Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

Wow, 2010. I still can’t believe it’s been 10 years of the Newmanium already and we still haven’t found the monolith.

The Britt Hume-Tiger Woods thing has been bugging me all week. First, I don’t really care that Hume thinks Tiger could use some Jesus to help him get his life on track. Hume’s entitled to his opinions. It’s more the venue he chose to do this, going on air and sounding like a guy coming to your door on a Sunday morning, when the only gospel you’re ready to hear is from the Book of Hangover Cures. Could you imagine Walter Cronkite looking into the camera in 1974 and telling the nation that Dick Nixon just needed to come to Jesus to heal his sins?

However, at this point, I’ve given up expecting anyone on TV news to try and return to the era of acting like a reporter instead of an op-ed columnist or a someone you’re having coffee with. It seems like every news network either wants desk jockeys who sound like Bill O’Reilly or like they are hosting the Today show, being either the gruff uncle you hate to get cornered with at Christmas or the vapid friend who thinks everything is just swell.

No, I have two bigger fish to fry. The first is how Hume said if Tiger would leave that phony-soy-baloney Buddhism behind and become a Christian, he could make a “total recovery and be a great example to the world.” Yes, because if you’re looking for a poster boy for a faith founded by a poor, persecuted Jew, you would definitely pick a rich, pampered, deified pro golfer who can’t keep his balls out of the rough. Maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing that stresses walking the walk instead of just talking the talk, but I’ve never bought into the idea that you get double-backsies do-overs just by saying, “I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.” Fucked your wife’s sister? Stole from the company? Paid money to see Transformers 2? A simple “Help me, Jesus” will erase the slate, without even the need for those pesky Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s those crazy Papists make you say.

Now, if Tiger were to not only beg for forgiveness but also relinquish his wealth to mentor to the poor, then I’d say, “Wow, there’s an example for Christians.” But if he’s just going to come back in a few months and hold a weepy press conference about how, thanks to God’s help, he now knows he shouldn’t play Just the Tip when leaving a tip for a Perkins waitress, and then he returns to being Tiger the money-maker, how would that make him a great example to the world? He’d just be an apologizing schmuck trying to make us forget what a dog he was so that we’ll root for him again and buy the shit he shills for.

However, I’ll give Hume the benefit of the doubt and believe he really wants to see Tiger fix his fucked up life. Fine. The bigger issue is Hume’s follow up. After he got flak for his comments, he went on O’Reilly and moaned about the persecution of Christians, saying that any time someone speaks up about supporting Jesus in the public sphere, they get hammered. Could you imagine the uproar if Rachel Meadows told Tiger that Buddhism would help him overcome his problems much more than Christianity would? Or that Islam could heal his sins? Or that she knows a Wiccan who could totally cast a “Keep It In Your Pants” spell that would make sure his clubs stay in one bag? She’d be covered in bits of brain and skull from all the exploding heads of Bible-thumping wingnuts condemning her.

I don’t recall a beatitude that says, “Blessed be the whiners, for they shall inherit the Earth by wearing people down with their incessant kvetching.” Being told that preaching Christianity on a news show seems inappropriate and unprofessional is not persecution, it's a difference of opinion, and saying otherwise is an insult to people who suffer true persecution for their beliefs. Britt Hume is a rich, famous, successful newscaster. How exactly is he suffering for his faith? Because he was criticized for being preachy on a news show? I imagine St. Peter would have gladly accepted a stern scroll to the editor of The Daily Roman about Christian proselytizing instead of being nailed to a cross upside down.

Okay, enough preaching from me, time for some tunes….

1) “No Remorse,” Metallica. Speaking of formerly respected professionals who went on to get their PhDs in Cobagology. It’s hard to believe that a band who delivered this kind of metal-up-your-ass rocking would become the spokesmen for pampered rock idiocy. Despite that, I can’t quit their first four albums, and this one is in my top five. It packs a full day’s supply of riffage along with a gaggle of guitar solos before breaking out into a full thrashing sprint.

2) “Borrowed Time,” John Lennon. Another reason why Christian "persecution" is a big ruse in America: people still get hammered for bigger-than-Jesus types of comments. Kathy Griffin had her John Lennon moment when she jokingly told Jesus to suck it, whereas we don’t blink an eye when performers and athletes say that God helped them write that hit single about how they love big, God-given butts or knock the quarterback out of the game with a vegetative-state-inducing concussion.

3) “Christian’s Inferno,” Green Day. That’s the sense of humor that makes me put my musical faith in iTunes.

4) “Go It Alone,” Beck. One of those critical darlings I could never get into. I don’t dislike Beck, but I always find myself wanting more from his music: more funk, more punk, more rocking, more rapping, more something.

5) “Steady As She Goes,” Raconteurs. Not that I don’t like this, but it’s funny how Jack White forms a side project that sounds so much like The White Stripes on its first track. Really, after six months of drum lessons, couldn’t he have recorded this with Meg?

6) “After It All,” Cat Power. Whistling is really a lost art in songs, like tap dancing in dance. It’s kind of surprising to run across it and usually fun to hear.

7) “Sabotage,” Beastie Boys. Maybe the best marriage of video and song outside of “Beat It,” where I can’t imagine the song without the video. I never get tired of hearing this.

8) “One,” Aimee Mann. After being blown away by Boogie Nights, I have had increasingly diminishing returns with every Paul Thomas Anderson movie since then. There Will Be Blood was an amazing performance buried in an unlikeable, pointless movie. Punch Drunk Love seemed more like Anderson lost a dare where he had to try and make a serious movie with Adam Sandler. It’s not bad, but trying to accept Sandler as a serious actor is only slightly less difficult than trying to accept Rob Schneider as an actor. Then there’s Magnolia. Some find it a masterpiece, and I admit I was impressed with it the first time I saw it. But in repeat viewings since then, I find it all head and no heart, a series of clever scenes without the soul of a story, with actors who seem like their delivering performances instead of acting (except for Jason Robards). It just leaves me cold.

9) “I Believe,” Joe Satriani. Dreadful. I hate to write that because I like Satriani, who manages to be technically amazing without being a showy wanker (see Vai, Steve). But this was such an obvious stab at radio power ballad stardom that he should have titled it, “Please Play This Right After Extreme’s More Than Words.”

10) “I Never,” Rilo Kiley. Starts off by singing, “I’m only a woman/of flesh and bone,” which is a good disclosure, because we all know what happens when someone’s a woman of flesh and Cylon. Seriously, though, a vocal that knocks the song out of the park like Michelle Pfeiffer writhing on a piano.

11) “Pictures of You,” The Cure. Oh boy. This song came along at just the right time in my life. I was in college during year one of what would be four straight years away from The Lovely Becky. I left wanting to stay together but not really believing it would happen, because that’s what happens when you go to college. The distance, the debauchery, the depression…not a recipe for relationship success. It was a triumph just to make it to the first Christmas break with our relationship intact.

One of the things we agreed to do was date other people—something that was originally my idea. The first term, I dated someone on my floor, with full disclosure of my relationship status. During the break, I went home to TLB and didn’t call this person at all. When I got back to the dorms, I went to see here, thinking we’d just pick up where we left off. She gave me a very sarcastic “so nice to hear from you” as I my three weeks of silence had clearly demonstrated where she stood in the relationship hierarchy. She immediately have me my ticket for the bus to Just Friendsville. That pattern repeated itself for the next couple of years, to the point where, by my junior year, it was too much trouble to try and date, so I stopped. The irony is that TLB wound up dating quite a bit more than I did, as the boys didn’t seem to mind being on the second string, at least until they saw they had no chance to win the starting job. (I mean, who would dump a catch like this?)

So, for most of our long-distance relationship, I did a lot of pining for TLB. Well, no one pines like Robert Smith, and “Pictures of You” is chock full of more pining goodness than any other Cure song ever. I like hearing it now, because it gives me the pleasure of knowing we overcame the odds, that we managed to do something most people and even we didn’t think we could do. That’s a nice feeling to enjoy for seven-and-a-half minutes.

Have a good weekend, and stay warm.


fish said...

Seriously, though, a vocal that knocks the song out of the park like Michelle Pfeiffer writhing on a piano.

I can't even watch that movie, cuz it is seriously embarrassing to have to run out in the middle of a movie to take a cold shower.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

How does a fish take a cold shower?

fish said...

Glacier runoff.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Fish on ice at a seafood market.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

ZRM! How insensitive!

Substance McGravitas said...

Speaking of formerly respected professionals who went on to get their PhDs in Cobagology.

They had those degrees early on. Awful people.

Churlita said...

It's weird. I always made fun of the Cure when I was at the right age to actually appreciate them. But now, I've rediscovered them and really like them...Okay. Maybe not their most mawkish crap.

fish said...

Okay. Maybe not their most mawkish crap.

Churlita showin the love.

Von said...

Your "Pictures of You" story made me tear up a little.
You are good people.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Churlita, you gotta remember they also did the albums "Pornography" and "Disintegration"

A little mawkishness is probably necessary, at that point.

Anonymous said...

Rachel Maddow, not Meadows, but no largie.

Kevin Philips' "American Theocracy" posits that the rise of the South in American politics is due in large part to their successful backstory -- that the South was defeated by an unjust and oppressive North, and Gawd wants them to return to greatness a la Moses. They get a LOT of mileage out of whining, "Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!", when in fact these Southern fucks have been in power for thirty years and show no sign of waning (president Hopey McBlackington notwithstanding). Brit Hume and Bill O complaining about the War on Xmas is merely the latest installment of their victimology. Bastidges, I hate them so.