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Every Wednesday, we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.

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Oktoberfest. “Duh. You get a glass stein, there’s a cornucopia of tents to fill said stein, no metric on ‘too drunk for the daytime,’ all enjoyed alongside like-minded folk, who may or may not be wearing lederhosen.” —C.G.

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It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. “The second it hits October, I really like to get the fall vibes brewing—so to get myself in the right mind-set, I make sure to revisit this gem from McSweeney’s. Sure, it’s a few years old and probably something you’ve seen a few times by now, but in the same way the deeply patriotic like to reread the Gettysburg Address every Memorial Day, this is worth a yearly revival. And to really drive home the feeling that this is speaking to me and only me while I gaze into the sky, arms outreached, swirling in a perfect autumnal storm of vibrantly turning leaves, roasting pumpkin seeds and thick flannel, McSweeney’s has just unveiled a mug emblazoned with its declarative statement from which to sip my spiced cider. ‘It’s fall, fuckfaces. You’re either ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest or you’re not.’” —N.B.

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Rome, A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History by Robert Hughes. “After a recent trip to Italy, I picked up this book from Time’s longtime (and now deceased) art critic. It was exactly what I wanted: an opinionated, funny, comprehensive tour of the Eternal City and all its artistic (and historic) triumphs. The experience was a bit like having the best, most hilarious tour guide take you around the city and tell you everything about everything. The book also told me what I really knew all along: I have to go back. (NOTE: Yes, the book was controversial for its inaccuracies when first published; I’ve no idea if they’ve updated it for the Kindle version, and to be honest, I don’t care that much—the issues seem like the kind of tiny details that could only keep a historian up at night.)”—P.L.U.

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An Encore for Summer Clothing. “It’s 85 fucking degrees in NYC right now. Dig out your Nantucket reds, your suede bucks, your madras shirts, your straw hats… summer is back. For a day or two, anyway.” —P.L.U.

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Advil Cold & Sinus. “Because it’s strong as all hell and single-handedly keeping me functional right now.” —S.P.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Najib Benouar
    Caitlin Ganswindt
    Stephen Praetorius
    Paul L. Underwood