Tuesday, June 28, 2005
And that Kansas serial killer, too...
Credit: all me
And to think that they were both under our noses all this time, riding Kingda Ka and asking for our favorite curse words. Be alert people.
Paula Abdul has, in essence, got off scot free for sleeping with that American Idol kid. Beyond a few carefully-worded denials and attempts to make light of the situation, she (or her handlers) figured out that it would all blow over. And sure enough, it did, by relentlessly sticking to talking points ("He's only doing this to promote his album!") and dishing up red herrings ("He picked out his own clothes!")
Replace "Paula Abdul" with "President Bush" and "sleeping with that American Idol kid" with "recklessly invading Iraq," and it's no wonder where her rebuttal strategy came from. From talking point discipline to red herring buffets, Dubya preceded Paula move for move, with a verbal prowess that would shame MC Skat Kat.
And yet despite so many unanswered questions, the world has moved on, even for the main players in this analogy. Just look at today's headlines:
- Former 'Idol' Contestant Clark Busted In Alleged Food Fight
- Abdul urges tough nail salon standards
- Bush cites 9/11 in plea for Iraq support (he's making a new argument, right??)
Monday, June 20, 2005
- Reading The Wishbones - All about getting married and growing older and not being certain about you really want. It's also set in Jersey, and the lead's main job is playing in a wedding band. What's not to like? Perotta also wrote Election, but this is his Stairway to Heaven.
- Listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Body Workout. A 1983 gem that overlayed 80's pop hits with his accented motivational spiel. The people of California are well served.
- Dancing. Yeah!
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Listening to this mix takes me all the way from my awkward phase in 6th grade to, umm, my awkward phase in college, with pauses in between at beach dances, YMCA swim meets, high school plays, dirty frat parties, long drives, and a lot of hours under the tutelage of MTV. These are my misty watercolored memories of the way we were. Can't touch this.
|U Can't Touch This||MC Hammer||1990|
|Ice Ice Baby||Vanilla Ice||1990|
|Gonna Make You Sweat|
(Everybody Dance Now)
|C+C Music Factory||1990|
|The Humpty Dance||Digital Underground||1990|
|More Than Words||Extreme||1990|
|Freedom 90||George Michael||1990|
|Mama Said Knock You Out||LL Cool J||1990|
|Let's Talk About Sex||Salt-N-Pepa||1990|
|Istanbul (Not Constantinople)||They Might Be Giants||1990|
|I Wanna Sex You Up||Color Me Badd||1991|
|Don't Cry||Guns N' Roses||1991|
|Now That We Found Love||Heavy D & the Boyz||1991|
|Good Vibrations||Marky Mark||1991|
|To Be With You||Mr. Big||1991|
|O.P.P.||Naughty By Nature||1991|
|Smells Like Teen Spirit||Nirvana||1991|
|Losing My Religion||R.E.M.||1991|
|Tom's Diner||Suzanne Vega||1991|
|Right Now||Van Halen||1991|
|What's Up?||4 Non Blondes||1992|
|Mr. Wendal||Arrested Development||1992|
|No Rain||Blind Melon||1992|
|Nuthin' but a "G" Thang||Dr. Dre||1992|
|Hey Jealousy||Gin Blossoms||1992|
|Jump Around||House of Pain||1992|
|I Got a Man||Positive K||1992|
|Life Is a Highway||Tom Cochrane||1992|
|End of the Road||Boyz II Men||1993|
|Insane in the Brain||Cypress Hill||1993|
|Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)||Digable Planets||1993|
|Ordinary World||Duran Duran||1993|
|What Is Love?||Haddaway||1993|
|Into Your Arms||The Lemonheads||1993|
|Show Me Love||Robin S.||1993|
|Today||The Smashing Pumpkins||1993|
|Gin and Juice||Snoop Dogg||1993|
|Whoomp! (There It Is)||Tag Team||1993|
|Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)||Us3||1993|
|Sure Shot||Beastie Boys||1994|
|A Girl Like You||Edwyn Collins||1994|
|Lucas With the Lid Off||Lucas||1994|
|Come Out and Play||The Offspring||1994|
|I'll Stand by You||The Pretenders||1994|
|You Oughta Know||Alanis Morissette||1995|
|Breakfast At Tiffany's||Deep Blue Something||1995|
|You Were Meant for Me||Jewel||1995|
|One of Us||Joan Osborne||1995|
|Stay (I Missed You)||Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories||1995|
|Doin' It||LL Cool J||1995|
|One Sweet Day||Boyz II Men & Mariah Carey||1995|
|This Is How We Do It||Montell Jordan||1995|
|Lump||The Presidents of the United States of America||1995|
|Cotton Eye Joe||Rednex||1995|
|California Love||Tupac & Dr. Dre||1995|
|Crash Into Me||Dave Matthews Band||1996|
|Da' Dip||Freak Nasty||1996|
|Killing Me Softly With His Song||The Fugees||1996|
|Hell||Squirrel Nut Zippers||1996|
|One Headlight||The Wallflowers||1996|
|Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?||Paula Cole||1996|
|Flagpole Sitta||Harvey Danger||1997|
|Feel So Good||Mase||1997|
|The Impression That I Get||Mighty Mighty Bosstones||1997|
|Mo Money Mo Problems||Puff Daddy||1997|
|Bittersweet Symphony||The Verve||1997|
|Gettin' Jiggy Wit It||Will Smith||1997|
|Gone till November||Wyclef Jean||1997|
|Take Me There||Blackstreet, Mya, Mase, Blinky||1998|
|Fire It Up||Busta Rhymes||1998|
|Crush||Dave Matthews Band||1998|
|Save Tonight||Eagle-Eye Cherry||1998|
|Praise You||Fatboy Slim||1998|
|Ray of Light||Madonna||1998|
|Angel of Mine||Monica||1998|
|You Get What You Give||The New Radicals||1998|
|Can't Get Enough of You Baby||Smash Mouth||1998|
|...Baby One More Time||Britney Spears||1999|
|Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)||Citizen King||1999|
|Blue (Da Ba Dee)||Eiffel 65||1999|
|Steal My Sunshine||LEN||1999|
|My Own Worst Enemy||Lit||1999|
|I Try||Macy Gray||1999|
|Scar Tissue||Red Hot Chili Peppers||1999|
|Livin' la Vida Loca||Ricky Martin||1999|
Sunday, June 05, 2005
It used to take 20 years for a decade to be appreciated. The 1970’s weren’t fully appreciated until earlier this decade, when bell bottoms and John Travolta emerged from a rightfully-imposed exile. But the American attention span has gotten shorter, and we are now nostalgic for the history we can remember.
In recent years, the 1980’s have enjoyed a resurgence. On campus, WTSR is stuck in the 80’s every Monday night and The Signal frequently features a 80’s-themed crossword or column. There’s even a website (www.80s.com) devoted to all things from the decade of Pac-Man, Ferris Bueller, and Wang Chung (Does anyone know why, or how, we should Wang Chung tonight?).
Assuming this cycle remains constant, we will find ourselves five years into the new millennium longing for relics from the decade past, and this creates an important question: What will be the cultural legacy of the 1990’s?
Most would like to think that our cultural contribution consist of such respectable fare as Seinfeld and Pulp Fiction, but Billboard charts will tell future generations that we admired the Beverly Hills of 90210 from afar, and jumped-jumped ‘cuz the Daddy Mac made us. For every Braveheart, there has been a Dick Tracy; for every ER, a Herman’s Head. The durability of CDs and VHS ensure us that what is too painful to remember, we cannot choose to forget. So to ease our future shame, let’s relive the forgotten moments and minor celebrities of the decade so far.
The music that has entertained
for the last seven years induces the most cringing. Even though few would admit to MMMBopping with Hanson or zigazigha-ing with the Spice Girls, their recent success cannot be ignored. Similarly, the most popular group in 1990 was the New Kids on the Block. They had the right stuff, at least in the eyes of several million pre-pubescent girls. More inexplicable was the rise of Vanilla Ice, who further shamed the institution of white-boy rap, yet entertained thousands with his Ice, Ice Baby. Millions more pleaded “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em”, as they snatched up the compact discs and parachute pants of MC Hammer. No weatherman could have predicted the outbreak of Snow, who warned us of the Informer that had the mythical power to licky boom boom down. America
Those turned off by hip hop took solace in Wilson Phillips, but the group couldn’t “Hold On” for one more album. Similarly, Right Said Fred apparently isn’t “Too Sexy” for obscurity. Also missing in action is Billy Ray Cyrus, who is doubly dishonorable for having brought both country music and line dancing into the mainstream with his “Achy, Breaky Heart.”
The alternative to all of this, so-called alternative music, also produced its fair share of one-hit wonders. Discarded Spin Doctors and 4 Non-Blondes CDs clog the clearance bins at Tower Records. These musicians are the forgotten victims of the recession and remind current chart toppers that success fades faster than an hand print on a Hypercolor t-shirt. Mr. “Butterfly Kisses,” invest your royalties wisely.
This glut of forgotten celebrities can perhaps be linked to the divorce between success and talent. This is most evident in the movies and TV programs of the 90’s. Even Clarissa can’t explain why there were once two prime-time shows featuring Bob Saget.
wasn’t just an MTV VJ, but also an Encino Man and a Son-In-Law. Kevin Nealon was rewarded for flubbing jokes on Saturday Night Live with not one, but two sitcoms. Pauly Shore
Those who actually posses a modicum of talent foolishly try to expand and conquer. Witness Shaquille O’Neil as “Shaq-Fu” and “Kazaamm,” or the Bo Jackson Saturday morning cartoon show. A good lesson to take from the 90’s is that you should stick to what you know. In the case of
, all Bo knows now is physical therapy. Jackson
But the 90’s have been cyclical within themselves, where washed-up stars can reinvent themselves in new guises. The artists formerly known as Marky Mark and Fresh Prince have become respectable actors. A new show starring Dan Cortese is deemed “Must-See TV.” And Bayside alum Jessie Spano has lapdanced her way back into our hearts. Perhaps snap bracelets and Skidz shorts will return to the fashion runways. Maybe Macaulay Culkin will team up with Kid N’ Play for a Home Alone House Party.
The comebacks of these and other forgotten celebrities are inevitable. Pop culture is too legit to quit.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
It's official: it's all been done before. But rather than sulk about this, I salute those who make the world even more clever-er:
- The blogger behind the header Trump School: Please Open Your Textbooks to Chapter 11
- The guy who came up with this book title: A Portrait of Yo Mama as a Young Man
- The Onion writers for not only penning this article "Bush Challenges America to Produce the Perfect Romantic Comedy by 2010," but for their accompanying graphic:
To them I say: I see your ideas, and I raise you one: Nuclear Option would be a really good punk band name.