Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Ain't Gellin'

One of my favorite songs of all time is from my childhood, entitled "I Can't Get Started," by Al Hirt. (Via my mom and grandma, I have a genetic love of all things that emanate from a coronet.) Consider "Can't Get Started" to be the theme of this schizophrenic post.

I have been grinding away on various posts for weeks now, and nothing's coming together. My phraser is broken. I have things I've been poking at for over a month now.

It's not exactly writer's block, but it certainly is creative block. I'll pound on a paragraph for half an hour (a long time for me), and re-read it and just sigh over the sheer suckitude I have birthed.

So, until the muse gets her ass back here, I'll just sprinkle some random shite on ya:

Some great albums I've been rocking out to:

- Mick Jagger, best of. Just due to the guy's history, this is a great rock album unto itself. Eclectic. Some of the gnarliest guitar work laid down. You'll whirl this one a bunch, I promise.
- Santogold. Another wild, eclectic disc. The duo behind this album (one of them being "Santogold" herself, has fused about every type of pop music thus far into the bones of the music. Little heavy on the 80s influences, but that's not really a complaint.
- Foxboro Hotubs. Greenday masquerading as a hot 60s rock band.
- Motherfuckers Be Trippin' by the Supersuckers. (Thanks for that one, Whisky.) Decent chops and hilarious lyrics. Lately I've edited some of the bluer songs that have come out so my daughter can hear them, but this set is unsalvageable. And that's a good thing.

(Update: It dawned on me later, this set is the perfect bride's collection: something old, something new, something borrowed (60s pop), something blue. In that order, even.)

Recent good movies:

- Iron Man - My favorite super-hero movie thus far. However, my second favorite is Daredevil. Seems I like my super-heroes to be flawed and mortal. Favorite laugh line: "Oh come on. You've caught me doing worse things." - to Iron Man's faithful secretary/personal assistant who catches him in the bashed-up suit that his robot helpers are trying to remove from his person.
- Indiana Jones and the Dimple of the Crystal Skull - Total time machine experience. It's just like being back in the 80s and watching the first one. I read somewhere the Spielberg even used some of the same lenses he did for the original. It only spliffs the ending, which you've seen in more than a few other movies. Still, you come for the popcorn, you stay for the whip (whatever the hell that means).

Good reads:

- Bonk by Mary Roach - I enjoyed her previous effort Stiff and couldn't get past the first chapter of Spook, but laughed my ass of throughout this one. Of course a book about sex research would have to tread lightly at times, and the euphemistic (or outright blunt) framings of various experiments and their footnotes (take THAT! David Foster Wallace) was just beyond at times. I, too, would like to see the clear penis-cam that Masters and Johnson devised to film, uh, "love canal" when things are glowing.
- U2 At the End of the World by Bill Flanagan - This is hands down, without a doubt, certain it will never be surpassed, the best rock biography I've ever had the intense pleasure to read. Flanagan was right there for most of the events and the majority of this is a first-hand account of the making of the classic Achtung Baby and the subsequent two tours and sequel album Zooropa. The best thing about it is Flanagan's breezy style. I intend to hunt down his fiction and see if he writes that nearly as well. Fun story: Bono and Adam (Clayton, the bassist) were hitchhiking in Tennessee during the Rattle and Hum thing, and this kid who didn't know who they were (at first) was blasting Def Leppard. Bono was amazed at how amazing it sounded on the hotrod's stereo. Then the kid realized who was in his car, and he put on a U2 tape, which didn't sound nearly as good. Since then, the band has made sure their stuff sounded as sonically full as possible. Can't be outdone by Def Leppard, donchaknow.

On the internets:

- Given the recent scary events in Russia, it's surreal that a lot of them still fantasize about this kind of stuff.

- The Boy Scouts are getting kicked out of a building they built because part of it sits on public land and their policy on adult gay troop leaders conflicts with local anti-discrimination laws. Y'know what? The militant gays have just got to leave the Boy Scouts alone. It's just a losing game. They are a private group, and they're mostly kids. My wife uses a phrase that's so true (paraphrased from School of Rock), "People do not have a sense of humor when it comes to their kids." It just goes into the same category as the fact that I don't get to be the sole chaperone on my daughter's Girl Scout outings because I'm a boy. I'm not supposed to wander into the ladies' locker room. Some airlines have a policy to not sit a child next to me just because I'm an adult male and the risk of me being a potential pedophile is too great (though they should add female school teachers to their no-seat-by-list, doncha think?). Just let this one go.

- Poor babies. I especially chuckled at all the marriages breaking up once they float below the million mark. Kinda makes you wonder if Roissy is just a bit more than just a "performance artist" like M.Blowhard maintains. (Btw, I love the double-meaning of "performance artist" for a guy who beds women for sport and then writes about it. You bet he has to perform.)

- David Foster Wallace comes up with the perfect description of the Bush administration - as is appropriate for a writer of his skills:
The truth—as I see it—is that the previous seven years and four months of the Bush Administration have been such an unmitigated horror show of rapacity, hubris, incompetence, mendacity, corruption, cynicism and contempt for the electorate that it's very difficult to imagine how a self-identified Republican could try to position himself as a populist.

(Via Kottke.)

- This quiz supposedly matches you up with the best news anchor. Well, check out selection #2 on liberal to conservative slider (but first make sure your answer for #1 selects Rush or Bill O). If you select "moderate", Rush and O'Reilly are still included! What a bunch of shite!

- The Gawker puts together a collection of the best "O face" of many newscasters. This is one of those times I caught between admiration for the sheer amount of effort it took to capture the freeze-frames of all these and fear for the human race that this much energy and (presumably) money (in wages) was spent that could've fed and clothed all the poor children in any major American city.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Re: "moderate" Rush Limbaugh. He's not hardline conservative. No, really, he isn't. He's deceitful, arrogant, and obnoxious, but on the political spectrum he lands closer to the center than you think. For example, he told his followers earlier this year that they shouldn't vote based upon abortion.

Joel

P.S. No, I don't listen to Rush, but my Mom is a total dittohead and I hear his spew secondhand.

Yahmdallah said...

Ew, second-hand Rush spew. The very thought...

Whisky Prajer said...

Your post has me reassessing my thoughts about Flanagan's U2 account. I read it back in the day; it was probably one of the first contributors to my weariness of the band, and I remember thinking, "For a group that's living the highest of the high life, they don't seem to be having much fun." There was also something off-putting about the Zoo TV shows. Bono's quip that Zooropa was the sound of the band chopping down the Joshua Tree seemed to apply to the whole project. Their shows incorporated every surviving member of the Boomer Rock Set, plus a few stray oddballs: Lou Reed, Alan Ginsburg, William Burroughs, Salman Rushdie, etc. Those concerts were the sound and spectacle of the band chopping down stadium rock 'n' roll. And they were right: Too much was not enough. (Yikes! I should be saving this stuff for my own blog!)

Getting back to Flanagan: I'd forgotten the hitch-hiking story, but can remember other weird anecdotes. The one that sticks in my head is Bono's wife insisting he stay at their local hotel for a week or two until he's come down from touring.

Yahmdallah said...

Yep. And there's a bookend to that where Bono is off in domestica, but has to come back for a day or two of some publicity-related stuff, and he comments on how hard it is to go the other direction, too.

Personally, I luuuuurved the zoo tv tour and the album that birthed it. It was Joshua Tree I had trouble with (and still do). It's so morose, I can't just put it on an play it.

Anonymous said...

Hey dude! I finally have time to catch up on your entries.

Regarding the Boy Scounts, you have it half right. Yes, they are a private organization. But the fact that they're anti-atheist (in addition to being anti-gay) makes them a religious organization too. Yep, the youth organizations (girl scouts too) that have for decades been considered the be-all end-all American clubs, are in fact church-based, selective and discriminatory.

Oh, and the "all gays are pedophiles" argument is what really needs to be left alone.

Pete
P.S. I'm posting this anonymously because I'm never able to login to the godamn thing without a major effort, and I've no patience for it.