Thursday, May 28, 2009

With Apologies to Stong...

Maybe this is just my own nuttiness again, but maybe not. Do you ever feel that certain writers, actors, musicians, artists, world leaders, or other types of glitteraty are your buddies? I mean, they aren’t of course, and may well have died long before you were born. Still, you have studied or consumed enough of this person’s work that you consider he or she a buddy of yours. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Pop culture has to revolve around this - and by pop culture, I mean anything from Tutankhamun to Tina Fey. I feel, and certainly other people must feel that I/we/they/whatever pronoun floats your boat have, for lack of better term, a “personal relationship” with certain pop culture figures, despite never actually meeting them.

Though this “buddy theory” has probably occurred to me before, I got to thinking about it while walking through the National Gallery in DC, specifically in the sense of artists that are “buddies of mine” despite the lack of introduction, due in no small part to most of these artists being dead for hundreds of years. DC has a Giotto - an old buddy of mine from my Florentine days. There are a few Botticellis around too, and a pair of minor Hans Memlings, buddies as well. DC also has America’s only Leonardo, and though I’ve seen several other Leos on the Continent, he can’t be a buddy of mine.

Much like in the silly notion of indie rock cred, Leonardo can’t be my friend because he’s too popular. Same for the rest of the Italian Ninja Turtles. While I dig them all, they are simply too “mainstream.” In this sense, I mean that too many people care about these works for one to have a personal relationship with these artists. Ensor and Delvaux and Ted Rousseau are my buddies, whereas Picasso, Dali, and Van Gogh belong to the people. Even Monet I’d count in the non-buddy category, despite that fact that he played a major roll in three different relationships, inspired a short story of mine, and was a catalyst in the creation of a half-baked art movement that I invented 10 years ago. Monet is simply too radio friendly.

Obviously, this theory can run to every facet of pop culture. People dig Apatow and Arrested Development because Jason Bateman and Michael Cera can be your buddies, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise can’t. George Carlin is my buddy, Bill Cosby belongs to the masses.

You could even extend this theory to religion. I think this is a major failing of Protestantism, particularly fundamentalism. These are based on the aforementioned “personal relationship” involved with Jesus Christ. I mean, who’s more famous than Jesus? How can somebody have a personal relationship with him? This is something the Catholics got right - buddy theory easily corresponds with, say, John the Baptist or Catherine of Alexandria. The saints and the hierarchy humanize the whole thing, rather than making everyone just another anonymous Michelangelo fan.

Anyway, send some comments out way, let us know who your “buddies” are, or if you fall in the highly logical camp that I’m just full of shit.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Damn You, VH1

I haven’t written anything for this blog in forever, so I’ll fix that by hitting up the old standbys - cheap whiskey and a gimmick. Tonight’s gimmick - I’m watching VH1 count down the top 100 90s videos (starting from number 72). Go ahead, be jealous of my awesome rock-n-roll jet-set life. Sometimes, it results in watching hours and hours of marginal TV on a Saturday night - and I’m more excited to watch this than I should be.

72) “One week” Barenaked Nadies -- I’ve never been able to get over my initial rage at the false advertising implied by their name. Damn you , Canada (plus, I saw that Snow was listed somewhere earlier. Damn Canucks)

71) “Tennessee” - Arrested Development - Oh, I rocked the hell out of this in ’92. I’m also noticing that writing a blog about a snarky show might be tough. I’ll breeze through the next few-

70) “Virtual Insanity” - Jamariqi 69) “Freak on a Leash” Korn 68) “Gettin Jiggy Wit It” Will Smith 67) “Groove is in the Heart” Dee-Lite - this came out in 1990, and it was decidedly not Skid Row or Motley Crue, so I hated it. I still think the chick is weird looking to an uncomfortable degree.

66) “I’ll Be” Edwin McCain - I was way too rock to like this song when it came out - then it got intermeshed with The Creek - it’s on the pod now, of course. By the way, I still don’t consider 1998 to be that long ago, but when they show a lot of the artists, particularly of the one his wonder variety, they are shockingly fat and old and lame looking. Paula Cole could model Mom Jeans.

65) “The Humpty Dance,” Digital Underground - 1) I had no idea this was 90s, I thought it was late 80s, and 2) being that it is 90s, it’s way too low at 65. It should be top 20. Not really, if you look at ALL 90s songs, because in that case 10 of the 12 Okay Computer songs should be top 20, but looking at hit singles (as VH1 is), this song should be higher.

64) “Peaches” The Presidents of the United States of America 63) ”Mo Money Mo Problems,” Biggie (but really Puff Daddy). I fucking hate Puff Daddy. 62) “I Alone” Live - bah, go back to selling flowers at the airport 61) ”All I Wanna Do” Sheryl Crow - I always thought it sounds like she’s making it up as she went along . This song is horrible, and even Sheryl Crow admits it on this VH1 show.

60) “Poison” Bel Biv Devoe - Daniel’s right - Ronnie Devoe was an ugly motherfucker.

59) “Buddy Holly” Weezer - Full disclosure - I didn’t like it when it came out. Maybe because The GF at the time did - thus it couldn’t be cool. It’s the only thing I was wrong about.

Apparently, this show I’m watching is from 2007. Good times. So these former stars are probably even fatter and lamer now.

58)“Damn, I wish I was you Lover” Sophie B. Hawkins 57) “Can I get a..” Jay Z 56) “Momma Said Knock you Out” LL Cool J

55) “Criminal” Fiona Apple - Oh man did I like this video back in 97. True story - in the year 2000, I was listening to this CD with this girl in my apartment, and nothing happened. Then, the next disc in the changer came on - The Misfits, and we started voraciously making out. So Glen Danzig, sexier than Fiona Apple?

54) ”One of Us” Joan Osborne. I never trusted her nose ring. 53) “OPP” Naughty by Nature 52) “Fly” Sugar Ray - I still can’t listen to it. Have to change the channel for a minute. Fuck you, Mark McGrath. 51) “California Love” 2Pac (and Dre) 50) “Man in a Box” Alice in Chains - killer riff, but I hope this isn’t Alice in Chain’s only entry, cuz it’s not they’re best song.

49) “Who will Save Your Soul” Jewel. Yeah, like every kid in the 90s, I loved Jewel, (not her songs per se) fucked up teeth and all. She broke my heart and married some country dude. 48) “3 a.m.” Matchbox 20 - I hated this song so much that I still can’t listen too it. I actually change the channel again. 47) “Good Vibrations” Marky Mark
46) “Your Still the One” Shania Twain - Freshman year of college, she was the absolute apex of celebrities that my buddies and I used to try to find naked pictures of on the internet. Ah, pre-Google days, when we had no way of knowing what celebs had paparazzi nip slips, thus requiring countless wasted hours.

45) “I only want to be with you” Hootie and the Blowfish. 44) “Killing me Softly with His song” The Fugees - I loved this cover, it was one of my favorites off the record. Lauryn - so promising in 1994, so crazy now, so many kids. Hmm.

43)“Never gonna Get it” En Vogue 42) “Shine” Collective Soul 41) - “Two Princes” Spin Doctors 40) “I Wanna Sex You Up” Color Me Badd - Beavis and Butthead had the best best reaction to this - wait, a group with Snow, George Michael. Kenny G, and Vanilli - This sucks. I enjoy the “where are they now” aspect of this - all of them are fat and ugly, and the lead singer sells tires in Oklahoma. Awesome.

39) “Iris” Goo Goo Dolls - I never trusted these guys, always so quick to write movie themes, like a lesser Loggins. 38) “Genie in a Bottle” Christina Aguilera - her best song, I guess, but that isn’t saying much. It was at all the clubs in my Euro days, otherwise I’m sure I’d hate it. 37) “(Good Riddence) Time of Your Life” I can’t say anything bad. Shut up.

They keep interviewing Nelson and Hanson, as if a) people can tell the difference, and b) anybody cares what they have to say

36) “Gonna Make you Sweat” C and C Music Factory - I actually bought the CD (in 1991)- not for this but their lesser known single, “Things That Make you go Hmm..” largely because of my love of the Arsenio Hall show

35) “Wonderwall” I loathed Oasis at the time. I was incorrect. 34) “Semi-Charmed Life” Third Eye Blind. 33) - “Wannabe” Spice Girls - in the late 90s, I never changed the channel when their vids were on. 32) “No Diggity” Blackstreet - totally disposable, no business being this high

31) “Creep” Radiohead - there should be more Radiohead on this countdown. No Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Soundgarden/Foo Fighters yet - each should have several songs on this list. It’s becoming clear that each band gets one song, thus making Radiohead and Marky Mark equal artists in the eyes of VH1

30) “Tearin’ Up My Heart” - NSYNC 29) “Ice Ice Baby” 28) “Livin La Vida Loca” Ricky Martin - a lot of throwaway pop all the sudden. When I worked at Entertainment Tonight, we did a story on Ricky every single day in the summer of 99, this song was always coming from the editing booth - those editors hated Ricky with a passion

27)“Mr. Jones” Conting Crows - I still can’t believe how much ass this dreadlocked hippy fuck got. In this 2007 show, he still has the dreads. Give it up, yo.

26) “My Name is” Eminem 25) “Black Hole Sun” Soundgarden 24) “Jump Around” House of Pain 23) “What a Man” Salt N Peppa - Cree’s favorite song

22) “Loser” Beck - amongst my least favorite Beck songs, but of course this was his “icon” moment ---Wha??? Beck’s a Scientologist? What the fuck?

21) “My Heart Will Go On” Celine Dione - can’t do it, changing the channel. 20) “Mmmm Bop” Hansen - so Hansen are more important to the 90s than Soundgarden or Tupac?

19) “Sabatoge” Beastie Boys 18) “Enter Sandman” Metalica 17) “Say my Name” Destiny’s Child - Top 20? Just because Beyonce became famous in the oughts doesn’t make Destiny’s Child an important 90s band.

16) “U Can’t Touch This” MC Hammers 15) “Under the Bridge” Red Hot Chili Peppers 14) “Vision of Love” Mariah Carey 13) “Nothin but a G Thang” Dr. Dre ( and Snoop) 12) “You Oughta Know” - Alanis Morissette - huh huh, this song was about Dave Coulier. Canada rules.

11) “Jeremy” Pearl Jam - Blah, since I I know Pearl Jam won’t get another song on this countdown, and they have several better 90s songs. Plus, Pearl Jam should be higher than 11.

10) “Nothing Compares 2U” Sinead O’Connor - I loathed this song when it came out. Despised. And the video. Now - I still can’t separate how I felt about this song when I was 12 from reality. I’ll still go with - it sucks. This countdown has too much early 1990 stuff. The first half of 1990 was 6th grade for me, ie, grade school, ie, the 80s. Nothing Compares 2U came out January 8, 1990. In the top 10 by 8 days. Bah.

9) “Losing my Religion” REM 8)“Waterfalls” TLC - I didn’t like this song either. Yet, I loved the 90s. This VH1 thing is ruining the 90s for me. 7) “Baby One More Time” Britney Spears - #7?? 6) “Baby Got Back” Sir Mixalot
5) “Vogue” More 6th grade shit. These VH1 people should have consulted me. The 90s didn’t start until June of 1990, after grade school ended. That or when Point Break was released (in 1991). I was pretty into Madonna’s mesh shirt in this vid back in the day though. Boobies!

4 ) “I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston - Change the channel! This may be my least favorite song ever.

3) “I Want it That Way” Backstreet Boys - Ah, so they did beat NSYNC. C’mon, this was a decent pop song. # 3 of the 90s though? No way

2) “One” U2 - I still love this song. They made three versions of this video. I once, inadvertantly, ended up watching all three versions in a row on MTV with this girl I was crazy into that nothing ever happened with. Not good times.
Lots of suspense as to who is # 1. I’m writing it in during the commercial
1) “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana. I was right. Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child just called it her all time favorite song on the show. Sure. VH1 showed Kurt Loder announcing Cobain was dead. That’s how I found out too.

No Everlong on the list at all. Bullshit. I hate you, VH1 (at least 2007 you)
Google