Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seventeen Years Past Due for "Carousel"

iPod Random Shuffle - 8pm on a Sunday. Only a couple of songs recorded in the last 20 years and very few artists that debuted after 1985 (actually, very few after 1979). God I'm a fossil.
  • Sulphur to Sugarcane - Elvis Costello
  • Rain - Beatles
  • London Calling - Clash
  • 5ive Gears in Reverse - Elvis Costello
  • I Love a man in Uniform - Gang of Four
  • Live Through This (are we there yet?) - Groovelily
  • Dancing Queen - ABBA
  • Galileo - Indigo Girls
  • Please Mister Postman - Beatles
  • Sixty Eight Guns - The Alarm
  • Los Angeles - X
  • The Boys of Summer - Don Henley
  • Sleeping with the Television On - Billy Joel
  • Backstreets - Bruce Springsteen
  • Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
  • That's Entertainment - The Jam
  • I Melt with You - Modern English
  • Private Idaho - B-52s
  • Dress Rehearsal Rag - Leonard Cohen
  • Pale Blue Eyes - Velvet Underground
  • Desolation Row - Bob Dylan
  • Soul Corruption - Graham Parker
  • You cannot Win (if you do not Play) - Steve Forbert
  • New York, New York - Nina Hagen
  • Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones
  • Gloomy Sunday - Billie Holiday
  • God - John Lennon
  • Parting Gift - Fiona Apple
  • Heroin - Velvet Underground
  • Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
I realized that I was getting very old after I strained my back into the second mile of what I thought would be a relaxing jog on a mild summer evening. Christ, my body is falling apart, I thought - just a few weeks shy of 47 years. It's the new 27, though, right? Right? Who I am kidding? I'm not jogging, I'm running from the sandmen. When I finally limped up the stairs into the house, I shuffled back through the songs I'd been listening to and it only confirmed what my body had been saying: dinosaur. I couldn't even tell you what passes as 21st century popular, or cutting edge or even shitty music these days.

Gosh - quarter to 9 - almost time to put my dentures in the glass for the evening and tuck into bed ...

And enough entries into this #!)# blog, for crying out loud. You won't have anything left to scream into your pillow.

Anyway, bedtime for bonzo,

Yours truly,
Dorian Gray

Ladies and Gentleman, Diana Ross and the ...

Oh, boy, here we come! Time to make room on the DVR hard drive and schedule up the CSPAN because tomorrow starts Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing time in our nation's capital! I for one am fascinated by the process. Kind of for me like the Olympics is for normal folks. Call me sick but you can keep your 'Lost's and '24's and whatnot - give me the cast of characters that make up the Senate Judiciary Committee and the twists and turns of the plot (er, proceedings) as their egos and agendas clash with the professional life of the wise Latina jurist extraordinaire Sonia Sotomayor. Oh and they'll likely drag in her personal life as well for a good soaking. But let's be clear: it's not about her. It's about them.

I was working as a consultant in late 2005/early 2006 and between gigs the last two times the circus rolled into town with the Roberts and Alito confirmations, so I got to watch them both 'live'. I was rooting against them and will be rooting for Sotomayor, but that doesn't matter because the entertainment factor is the same and so in general is the outcome: ya gotta be a pretty extreme wack-job to not get confirmed at this point in the process. The handlers have already ensured you are a citizen, have no illegal help working for you or any unpaid taxes, the obvious stuff.

You're generally pretty assured of confirmation at this point, short of demonstrated habitual bestiality ('hiking the Appalachian Trail' with farm animals on more than one occasion, for instance), or proof of current status as a grand wizard in the KKK (the past is the past and being a mere 'member' can be forgiven, though there might be hard questions as to why you never got promoted to wizard). Christ, look at Clarence Thomas with his porn addiction and ass-pitching compulsion and Scalia, who's so far to the right that he probably struggles mightily to control himself from goose stepping and 'sig heil'ing in public (though he probably does both under the robe).

So it's the preening and prancing and dancing of the Senators that provides the kicks and I'll be enjoying every last minute of the experience. Let the games begin!

Burbing Bubbles, Freeing Willy and Resting in Peace (Ben, the two of us need look no more)

Holy Having-Fun-With-Elvis-Onstage, Batman - Has it really come to this?

I joked a couple of days ago that perhaps Michael Jackson would go on with his London Shows despite coming down with a bad case of death. I guess there's no joke as funny/sad as real life because as it turns out, 'he' is planning to do just that. The vultures are currently working overtime picking his bones clean while the name value is at its peak earning power (it tends to start to decay for celebs, much like the body, not all that long after death). But it takes massive balls to say that video footage of rehearsals for what would have been the London concerts are his 'Last Masterpiece' and to build some circus around this, charging real concert prices.

Sure, with Elvis they were picking clean his corpse many years before he actually died ('having fun' having come out a few years prior to the King keeling over on the john), but this was only because he mostly died after his 1968 television special (the last great thing he did). Say what you will about him, at least 'the Colonel' had the decorum to wait a couple of month before letting the feeding frenzy of shit flow forth. No such luck with MJ.

Somewhere, even Ben's descendants are scurrying through the gutter rolling their eyes and saying 'enough' already.

What we've got here is failure to communicate

There's a line from a novel or a book or something that I (and apparently Google) can't recall which goes something like "Typical WASP - loves animals but hates people."

That's me on a Sunday morning (well, on many mornings but especially 'the day of our lord').

I'm out early getting my usual coffee and am invariably stuck behind gaggle of 'hatbrakes' - more on this later - that only seem to drive when going to church on Sunday. That old used car salesman line apparently must sometimes be true. I'm left crawling along block after block, cornered with no way past them (they proceed in swarms like a Hell's Angels chapter out on a run).

After 10 minutes or so, I swear I see floats ahead of me, circus music fills my ears and big balloons in the sky blot out the sun. I have the urge to roll down the window and wave to the invisible crowds along my route - perhaps I should throw them candy. I must, after all, be in a parade for otherwise why would we be going so mother*!@! slow?!?

I'm not a bat-shit crazy driver - I obey(ish) the speed limits and traffic laws. And it's not like there are sights to see - it's the same boring neighborhood - no Christmas lights up (and its daytime anyway). Move! Don't keep God waiting - Bad enough you make him get up early on his Day Of Rest and haul his ass into some cramped building you constructed so you can feel less guilty the other six days of the week. I feel bad for him. And I'm an agnostic.

  • Term: hatbrake
  • Definition: See a brimmed 'hat' poking up from the driver's seat (but no head), prepare to brake.
  • Origin: My sister and her friends circa early 70s. Stereotype that only older people wear brimmed hats that were popular during the earlier part of the 20th century and that they get shorter as they age. Also stereotypes them as driving slower.

I'm not fond of stereotypes as a rule - in fact I have seen plenty of tall, hatless older drivers that have laid on the horn because I was moving too slow for them - but I always liked the name and when you do see a brimmed hat popping up ahead of you, like as not you'll have to brake.