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November 12th, 2006

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03:05 pm - pits and bieces
000. It appears that a certain Scarlett Johansson will be releasing an album of Tom Waits covers next year.

Frankly I am shocked, nay, shocked and appalled that such a concept could have come about, much less begun its rocky road to fruition, given the butchering Miss Johansson gave "Brass In Pocket" during the karaoke scene in Lost In Translation. However, I am pretty certain I could put my support, either emotionally or financially, behind this product if Miss Johansson gets to sing any or all of the following phrases:
  1. I'm getting harder than Chinese algebra
  2. It's colder than a well-digger's ass
  3. I'm so horny, the crack of dawn better watch out
There you go, the offer's on the table. The ball's in your court, cookie Scarlett.

001. I enjoyed watching The Wizard of Oz last night on TBS, but there were way too many commercial breaks and it was hard to keep pausing and unpausing Dark Side of the Moon.

010. Watched Xanadu with Clementine over the weekend. We both came to the realization that the film really is the Moulin Rouge! of the 80s. Struggling young artist, magical woman who acts as his muse, extravagantly random musical numbers from out of freakin' nowhere, yeah. All it needed was Jim Broadbent and a jealous suitor, and even then we don't need the Jealous Suitor subplot when we're faced with the heartbreaking prospect of Olivia Newton-John stuck living in Muse Land while Swan from The Warriors is left, all alone, to run his brand-new roller disco with Gene Kelly.

Afterwards I realized I'd probably have to give the "Moulin Rouge! of the 70s" award to Can't Stop The Music.

011. Big book day in Harvard Square yesterday! Found a collection of R. Crumb placemat drawings. They're excellent sketches, dating from around 1992 to 2002. Once he moves to France, there's more gallic profiles than anything else (my favorite so far was the drawing of two twins, one labelled "Dominant" and the other "Recessive.") Crumb's gleeful introduction in the book runs along the lines of "I used to just draw these for no reason. But not anymore! Now, I'm getting paid to draw these while I wait for my food! Some of these doodles recently sold for thousands of dollars! In fact, the gallery told me the foodstains on the doodles actually enhanced the value! And to think, I used to just leave these around or give them to someone! Those days are over! Whoopee!" And, of course, it's not a Crumb collection without a brief thick-thighed character sketch of a girl he had a crush on in high school, and this book is no exception. ("Her ass was a force of nature!")

I also found, at the "EVERY BOOK $2.00" table outside Tosci's, the paperback novelization of V. (Actually, Clem found it first, but her eyes didn't light up as much as mine did, apparently, cos I ended up with it.) Now this isn't V for Vendetta, no, V the quintessential 1980s mini-series, starring ... uh, starring some people, I guess. I think the person who went on to do the most afterwards was Robert Englund, who was already making a name for himself in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Remember, kids, you can tell who the bad guys in V are because they're constantly going around eating mice.

Actually, the mice-eating thing is something that sticks out in my head as a seminal moment of childhood and the decay of one's willing suspension of disbelief. Every episode of V had at least one gross-out scene involving one of the evil aliens picking up a live mouse by its tail, letting it dangle and squirm for a while, and then --gulp!-- right down the gullet.

I was only 8, a real TV junkie already, and I knew the people couldn't really be eating mice (could they?) and then, all of a sudden, I realized how they did it. One shot of Bad Alien dangling the mouse around, cut to somebody else's reaction shot, cut back to Bad Alien with mouse tail dangling from its mouth. Sure, it's the oldest trick in the book, but when you're 8 years old and have figured it out yourself, you certainly feel damn smart for a bit. Suddenly TV isn't so magical anymore. Suddenly you get the desire to look behind it all, question everything, see all the smoke and mirrors... so you can do it yourself.

Anyway, I got a couple of pages into the novel last night before bed and boy howdy there's a lot of S-bombs bein dropped left and right. That's the sign of a good novel, folks.

(13 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 12th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
/me scratches head.

Wasn't Mrs. Peacock played by Eileen Brennan?
[User Picture]
Date:November 12th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
Oh. Hey.
Let's check IMDB.


And let's forget I ever said that.
[User Picture]
Date:November 12th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
V was an awful lot of fun. :) I even have the two miniseries on DVD..I would have the series set too if the show wasn't so A. Mediocre and B. Overpriced.
[User Picture]
Date:November 12th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
I heard that on Coverville--unfortunately, the attached sound file was...um...this piece of ear-bleedy goodness.
[User Picture]
Date:November 12th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
I am actively coveting that novelization. Some of my favorite early TV memories involve

a) mouse eating
b) row of people stored for eating at later dates
c) pregnant woman eating raw meat (see also: Rosemary's Baby)
d) tiny little lizard baby in incubator.

I miss that show. I'll eventually break down and buy the bloody thing, 'cause I'm just that cheesy.
Date:November 13th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)
Hey, I have the V book. Totally awesome, but I also lvoed that miniseries. Although the mid-90s(?) movie was terrible.
Date:November 13th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
One of these days, derspatchel will use my real name and I will be surprised and delighted. ;)
[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
V always struck me as a show where the writers periodically forgot about the premise while writing the episodes. Either that, or they were people who really wanted to write a nighttime soap opera or cop show and willfully ignored any details of the premise that might interfere with that. Such as: why are these women constantly bickering over which one is the prettiest if they are both Nazi space lizards wearing rubber masks? Why do aliens with city-sized invasion saucers hatch evil plots that mostly involve two guys driving around in a white van, or menacing a few people with a burrowing land shark? And so forth.

This is where I put in a Thomas Pynchon joke.
[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
1) My mother didn't let me watch V.

2) But I remember at least one mouse scene.

3) which I read later involved chocolate mice somehow, and the female actors being upset about the calories.

4) and much later when it was being rebroadcast, I was visiting my aunt's family and she was all "hey! V!" and I had to point out to her that *I* had been too young to watch it (her kids are all younger than me.)
[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2006 05:04 am (UTC)
V was the scariest thing I'd ever seen at the time. And then I think Sci Fi or some such channel reran the mini series a year or two ago and I watched it and was horified by how lame it was. It is so much better in my memory than it was for real.
[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)
"V" made me extremely nervous. For whatever reason the city-sized spaceships hovering over LA gave me heebie-jeebies (which made me yell "ripoff!" when I saw Independance Day for the first time).

I credit Xanadu with ruining ELO's career, although to be honest I should probably just blame Jeff Lynne for hitching his wagon to Olivia Newton-John. I remember really wanting to see it as a kid. Now I'm glad that I couldn't find anyone to take me.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
I hear recreational chemicals are supposed to help the experience, but I took the most joy this time around watching Gene Kelly, because the fellow was an inveterate showman and always managed to convey two things in every dancing role he played: 1) what he was doing was easy, even for an aw-shucks regular fella like him, and 2) he was really enjoying what he was doing.

1 was never even remotely true, but I'd like to think that 2 always was. That he always liked his dancing gigs, even if it involved roller skates and horrible fashions.
[User Picture]
Date:November 13th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
V also gave us Michael Ironside and Marc Singer.

The thing that sticks out most in my mind is the moment in the miniseries where the guy gets his arm stuck in frozen nitrogen and then it shatters on a guard rail.

I suspect that's not how things would really work but that and baby Elizardbeth are the two things I remember most about that series.

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