Good morning, folks, how do you do? Is everything nifty? Spiffing? George Emerson is spiffing! I am watching the Peter Hook New Order auction live. I have been outbid on the thing I bid on, and I am morbidly curious about how much it goes for. The problem is that they’re on lot 115 and it is lot 282, and it taking about 30-45 seconds per item, which means it could be, like, a couple hours? But maybe less? Do I have time to go to Walmart and get snow peas? It is a dilemma! I wouldn’t want to lose this thing if someone bids, like, $100 over me, but I am 90% sure it is going to go for like £2,000 more. And of course it would be good to watch the whole thing, keep an eye on things, make sure no bargains get away, but god, I do not want to spend my whole day watching Hooky sell off his legacy. He did say something very interesting in the accompanying video, though. He said he’s enjoyed being a hermetic collector of everything his whole life, but that after the Joy Division auction he realized it was much more rewarding to watch all this stuff go out into the world and see how happy it makes people and communicate with all these people who gave this stuff new homes. That seemed unusually wise for ole Hooky, but, then, occasionally Hooky can be unusually wise. Maybe by the time I send this issue of GMHHAY out, the auction will still be going on and you want to watch. Here’s the link:
Important update for Keith: I switched back to the method of cracking an egg on the corner of the counter yesterday and immediately got a ton of shells in my eggs. So I think mayhaps I am going to give the flat counter thwack method another go. I am also thinking that if it works, I could alleviate my mess concerns by purchasing a very small marble or stone cutting board and just sticking it on that spot on the counter and washing it. Or I could, you know, just wipe the counter more often. More often than every day. ugh. But still. I am coming round.
TIL from this very good New Yorker article about the modernist architect Richard Neutra that the “actress” Ann Magnuson lives in a Neutra house in Neutra Village in Silver Lake. Magnuson’s been acting for, like, thirty years now — she’s currently in Picard — but it always gives me a tickle when people talk about her as an actor and not, like, you know, a pioneering punk rock and avant garde musician. The Power of Pussy alone earns Magnuson a place in the pantheon of rock goddesses.
I used to be so afraid of sex
I used to be afraid so afraid
I didn't understand the sexual tension that was between me and men=
So many men
So I just slept with everyone
Because I had to get rid of that sexual tension I didn’t understand
But the thing is I never had an orgasm
No never had the big one
No not one not one no
Not with a human
With a pillow sure plenty of times
With stuffed animals yeah
But not with a boy
I’m glad Ann found her Psychedelic Sewing Room.
In other big news, iFit, the evil makers of my very well-made treadmill, postponed their IPO yesterday. Thank you to Felix Salmon for notifying me of this momentous event. Clearly, iFit analysts got wind of my stinging critiques of their predatory consumer practices and started asking the tough questions and iFit withered under their scrutiny. Also, this is crazy. They doubled revenue during the pandemic: from $800 million to $1.7 billion. Like I gotta admit, that is seriously impressive. But what is crazier is that they lost $98 million on their $800 million of sales, but they lost five hundred million on their $1.7 billion of sales. Like. My god. I hope for their sale they don’t increase their sales anymore at that rate.
I had a nice catch-up with an old friend on the phone (don’t get any ideas, people, it was a very rare exception to my no phones policy) and one thing I love is that he is a GMHHAY reader, and we were joking about some previous GMHHAY topic, in this case, the treadmill saga, and I as like “oh! I have an important update on that topic for tomorrow’s GMHHAY!” It is very fun when that happens. You guys are nice you make me feel like I have friends, thanks.
One of Hooky’s basses just sold for £9,400.
Thank you for all of your anecdotes about eBay this largely tracks with my impressions: lotta people still buy, not many people sell. One thing that I always forget is how much more difficult it is to sell other types of products. Like everything I sell is bar-coded with a model number. You just type the model number into eBay, find the exact item you have, and click “sell one like this,” and eBay automatically does all the cataloging and tagging and whatnot. It even tells you the weight of the item and box, and you can have them automatically handle all shipping costs as well. It is, I always forget, a very different experience when you’re trying to sell a vintage dress or belt.
My god another guitar just went for £15,000. This is insane. Hooky is gonna make so much money today. They withdrew from auction all of the New Oder demos, rehearsal tapes and the like. I was a little shocked those were in the auction, feels like the rest of the band might have had a leg to stand on on objecting to those. Also gives me hope that some day there will be an officially-released demos album, if Hooky and Barney can ever get their act together.
There is a new Tears for Fears song. It is in advance of a new album. It is pretty good! I am optimistic. It is not, alas, as good as the new Abba songs, but, then, I mean, that’s a pretty hard thing, to hold your songwriting up to Abba.
The Tipping Point arrives in your favorite record store on February 25th. Except the vinyl will probably be late. But it is still very exciting.
Pfizer formally submitted their application for a COVID vaccine for children 5-11 yesterday. The FDA said they would give it all haste and move quickly, then promptly set a meeting for three weeks later. Government for you. I suddenly got very paranoid yesterday that the FDA were going to be dicks and not approve this thing, or, just do that thing that bureaucracies do, where they find one small objection and kick the thing back for more data/input/info/whatever. In this case, one little obstacle like that could have cascading effects and push back the vaccine for 5 to 11 year-olds by months, thus pushing back the vaccine for 6mos to 5 year-olds by months as well, and I just don’t think I could handle that. It was an irrational fear, but man, it really grabbed me for an hour or so.
Another bass just went for £12,000.
Last night while reading What Hath God Wrought (yes, I am still reading this 900 page book of pre-Civil-war America. Also what’s the new PC term for “antebellum”?) and I learned that historians make a strong argument that the Civil War could have been avoided had their not been a third-party spoiler candidate in the 1844 presidential election. James K Polk won by a plurality of 30k votes or so, and there was a leftist, third-party candidate from the liberty party that gained 68,000 votes, thus keeping the presidency from Whig candidate Henry Clay. Those third-party votes were enough to keep him from winning New York, and without the Liberty Party, Clay probably would have won New York, thus the electoral college, and a Whig would have been far less confrontationally pro-slavery as was James K Polk who was, historically speaking, a slave-holding dick. There’s a good argument that we would not have gotten into the Mexican American war which was, like everything back then, about slavery (in this case, annexation of the slave-holding Republic of Texas).
68,000 votes. 750,000 deaths. Another 20+ years of slavery. Third party.
I mean, yeah, I guess we got Clinton thanks to Perot, but surveying James G Birney, Perot and Nader, I might not be too too excited about Andrew Yang’s current antics. I wonder if there are any other elections where the third party candidate cost the election. I know there have been a bunch of them, but I don’t know of any others that changed the course of the presidency. Anyone else know of any?
Everyone’s all like “Joe Manchin should say what he wants” but hey guess what! He did! In a confidential memo to Schumer. Turns out Joe Manchin wants unilateral say over American climate change policy, which is a) a totally reasonable thing in a democracy, and b) not at all worrisome given his current income of millions of dollars from coal! Fuck. That. Guy.
Hooly just sold a leather jacket for £12,000.
Let’s do a mix! Club mix. Kick it off with Hooky for good measure. Oh shit I shoulda put Revenge and Monaco on here bwahahaha yeah okay. I’ve had this Underworld song going through my head for a week. Kylie song seems to be brand new. Von Sudenfed is an act whom I was alerted to by my friend Katherine, and it is Mark E Smith and Mouse on Mars and it’s as good as you could expect that collaboration to be when they are both being good. I am into it.
Have a lovely Friday! I am off. I’m going to listen to this auction, eat a bagel, go to Walmart and play No Man’s Sky all day. That cobalt doesn’t refine itself. Well, it does. But… nevermind.