I Need

by Mark Forman on December 11, 2017

I don't know why I have an affinity for the Michelin Man. I'm not French although I'm told I do have French in my DNA, I don't recall ever owning any of their tires? The only abstract reason I can think of is when I was in NY going through winter wearing early down parka and being told I looked like the Michelin Man. Anyway, I do like the mascot character that looks like Casper the Friendly Ghost on steroids. Ahh according to the wiki link his name is Bibendum-voila!

The French like their other colonist neighbors did get around particularly in Africa. I've been in touch with an old college days friend of mine from Nigeria which was of course a colony of France's old enemy England. I hope I have a chance to visit Africa soon-so many countries and cultures there. As an American culture vulture I am indebted to Africa's influence on culture particularly via music:jazz,blues,rock, hiphop, etc. this culture also informed fashion in a big way. The African message has always been hijacked and reinterpreted and profited on by colonizers and slavers. When I was a teen in NY running a loft jazz club called Environ often some African-American musicians would take a shot or 2 at Dave Brubeck as the symbol for white exploitation of the African influenced music. While of course that isn't exactly fair to Dave who was an accomplished musician and employed one of the true greats on sax:Paul Desmond, I can feel their pain and frustration going back to Elvis getting the media, money and fame instead of the poor black musicians who influenced him and maybe flat out copied.


No Wonder Why They Call it Porn

by Mark Forman on November 28, 2017

I will admit a guilty pleasure of mine is watching certain video food bloggers from time to time. It often makes me hungry and I'll hit pause and go eat something or just get the point and get tired of their hyperbole and watch something else. I guess what hooks me is the way most of them act like a cross between a brainwashed cultist (Mark Wiens for example) and a porn star just ecstatic about the act they are engaged in. Well got to sell those tickets and keep those eyeballs glued to the product, right? Is there something wrong with me for not almost moaning in ecstasy when I eat something delicious? I mean maybe Mark and Mike Chen or Trevor James who gets really excited over his Chinese street food discoveries while he butchers Mandarin Chinese pronunciation( I know I'm a correct Mandarin snob); really do enjoy what they're eating that much. Maybe something is wrong with me and I'm jealous??? LOL-whatever. I still enjoy their efforts and admire them for their drive and passion to do their thing.

That being said-Mark Wiens you do look like a hell of a nice guy but I'm sure everyone said that about Ted Bundy too.


Holiday in the Sun

by Mark Forman on November 27, 2017

Just got through first big holiday of the double whammy holiday season that has been my life for the last 30 years. Today is actually my 30th year anniversary of living in Taiwan. Not a big holiday fan do to the synthetic nature of holidays topped off by their usually being co-opted by commerce to pressure you into buying a lot of junk you don't need but are brainwashed into believing you must have. Like Mick Jagger sang in Satisfaction,"When I'm watchin' my tv and a man comes on and tells me how white my shirts can be." Actually this one wasn't so bad and even though traders have managed to hitch a big Black Friday wagon to the holiday the holiday itself is kind of nice-eat a nice meal with friends and family and think about reasons to be thankful for your existence on Planet Earth. I was actually invited by some Taiwanese friends to come and share a meal with them that had turkey but also Szchuan Dan Dan noodles. I served as the Thanksgiving expert due to my US citizenship and life there.

So I told the basic tale of the Pilgrims and Puritans and the friendly Indians that taught hem how to survive.Didn't want to throw a wet blanket on dinner and mention how the Europeans probably infected them with some nasty germs they had no antibodies for and probably killed off many of them until the rest did develop antibodies. Here's another song lyric from the Handsome Family that had some short-lived success doing the theme song for True Detective season 1; from Weightless Again,"Those poor lost Indians when the white man found them most died of TB, the rest went insane". Thanksgiving's vibe is very similar to the Chinese New Year's eve or圍爐 which literally means gathering oven-side to enjoy a meal together. Now to deal with Christmas, New Years and Chinese New year late this year due to the Lunar Calendar they follow which had 2 Lunar July's this year...I know it hurts your brain to think about it...


Pumpkin Season

11.11.2017 by Mark Forman

I woke up this morning and decided to check Youtube for something interesting before I got out of bed to begin my active day. I saw a live feed of Joe Rogan with guest Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame. While I was never a Smashing Pumpkins hardcore fanboi I did like the band, especially […]


And Where Do We Go From Here?

11.03.2017 by Mark Forman

I love how song lyrics get trapped in your head like detritus in the drain of your sink. You can hear it, it is very visceral but still a little ephemeral as you try to focus on it and remember from which song. Bingo-this one is David Essex's Rock On. I feel compelled to leave […]