A Change of Seasonings
Maybe I should start a self-contained gripe-of-the-month section in “Hosing Down,” stick it at the very beginning, and have done with it, making it easier for the confirmed optimists among you to skip over the unpleasantries and go directly to my masterful socio-political insight, my prescient appraisals of various available exemplars of cultural nutrition, my humbled awe as I bow to the beauty and mystery of the human birth canal. Oh, how exhilarating it is to devote ourselves to the good once we have scooped up and verbally bagged the droppings of our uncurbed darker sides…
Otherwise, when I start off all emotional and upset about something, that mood tends to permeate every paragraph that follows whether it has any business doing so or not. Only occasionally and by some sort of miracle can such tainted prose be proud of itself (recalling one particular “Hosing Down,” which clearly influenced that guy who was our last President not to seek a third term.)
Yes, there is a time for anger and a time for no anger. This is neither but is entirely oblivious to that fact.
I’d simply love to read a review of some artist’s second album — any artist’s second album — written by someone who has stood fast against Cultural Mind Control and uses the term second instead of sophomore. I mean, what cretin still stuck in tenth grade in his or her infected soul started this tradition? It’s always sophomore offering ( or album or work or if the writer is a total tool, attempt.) I vaguely recall some dweeb referring to someone’s freshman debut somewhere a long time ago, and remember the phrase striking me as pathetic, retarded, and redundant. Back in the day, what writer would have dared refer to Rubber Soul and Revolver as the Beatles’ junior and senior works? Only a supercilious poseur who was as clueless as Sarah Palin (I mean… I don’t think she’d even been born yet… so she was therefore unable to have a clue; i.e., I’m not knocking Sarah P.) wouldn’t have known that the third and fourth LPs were actually A Hard Day’s Night and Beatles for Sale… well, at least in England. So as far as albums go, nobody seems to have any use at all for freshman or junior or senior (not to mention graduate and all the way to deathbed — the last one is permissable only when referring to the works of Warren Zevon.) So please, fellow scribes throughout the English-speaking world, start rebooting your soaking brains and drop sophomore just like Sarah Palin was obviously deliberately, routinely and repeatedly dropped on her head as an infant… I mean c’mon dudes and dudettes, it’s positively sophomoric.
Now for a couple of curmudgeonly takes on recent non-cable television. I was channel hang-gliding (surfing is so common) and landed on the final few minutes of a program I had never watched before, “America’s Got Talent.” It was the last show of the season, and I was to witness a very happy man of Asian heritage win a million dollars and a headlining gig somewhere in Nevada. Oh, yeah: Las Vegas. The host asked him how he felt, and a photo of (I assume) the man’s lovely wife and child appeared on the screen as he gave his love and thanks to them “back home in Japan,” or words to that effect. I was happy for the man and his family. It was a bit later that I began to be troubled by something. Let me put it this way… now WHAT was the name of that network program?
Sophomorically… I mean second, advertising agencies seem to have discovered a tool perhaps as potent as the use of the word cool: Make sure the commercials you make for your product include shots of people casually dancing with each other or even alone. Somehow American viewers have come to regard that as extremely c–l just like they imagine themselves to be, so the advertised product must be really c–l as well. Ellen DeGeneres has been keeping her entire show popular with a particularly nauseating variation on this. Make no mistake; I love and admire Ellen, who is merely giving her brain-damaged studio audiences what they demand. Then the home audience is spoon-fed the powerful pabulum, which really does a number on them. I may be just an old fart in your heart but I say Give Me Twerking Any Day and leave the casual stuff for the zombies who think that kitchen scene in The Big Chill was Sarah Palin’s pajamas/whiskers.
Now for Happy Fun Time. It’s one of my favorite months right now (assuming it is indeed already October) as it includes two once-a-year festivities, each of which has, against all reason, found use for my questionable presence (believe me, my presence was questioned several ugly times during September… I’m quite fortunate to be here, truth be told).
First is the second (not sophomore, see?) San Diego Comic Fest, which takes place at the Town and Country in Mission Valley on October 4, 5, and 6. I’ll be running some outstandingly entertaining films in l6mm (like it was done during the original Comic Cons, for two of which — ‘74 and ‘76 — I was film coordinator) evenings from approximately 8pm until midnight. The first Fest last year was a blast; it’s put on by the people who started Comic Con in l970 and their hand-picked organizers and helpers and there’s a distinctly early-seventies vibe to the Fest… and limited registration to keep the proceedings uncrowded and refreshingly (as we used to say) mellow. SDComicFest.org should tell you all you need to know if you’re on the lookout for some playful debauchery.
Then, the following weekend (October 11-12; Friday from 4:30pm and Saturday from 11am) is the outrageous Ocean Beach Oktoberfest down by the pier in O.B. They’ve tapped me again to be the main stage announcer and to host and sing you through the various contests. Ladies particularly should enjoy the ladies-only sausage eating contest (the gents, too, have their own) and the Ladies Sausage-Blow Competition (it involves balloons, you perv) and they’ve brought back the Miss Oktoberfest Competition. I do hope they’ll allow me to be involved with gender verification for that one as well, as I strive each year to keep the contests honest and unimpeachable. Now for some real swell news for all the ladies who read the Troubadour: Spots for these contests go quickly and many are the tears shed by those who try to sign up too late and thus lose their chance at fleeting fame and calculable riches. However, you, my little squishy-punkin, can be given special consideration if you find yourself excluded from a contest you desperately wanted to enter but for which you were a bit tardy: Just find me down behind the right side of the main stage (where I usually set up my office) and say, “Hose, I’m a Troubadourette. Please enter me. Enter me now,” and, I assure you, your command will become my pleasure.
And yours as well.