4/17/2012

interview: beach sloth

the first person to review the movie 'DEAD MIDGETS', even prior to its release, was a mysterious internet personality and anonymous blogger/media reviewer by the name of beach sloth.

i recently had the pleasure of meeting beach sloth in real life and discussing with this super endearing anonybro and my new internet friend, for literally hours, interesting topics ranging from the music of steely dan and donald fagan to the merits of strip clubs [apparently there aren't many] all the way to discussing such abstract things as the dynamo behind that wild superorganism/metaman that is new york effing city.

beach sloth has, for as long as i can remember, been the most cutting edge review/summary blog, covering internet events, alt lit shitstorms, and music releases with more prolificacy and enthusiasm than any other blog of this type.

this past weekend, we traded emails asking each other silly questions. beach sloth posted my responses here, and below are beach sloth's response to mine:


romantic rhetoric: is there a specific species of sloth you 'gravitate' towards? a certain region-oriented sloth-type?

beach sloth: I like the Costa Rican sloths the best. They have their own orphanage. Since there is a great deal of my family tree that is not blood-related (a lot of adopted kids in my family) it warms my sloth-filled heart.

rorhet: what was your favorite band between the following timespans/ages: 0 - 10, 11 - 16, 17 - 18, college, and pick one band/sound project, post-college - present that you have consistently enjoyed

beaslo: Feel this question could be used to accurately gauge my age. Not sure if that’s possible though. I have weird taste in music.

0-10: Tchaikovsky/random house music I heard on ‘Solid State with Liquid Todd’ on K-Rock
11-16: Dat Politics
17-18: Flying Saucer Attack
College: Mouse on Mars/anything I played on my old radio show
Post-College:  Low

Note these are not definitive. I’m a music nerd so creating any ‘standard’ list like this is very difficult. These bands are subject to change.

rr: what are your thoughts about 'mainstream speculation' that alt-lit writers might just be autistic people who document their lives through auto-biographical fiction?

bs: Many of the alt-lit writers I’ve met seem better adjusted than my non alt-lit friends. Realistic alt lit people know exactly what they want to do and how to do it. It’s a diverse group of people completely devoted to their craft and those who do it more as a ‘passion project’ while still working full time. I’m definitely in the latter category.

There’s probably some truth to the speculation for some writers but they are definitely in the minority and not the majority.

rr: what is your favorite region of the world you have visited? give three reasons why it is 'your favorite'

bs: Malaysia is my favorite place. I haven’t been everywhere yet, so there might be places I’d like even more. There’s one distinct memory I have, of walking on the northern coast of Borneo that I will probably never forget. There were all these little crabs on the beach making geometric patterns in the sand. Part of me wanted to steal one, bring it to New York, and be the agent of this conceptual crab artist. I never did it though. Laws exist prohibiting the smuggling of wildlife. Still though, I think I want to see those crabs again at least one more time in my life.

I only just realized you wanted three reasons. The other reason was how nice it was. Malaysia is basically the nicest place ever. When I was there I kept on thinking to myself ‘I’m an asshole compared to these people’. How do people even become so nice?

Third reason is the sun. There’s nothing but sun there. I like sunny places by the beach. That’s pretty much the best thing ever.

rr: your overall positive disposition confuses me somewhat. does your interest in 'hopefulness' and 'positivity' derive from a discernible part of your upbringing/personality/life experience? if so, 'where', and how does that affect your qualitative perception of what you read/watch/listen to?

bs: I definitely get ‘down in the dumps’. Everybody gets depressed. I’m no exception. When I write I feel happy so the posts reflect my enthusiasm. Unlike a large number of alt lit writers, I tend to write out of happiness rather than a blank emptiness.

Knowing ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ even exists makes me happy. I remember reading it and thinking ‘holy shit you’re allowed to write this why’. It seemed really liberating to write in such a dense, crazed fashion. Hunter S. Thompson’s work had a similar influence on me too. Both writers sort of embody crazed, frantic, yet oddly positive stance on the present and future.

I’m interested in weird things, anything that shows immense amounts of time, effort, and dedication naturally appeal to me. That’s why I like alt lit. Alt lit is done out of pure love. I don’t think anybody goes into it thinking ‘I’m going to make so much money from this’. Usually they have a passion for it.

My upbringing was not remotely unusual. I had an average childhood. Years later my parents have no idea how I got interested in all these weird artists, bands, and writers. They were supportive even though they didn’t quite understand it.

rr: do you typically buy movie tickets online or at the theater kiosk? if the former, what website do you use [fandango,movieticketsonline.com, moviefone]?

bs: ‘Jesus’ what is this insane question. I feel like this is ‘paid advertising’ for various movie ticket companies. Please tag all these companies in your post though. I want you to get paid.
I actually rarely (if ever) go to the movies. Normally I buy the tickets there. Unfortunately I’m not really much of a movie person (or sloth).

rr: what are three non-sloth mammals that seem 'intriguing' to you due to some 'bizarre' biological quality they have? what do you like/dislike about these mammals? what do you perceive their 'general personality types' might be based on what you know about them?

bs: I like Elephants because they are really smart and unusually fast (for a giant creature).
Horses seems interesting to me. I wonder who decided they were okay for riding.
Platypuses are bizarre in general. I don’t even know where to begin with this one.
Side note: most of the animals I really enjoy (sloths aside) are generally aquatic animals or insects. It was hard finding mammals I like.  

rr: what is the 'secret' to your prolificacy? how do you manage to publish an average 50 posts-per-month? is there a secret league of sloths working somewhere out of indonesia/thailand? do you outsource your content similar to how some speculate HRO does?

bs: HRO outsources like crazy. If you read HRO’s post carefully, you’ll notice it isn’t even in English, it’s some sort of internationally recognized Hipster flarf. Carles spent years on the ‘Hipster-Flarf’ algorithm so I can’t fault the guy.

I’m really organized about writing. I don’t find it overwhelming. My posts reflect my current mood. Nor do I treat writing as a way of ‘making friends’ or ‘being cool’. I write out of happiness, out of a desire to improve. Every post is an attempt to be just a little bit better. Besides, I usually have a pretty good idea about what I’m going to write about, along with the number of posts I’m going to do for that day.

rr: any funny videos you found online recently?

Does this count as funny? I think it is a really charming, sort of sweet video.

rr: without re-watching the movie, what was your favorite scene in 'DEAD MIDGETS'? why? (sorry about being narcissistic here)

bs: Seriously you don’t want me to re-watch the movie? Whatever bro, I’m totally doing that. It’s a good movie.
I like the repetition part of ‘It’s alright’ where she hugs him. For some reason that feels really comforting to me. There’s something about repetition done right that I enjoy. Most of ‘Dead Midgets’ doesn’t seem that repetitive so maybe that’s why I’m so attracted to that part.
The second one would be when the artist is giving the journalist a tough time. That part is really funny to me. I could see my friends saying that kind of stuff to a journalist.

-------
beach sloth blogs, tweets, and facebooks

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