Archive for the ‘Arts & letters’ Category
Today started and ended well, lightly toasted slices of metaphorical bread comprising an actual shit sandwich.
On arising I recalled that we had a huge slab of meaty Ranch Foods Direct bacon in the fridge, so breakfast included coffee, eggs over easy, American fried potatoes, buttery English muffins and great thick rashers of pigmeat. Your basic heart-attack special, but I like it.
My plans for the workday hinged on breaking a piece of new technology to harness, but despite a hearty breakfast I couldn’t even get my rope on it, much less my brand.
Being something of a persistent cuss — you may call it “obsessive-compulsive,” I call it “persistent” — I kept working at it, trying first this and then that and finally the other, all the while taking copious notes on each fresh dysfunction with an eye toward eventually tattooing same on someone using an icepick and ball-peen hammer, with a sack of wormy dogshit for ink.
Thus the hours passed and the daylight faded, and the technology breezily countered my every move. By late afternoon, which saw the mailperson deliver an overdue check for services rendered that was redeemable for slightly less than half the expected quantity of Dead President Trading Cards, I was at a rolling boil, hissing like a teakettle full of vipers, blistering steam boiling out of both ears.
Herself and I had earlier scheduled a joint birthday dinner with friends, so I stuck my head in the freezer, counted to a thousand in Irish, and off we went to The Blue Star, where the four of us ate all manner of good things while discussing music, metaphysics and literature. Also, we solved every last one of the world’s problems save mine (you’re welcome).
Now I’m hardly pissed off at all. But tomorrow is another day.
Carnival Cruise Lines ought to be planting some big-ass Valentine’s Day smoocheroos on the 4,200 smelly suckers who thought they were taking the Love Boat to Cozumel but found themselves aboard a barely floating honey wagon being towed to Alabama.
Alas, the waters in which these buccaneers ply their trade are full of pinstriped sharks, heavy on teeth but lacking in the lip department.
Lawyers speaking with The New York Times say the ability of passengers to sue cruise-ship operators “is sharply limited,” and the location for any court action generally fixed in some shithole (Miami) favorable to piracy. “Shiver me timbers, matey, ye must file yeer complaint on Skull Island, arr.” Plus passengers are barred from collecting for emotional distress unless they are actually flogged, keelhauled or forced at cutlass point to walk the plank.
No gambling? No drinking? No showers? Sounds like a little trip to heaven.
Herself is on a little trip to Vegas, where they have all three of the aforementioned items plus “Love,” the Cirque du Soleil tribute to making money. I would insist on a functional toilet afterward, or perhaps during. But it was a girls’ outing and I wasn’t invited for some reason, so I’ll just have to make do with my memories of the Fab Four’s debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Was it really almost a half-century ago?
If you had any nagging doubts about the purpose underlying the pending mea culpa from the One Ball To Rule Them All on Soaprah, doubt no more.
Ms. Winfrey has issued a breathless bit of PR announcing that her two-and-a-half-hour chat with Ol’ Whatsisface will be aired over not one, but two evenings, this coming Thursday and Friday.
Having chatted up more than a few people over my 35 years in the news biz I can assure you that no interview is worth running in its entirety, especially when the person asking the questions has zero understanding of the matter at hand.
Were I to sit down for an interview with Paul Krugman, for example, at least 90 minutes of our chat would be devoted to me saying, “I have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.” That sort of thing hardly makes for must-see TV. So I presume there will be more heavily perfumed fat in this chat than there is on Soaprah’s ass.
A colleague suggested via email that this “is the big moment we’ve talked about for a decade.” I replied, “No, actually, the moment I had been waiting for was seeing The One Ball To Rule Them All sitting in a courtroom, answering to another sort of inquisitor altogether. This is all Kabuki for Kash. It has less to do with justice than with illustrating the value of a white skin and a fat wallet. Had he been a brother shoplifting a 40 from 7-Eleven he’d have been doing pushups in the prison exercise yard a long time ago.”
Another colleague, the estimable Charles Pelkey, has proposed that he and I live-update the sucker as in the good old days. I had planned to take the high road and ignore the whole tawdry affair, but I’ll confess there is a certain appeal to the idea of throwing gobbets of rotten fruit, sacks of cat shit and bons mots as the tumbrel rumbles by.
Any interest out there in DogLand? Sound off in comments.
From the creators of “Jersey Shore” comes “Redneck Riviera.” Conceived by Ron White (“They Call Me Tater Salad”), it stars Lone Star Staters Lance Armstrong, former President George W. Bush, Gov. Rick “Goodhair” Perry, Jessica Simpson, Randy Quaid, Meat Loaf, Vanilla Ice and Gary Busey as a potted palm.
In the first episode, Randy Quaid Skypes from Canada to bet Meat Loaf that Jessica Simpson can’t suck a golf ball through a garden hose from Mustang Island to Port Aransas. Meanwhile, Gov. Perry challenges President Bush to a tongue-wrestling contest, and Lance Armstrong wonders over a succession of Shiner Bocks how Oprah would look in a blonde wig and whether Club Fed-Three Rivers has a runway long enough to accommodate his private jet.
Any longtime fan of the DogS(h)ite knows my fondness for Tom Waits. He was a favorite, whether my old bros and I were in residence at the Mombo Club, El Rancho Delux or Ed Siegelman’s Ground Zero Equal Opportunity Apartments.
I mean, who else would perform a mashup of “Silent Night” and “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis” on “Austin City Limits?”
Meanwhile, over at the Denver alt-weekly Westword Dweezil Zappa discusses his father’s music and the difficulty of playing it live with only six musicians, which to me feels like trying to write “War and Peace” by beating a Linotype with a feather duster.
Hey, what the hell — I resisted temptation as long as I could, what with snow on the ground and everything (some of it is certain to be yellow by now).
And when I stumbled across this live, black-and-white performance of “Yellow Snow” and “St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast,” recorded in 1978 in Passaic, N.J., well, it was all over save the shouting. I was overcome by Excentrifugal Forz.
This has absolutely nothing to do with Zappadan, but it’s nonetheless timely, and I like it, so there you have it.
A colleague forwarded this Guardian piece that tells the tale behind the making of one of my favorite Christmas songs, “Fairytale of New York,” by The Pogues, with the late, great Kirsty MacColl on vocals. Herself and I dance to it every Christmas Eve.
Seems “Fairytale” has been reissued on its 25th anniversary, and The Pogues — complete with Shane MacGowan and his “bombsite of a mouth” — will perform at the O2 in London on Dec. 20 to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
And on Dec. 24, Herself and I will dance.