Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Roaring Plenties by Katie Heindl

 
There’s thick black smoke rising past the airfield, behind one of the airport hotels, I think the Sheraton. I saw it from the freeway in the cab on the way here but the plume is bigger now, wider, thick set and lazy in the way it’s going up. A house fire? Something on the edge of the canal? The highway? Another black cloud has started coming up beside the first, they hang, they won’t merge. Planes go and go, roaring out of here, I’m drinking a peach juice and thinking of walking down the middle of my old street with you last night and the day old full moon hanging low in front of us, overripe and gold. Our bodies angle back as the street slants sharply down for blocks and we duck our heads under the moon and the weight of it’s promise laid out in front of us. We both understand the thing happening here, the easy learnt lope of coming back. You kiss me in a stairwell falling apart, all the walls shaking, then we kick down a door, though the one we’ve just reopened was more of stepping through an empty frame into a room with the windows open. A crow lands on the runway, skips around the tarmac and in the distance the smoke still rises, thinning up into what’s near the only cloud punching into the pale blue of this slow afternoon. 

The last time I was at this airport we ended up drinking with about twenty Quebecois paratroopers while we waited for our 11am flight and like most flights out of here I’d almost missed it. We couldn’t tell if they were coming or going to work, you didn’t get the sense any sign would’ve come from the way they were drinking, in fact that was probably one of the only things that wouldn’t have changed. 

Montreal in the spring is always the same, the franticness in the air is kinetic. There’s a cowboy on a rental bike ripping up across Laurier and the air seems gold and hazy and you can pretty much see the Mountain from everywhere. It’s still just brown with bare trees but it’s stopped pressing down on everything the way it does through winter and instead starts to go up. I’ve been back here the same time every year since after I left by sheer weird circumstance and for some reason it feels the perfect place to take stock of whatever year just went by. 

It’s 5am and crust punks are flying through the air or just at each other across the long table going down the room, but it’s hard to tell the directions, who started from where. I am trying to tell somebody about Mississippi and they start to tell me about the years their Dad spent as a Thai sex tourist, fine. Somewhere downstairs a guy is selling beer and somebody’s dog, he doesn’t know whose, named Bastard, falls down dead if you point a finger gun at it and go “Pow.” You tell me you love me, a leg flails by my right eye and bodies just keep hitting the floor. 

We take off and for some reason the window seats on both side of the plane beside the propellers are clouded over with condensation so I can’t see where the smoke is coming from. The drops don’t clear out when we hit cruising altitude or when the weather into Ontario shifts to overcast, adding to the mute grey haze. We start descending, everything is the same steel-blue. It’s only when we get closer and white caps burst in my peripheral, gone by the time I can train on them that I realize it’s the lake we’re almost skidding across. 

“What happened to April?” I ask her as I pack my stuff up from around her bathroom, she’s naked from the knees up and pulling a shirt down over her head, “April didn’t even exist,” she says. The months that absorb into themselves, that flow by, those are the ones you take for your own. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jason Collins And The State of American Homophobia



So finally an American “major sport” professional athlete came out of the closet while still playing his sport. That is a long list of qualifiers for something to be the first something, but it’s significant. The long march toward complete de-stigmatization of homosexuality is now entering a sort of Golden Era of Aviation, where astonishing milestones come on each others’ heels so rapidly it’s easy to think of them as not being a big deal. The first flight over the North Pole was likely a very big deal to the brave person who piloted that airplane. Who the hell knows what that person’s name was, but they did a brave, brave thing. That somebody else eventually would have done it does not make the bravery any less.

Now we have a gay basketball player in the NBA. His name is Jason Collins. Eventually, probably, there will be such a thing as the first openly gay starting right guard in the NFC North. By then we can fully stop giving a shit. But now we’re at first gay active professional athlete in the NBA, NFL, MLB, or NHL. That makes today a little different than yesterday.

How are people reacting?

Well. Generally well. There are some people, and these are straight people, self included, who feel a need to downplay the significance of Jason Collins. There’s an inherent guilt to the speed and power of this distancing impulse that should probably be examined. I can feel it myself. It’s roughly, “Not me. I was always one of the good ones. I never gave a shit if people were gay. I might have used the word ‘faggot’ a time or two, or sat idly by while other people used it casually in conversation, but I always felt bad about it. Okay? Please, I’m already so over the whole people being gay thing. Please please.”

It is absolutely correct that coming out should not be a big deal. But I’ve never been gay, so I don’t know what it’s like. I’ve had hints, being skinny and weak and undersized and too smart for my own good. I was called a faggot often. But I’m not gay. I’ve been a horrible drunk, but luckily found I could choose not to be. I’ve long been out of the closet as a person who cares about grammar. It’s not the same. Those are things that people actually don’t give a shit about. You wouldn’t feel any defensiveness in proffering not to give a shit about whether or not skinny little smartass drunk guys run their mouth with correct punctuation.

Is there a new homophobia nestled in the “I don’t give a shit about any person’s sexuality” claim? Is the word finally and fully out that only the most ignorant and most particularly nasty closet cases are active gay bashers? Is a new tolerant, unthreatened masculinity the de rigueur posture of the straight man? Does it make a difference as long as it’s for the good? No. Probably not. Except maybe insofar as a passive stance like “aw who gives a shit” is less helpful than actively discouraging intolerance when encountered.

All that said, though, who gives a shit about this, right? I mean, really, we’re all supposed to not give a shit about this by now. If any part of you still gives a shit, please consider not giving a shit. If you don’t give a shit, continue not to give a shit. If somebody gives a shit, encourage them not to. Hopefully soon the Supreme Court will not give a shit about this, and then we can all not give a shit about this together. Let’s all not give a shit going forward. It’s great to not give a shit who is gay. It’ll be one big happy Kum ba yah drum circle of who gives a shit, and everybody’s dicks and pussies can go in, on, and around whatever other adults are interested.

Let’s maybe just drop the “NEVER gave a shit.” Clearly somebody gave a shit.

Who was it? The Greatest Generation? And now that they’re all dead and dying, we can go ahead and be as gay as we want? They didn’t land on the beach at Normandy and fight Hitler to death with their bare hands just so our sons could run around sucking each other off in the streets? Is that why we all couldn’t just go ahead and have gay people? You know what? Let’s do it. Let’s blame them. This is fun. “We’re the Greatest!” Yeah, so what? We’re pretty great too. We have gay guys who dunk basketballs for a living, and we don't give a shit.

@itisbenjo

Friday, April 26, 2013

Carrie Brownstein Made a List, and it Was Mostly About Me.


Hey, everybody! It's me! Carrie Brownstein! I made a list for NYMag a few days ago of my top 23 favorite punk albums, but didn't say why they were my favorites, or what they made me think of, because ... lists, you know? If a list item had more than a sentence following its numerical, it wouldn't be a list, it would be a blog post, and who even cares about those either?

Spoiler alert: It's not actually Carrie Brownstein writing words at you right now. FOOLED YOU! It's ME! Kelly McClure!

So yeah, CB, AKA, Supreme Booty Brownstein, made a list of her top 23 punk albums that she has listened to, and cared about most throughout the years. She listed them in no particular order, and didn't give any explanations to why she liked them, or why she stopped at 23, which is the most random number I could possibly think of, apart from maybe 12. I figured I'd help fill in the blanks for everyone because I've been stalking Carrie Brownstein for years, and pretty much know what she means when she writes, says, or does things. We're just on THAT level, you know? Okay, so here we go.

Wire, 154
One time Carrie had to call in sick to work because she had cramps, and they hurt so bad that she didn't want to suffer through the long cab ride/bus ride home, so she came over to my place and I set her up on the couch with a heating blanket and a glass of whiskey for the pain. We watched episode after episode of The Wire until she fell asleep. So her listing this was actually meant as like an inside joke. Well it's not a joke to me actually. She leaves little hidden messages for me on the internet all the time. It's cute.

Au Pairs, “You” 7-inch 
See what I mean about hidden messages? By "You" here, she means "Me."

Delta 5, “Mind Your Own Business” 7-inch
When CB first decided to get fresh with me, we were sitting across from each other at a table in front of the DQ, eating dipped cones. I got a chocolate dipped cone (classic), and Carrie got a strawberry. At one point, catching my eye, Carrie wiggled her eyebrow at me and was like "can I get a taste of your ice cream?" I melted.

Undertones, “You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It?)” 7-inch
Well, this is personal, but she knows I have a phone phobia. Now I guess you all do too. But, as I always say, "the sign of good journalism is making a fool out of yourself and as many other people as you possibly can."

Wipers, Is This Real?
Isn't it weird how confident a person is during the beginnings of a relationship, when everything is uncertain, and then the more serious things get, and the further you fall in love, the more you become like a literal crazy person who gets sad and unreasonable about almost every single thing that happens? Well famous rock stars experience this too. Yes, Carrie! It's real! How many times do I have to tell you that there's no reason to doubt this amazing love we have. It's real!

Talking Heads, Remain in Light
This is a song that she likes to sing in her car or something.

Bad Brains, “Pay to Cum” 7-inch
It's always interesting to see how different people approach having to write out the C word. Some people write "cum," and some people write "come." We had a big discussion about this one day while making sex. I personally write "come."

Fugazi, 13 Songs 
I was born on May 13th, and it was a Friday. Fugazi was super popular when I was in high school. Carrie has SUCH a good memory.

Mo-Dettes, “White Mice” 7-inch
Sometimes, when the light hits Carrie's eyes in a certain way, she looks like a little squinting mouse. I call her my "little white mouse" sometimes, and she tries to get mad and say I need to drop the "white" qualifier, and then I just make fun of how she lives in Portland.

The Slits, Cut 
This is too dirty of a story to tell. But just think about it. Slits? Cut? Oh god, this reminds me of how I saw a middle-aged woman reading 50 Shades of Grey on the subway while sitting next to her little child. It seemed illegal.

The Jam, All Mod Cons
Jam, Slits, are you starting to pick up a pattern here?

The Stooges, Fun House
The original title for this album was Full House, which is Carrie's favorite show. She can recite lines from every episode. It's things like this that make her extra special.

X-Ray Spex, Germ Free Adolescents
If you re-arrange all the letters up there, it spells out "let's have sex for the rest of our lives."

The Clash, Sandinista!
Carrie used to listen to The Clash a lot when she was still trying to convince people that she's bi-sexual. I tried to tell my Dad that I was bi-sexual once, and do you know what he said? He said "there's no such thing as being half pregnant." I think in Dad speak this means, either you're a faggot or you're not.

Rites of Spring, Self Titled
Carrie used to always call me her little Spring chicken, because I was born in the Spring. Portland doesn't really have a Spring, it kind of just goes from being misty and damp in a cold way, to misty and damp in a hot way. Reminds you of sex, when you think about it.

Buzzcocks, A Different Kind of Tension
One time I found a dick pic on Carrie's phone and the shit hit the fan. I made her sit in the bathroom and stare at it until she threw up, and then we listened to this album and cried together.

Minutemen, Double Nickles on the Dime
As a funny thing to say in bed, I used to refer to Carrie's nipples as "double nickles," both because nickles kind of rhymes with nipples, and because her nipples look like nickles.

Hüsker Dü, Zen Arcade
Have you ever even heard of a lesbian?

The Replacements, Let It Be
This is one of my all-time favorite albums. She knows this because I had it in my OkCupid profile

B-52’s, Wild Planet
Sometimes when Carrie comes back from tour, and the hub bub of being on the road knocked her off of her usual personal hygiene routine, things would get a little wild in certain spots. When I'd hear her car pull into the driveway after being gone for months, I'd run out to help her unload all her stuff, and then sing about her "wild planet" and wiggle my eyebrows down at her crotch. She'd laugh.

Television, Marquee Moon
Gang of Four, Entertainment!
Pylon, Gyrate

Those last three are just albums that she listens to while doing stuff around the house like re-stringing her guitar, or dusting our collection of books. I mean, we do use the word "Gyrate" a lot, but I don't want to jump to conclusions.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Read A Book, Listen To A Record, Watch A Game



  
“The Empty Copper Sea” by John D. MacDonald

I’m getting pretty good at diagnosing how good one of these will be within the first 30 pages or so. This one will be average. My favorites tend to be in the “this time it’s personal” mold. This time it’s not personal yet. This time it’s about Florida in the late 70’s and how its local power structures benefit from fucking everything up. One of those. This one and then four more and then I’m done with McGee and I’ll have to figure something else out. I might need a namby pamby travel writer to gasp at the wonders of the world and take the stink off. MacDonald is getting grim.


GNOD Presents.. Dwellings & Druss

It’s been raining almost nonstop in Chicago for over a week. There’s been flooding and everything. Yesterday was another one. Sometimes I want to fight the blahs with something bright and nice and escapist, and sometimes I want to barrel into it with something dark and dense and repetitive. Manchester noise collective Gnod are obligingly dark and dense and repetitive, and this is a particularly electronic and cold and distant offering by them.

I don’t know why I picked this one up. Mostly because it was raining and I decided to go slightly out of my way and take shelter in a record store until the rain let up. Only it didn’t, so I was forced to either walk the longer way home in a cold rain, empty-handed, with less of the evening ahead of me, or pick some likely beast out of the bins that would fit my mood at the time and give me something better to look forward to than no longer walking in the rain. This was my choice of carrot and stick. Might as well buy a record if you ever find yourself acting out a Camus novel.

 
I have more than my share of things like this already, and I only ever listen to them when I’m in a desperately bleak and vulnerable mood. They remove me from my body and harden my skin while I’m gone so I can come back later and maybe do the fucking dishes like an adult is supposed to.

I’m in the midst of a living situation limbo wherein my nice, sweet, elderly landlady has died and thus vacated her half of the two-unit building. I think my legal status is technically down to common law this and squatter’s rights that, which makes me uneasy, but at least I can crank the music. I tend to still be as polite as possible about it because I once lived next door to some rave DJs and it scarred me for life, but this one leapt out of my speakers in a bass-heavy bowel-shaking pulsation that judging from the amount I enjoyed it, I must have needed. I also think it helped my building’s forlorn energy to shake a little dust out of the foundational walls. I try to keep it down past eleven pm. It’s neighborly.


Golden State Warriors versus Denver Nuggets, NBA Playoffs First Round, Game 2

I love everything about this playoff series. These are two teams who want to run their opponents off the court. Both are without one of their top two best players, screwing up rotations and creating odd playing-time decisions. Both teams will play ultra small and fast lineups designed to waterbug around the court and score in wild flourishes. The uniforms of the two teams even match.

This game featured nobody playing defense except for gambling on steals, and the Warriors took more efficient advantage. It is not often an opposing team will come into the Denver altitude and run the deep-benched Nuggets out of the gym, but the number and duration of TV timeouts in a playoff game negate that advantage, and the Warriors are a young, athletic team of runners and gunners.

Golden State guard Steph Curry’s jumpshot, when it’s falling like it was this time, is a thing of beauty. He flicks the ball effortlessly out of his hand and keeps it on a thin, invisible leash, pulling it through the other side of the basket on his quick-wristed follow-through like the old magic shop dollar-snatching gag. The ball seems to shrink in size and pick up speed as it leaves him. 

The biggest knock on Curry as a player, other than defense, is his inability to keep his ankles from spraining, and at one point he rolled his ankle badly but then walked it off. This is what it’s like to roll your ankles once you’ve already rolled them plenty: there’s nothing in there left to go wrong, and you just continue on hurting slightly more than the regular amount. I’m glad he was able to stay in the game, even though Curry’s shot is so smooth he could probably lead an average-quality varsity high school team in scoring from the confines of a wheel chair.

@itisbenjo

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thurston Moore Is A Poon Hound Now



 
I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the Elle interview with Kim Gordon in which she explains her recent divorce as being the result of Thurston Moore’s infidelity. There might have been people in your Facebook feed who made frowny faces and grandstanding declarations about it. That’s how I found out about this total non-thing of a thing that doesn’t involve me. But you might not have had that experience. I’m a 33 year old liberal college-educated Caucasian who likes rock music. My peer group is all over this shit like white on noise.

If you didn’t spend a portion of the early 90’s being a teenager with an unnatural hair color, you probably don’t understand what all the fuss is about as far as Sonic Youth is concerned.

If you’re too young to fit that demographic, Sonic Youth probably just sounds like “Oh yeah, those are those guys who did that thing.” If you’re older, you might think of them as a good band, perhaps even a totally kickass band, but if so you’d also place them in that same category along with other “totally kickass” bands from the 80’s, like say Hüsker Dü. If so, then I’ve got bad news: there are a lot of people younger than you who have no idea why you’d think Hüsker Dü is a totally kickass band. To many of us, Hüsker Dü just sounds like “Oh yeah, those are those guys who did that thing.” They played a bunch of songs and they didn’t like Reagan. The end. Sorry. That’s just the way these things go.

In the 90’s, Sonic Youth became, or allowed itself to become, an institution. Institutions are different than mere bands. Institutions are living emblems of ideals, and whatever they do doesn’t matter as much as the ideals they seem to espouse. In Sonic Youth’s case those ideals were experimentalism, some vague but brash-seeming blending of political dissent with sonic dissonance, building and fostering sustainable alternative (yes, that word, “alternative”) lifestyle infrastructures, and feminism, and gender equity, and masculinity without misogyny, and, you know, like, those dumb knit hats with the ear flaps. Aside from the hats, Sonic Youth stood for a bunch of good ideas. They weren’t just a band. They were the good guys. They were doing it right. Kurt Cobain admired THEM, for Chrissakes.

And: they were also a band that for all their faults was at least way WAY better than “Get A Grip” era Aerosmith and whatever else Mtv was ramming down our gullets at the time. So they had our attention.

The problem with standing for a bunch of ideas is you become, to anybody interested in those ideas, something other than a human being in the real world. That’s what fame is. You don’t like it, don’t be famous. Fame is extremely easy to avoid.

Fair or unfair, when you are a thing and not a person, you take on the onus of being different than what you actually are because of some perceived benefit. Maybe that benefit is just “I’m a member of the Rolling Stones and I wish to fart out money and fly around the world on jets.” It amounts to hokum, even in the case of Sonic Youth and all their good ideas of showing kids that they didn’t have to tune their guitars the “correct” way, and showing girls they could rock out, and boys that they could rock out without being assholes, and everybody that they could support each other and rock out and not like George Bush very much, and as long as we do things right and are nice to each other, we probably won’t all die of AIDS.

It may have been a little overladen, but that was their message. Unfortunately that message has to function in a world made of people, and people have penises and vaginas and feelings. None of us is good and none of us is bad, at least not all the way, and none of us has control of anything, and we’re all just wandering around like stupid lost idiots full of ape DNA. Teenagers are incapable of knowing this because they are the most good and bad and out of control and stupid and lost and idiotic and apelike people of all, and they have to believe things will get better for them or else they’re going to TOTALLY lose it. So: teenagers get excited about Sonic Youth. Or at least they used to, back when.

I was one of them. To a point. And then I heard “Panty Lies” and decided that, wait, maybe this is not actually that great of a band, and certainly not that fun of a band, and maybe even though I like what she represents I think Kim Gordon is my least favorite part of this not actually that great of a band, and maybe it doesn’t matter what I think about this band because I can have all of those things that are good without having to also listen to and like everything this band does, and that’s an okay thing that will not bother anybody as long as I’m not too snotty about it. Maybe the final stage of naïve teenaged Sonic Youth fandom is independent thought. If so, they really are a remarkable band. Just, you know, maybe not the best band band band. You’ve got to feel bad for Lee Ranaldo. He gave it all he had.

Anyhow, residual teenage worlds come crashing down, it turns out that Thurston Moore is a human being. A man, even, capable of hurting multiple other human beings by doing what his penis, if not his penis AND his heart, tells him to do. I wouldn’t judge him too harshly if you can help it, except if you want to say that his new band is exactly just Thurston Moore still with no surprises. It rocks hard enough to get him laid if that’s what he wants. Maybe it is.

Monday, April 22, 2013

On Tilt For Record Store Day




 
Record Store Day weekend is over and I’m waking up in a pile of rubble with a headache and inexplicable purple cutoff shorts like Bruce Banner. Now is the time when I look at my bank account and check up on inflated Ebay prices and see what the damage is. Did I kill anybody? What happened?

I’m old enough and, I’d like to think, smart enough to know better than to drop over $200 on records every year, but then whoever is in charge of Record Store Day chums the water and my eyes roll up into my head and I become a brainless buying machine. This is why I think people (self included) tend to get bent out of shape about the slate of RSD exclusive releases every year. We know we can’t help ourselves, so please do us a favor and don’t push crap on us. If it’s shitty, we will probably still buy it and then we will hate you for it.

This is why Record Store Day is such a cash cow. People who buy records generally cannot stop themselves from buying more records. As much music is there is that you can like, that’s how many records you will want, unless you’re some puckish happy-go-lucky type who can just stop at a dollar bin Cat Stevens discography and call yourself satisfied. That’s approximately none of us. You’re either fully not into records, or you’re fully apeshit for records. And now here’s Record Store Day telling us in the apeshit community we have to be somewhere at such and such a time or else we’ll never get anything we want? Okay, fuckers, you got us by the short and curlies. Now what?

My local favorite store Permanent Records, and I’m biased but it’s one of the country’s best, opened at 7am on Record Store Day. By some weird fluke of instinctual hormonal excretion I found myself awake and alive and in line for records at 6:30am on a Saturday. They are smart to have done this. It’s disorienting. It’s akin to some of the sensory deprivation techniques used in “enhanced” interrogations. It’s like the records themselves are slapping me awake and dragging me into a too bright room and telling me to buy them. It wears down my defenses.

Limited 180g Purple Vinyl OOP KBD: You Want It

This year was a good one for exclusives. I picked up a majority of the releases I had my eye on, the Ty Segall, the Oh Sees, the Bats and the Trouble In Mind and in the why-not category the Fela Kuti. During checkout I was told to also pick up the Snapper EP and obeyed and was later glad for it. Oh look at me. See what I did. Oh goody goody.

But do you know what else happened? Permanent just bought a huge collection of classic semi-rare punk/krautrock/pretentiousnoiseweirdo shit I love but don’t yet own, priced it in the tough but fair range, and then put it out for me to look at while waiting in line. This during the Record Store Day frenzy where my eyes look glaze over like a slot machine displaying a row of cherries and my wallet becomes a jackpot chute. The guys at Permanent Records did this because they are fucking assholes who want to destroy me. That is their job, and they are very good at their job.

So I went back a couple of hours later once the line evaporated and I bought another even more expensive bundle of shit. I was totally unconscionable. You know you’ve lost it when you’re excited to finally pull the trigger on the Lost Sheep 7”:

 
“Fuck it,” I thought, “now that I own it, I’ll be able to stop kind of halfway looking for it.” This is one way of looking at it. Another way is that I converted a certain portion of my time and effort into a goofy recording of sheep noises instead of something more useful, like a down payment on a house or a meal for a starving child. But you know what? It’s my time and my effort, and I want a goofy recording of sheep noises. Sorry.

And then there’s Discogs. Discogs is like Ebay plus Wikipedia except only for records, and they are also fucking assholes who want to destroy me. There’s a thing on there where you can tell them you want a certain record, and then anytime anybody anywhere in the world is selling that record you get an email sent to your phone. This feature is a convenient way to always always be buying records even if you’re at a movie theater or a Christening or taking a disastrous emergency shit in a KFC. If you ever hear somebody in the stall of a KFC bathroom yelling “No! Not here! I don’t need this right now!” tell yourself it’s me in there and this is the scenario. That’s Discogs.

Did I also drop over a hundred dollars over the last week for online record purchases? I’d like to say no, you guys. Was that all I spent on records this week? I’d like to say no, you guys.

But actually, the most satisfying record-buying experience I had this week came at the open-air flea market in the parking lot of Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The cat is out of the bag about records, but sometimes they end up in the hands of these weirdo scavenger types who sell dead people’s power tools at swap meets and don’t look up individual records on the internet. The earth’s remaining scores require that you find yourself alive and awake and in the parking lot of an arena over by the airport at 11:00am on a Sunday. Then you can buy two Wu-Tang albums and a Spanish teenbeat LP for $18.


That is not exactly a princely haul, especially when you take a look at the all-over-the-map pricing for the teenbeat LP. And then you listen to the Los Bravos, and it’s basically proto-Blood, Sweat & Tears with a few minor sample-worthy breaks, and then you look at the Wu-Tang LP’s and you wonder if you bought this whole package because some utterly mistaken portion of you thinks you’re a hip hop producer. But still. After a weekend of bleeding greenbacks from every pore, buying any records anywhere for a reasonable sum less than what they might be worth will feel like the greatest accomplishment of a lifetime. The only thing better is not buying any records. And we all know that’s not happening.

Side conversation: is there a comic book out there which for “realism’s” sake has the Hulk in it beating the shit out of everybody with his giant green dick and balls just hanging out? Does he have Hulk pubes, or does his Hulk body expand past the length of his pube hair? When Bruce Banner wakes up, is every single hair on his body suddenly ingrown and he has to go sit in the bathroom with a pair of tweezers and methodically pluck out his entire bush? That would be awesome.