I lied. Nothing good today. This is the week of lameness. Tonight we blame a friend of my wife's, a charming lass - no, she's not a lass. Nor is she a colleen, a frail, a skirt, a broad, a womyn, a twist, or any other synonym. Nor is she a gal. "Person" doesn't do the job - please. When we're all shave-skulled automatons in white jumpsuits we will all be Persons. Not until. We really need a new gender-specific word for people who come over to pick up something, stay for two hours chatting with your wife and delighting your child, leave you with a stack of reading material, and listen to you expand on the politics of David Lynch on the way down the stairs. Anyway, we've had company. So I'm already behind tonight, because:
Thursday nights are turning into this odd prowl through my iTunes playlist, looking for something to play for the New Ears segment on Ian Punnetts show. (Thats a plug: 107.1 FM 9 AM -10 AM Friday morn.) Im less concerned with coming up with something great! than something instructive; this isnt a music station, after all. The bit was originally conceived as a way of giving people a new spin on music they already knew, but I dont think many people know most of the music I know. This isnt unusual - everyones musical tastes consists mostly of stuff everyone else thinks is either dreck, drivel, crap or twaddle. Theres stuff in my collection I think is twaddle, but sometimes you get a twaddle jones. You need to get your twaddle on.
So we come up with these Paul Harveyesque rest-of-the-story angles that give you some new perspective on, say, Bubbles in the Wine by Lawrence Welk. (I was responsible for that one, but it was one my favorite bits - I learned from the master himself, and employed the old narrative misdirection: you call a famous figure by his nickname right up until the end. Oh, you know Roy Cohn - you just knew him as Chesty La Rue. Chesty LaRue? Chesty LaRue.
Tomorrows bit is devoted to a group that had one hit in the 80s, and has produced about 1279 songs since: the Pet Shop Boys. (Groans from the audience.) Oh, behave. People who think its all twee warbling over burbly synths just arent giving them a fair shake. Granted, theres some of that. But I can crack the plaster with some of the remixes I have. Neil Tennant, for all his limitations, is one of the most human singers I know, and not in some Whitney / Britney sense that equates humanity with loud declamation of ersatz emotion. Hes bemused and plaintive at the same time, earnest and distant. Perhaps its the Grateful Dead Effect - Ive been listening to them for so many years its part of the background aural landscape, and Ive suspended harsh critical evaulation. All I know is that some of the happiest and stupidest moments of my life were spent in the seat of a sportscar doing 90 MPH back from the radio station after midnight, with the Trouser Enthusiasts Congo Dongo Dubstramental Remix of Red Letter Day pounding out of the stereo at brain-liquifying volume.
It all depends whether your notions of reckless driving were formed under Dukes of Hazzard or Miami Vice. If its the former, you drive to Lynyrd Skynrd. If its the latter, electronic dance music makes you want to put on sunglasses at midnight and drive your stubbled, tragic self into the night. To the corner store. For some beer. And maybe some jerky. That peppered stuff. Man, thats good.
Speaking of Miami Vice, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?
Okay, thats Santiago on top. Remember her? One of the two cop-doxies on Vice. I dont remember what happened to her after the show ended, but it pretty much swallowed the careers of everyone involved, as these shows tend to do. (The guest stars usually have more enduring careers - the other day I watched Sum of All Fears, and there was Bruce McGill, who I remember from an episode about a nutso cop who searched for his dead partner, and found him as a skeleton stuck behind some drywall. I remember this. Why? Because its TV. There is no why here.)
Anyway, lets do a little analysis of this thing. The space between the guys chin and his right nipple seems to be about three feet; his pectoral region has the dimensions of the steppes of Russia. Obviously they photoshopped in the lower portion - but why? And who is that? Whose hairy spare-tired gut was scissored out and layered in? Do they think we wont notice this? Come to our resort for inordinate torsal distortion! All-inclusive!
Watching a History channel special on the Tsars, narrated by Edward Dodge Truck Pitchman / Lost Boys Villain Herrman. Ill say this for the man: he can pronounce Tsar. Its not Zar, its not Teh-zr, its stczr. Ive heard this story a hundred times; as an old Russophile I am well acquainted with the story. Pity that a nation whose history was so bloody was ruled by hemophiliacs.
Tonight Ill watch the segment on the Revolution, even though I know how the story turns out. At least this show seems to have some film Ive never seen before - flaking frames from some Soviet archive, perhaps, sent to the West to be saved & preserved before the atoms shrugged and the pictures crumbled. Perhaps tonight theyll show film of the men who executed the royal family, standing outside the dacha, slamming shots to work up the nerve.
The execution of the children was the event that established the character of the regime. Yes, yes, regicide was often accompanied by such atrocities, but this was the 20th century. Why, this was the birth of Scientific Socialism. There is nothing so powerful as an idea has time has come!
But just in case its not that powerful yet, lets shoot the little girls.
Okay, THATs a cheerful note to end on, eh? Well, hit the Fence link below and read Thursdays column, if you like; my wife enjoyed it, and shes my harshest critic. I apologize for the thinness of this weeks offerings - Ive been busy and life has pressed its callused thumb on my carotid artery in ways I need not describe here. But its been a good week, and I have many fine things to show you on Monday. See you in June. Sweet, heavenly June.