Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Has anybody seen my Tambourine?

This hard-to-see image is supposedly the new Cosby book called "come on people." Does anyone find this, along the graphic, amusing? I know Lindsay does.

Can a song be imprinted on someone's brain? I've been wondering about this in some form ever since my Dad idly speculated that it may the case for me with the Fleetwood Mac song "Sara." When I was a baby, the only surefire way to get me to fall asleep was hold me and dance gently to the song Sara***. The song still has immeasurable emotional resonance to me when I hear it, so enter that evidence in as Exhibit A.

More relevant to Halloween, however, is the song "Anything can happen on Halloween." It's from a made-for-TV movie called "The Worst Witch" that I must've seen once when I was very young (I seem to remember, in fact, that I being babysat at the time.) The movie is horrible in all the right ways, and has since become sort of a cult-classic along the lines of Plan 9 from Outer Space, but it's the Tim Curry performance that makes it truly legendary^^^^. It doesn't appear on this very worthwhile wikipedia "Worst Films of all-time" list but it probably just wasn't seen by enough people. After watching this movie once when very young I have, for the last 20 years, remembered the song "Anything can happen on Halloween" and had it stuck in my head several times each year.

I never knew what it was, or where it came from (other than faint memories of watching some Halloween movie and seeing the song in it) who sang it, etc. I only remembered the titular line, "Your hair could turn green" and "your sister could turn into a bat." I'm not sure why, but I never thought to google any of those phrases, and when I finally did (about 10 days ago) I was rewarded with a nostalgic treat. I ordered "the worst witch" from Amazon that day and while I wish I could say that "Anything can happen..." takes me back to some magical time in my life (it doesn't) it is actually a fantastic piece of work. It's very campy and poorly done, but at the time it's catchy as hell. Its bizarre non-sequitur lyrics (including the title of this post and couplets like "April first can be fun, new years eve is a bore") and Curry's awesome "scary" faces make for an excellent piece of comedy, well-deserving of it's mild youtube stardom. Here it is:

I've got a whole shitload of topics I want to cover including file-sharing, "bias" as a concept, and why I'm not a vegetarian but this stuff really takes time (John, AKA "Johnny Neverposts" will tell you.) For preparation though, make sure you've purchased the Radiohead album or else you're soon to feel guilty. Also, I just read an article that suggests that "The Week" is owned by "The National Review"- this would make sense given how often they (The Week) cite that damn magazine but it made me want to talk about Bias. Mainly because I'm the only one I know who actually isn't a fan of the Week. However, I keep peeing in people's cokes (see my post on "The Wire" which made Lost fans unhappy, etc.) so I thought I'd hold off.

****And Sara, it should be noted, uses the "Fleetwood mac" beat of "Bass snare, buh-bass snare" that you can hear in most of their best songs. Dreams is probably the most obvious example, but there's also Gypsy , Hold Me, and of course Sara. Rhiannon is a special case, because the percussion is a bit more complicated but the bass is still there, doing its thing.

^^^^ My Sis, the GF and I have been on a pretty serious Tim Curry kick lately, even watching Rocky Horror Picture Show (which shocked the hell out of me, btw- one minute they're singing "Damn it Janet" and then suddenly Tim Curry is blowing Brad on camera after having nailed his fiancee.)


E-Money said...

Okay, so I buy the suggestion about The Week being owned by the National Review (NR), but being a loyal reader for years (and also recognizing that the National Review prints propaganda antithetical to everything I believe in)--I can honestly say that this "readers digest" of weekly news does usually cite some of the most ridiculous views that come from the NR. I specifically take a critical look at NR citations in the Week and always find them to be something a liberal blogger (or myself) would passively aggressively select in an effort to show objectivity. You know what I mean? So, if The Week is in fact owned by the NR as the Post article says, it might be the first time a conservative media outlet isn't using every asset to espouse its views...or maybe they unwittingly hired a non-conservative editorial staff. Egads, could it be possible that they hired a staff of journalists or other people with media experience (and maybe even scruples?!) without asking them about their party affiliation on the employment application? Regardless, I find The Week to provide both sides equal opportunity--like the FCC and political candidates--even if it is written for a 4-grade reader. Though equal access to information is hella important and powerful so I'll let that last one go. Props to them too for writing (er, compiling/summarizing) in a way that almost everyone can understand.

Matt said...

I agree with you on several points, e-money. I certainly don't have a problem with the "written for a 4th grader" issue- I actually think that's a good thing. Politics is rarely as complicated as it's made out to be, I think so a little simplification is probably for the best

I'll develop this point in the aforementioned blog post, but my main point isn't about left or right bias, especially on behalf of the individual or publication (the NYT is "liberal" the Post is "conservative", etc.) I think you're largely right about the that- The Week does a good job correcting for it.

My point will be about systemic bias, partly advertising-induced (though that's not the whole story by any means.) I like the Week, really, but I fault it for buying into the old-style conservative view that Journalists and Newspapers are the ones with the bias and (most importantly) that the spectrum of opinion that's in the (98%) mainstream newsmedia is really a good way of measuring Right Vs. left.

Corporate vs. Non, with advertising vs. without, relying on gov't sources vs. on-site investigative reporting, etc. Those are all distinctions that I find more relevant.

Anyway, I've got more thinking to do on the issue, so thanks for the input! One way you could help me be more clear in my next blog post is to point me to The Week collection (preferably online) that seems Balanced (not in your judgment- but by the week's standards.)

By the way, I realize that "liking something" does not equal necessarily "supporting everything produced by that something" so, you know, take everything with a few shakes of Morton's.

E-Money said...

I must retract some of my original post, btw, because my last biz trip allowed me the opportunity to catch up on several months' worth of the week (since I was busy with the infamous exams)--and holy crap--almost every single article in that thing cited the National Review and (Ann Coulter's house) among other off-the-deep-end sources, while only citing a (usually) one reasonable and/or fact-checking, objective (as opposed to full editorializing, unabashedly politically conservative) sources...anyway, egads. If the National Review didn't own this bitch before, it must now, and even if it doesn’t, I will not be renewing my subscription.

Furthermore, the old purportedly cynical adage about the media functioning to "tell us what to think about" and setting our intrapersonal framework for comprehending what we read and see certainly holds true with The Week! I was appalled by the blatant attempts of The Week’s editorial staff to set the context for how I would interpret each story in issue after issue after issue as I sat on my flight. They especially went over the line when they “reviewed” Naomi Klein's latest book (Shock Doctrine) by citing an editorial that called the book "paranoid" but offered no other perspective!!

I get your points about bias, by the way, and the mainstream media today certainly functions to further the interests of corporations (who, ahem, own the Media, thank you very much Rupert Murdoch et. al) while taking the focus off deeply important issues and stories that must be told to protect the concept of democracy—the telling of such stories being the core reason for which our first amendment was established in the first place.