Title: The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional
Author: SW Hammond
Published: August 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Surf Star Media
Genre: Non-fiction / essay / relationships
Recommended Age: 16+
A compilation of articles spanning more than a decade woven together to create the misguided anti-love story of a young man learning about relationships and the opposite sex through music, movies, and television.
From music industry professional, SW Hammond, comes The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional, a collection of provocative short stories on his life as a Lost Boy in search of Winnie Cooper.
Raised on rock nâ roll, Hammond blends an unparalleled view of pop culture and philosophy that follows him from his early twenties through his early thirties. The Mixtape Manifesto is filled with rich photography that captures Hammondâs days as a tour manager on Warped Tour and working for Sony Music Entertainment, as well as bringing to life the music, movies, and television that has plagued his rational sense of love and relationships. From childhood viewings of Full House leading to his lifelong hatred of John Stamos, his introduction to the Riot Grrrl movement and Kathleen Hanna, and to a questionable infatuation with The OCâs Summer Robertsâeach story blends a reflective Kevin Arnold-like inner monolog with Wild Turkey.
The Mixtape Manifesto is the byproduct of one too many romantic comedies. Inspiration, enlightenment, and delusion fuel Hammondâs quest as he searches for a bit of meaning to life and someone to share it with.
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Excerpt from The Mixtape Manifesto by SW Hammond:
The Blunder Years
Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV? Casual drives over the Golden Gate Bridge and neon windbreakers to protect us from that brisk Bay Area sea breeze? Back when times were simpler and the world had three fathersâand by no means am I referring to the Holy Trinity. Iâm talking Danny, Jesse, and Joey. All were miserable failures with personality dysfunctions, but somehow were able to pull themselves together to raise Americaâs favorite girls. What this countryâs fascination is with âthree men and a babyâ is beyond me.
Aside from the horrible acting and Afterschool Special âthe moral of the story isâ writing style, Full House was mashed potatoes and gravy to my generation. When the theme song kicked on, you felt good because âeverywhere you look thereâs a heart and a hand to hold on to.â I always acted as if I was bored while I watched the show, though; even at an early age, I was aware that it wasnât socially acceptable for a dude to like chick flicks. And thatâs what Full House wasâa weekly soap opera for young girls.
I watched habitually, though, especially once Rebecca became a regular. Iâm not afraid to say it: Lori Loughlin was hot. She still is. In 1989, I didnât even really know what hot was, but whatever Rebecca was, I liked it. And so began my lifelong hatred for John Stamos. The guy makes me sick. Heâs too fucking cool. His gelled-up hair, scruffy metro shave (before the world even knew what metro was), black Italian boots, a rock nâ roll attitude but with a sensitive and understanding sideâ¦ What a prick. Moreover, he was briefly married to a supermodel. Still, Romjin aside, the only Rebecca that really mattered to me was the one on Full House.
I remember sizing up Stamos on every episode. Iâd sit there and scowl at the TV as Iâd watch his performance. The majority of my Full House viewing was around the age of 10, so looking back, that must have been quite the sight. Back then, I didnât know what it was, and I couldnât clearly put my feelings into words, but I certainly knew that Uncle Jesse was a pretentious asshole. The Elvis impersonations are eventually what did me in. One too many âTeddy Bearsâ made Rebeccaâs love for Jesse unforgivable and I eventually had to move on. I learned early on that chasing after women who were attracted to Jesses was fruitless. Iâd never be that guy.
I tried to seek solace in DJ, but she just didnât have what made me tick. Kimmy was way too easy, so I figured Iâd give Steph a shot and maybe try someone my own age. I appreciated her wit and subtle vulnerability, but the fact she shared a roof with Stamos was a deal breaker. I finally had to part ways with the San Francisco family and I found myself becoming best friends with Kevin Arnold. His lifestyle was much easier to swallow than three misfit dads living in the gay capitol of the world. He rode his bike, played football with Paul, thought way too deeply about the world around him, and had a crush on Winnie Cooperâthe single greatest young female character up to that point in television history.
Kevin and I got along great, primarily due to our strikingly similar inner monologue. Yes, thatâs what it sounds like in my head all day. Winnie was off-limits, however. I admired her from afar, but the show taught me trust and loyalty, one of the lessons that always seemed laughable coming from Jesseâs mouth. Winnie was everything a 12-year-old boy could ask for. She had her own set of wheels, enjoyed milk shakes, and was never afraid to make the first move. In the grand scheme of things, that doesnât sound too bad to someone in their mid-twenties.
Kevin was my boy though, even through their on-again off-again late adolescence. We shared a comradely, an understanding of sorts. Kevin always ultimately did the right thing, learning life lessons along the way. I took notes and mentally never had an affair with his girl. Thatâs how it all went down until the final episode.
That night, I turned on my TV, half-depressed. I was anxious to see the big finale, but I felt like my childhood was ending just as Kevinâs was. The suspense ate me alive as I slurped from my juice box. The show ended by flashing forward to present day. Winnie got off a plane from studying art in Paris only to be greeted by Kevin, his wife, and new son. Those fuckers. I dropped my fruit-flavored beverage and let it seep deep into my favorite childhood blanket.
From that moment on, itâs been nothing but Guns nâ Roses, cheap strippers, Wild Turkey, and an immense Winnie Cooper void Iâve never been able to fill. Rebeccas are a dime a dozen, just like the Jesses they date. But not Winnie Cooper. Only a Winnie can make youâ¦ melt.
About the Author:
SW Hammond, short for Sean William, is the author of The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional and The Final Book fictional series. He is also a freelance writer contributing to countless music zines, athletic, lifestyle, and technical magazines and websites across the world.
SWâs writing style, particularly within his commentary, is often compared to Chuck Klosterman-esq with countless references to pop culture, especially music. His brazen and honest approach creates camaraderie with the reader, then tests the boundaries with sensitive subject matter. Philosophy, ethics, and nobility square off against a materialistic society driven by instant gratification, with Hammond treading water directly in the middle.
His fictional writing makes a conscious effort to blend perception, rumor, and fact leaving the reader to question reality. His stories often taking place in historical settings or playing on modern headlines, Hammond uses common themes to drive home critical points about the human condition. Though often grand, epic, and futurist, the backbone of his novels hinge on honor and virtue, or lack thereof.
Hammond has a very unique background as a music and sports industry professional. He has worked for Major League Baseball as a Marketing Coordinator, was an Assistant of Arizona Operations in the Kansas City Royals farm system, and a Stadium Manager of the Los Angeles Angels Spring Training facility. He is also credited as a Marketing Representative for Sony Music Entertainment, a Senior Tour Manager for the Vans Warped Tour, and an intern at WAR Records / United Interests Management.
SW was born just outside of Denver, CO and hasnât stopped moving since. Aside from Colorado, growing up Hammond also lived in Maine, California, Utah, and Hawaii. As an adult he returned to Colorado and Utah, also adding Arizona and Nevada to the list. He currently resides in Las Vegas. Hammond has never been married and has no children.
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