Dear Diary: Today I bought a shotgun The holidays are upon us with a vengeance, like an off-duty S.F. cop after your doggie bag. Many people start to panic about gifts at this late date, rushing down to the local book mart to grab the latest, hippest item there — say, Kurt Cobain's Journals. At press time, the Nirvana frontman's angry, confused notepad musings were at No. 4 on the New York Times' best-selling nonfiction list and at No. 41 on Amazon.com's sales list (a couple of notches above I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem). But the SF Weekly reader is not like everyone else: He wants to give something special, something unique, something truly ludicrous. That's why we've come up with some alternative gift ideas for your celebrity-whorehound relatives. Here they are, in order of cultural significance:
Michael Jackson, I Love Children, Especially When They Bounce A collection of helpful parenting tips from the former King of Pop and current poster child for the Just Say No to Plastic Surgery campaign. To wit: “Wrap your kids' heads in gauzy veils — that way, they won't be as frightened when you dangle them from the fourth story of a building. Also, if someone takes a picture of you and the child, you can pretend the kid isn't yours.” Insights you'll find within the book: Bees can sting your feet, so always wear shoes, even in the bath; giving your kids the same name can be confusing to them and to you. Comes with a video game, Michael Jackson's Baby Drop, also available at www.kicken.com/funnyfiles/WackoJacko.swf.
The Other Ones, What a Short, Dull Journal This Is This eight-page tome features everything you could possibly want to know about the remaining members of the Grateful Dead and their band. Here's Bob Weir, on the group's relevance in today's music world: “Let's see, um, well, we used to live on Haight Street!” Insights: These guys smoked a lot of pot. Who knew?
Eminem, To-Do Lists A young entrepreneur made a recent discovery while digging through Eminem's trash: Not only is the rapper/actor super-talented (and white), he's also hella organized. This collection — put out by Anonymous, so the megastar doesn't bust a cap in the publisher's ass — features five years' worth of Em's to-do lists. Here's a sample: “1) Go buy milk. 2) Write song about how the store clerk was out to get me. 3) Find a sample of a talking dog saying, 'My master's gone crazy,' so that people will sing along. 4) Pick up my paycheck while wearing a hoodie, to show I'm keeping it real.” Insights: Eminem doesn't like his ex-wife, his mom, his dad, Elton John, gays in the military, his mailman, or you.
Pete Townshend, Hope I Don't Look Old The Who's guitarist and songwriter chronicles his touching battle with senility, printed in 20-point type so that his fans can make out the words. Includes his recent review of Cobain's Journals from the U.K. newspaper The Observer, in which he sounds like a puppy that's been swatted on the nose: “'I hope I die before I become Pete Townshend,' wrote Kurt Cobain in his journal in the middle of one of his rants against the rock press establishment. Why? Because I had become a bore? Because I had failed to die young? Because I had become conventional? Or, simply because I had become old?” (Pretty much all those things, Pete.) Insights: Loud music can hurt your hearing; Roger Daltrey really hates that windmill thing; Townshend was asked to intervene on Cobain's behalf and didn't, the bastard.
Courtney Love, My Journals Cobain's widow releases her own compendium, helpfully synced to her former hubby's entries. Readers can now see that when Cobain was writing, “The hairy, sweaty, macho, sexist dickheads will soon drown in a pool of razorblades and semen, stemmed from the uprising of their children,” Love was jotting, “That sure was a neat Versace dress Madonna was wearing — someday I'll be able to afford one.” Insights: Love's a heartless shrew, but she sure beats the hell out of Jennifer Lopez as pop icons go.
Sound Dust Stereolab's Mary Hansen died last week when she was hit by a truck while riding her bike. Although Hansen was neither a founding member nor a main songwriter of the group, the Australian native had been an integral part of the outfit since 1992, adding lovely harmony vocals, driving keyboard and guitar parts, and elegant charm to the Space Age bachelor-pad pop band. She will be missed.