Send your love electronically HERE We will read it. Platonically.
The Public Blogging of Pomosexuality, Homotextuality, Homophobiaphilia, and Drear Theory (aka Career Theory) [aka Gay4Pay]. We also read the Corner and OpJournal so the right buttock will be punished as well.
All comments subject to publication. Or dismissal. Or Both.
MTV's very great Wild Boyz show is their version of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Except that in Wild Kingdom you had an old dude (Marlon?) and an old person's idea of a young dude (Barry?) wrestling the snakes and tagging the birds. Also, those two wore full safari outfits during their missions--maybe some just-above-the-knee safari shorts for the wading with crocs episodes. In addition, they hardly ever french kissed the animals, and they weren't high on jungle weed (as far as I could tell at the age of 10).
The Wild Boyz do most of their wildlife reconnoitering wearing jockstraps and all of it more or less buzzed. Bestial foreplay is a given.
The Wild Boyz are Steve-O and Chris Pontius by name. They are Jackass alumnae. Most alumnae are.
Possibly the most amazing thing about this show of near naked antics with wild beasts is that MTV bleeped the word "gay" in a couple episodes I saw, fearing that the Wild Boyz dopey use of it might offend some among its audience. The audience, that is, for a show that features mostly high and almostly naked dudes making out with giraffes and kinkajous and showing their dicks to baboons.
ROVER...MARS...ROCKS...PICTURES OF THEM...REAL CLEAR ONES...RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW...HEY LOOK AT THAT OVER THERE! SOMETHING MOVED I THINK...MORE ROCKS...THOUSANDS OF THEM...MARTIAN ONES...ALMOST LIKE YOU'RE THERE...OR ARIZONA...ROCKS...ROCKS...ROCKS...
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said it has registered more than 1 billion hits on its rover-related Web sites, as computer users around the world log on to see more of the first pictures from the surface of Mars since the Pathfinder mission in 1997. --(CBS/AP)
Perhaps it's just the bitter cold spell, outside and in my heart, but this made me chuckle:
They never fail who die
In a great cause: the block may soak their gore;
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle walls--
But still their spirit walks abroad. Byron, Marino Faliero II, 2
Yes , look on the bright side you castle-decorating, limb-lost, gore-less, sodden-head wandering souls.
I take solace in the universal map I've been working my way through
in recent weeks. Infinite time is difficult for me to get lost in, but infinite space usually does the trick.
In this mood it is also very heartening, in a salt-hearted way, to wake up to the last ten minutes of that mythic filmic catastrophe, The Bed Sitting Room (1969). It is epitomized by Leslie Halliwell thusly:
Surrealist Romance: After a nuclear war, motley survivors in the waste land turn into bed sitting rooms, cupboards and parakeets.
Arrogantly obscure fantasy, a commercial flop which kept its director
[Richard Lester] in the wilderness for four years...
The final minutes feature Peter Cook proclaiming himself the new savior of a post-blast Britain before rising into the sky suspended from a VW Beetle (I think) which is itself suspended from a hot air balloon, while Rita Tushingham and some himbo blow dandelions in the field below. They are holding a baby, the real messiah of reborn Britain I'm guessing. A bowler-hat-wearing-dog trots into frame to join them. Assorted scruffy but cheerful archetypes amble about the landscape as well.
Fans of ironic proximity will want to know that the entry immediately following The Bed Sitting Room in Halliwell's Film Guide is for Peter Cook's 1967 movie, Bedazzled.
Clive James and Gustave Flaubert chime in on tinsel:
Flaubert liked tinsel better than silver because tinsel possessed all silver's attributes plus one in addition -- pathos. For whatever reason, [Raymond] Chandler was fascinated by the cheapness of L.A. When he said that it had as much personality as a paper cup, he was saying what he liked about it. When he said that he could leave it without a pang, he was saying why he felt at home there. --Clive James, As Of This Writing
As for paper cups the last word must go to John Phillips, the wasted genius behind the Mamas and the Papas. He, like Chandler, knew a thing or two about epiphenomenal LA.
People like us,
So much in love;
People who just trust one another.
Ooh, what a dump---
Now it's a palace.
Where a Dixie cup becomes a chalice.
Hippie sacralizing at its most name-branded specific.
It's from the title song to their disastrous People Like Us LP. The record they made three years after they disbanded. Its spotty glory makes for an intriguing memento, though. Even tarnished they shine brighter than most.
There are only three bands that ever really stop me in my tracks when a song of theirs plays. The Beatles, Steely Dan and the Mamas and the Papas. And with all three it's the sound as much as the songs. They each had a sound as distinctive as the songwriting. I never tire of listening and trying to figure out how they did it. Usually I forget I'm trying to figure it out and just get swept up. Again.
The instrumentation on the Mamas and Papas' records was comical at times, but that mix of voices soared over any backdrop. It helped that they were often singing flawless songs.
You are, I hope, aware of that the sweetest movie of gay teenage romance, Beautiful Thing. It gets a good half its charm from the Cass Elliot songs (solo and with the Mamas and Papas) that power the soundtrack. The final dance in the housing project plaza at sunset is my sentimental favorite moment in movies. Or my favorite sentimental moment.
Three children's books purchased last week. Total cost 90 cents:
Oliver Button Is a Sissy by Tomie de Paola (Harcourt Brace and co. 1979)
Sample passage: Oliver Button got a nice, black, shiny pair of tap shoes.
How it ends: Oliver loses the talent show, but when he returns to school the next morning the graffiti at the school door that used to read Oliver Button Is A Sissy (props to the maintenance squad for letting it there all year long) has been changed to Oliver Button Is A Star!
Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (Houghton Mifflin reprint, originally published 1939)
Sample passage: It was Mike Milligan and Mary Anne [she's the steam shovel]...who lowered the hills and straightened the curves.
How it ends: Mary Anne is converted into the steam furnace of the new city hall and Mike is hired as the building's super.
About The People Who Run Your City by (get this) Shirlee Petkin Newman, Diane Finn Sherman and illustrated by James David Johnson (Melmont Publishers 1963)
THE SCHOOL DEPARTMENT It takes many people to run the School Department in your city.
How it ends: Oh, this is the real neverending story.