O Lord it’s hot. Blaring down today and 99 degrees tomorrow. Went to the Fair in the evening to do a video about the KISS fans, and it was broiling at six; sat in the Food Building, eating Food, and it was a sauna in the dark, with ambient grease.

There’s yesterday’s State Fair video if you missed it, here. It has to do with the Heritage Square, which has some tired, dusty exhibits that need a refresh. I was struck by this.


It’s a portion of a poster advertising a new ride, back in 1964. The sun and Father Time have hue-screwed it as usual, but thanks to Modern Computer Technology I can coax back something of the original:



Note the expected dress code:



Skirts and suits. Compare that to the general slovenliness of the Fair crowd today, which mostly seems to be a parade of T-shirts proclaiming one’s personality through a choice of slogan, logo, or graphic. Saw at least three variants on “Keep Calm and Carry On” today, all of which were annoying; I know I wrote about this before, but there’s something time-and-place specific about the sentiment that ought to discourage its use by funny-picture websites and radio DJs. There was a sea of KISS shirts, because KISS was playing, along with the Crue. It just cracks me up to see kids get painted like Gene Simmons. He’s 63 years old. I mean, more power to him. Rock on and all that. But it shows how pop-culture freezes things at a specific time, and adds it to the great swirling whirl of Stuff that’s always out there, ageless, severed from its original moment. Just a thing to be used.

On the bus one guy said there’s a fellow who shows up at KISS concerts looking like Gene Simmons without makeup: there’s a hobby. Hey, I look like an unattractive but darkly charismatic millionaire who slept with 50,000 women. Except I’m not. Just look like him. Want to have your picture taken with me?

Anyway, there was a piece on the wires the other day about a woman who got in trouble on a plane because her T-shirt contained what some quaintly call an “obscenity,” and others call “the honest, frank speech of someone who doesn’t believe that outmoded notions of social niceties should be allowed to obscure the important issue about which I want everyone to agree with me.” Also known as a narcissist. She would be appalled, I’m sure, if you walked over to her four-year-old child, bent down, and said the F word, but she can wear the shirt in front of your four-year-old on the plane.

Don’t see a lot of that at the Fair. Yet.




Book update: I’ve given up trying to format it, and will be seeking professional help. In other book news, the nerve-wracking, fingernail-gnawing portion of editing “Autumn Solitaire” is over, and I’m past the first part where I really didn’t know what was going on, and didn’t know the characters, and hadn’t fleshed out much. It was a nightmare, reading that. But it’s back in the groove now, and I’m writing new chapters that mesh well, and add more local locales. It’s fun to throw in little outdated culture references - the neighborhood bartender who answers the phone “Duffy speaking” when he’s in a good mood, for example. Can’t explain that one; it just has to be.

I warned you the Bleat would be light this week, and so it is. You have the motels over there to enjoy, so you’re not going away empty handed. Lots of stuff with embedded street views - happy discoveries, too.

Also: Yesterday's Fair video, if you didn't catch it: here!

See you around in the usual places.


Okay, one more thing. Last night I was on a Knopfler jag; tonight for some reason, while editing KISS video, I get on 90s disco, Uptempo-Guilt-Ridden-Melancholic division, accented with Spanish-speaking children. I lost interest in these songwriters a few albums back, but this one - well, you either hate this stuff, which is fine, or it grabs a few dendrites in your brain and gives it a tug.



I say "Songwriters" because that's what they were.











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