote his interest in water sports? Is sex really just not enough anymore? What the fuck?!?

Bonus Material:

Here are some of my favorite mash-ups of all time, many of them by Soulwax.

Can't Knack the Hiding

Don't You Want Eminem

My Name is Lenny

The Scientist is High & Dry

With Or Without Me (Soulwax Remix)

Smaxxlaws (Soulwax Remix)

Smells Like Teen Booty (Soulwax Bootleg Remix)

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