"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Many of us would agree that the guys we see screaming at each other on cable TV are assholes. Thanks to Aaron James, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, we now have a common definition for this simultaneously vague, yet knowingly specific term. Knowing this, James argues, will allow us to solve a more complex problem: how to deal with them.
Anchor Books has released a trailer for James’ book, “Assholes: A Theory,” in which James explains they “are mainly men who systematically help themselves to special advantages” that “immunizes him against other people.” According to James’ theory, we find them frustrating because “the asshole thinks he’s entitled to do things that he’s not entitled to do. He does them defensively, and he’s unwilling to listen to our argument or our claim that he isn’t. That’s important to us, because it in effect means that we’re deprived of recognition as an equal.”
The paperback edition of “Assholes: A Theory” comes out April 22.
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com.More Prachi Gupta.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)