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Versions of the following paragraph appeared in most of the Johnny Ramone obits I read this past week (and I read many):
The Ramones had performed a concert on Saturday in Los Angeles celebrating the band's 30th anniversary. Ramone, whose birth name was John Cummings, was too sick to attend, but spoke to fans by phone.
Since all of these same obits recounted the deaths of Joey and DeeDee, what did this Ramones' performance consist of? Dueling drum solos from Tommy and Marky?
My favorite Ramones memory was from a week after the first album came out. I was walking down 4th street and saw a Puerto Rican family standing in front of the window of a record store laughing and pointing at the album cover on display there. They were giving the band's name the three syllable Spanish pronunciation, Ra-MON-es, which was obviously their own last name. I hope they bought the record.
Onto the greatest songs/record list, The Beach Boys' God Only Knows. Two short verses (that weigh a dry ton each) and a one line chorus over a melody that is a force of nature, repeat until the rapture materializes. I looped it for two hours last night, but today dawned as usual, so you have to do it for longer than that.
Since we already are in Mr Wilson's sandbox, might as well add Until I Die to the list (there are others by Brian, and by the other brothers, too, just give me time). I didn't promise these picks would be surprising, remember.
Update: I should have noted that among its other wonders, God Only Knows is a miracle of self-rhyming. Two self-rhyming couplets in the first verse and a quatrain of self-rhymes in the second. Has anyone ever done this as well? Has anyone ever done it at all?
I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it
If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me
The daily chuckle. From Alternet, which is always good for one:
Over the last few years Arundhati Roy has become a powerful and important global citizen writing and speaking out against the excesses of corporate globalization, privatization of essential resources, and United States imperialism...Roy has described herself as "a black woman from India speaking about America to an American audience."
There are few satisfactions greater than recognizing that a movie is awful within one split second of laying eyes on it. So in this special sense, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994) is a deeply rewarding film.
Did this movie end Jennifer Jason Leigh's career? If not, why not?
The cast list is certainly funnier than anything in the 7560 total seconds of the movie. Except maybe the cinematography of that modern master, Jan Kiesser. Seldom has the look and feel of a bygone time and place been conveyed so thoroughly, you'll swear you're right there. Which is to say somewhere they make movies, probably Canada, in 1993.
This is an Alan Rudolph film. You know him, Robert Altman's 100 year old protégé. Altman produced the movie, too. Does anyone have their fingerprints on more shitty movies (mostly his own) than the Alt.Man?
Japan on Tuesday hanged a man convicted of stabbing to death eight elementary school children in a rampage that shocked the nation and severely shook its sense of security, media said.
Mamoru Takuma, 40, was executed less than a year after his death sentence was finalized for the 2001 attack at a school in western Japan.
...The Justice Ministry announced the hangings of two men but in keeping with its usual practice did not name them.
...Under Japan's capital punishment system, inmates and their relatives are not told of the impending execution until the day it takes place, which human rights groups say is inhumane.
"Nothing about the executions is ever made clear," said Yuji Ogawara, a lawyer who belongs to a group urging a moratorium on executions
...Japan carries out several executions a year, usually when parliament is not in session or in December, when the nation is winding down for the New Year holidays.
It is rare for an execution to be carried out within four years after the death sentence is passed, and human rights activists slammed the speed with which Takuma was hanged.
Amnesty International said in a statement: "This was far too impetuous."
Oh my. They really unloaded with both barrels, did they not? This must be the new A.I. tactic, don't mess with us or we'll go all Oxbridge on your ass. Two can dance that minuet. I can be piss elegant if I want to. Or when the upholstery demands it. Like this:
One wonders if Amnesty International issued a statement upon first receipt of the ghastly tidings of Mr. Takuma's inexcusable errancy, "This was quite simply de trop."