It’s one more random than 10!
I was at the gym earlier this week, doing my gerbil-on-a-wheel imitation, pumping my legs in the fruitless quest for The Cheese of Eternal Youth. I looked up at the bank of TV monitors for some type of sports to both motivate me and distract me from 30 minutes of repetition, when I saw Kelsey Grammer’s tits.
One of the TVs was showing Grammer’s new sitcom Hank, about an executive who loses his money and has to live among the common proles. He was lying in bed with his wife, seemingly after some lower-middle-class boning, and the sheets were down low enough that there was double-barreled man-nipple action on TV.
Here’s what’s completely fucked up about American television standards: It’s perfectly acceptable for Kelsey Grammer to flash his hi-beams during network prime time, but his wife—the rather fetching Melinda McGraw—spent the scene with the covers up to her bare shoulders. Why? Because the Puritans fucking ruined this country and set the precedent that you can’t see female nipples outside of marriage, premium cable, or an unmonitored Internet connection.
I’ve seen every Seinfeld episode, and on multiple occasions I have been subjected to the shirtlessness of Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, and Jerry Seinfeld. What have I gotten from Julia Louise-Dreyfuss? A popped blouse button and a wet shirt. I’ve seen Chris Fareley’s bare chest while Amy Poehler remained covered up. Jon Hamm’s chest hair practically has its own subplot on Mad Men, but Christina Hendricks bosoms remain trapped behind an Iron Underwire Curtain.
The examples go on and on. While there are certainly plenty of attractive male chests being flashed on TV—hey, even I’ve felt a little seduced by Don Draper at times—the point is that flabby man-boobs can be trotted out like a marching band at halftime, while perfectly good breasts have be hidden under brassieres, bikinis, blankets, or blurred circles.
In the case of this episode of Hank, we also missed a valuable lesson for American’s youth. Melinda McGraw is not only attractive, but age-appropriate, and lowering the sheet to Kelsey Grammer levels would have been a teachable moment in showing the natural beauty of “older” women. Won’t someone think of the children?
But worst of all, seeing this at the gym threw me off completely. When I work out, I visualize: this is me, sweating out the bad, pumping up the good, lifting up the sag and pulling in the drag. Seeing a droopy bit of male breast when I’m ellipticalling my way to a better me is like working out while looking in the bathroom mirror in the morning. I know what I look like with my shirt off, thank you very much. I sure as hell don’t need to be reminded of it when I’m exercising, and all that does is make me want to get off that machine and scrub my eyes as quickly as possible. But put an attractive pair of breasts on that TV screen, and I could probably reach down deep and find the energy to exercise for another 10 minutes.
Let’s play some tunes….
1) “Changes,” David Bowie. I am getting some gray hair and frankly being a bit of a baby about it, and then being a bit of a baby about being a bit of a baby about it. On the one hand, part of me things a little coloring would be okay—nothing crazy, just my natural color. On the other, part of me thinks that’s totally ridiculous, that I’m being a vain idiot and that I should be happy that I still have a very full head of hair (that part sounds quite a bit like TLB’s voice). Which is why David Bowie is brilliant. He’s been dyeing his hair since he was 18 months old, so he has the built-in excuse that it’s a tradition for him, that he likes it for the variety or something. I wish I had figured that out when I was 22.
2) “What Do You Want Me to Say,” The Dismemberment Plan. Never lived up to the awesomeness of that band name, although I dig this song.
3) “Heretic Pride,” Mountain Goats. The-feel-good-dragged-to-your-execution-for-religious-reasons song of the decade.
4) “Elephant Stone,” The Stone Roses. About as good as music gets for me. Some songs are sunny, but this one is the sun, giving off heat and warmth and just lighting me up, even on a dreary October day after I’ve come face to face with my own gradual pectoral demise.
5) “The Wagon,” Dinosaur Jr. At their revved-up best. I love how the bridge turns it up a notch, high-fiving my ears before Mascis rips into one of his patented controlled-chaos solos.
6) “Iron Man (Live),” Black Sabbath. The drums that kick off this live version give off some serious Spinal Tap vibes, so much so that I almost expected to hear David St. Hubbins instead of Ronnie James Dio. While I loves me some Dio, he can’t do this one justice. This song is 100% Ozzy. After all, he’s the Prince of F---in’ Darkness!
Doesn’t old-school metal Satanism seem so quaint these days? I remember how much of an uproar there was over this stuff, and now you get Jack Black starring in a videogame that makes Hell look as cool as a heavy metal album cover. So it was like a trip down memory lane when people actually flipped over Black leading an audience in a Satanic “prayer” at the Video Music Awards. If you ever wonder, “Gee, how did such atrocious Rapture porn like the Left Behind series sell 66.6 million copies,” here’s your chance to meet the readers.
7) “I,” Bad Brains. Like it just leaps out of the speakers and pulls me into the pit.
8) “Plush,” Stone Temple Pilots. Here’s something I don’t think you ever hear: “Man, am I glad I started doing heroin!” I get the allure of drugs, sure, but you have to wonder what the hell possesses people to try something like this. I know what gets them to keep doing it (Addiction? You’re soaking in it!). But what pushes them to say, “I keep hearing all these remarkable things about heroin. I’ve just got to see what all the fuss is about.” It’s the drug equivalent of investigating a house with blood coming out of the walls—you know it’s not going to end well, so why not just move into that nice little bungalow at the corner of Booze Ave. and Hemp Ct.”
Also, with regard to the video: just because you're heroin skinny doesn't mean you should take your shirt off.
9) “Powderfinger (Live),” Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Like a great pair of worn jeans: goes with everything, fits perfectly, and the little frays and rips just make them that much cooler.
10) “Love Is the Seventh Wave,” Sting. I’m not a world music guy. No offense to the rest of the world, and unlike the previous administration, I have no intention of trying to convert world music fans into my music fans or bombing them with rock. It’s just not me, much in the same way jazz and classical are not me, and if I tried to make them into me, I’d look like a poseur. So, jolly good show, Sting, but I’m more of a “Next to You” man.
11) “My Morning Song,” The Black Crowes. There’s a balls-out quality to this song that pumps me up every time I hear it. It sprints out of the gate, gets my heart going, then slows it down to a crawl before building everything back up and rocking me even harder than before. The only thing missing is for a hand to come out of the speakers and light the cigarette afterward.
Look at that, a bunch of songs people might have actually heard! Have a good weekend, and may any breasts you see be pleasant.