Most everything in my life is currently conspiring to make me a BAD BLÖGGER. BAD. Chronic illness #35986739 + too much bleary media consumption + too much of my own opinion + bloggitudinous procrastination due to said illness = I'm commenting on things late & without looking at what anybody else said about anything first. I apologize, although honestly I'm not sure I give a shit.
On super-delayed deck: reviews of The Sopranos (it's this new show! you might like it), the new Doris Day bio and Disfigured. First though: Please think really really good thoughts for KAJ, whom I love terribly and whose ticker needs some love and TLC, and those around her. Also: much more on this to come, but major congratters to darling Skip and her musical about Martin Luther which just got major developmental support from the NYFA. Luther!...is happening. But we knew that.
• I am feeling a little territorial about the fact that the Soup has discovered Cee Dub, long one of my fav cooking shows--I wrote about him in the now defunct Local Palate back in 2001--a show that as far as I've been able to tell you can no longer see here (used to be on a PBS-alternate). Good for him, but dang!! I miss that show. I loved his plastic bags full o food and mustache and tales of packin' in the west. Some LA PBS affiliate must be showing it to have caught the attention of Joel McH.
• VERY not safe for work/very 2004: wacky eco-porn organization that I heard about probably like most from seeing footage of them having sex onstage in Norway at a show. Lots of things to say about that, but mostly it's funny how kinda nerdful the whole thing was.
• Nobody on the Food Network knows how to bake. It's not news--their biggest names often mention it with a certain amount of complacency, as if to say don't tie me down with your petty bourgeois measurings!--but I mention it as a frustrated tv media consumer who takes it as further proof of how it all kinda sucks. I long for...complication. I don't care. Make croissants, turn it 16,000 times and poke fingers into the dough. Smoke haddock for days. Build a cassoulet for weeks. Do whatever you want, I'll watch, please just don't do it in 30 min unless you are using heroic amounts of editing. PBS gets a little of this complaint too, despite not being nearly as bad as FN.
• I remember reading, back in da color newsprint billyjoel years of Rolling Stone in the 1980s (ahhh, just so not their heydey, but what can I say--that's when I was reading it, every word, cover to cover) a review of a Stevie Nicks album that mentioned how her voice had never sounded better, even though her material was worse than ever. I remember thinking that was a slightly spurious argument to use in a review, but I thought about this split again--as I occasionally do--watching the trailers for Meet Dave. You just knew that movie was gonna bomb, but it's weird--Eddie Murphy keeps getting better and better. He's turning into a hiding-in-plain-sight, underrated actor. He does some really interesting, clever stuff in that movie I'll never see, it looks like, but then again, who knows, maybe they're bits. But still. I wish he'd just get cast in a good movie more often. There are some actors/media figures for whom the demise of the studio system is the worst thing that coulda happened to them.
• I am ALL about the new Stori Telling reality show--too fantastic--but the 90210 resusitation...oh god. That show ended, finally, shot in the head after being forced to dig its own grave, in 2000. That's only 8 years ago. At that point it was a distended, wheezing, falling apart corpse of a show that functioned every week lubricated by the overpaid eye-rollings of actors who could never get all the way away, who wanted the Spelling $, who wouldn't read the DNR form. So now...now. Really. Must we? Is this it? Is this all our kultur has to mine and remake? It's not nostalgia, it's not even commerce, it's not even ghoulist necrophilia, it's less interesting even than that. Not to mention it won't work, either, for what that's worth. Please make it stop.
• The New Yorker Ob*ma cover...why'd they do it? I mean...why? It was a really stupid/irrelevant/tired/immature/racist thing that might have had the slightest reason for existence if it were illustrating a piece on latent fears about a black presidency, but it had nothing to do with that or indeed with anything. Was just wrong. It felt like...a nervous racist spasm, a tourette's-like joke at a cocktail party that nobody wanted to make, that embarrasses everyone. Don't they realize this shit is OVER? It's so over. And who have they been pretending to be for so many years that they'd do this now anyhow? It's sad. (RE: actual article -- It continues to be so weird to have a Chicagoan be a candidate. 20 years of jobs in Chicago mucking around in the proper names that are now common journalistic currency...it's weird. Guess everybody gets their turn - Little Rock, Plains, Austin, whatever!)
• The best thing about ABBA songs is...ABBA singing them. I don't really wanna hear anybody else doin it, and yet there appears to be a whole industry of film and stage plays devoted to having EVERYONE BUT ABBA sing ABBA songs. GO AWAY PLEASE I dunno am I alone in being really squicked out by this whole Mamma M*a! thing? Why are they all so sweaty? I turn in to a rapt psycho rok-critik type with my little otter paws pressed together when people start fucking with the ABBA harmonies I love so much, and it does have to do with who's performing them. Listen to the harmonies in the word "out" in the last half of "Does Your Mother Know," after the two women start singin in descant, so that there is this endlessly layered...yeah, okay, whatever, I'll shut up. I just ain't feeling it. I suddenly feel like a misanthrope saying this, watching the commercial for the 900th time, but...mmmmm...no.
• Sometimes when I watch E! or music videos or whatever, girl performers, the stuff that's skewed super-young usually, although it can go as old as Mar*ah or Jess*ca Sim type, and they are mugging and preening and pouting, and out-sticking and whatever...I feel like Sting in "Don't Stand So Close to Me." I feel..molested. Put it all away please. [Note: this idle thought sparked 3 hours of solid Police YouTube-ing....GOD, did I love the Police back then. In the first three albums days. Good golly. Completely obsessed, completely, still, in love with SCopeland's drumming. It was really interesting to dive back into them after not paying any attention for so long...oh oh oh. Will write more some day, but so much lovvvvvvveeeee.)
• I continued to be baffled by the idea of adulthood. No wait, I mean...I am the usual amount baffled by adulthood, but it's augmented by tectonic shifts under the cultural landscape which make the media of less use than ever. Too much contradiction, confusion. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, the second time they meet in When H Met S, are 28. 28. Floppy bowties and suits and business travel and marriage. Matty Walker in Body Heat...28. Luke Perry as a teenager--28. People playing mothers/sons/partners at all ages...parents...Molly Ringwald is now a TV mom... I'm not articulating the subtleties of this at all well, but trying to note that in addition to weird Hollywood/TV age math, what age means is now changing there and in real life again, in big quantum leaps, so that actors are going through 2nd/3rd media adulthoods and I dunno...I still like to buy jewelry at Torrid. But I also love a well-tailored suit and a nice Liberty print. But...well, whatever. These rumblings are white-caps of endless GenX waving thoughts about age that never stop crashin...