Craig Shaw Gardner: Dangerously Creative Writer of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pussycat Dolls
Despite everything we try to do, I guess age creeps up on us. We are no longer hip, groovy, cool, or whatever the current term may be. Heck, we don't even know what the current term might be! Despite years of fighting against it, we are now officially out of the loop.

I am brought to these thoughts by the Pussycat Dolls. The Pussycat Dolls seem to be this large group of young female musical performers, all of whom dance around a lot, and one of whom sort of sings. Suddenly, the Pussycat Dolls are everywhere -- or at least in a lot of TV and commercial stuff that passes me by as I watch my beloved Red Sox. Now, I also seem to have mysteriously gotten a subscription to BLENDER (a magazine I never ordered, and sometimes can barely understand) -- my guess is that it got piggybacked onto my ROLLING STONE sub. But the most recent issue of BLENDER has those darn Pussycat Dolls on the cover, plus an article/interview with them in which they appear even more boring and shallow than I originally thought possible.

Why do the Pussycat Dolls annoy me so? I guess it's because, besides the fact they they have Very Little Talent, they are blatantly about one thing -- sex. And of course, they are prepackaged like the Backstreet Boys or the Spice Girls, but with far less personality than either (which before now, I would have thought impossible.)

Not that I'm against sex, mind you. But there have been myriad performers over the years -- from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna -- who have combined sex with actual talent. Whenever I hear the Pussycat Dolls sing "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?", I immediately think, no thanks, I prefer women with personality and brains.

I guess I'm just funny that way.

Posted by Craig Shaw Gardner at 1:57 PM | 25 comments

Pandemonium Returns!

Thursday, June 15, 2006I'm talking the bookstore.

Pandemonium Books & Games is a fine science fiction/fantasy/horror specialty store which has recently relocated from Harvard Square to Central Square in Cambridge, MA. They had two previous locations, both of which had been a tad on the dark and gloomy side. Their new location, however, has Big (!) Windows (!) so that you can actually see the entire first floor of the store from the street. However, in keeping with tradition, they also have a large lower floor for gaming and such like, which has no windows at all, and so returns the dark/gloomy to the new store.

While I admit that I have succumbed to shopping over the internet (even the occasional order from -- gasp -- Amazon!) there's nothing like a real Brick and Mortar store for looking at books. This is even more true of a Brick and Mortar Specialty Store, and Cambridge is lucky enough to have two, the other being Kate's Mystery Books. Both stores have exceedingly well-informed owners and staff, and will force you to discover cool things you knew nothing about, but will now be forced to buy immediately. Which is the true purpose of bookstores, after all.

Posted by Craig Shaw Gardner at 9:11 AM | 8 comments