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Friday, May 02, 2008

Unglamorately Phonin' It In while Living the Life You've Imagined



Now, the thing is as follows:
1)Was 'Doc' Bruce Banner "belted" or "pelted" by gamma rays? Certainly it wasn't "melted", albeit that's exactly what it sounds like.
2)Not only is the introduction of the Baby Snooks/Betty Boop-esque singer wildly inappropriate, but what the hell kind of neologism is 'un-glam-o-rate'? Hulk blinks, poignantly, at you after he is so described.
3)And, the Hulk was big, but I don't think he was so big as to just step on a bunch of tanks with a resounding 'skroonk'.
4) Baby Snooks again: "Ain't no monster clown who is as lovable". I dunno, but I'm pretty certain that lovability wasn't one of Hulk's major attributes. I'm pretty certain that the main deal was his overwhelming heartbreak at being unable to control himself, often smashing ("like the bull") things he didn't mean to smash. Furthermore, Hulk hate being called 'clown'.
5) This clip cuts off the very ending. After that "everlovin' Hulk" ("everlovin'" is used throughout the show as interchangeable with "motherfuckin'"), it's supposed to coda with "Hulk. Hulk." This is too bad.

Again, that's obviously from the old Hulk show, which decided to cut costs by not actually animating anything, but instead taking still shots and just kind of moving them in front of the camera. This led to many hilarious moments, as did the boy sidekick of the story, 'Rick'. On more than one occasion, boy sidekick would get himself in a pickle, and Hulk would have to get him out of it, of course, with the tired-sounding voice over giving us a rheumy "Rhhhiiickk...I'm com-ing..."

Oh dear. Here's some more (what the hell is that thing in the desert?):



"I must get to that boy!", and "A finger presses the fatal button!" Or, "Me, Rick Jones! You're the first one that ever cared about me...Rick Jones!" and "Hey! You've changed!".
And of course, "Stop, clumsy one! And die!"
I haven't felt this weird about a cartoon since 'Top Cat'.


(Actually, I went and found all of those episodes, and was planning on a long, in-depth dissertation about '60's-era Hulk, but thought better of it. Surely I can return to a subject this large at some later date.)

I watched Alan Jackson phonin' it in, last night. I was watching from stage left, monitor world, when he decides that his encore needed to be the commercial for Ford's truck division he did some years ago. In this case, he changed it back to 'Mercury', which still makes it a very boring song. It is reminiscent of Steve Miller's "Mercury Blues", which is already a painfully boring song.
He began the song, then kind of decided to let the band take this one (including a weirdly timed drum solo) while he wandered, in a desultory way, around the stage, signing his name on glossy photos thrust up at him from the audience. He also received many gift bags of the sort that look like they would include fancy soaps and fragrances.

The road crew of most touring shows is about half good ol' boys and half Brits (or Aussies). This one was all good ol' boys, and there were very few of them. I was talking to the sound board guy, and noted, "I'm a little surprised how little shit you guys travel around with," noting their spare five semis versus the fourteen or so that would accompany, say, Rascal Flatts.
"It's hard enough just gettin' the boss outta the house these days." he responded. He looked, as all of them did, bored as hell to be there.

Even the crew shirt that people like me end up with at the end of each of these shows was phonin' it in. It was a maroon number that read "Havin' a GOOD TIME with Alan Jackson" on the back.
Really? That's it? I'm havin' a corn chip with Mr. Jackson (if you're nasty) is more like it. I'm sighing in a disheartening, disappointing way, and so is he.
(Incidentally, there is a brand of corn chips called 'Have'A Corn Chips' that Bee likes. It has led to acres and acres of entertainment around the house, as we are now applying 'have a' to anything plural.)

Twenty years ago, the type of act that would sell out a place like the Rose Garden would be Blue Oyster Cult, or something. These days, it's Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, etc. Say what you will about B.O.C. (and Jethro Tull, whatever you wish to put in there), but at least they were sort of encouraging their audience to think about things. Even "Godzilla" kinda has an environmental message, of sorts.
These people though? They're like watching your really boring next door neighbor jam out in their basement, stripping all the work and passion of real country blues right out of it, devaluing the entire process utterly.
Then they'll make you weepy about The Flag, or some shit.

Reading: The Outline of History, by H.G. Wells. Yup, when he wasn't writing things like War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man, he was busy with projects like this one, which purports to drag your ass through the history of humanity in a way that is both concise and informative.
The effect is heady. I actually only have Volume Two (or, half of 'The Complete Story of Man'), which begins with the rise of Islam. And even though he pretty much deals with it in the course of a pretty short chapter, he covers several hundred years in a complete and descriptive way, all in a dryly hilarious British tone of authorial voice.

I love it. I also left my copy of it in an eye doctor's waiting room in Puyallup last week. I took a day or so to go up there because my mom had both eyes worked on, and thus would not have been able to see enough to drive, for example.
Now, after nearly being blind for most of her life, she can see without glasses. And all they had to do was IMPLANT SOME GODLESS PIECE OF SPACE METAL IN HER EYE! OH GOD!
No: They really are doing amazing things with plastics these days.

And I would get that back from her on Mother's Day, except I'll be skipping out of that one due to work. Mom was supposed to meet Bee's folks, but an opportunity to work came up, and I'm diving on it.
I'll be spending three or four days in Kennewick, Washington: the heart of the Tri-Cities, and one of the few places I've seen that has their own inspirational poster:

Inspirational poster with oddly unspecific affirmation, that is.
Despite the stark, high plains desolation/beauty of the accompanying photo, the Tri-Cities is another one of those surprise urban areas that eastern Washington specializes in. Like Spokane, where it's all- nothing nothing nothing !!!!CITY!!!! nothing nothing nothing...
I haven't been there since the early '80's. It was the closest thing we had to The Big City, out where I grew up. As I will have Tuesday to myself, I'll probably pop over to Pendleton and see th' She Bear.

...Who is graduating from high school at the end of this month, and the week after that, will be travelling in some sort of trans-state caravan with nineteen-or-so other teenagers to attend the Shakespeare hoo-hah down in Ashland. Will Bee and I be playing chaperones? Yes, yes we will.
I haven't been in Ashland since I stopped living there, and haven't been to the Shakespearean Festival since I was a mere stripling. This should be good/weird.

Anything else? Well, we went to Chicago, but that's so totally another post.

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4 Comments:

Blogger George Popham said...

I once had a very strange experience with Spokane during an all night bus trip that you have reflected very well in your account of Kennewick. T swears that she has seen Kennewick's inspirational poster at some point and wondered about it.

Ya' know we are coming to town in about 5 weeks. I'm finishing up a pretty strenuous bit of work and can't wait to get out of town.

Ever been to opal creek?
Sorry this is turning into more of an email than a comment, but still what's up with Chicago?


Be in touch more soon.

6:24 PM  
Blogger disco boy said...

what a strange, strange world we live in where rich is now, even for a moment, a chaperone.

most days, i still need a chaperone. or a wet nurse. or one of those big saint bernards with whiskey in it's collar-barrel.

make sure they keep their hands above the belt line!

3:15 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

You kids are a couple of cut ups.

Yeah, no one is more surprised than me at this one, although it really sounds like a whole lotta SoOr. vacay and not a lot of chaperoning. As the She Bear herself put it the other day; "The kids who actually need their parents to be there will have them along."

6:20 PM  
Blogger George Popham said...

I've done a bit of chaperonin' in the last couple of years, and indeed it feels odd. But, i've found that most often rather than policing safety hazards or rushing students to the emergency room with alcohol poisoning I have to gently encourage a bit more debauchery. "Hey, gang, were still mikes away from the palace of wisdom, in fact, we're still a mile away from the road of excess turn off."

I have yet to talk any of them down from a bad trip. They've heard of mushrooms but acid is a mythical compound believed to no longer exist, kind of like soma...

I worry.

9:48 AM  

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