Special Olympics scandal… Received the coming week’s Sports Illustrated this Wednesday, 17th October 2007, & read the front newsbriefs with more interest than usual. Why, particularly? There was a featured article about a “renegade” Special Olympics coach & organizer in Texas who is leading his charges not just to participate, but to compete, to try to be the best athletes (not just the best coginitively-disabled participants) they can be. & yes, sometimes, he finds it beneficial for them to trash-talk.

Now, why this is news, why Special Olympics officials in Texas would find this not just off-putting, but punishable, is beyond me. Did the Special Olympics not just face the dilemma of the Farrelly Brothers’s “The Ringer”? Further, did they not make the choice to put the S.O. brand on the film, with minders from the organization overseeing filming & ensuring a fair treatment of differently-abled (but certainly not unabled) athletes & actors? & did the film not feature, in the foil for Johnny Knoxville’s fake-disabled protagonist a character (“Jimmy Robinson”) who was a trash-talking Special Olympics sprinter?

Really, this rehash in Texas strikes me as a dead letter. I find favour with the “renegade” coach — among whose players is his sixteen years old mentally-handicapped son — & see nothing but animus for the disabled, who are sometimes the detractors’s own children, among those opposing the coach’s effort. To that end, two quotes stick out for me, one from the coach (since banned from competition) & another from one of his opponents:

 “Don’t tell me that special-needs kids don’t realize what they’re wearing”, said Steve Fleming, with respect to the matching, well-made kits in which his players are dressed, as opposed to the odds n’ sods cast-offs typically supplied to Special Olympians (& the handicapped in general).

 (I have been having this same thought for years, having seen the majority of the mentally-handicapped to cross my path outfitted in mismatched sweat-suits & sporting mullets, bad teeth, & Coke bottle glasses.)

“Some parents just can’t accept that their child isn’t going to be normal, no matter what kind of fancy uniforms you dress them in”, responded Vicki Griffin.

(The scorn for her own disabled child practically drips from the page. & while I feel some empathy for her, knowing that she knows that after she’s dead, no one will love her child as she has, to admit that she considers the disabled to be other than normal, & always to be that way, defies the mission of the Special Olympics. As the Shrivers intended, these games, & other events for the disabled, are intended as normative experiences that will demonstrate that the physically-handicapped & mentally-retarded aren’t perpetual human cripples that can never be expected to be more than fed thru one tube & have their waste excreted thru another tube. Clearly, though, Ms Griffin never got the message.)

Again, I really don’t see the issue with Fleming’s method. I also saw no one forcing the kids to play only for him. Other parents would have been free to withdraw their children from Fleming’s teams (he coached basketball, golf, & soccer) & place them on other teams. But because Fleming contravened the duality of loving & scorning one’s disabled kids, he had to be sent off.

The Romanian Villa… Upward of four years ago, I was on the verge of my departure from the lovely Otopeni International, & staying at the Corpul Pacii Romania recommended Elvis’s Villa for my final four (five?) days in-country. On or about the third day there, I developed a raging case of hiccups — as in my wont; when I hiccup, or bleed (from the nose), I take it “to eleven” — & the wife of Elvis (the hosteller’s name was, in fact, Elvis; he was also Serbian, & those eastern & southern Europeans love 1950s American rock n’ roll) grabbed me about the right flank, in a pinching manoeuvre. Sure enough, too, it terminated my hiccupping. (Two p’s, there?) & ever since, I have exacted similar effort to alleviate my more profoundly-incurred cases of hiccups. Usually, this involves a punch to my face, but what can I say; I love the sport of kings.

Anyhow, as well as “curing” my own hiccupping with face punching, I have twice — in the last year, in fact — employed Elvis’s wife’s technique. The first, I was at work, in the “kitchen” of the movie-theatre where I moonlight, & the crew lead, Kiara, bemoaned her hiccup jag. Consequently, I rached my thumb & index finger to her bicep (is that the upper-arm?) & pinched her. She was startled, but smiled — her hiccups dissipated, so all was well. It was nothing untoward. (That word used in more the vernacular, e.g. sexualized, sense, of the modern-age.)

 Now, last nite, I used the Priscillian Pinch (see, Elvis Presley’s wife was named… oh, yeah, never mind; you get it, & it’s not funny) on one of the denizens of the pub quiz that I frequent, & while she was nonplussed — quite possibly stunned into stupefaction (to borrow from my twelfth grade Spanish profesor, “Hay dos ejercitos. Uno de la ignorancia, y otro de la estupidez. Puedo excusar ignorancia, porque nunca lo saberia…”) — she did not show visible irritation. Plus, I have a rep at the pub quiz — as I have had at most social gatherings, from an early age — for impertinence, though not necessarily out of malice but naievete. Little did I know, though…

 The female recipient of the Hosteller’s Wife’s Cure maligned me to her boyfriend — a strapping, late twenties JD, though he also reminds me of Brian C., an acquaintance of mine from Peace Corps, but minus eighty or ninety pounds (that’s about one Nicole Richie, no?) — & he proceeded to defend his dame’s honour by approaching me diffidently, & instructing me “not to touch his girlfriend, again…”

 As well, yes, I got his drift. I had assaulted her person, with nefarious objective, & done so with a blithe smile as though I thought what I was doing was wrong, but so right, & that I could get away with “it” & much worse. Yes, indeed, such is the proper description of the event that precipitated the dashing man-of-law’s daring-do. Indeed.

 Now, though, I have to wonder: why just, in a rather Oxfordian, daresay I prissy, manner inform me that I am a vile, handsy bastard who needs to show some respect. If what I did were so reprehensible, so obviously c-blocking (“no, Mc Elroy, we should be guiding his cock, not blocking it”, the bartender should have offered, to me, upon entering the scene of my undressing by the dutiful beau of the damsel whose hiccups cessation was my sole objective, albeit in an obtuse way), why wasn’t I asked to leave the bar? Why weren’t the services of an higher authority than a dashing Grishamite hero sought?

Or were they? Were I on the cusp of bannination from the English pub? I must know. I have a feeling I were, & by asking the question above, I will find out just how. But really, if it should have come to that, I really wish it would have; I really do. In that case, then, once more the stridence of others, & their heavy hand, would be fully visible. & unlike in my senior year (at college, not high-school; that said, Prof. Graham was much more a stick-in-the-mud than the seeming fuddy-duddy Sr. Christie, which is precisely the opposite of what one expects from America’s draconian high-school settings & libertine university campii) creative writing section, I would not have had to become strident myself to demonstrate the rigid aspect of the cool kids. Not so free-wheeling & convivial, eh? & over a Serbo-Austral-Romanian hiccups remedy?

Oh, you hipper than thou people of the posh East side (that wording, at the end, goes out to you, Dad) — & really, I should have known, after a mix of contempt, gall, & fear for my safety from snipers was expressed after it was learnt that I live in Wauwatosa (really!) — can engage in your incestuous East Side-Third Ward-Bay View circle-jerk, but oh, doctor… Don’t let the fools from west of Sixth Street (or north of Shorewood (even if many of the Milwaukee East Side, etc., Intelligentsia are the rich kids from Fox Point, & such, & just “slumming it” for a few years, while in college/grad school)) think that they can be frivolous with us. Never!

Neighbourhood family first, second, & third, & all other ordinal numerations — ’cause in your East Side family, the art-fag brother is accepted, the vegetarianism encouraged, the Arcade Fire required. (Unlike in those redneck hamlets like ‘Stallis & Brown Deer, & Cudahy (scratch that, it’s just south of Bay View, & is being adopted by the hipsters), & Hales Corners. Indeed.) Oh, you’re so open-minded.

{Tue, 18 September, 2007}   Step one. Insert foot.

As is my wont… I had another of my distinctly ICNALDMTR moments this past Wednesday (12 Sept). Seemingly, anyway. I was at my English-styled pub haunt-of-late, preparing for another grueling face-off with the Snot Grad Students, when I made a bit of conversation with a coupla players from the squad 26+6=2. (Confidential to Kara & her boys/girls in Brit Inn Pub Quiz League: Cora Mc Manus totally beat you to that arithmetic genius over ten years ago. But carry on. I doubt that she remembers anyway.) We were conversing about central/northern Wisconsin locales, & what drew them to Milwaukee (each being from Wausau… (I knew a #### from there, once, name of Cassie; & I still don’t know, ‘was she being friendly, or was she keen?’)), when the bar-maid walked over, looking to take  a drink order. &, presto, I stepped in it. We entreated her to the conversation, & it came up that I had been told — I still shan’t reveal by whom — that the bar-maid was looking to be expecting. (I had never thought of that, myself. It’s notever the a, b, c, d, efg, h, i, j, k, lmnop consideration that pops to my mind when she crosses my path. (What does? Nothing… you need to know.)) Apparently, though, one is not supposed ever to say, ‘you seem pregnant’, to a female.

Now, I already knew this, & in the back of my mind, I’m sure, I was aware that I was overstepping at least two bounds, but I shared the anonymous third party’s observation all the same. Why? Why, as well, is it improper — daresay most, radically uncouth — to speculate, to a woman, about her pregnancy or lack thereof?

To the first question, though.

 Why I said what I said, under the circumstances in which I said those words, owes to adolescent naievete-cum-resentment. I refer, of course, to the legend of “Popsicle Girl”. (I am leery about sharing her name, as previous allusion to high-school boasts & taunts has brought me scornful e:mail from the subject of the one instance during which I did.)

As it stood, JW (initials will suffice) was an honours student, i.e. on the accelerated track at our mutual high-school alma mater, pom-pon (pom-pom?) girl, &, if my running-mates of the time were to be believed (& I did believe), a wanton slut of the most loathsome practice; namely, that she enjoyed having her various paramours stick frozen dessert treats into the confine of her vagina. & this last was not merely a once-recited bromide or jest, but a semi-frequent observation, among the males and females in the assemblage (Cathy-with-a-C, Retroviral Jerry, Drezdn — I’m looking at you), with all disrespect intended for a classmate with whom they had minimal acquaintance, & even less interest in acquainting. (& that for obvious reason!)

JW was a preppy — to a point, I assume; I never drew that vibe from her… she was “just a girl, she looked like girls look” — “honours” student, doing enough sucking-up to get by, while making sure to make plenty of time for sucking-off.

She dressed “alternative”, or so described Cathy-with-a-C, one day, in repeating JW’s conversation; enjoyed going to Mad Planet (back when it was a big gay disco, with a Thursday all-ages nite); seemed to favour the athlete class in mating; & was superficial with everybody, but especially those not in her clique.

Basically, my running-mates — even Cathy-with-a-C, herself a bit of the teenage bicycle — loathed JW more than they loathed any of the popular students. JW — she, they singled out for persecution.

How best to go about it? Create &/or fan the flame of a sexual myth ascribed to JW. So, “Popsicle Girl”; or, in the language of “Clerks”, ‘popsicle-fucker’. & never mind that just three years, or less, if you want, the same people with whom I ran, who found the idea of a kink like popsicle-penetration absolutely, mind-bottlingly repulsive, had their sexual world-view do a 180 that would have had them thinking popsicle-fucking to be blase, if they were the type to indulge in real self-examination, not just self-agony. No, they hated JW, & they hated precisely because she was a popsicle-fucker. (It seemed to encompass all the faults of her preppy, pom-pon girlhood.)

& with all this, I went along. I never offered rebuttal nor refutation. I never asked them to consider more broadly the implication of their accusation. I just accepted it. I figured, if somebody’s saying it, it must be true. I mean, people do all kinds of things in the bed; why not include frozen foods as sex toys?

I suppose, too, in that regard, I did diverge from my friends’s interest in the perpetuation of the myth. Sure, like them, I found the activity of popsicle-fucking a bit bizarre, & thought it something in

which I would not involve myself, but my memorization of the fact (when in fact we had no idea if this were actually something we could know, as fact) of popsicle-fucking, involving JW, did not owe to a generalized antipathy to her, or more broadly those kinds of girls. I went along… because I was friends with Retroviral Jerry, Mike, Cathy-with-a-C, Matt SS, et. al., while I was only acquainted with JW from having 11th grade American Lit in the same section as her. Like most in that age, the teens, I followed where my peer-cohort led me.

Now, once I severed ties with them, in the early part of this, the second willenium, I evaluated the preceding five years, & one of my regrets — not the largest, but neither small fry — was blindly, naievely following my friends’s lead in attacking the integrity of somebody they didn’t even know for reasons that never should have been deemed offensive (& that within thirty months they would consider to be down-right tame).

Fast-forward to my residence at the Brit Inn’s pub quiz, starting April ’07, & carrying forth to, at the least, last Wednesday. In my visitations to said establishment, I came to know various of the staff & competitors, none of whom I consider in malform; in fact, several I find quite witty, & all but a few (cough, Snot Grad Students, cough) exceedingly pleasant (though that could be the alcohol). So, to hear one of the other habitue of the pub quiz say, “You know”, then point to the bar-maid, “she’s pregnant”, it rubbed me completely wrong. Here was someone speaking out-of-turn — I know, pot… kettle… black, yes, yes — about someone they hardly know, with regard to something about her that they don’t know at all. It’s just not something I’ve done.

 I’m not the one who confabulated toast — or, at the least, embellished it — nor the one who invested the entirety of JW’s impropriety in her purported popsicle-fucking. I was around those, sure, & tittered over them, though much moreso the first, but I was also fifteen, sixteen — still growing into myself. But, yes, I’ve been around those who have made it stock-in-trade to demean others with hearsay & myth.

But, as I said, I did not encounter the same level of invidious intent in the assertion of the bar-maid’s pregnancy as I did in my teenage, early-twenties friendships’s & the attendant kink dishing. There was, of course, a subtext of “oh, she’s easy, a frequent copulator, & isn’t even smart enough to use the pill or make the dude where a condom”, but that was a minor detail. I most certainly think that the habitue in question thought that the bar-maid was going to have (another) child. But in that case, he should have just inquired of her, “So, how far along are you?”

He shouldn’t have told me, nor anyone else; leastways, not first-off. He also should not have made it seem like a state secret. He should have just asked the principal. He should not have put somebody else in the position of harbouring his multifarious ideations.

And that is another thing… why is it oh, so impolitic to ask a woman if she’s pregnant? I know why I’ve been told this is so, that to posit pregnancy in the face of ignorance, then to find out that the opposite (barren uterus) is the case, means that the woman looks fat, but that could not be a flimsier reason if you wet it down for five minutes with heavy-water. Point of fact, the “pregnancy = fat” equation is just something that unselfconcious overweight &/or obese women want to perpetuate so that they can become aggrieved when asked if they are pregnant. (“Oh, you think I’m pregnant? Do I look pregnant? No. I’m just a little overweight” — even if she is very obviously pushing three digits overweight, it’s always ‘just a little’ — “and I know that. & I don’t need scum like you rubbing it in”.) Further, it is something that slender &/or average women fear, especially when not pregnant, because if they’re getting fat without the added baby-weight, imagine what they will be like pregnant.

In fact, pregnant bulging in the abdominal develops distinctly from cellulitic bulging of the abdomen, & other parts. For one, especially in the early stage of pregnancy, the bulge is convex, straight-on, & no wider than the measure from flank to flank. Two, it is limited to the abdomen, & in smaller measure the bust, as the breasts expand with the introduction of active milk production. Three, the typical pregnancy retains a rigidity in the skin — sometimes, even, greater rigidity than before pregnancy & on other skin locations — that is lacking in the merely overweight &/or obese.

Now, let’s consider the simple fat, non-pregnant. They’re excessive weight tends to occur over the whole of the corpus (fat thighs, fat ass, potbelly), though in some, it will predominate in one locale (“two scoops of chocolate, hold the cones… Mix-a-Lot gonna make ye moan”). As well, it tends to be flabby — axiomatic, yes, yes — & not taut, as is the case of uterine expansion.

Pregnant  does not equal fat, therefore. & it’s best the truly fat come to understand that.

A farewell to the facile… I do subscribe to GQ. This is beyond doubt. I have subscribed, even, for going on three years, with a renewal for two more. (Who knew?) But it was just this month that I read a column — well, it was more than column-length; two-or-three-pages length, acutally — with which I agree without complaint. I am referring, of course, to Dan Kennedy’s decision that he is thru being cool.

Now, I was never “cool”, nor “hip” — especially not that — & I freely admit that. But I was, always, very aware. (Except when females would get their flirt on toward me. In those situations, I vaguely sensed it, but never was I fully certain of their interest. Thus, I never made for their play (& never got any play ’til I paid for it in Romania (sorry, ma!).)  Indeed, I have been almost fully cognizant of what the four letter — pardon my Deadspin speak — refers to as “the now”. Whether it were a film, musical performer, political figure, or otherwise, I was abreast of it. I might not have always cottoned to it (I think back to my dismal view of the White Stripes, pre-Get behind me satan), but I did know it. I was on top of shit.

 Likewise, it appears that Msr Kennedy in GQ has reached the same conclusion: to be aware is to be favoured. Unfortunately, he never makes that final leap. He merely explicates that he is, in fact, “thru being cool”. Instead, he shall be “uncool”. He can now freely & unabashedly watch “Cheers” in re-run, listen to Def Leppard’s “Photograph” (not unlike perhaps the most misapprehended “boarder”, PopTodd, at my erstwhite internet demesne, Obner) — but he… Does he still feel a tiny shame, at the bottom of his psyche, for finding pleasure & valure in such pith, so much drivel? Apparently. Otherwise, would not be that he is “uncool”.

He is, yes, still indulging his self-evaluation in the context of the emo-banged & European carry-all sporting set. Never mind that when I caught the Arcade Fire on SNL, I thought it was the Decemberists — who I take pains to compare to They Might Be Giants (which I thought it were, when I first (& last) heard a Decemberists song on the ipod shuffle at Comet Bar-Cafe). Never mind that the broken ground is barely dented, that the “nouveau” is a re-hash of twenty-years-old quirk. (When in doubt, when you want to play music professional, but not in an orchestra, in a band, you should drop the rock & bring the quirk or kitsch. Sugar-free jazz, anyone? (By-the-by, I love Soul Coughing.)) Never mind that — those who sat up all nite, to buy “Neon Bible” on its first day of sale, are still the driver of respect socially. Thus, pay deference to them.

 I say “nay”, though. Even, “neigh”, in honour of Barbaro. The tastemakers are entitled to their tastes, to have taste even, but to think that they can determine “best” or “tops”, when they themselves, in weaker (read: less self-absorbed) moments will acknowledge that much beyond “Hitler/Pol Pot/Stalin is a monster” is objective, is an insult to the revolution already going on in minds like that of Dan Kennedy. Instead, he should take it all the way, & admit that he is neither “cool” nor “uncool”, that he just is.

Then he can get to the business of being aware, & not just now. That he can, we can, leave to the hipsters.

I saw a ghost… Friday evening, I had to pull a closing shift at the cinema, working from 8 p.m. ’til 1 a.m., but not a large deal. It amounted to cleaning one “set” of theatres, then slothing off, going from show to show, to catch the choicer moments of each. Easy way to make extra scratch.

 ‘Til auditorium 13 released. It was the penultimate showing of Knocked Up, & as I dismissed the patrons guests, with an imprecation to “get home safely” & “keep it real”, I was stoked. It was already 1215, if memory serves, & only three more theatres stood to release. Then, the unknowable unknown crossed the threshold of the rear-exit.

She was a female I had met last September ’06, leaving a theatre in the same complex, after seeing Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center. She was in a group of five, three men, two women, & as the males of the party shuffled to the restroom before heading in quintet to their vehicle, the two ladies chatted me up. The one whom I would see again, leaving Knocked Up, exaggeratedly remarked about my facial hair, “I love your beard”. (It is a big, bushy beard, that said, so thoroughly lovable. Sometimes.) So, we spoke for a bit beyond that, about films & such, mostly the one she had just seen, & her friend pipped up, presumably in seriousness, that I should look up her friend where she works. & after making sure — as much as I could make sure — that the aside was not jest, I figured, perchance I would.

 Well, that blew up in my face. I went looking for this woman, Laura, nineteen, chubby, & curly-haired, at her place of employ, finding her, & after two apparently-successful conversations with her — once when she was price-checking, again when she was on a register — my luck ran out. I met up with her, again, & after speaking very briefly, went to purchase a Dr. Pepper. While on-line for the register, she approached & asked me not to come looking for her, again. (Busted!)

 … So, I didn’t. I had barely known the girl, anyway, & had only thought to take a chance on her maybe, actually, kind of being interested in me, since I had never tried that out before, on the rare occasion when a women demonstrated interest, so no loss. Plus, I didn’t see fit to shop at her grocery store chain, anyway. (I’ve always been a Sentry-phile. Even worked at one, in my high-school years.)

 Comically, then, she did apparently keep me in her mind. About a month after being unceremoniously waved-off by Laura, she was back at my theatre for moving-picture show on a Friday that I happened to be working, & she encountered me at the concessionist’s stand. She had a shit-eating smile on her face & said, “Hey…”. I just walked off.

& for seven-&-an-half months, I didn’t see her, again. ‘Til Knocked Up‘s opening weekend. & I didn’t know how to respond. I clearly hadn’t menaced her, so I wouldn’t have been in the wrong to remain at the door, finishing the exit greetings for that showing, telling each exiting patron to “keep it real”, but just the thought that I had been turned away in mid-September like some common peeping-tom creep, only to have her run into me a month later & act like I was Scolari to her Hanks, & then run into her, again, didn’t make me want to do anything but rush to the break-room & curl myself into a ball of tears & hesitation.

So, I did. I extracted myself from crossing her path, as I had been explicitly instructed to do — I hadn’t been to any Pick n’ Save, let alone hers, since Sept ’06, & beyond that, had not looked her up in any other way (in fact, by early November ’06, she never passed my thoughts) – & went away from her.

Thing is, though, I feel cheated. I feel like I was instructed to give no pursuit to her, but she still “taunts” me. I’m not one to take the bait, nor will I do that, but it’s strange… Who’s the creep(ier)? The one who by request wants me gone, but then, when running into the one she wants gone, treats him like an old friend, or the one who’s wanted gone?

I don’t know, nor will I ever. But I wish I did.

I wish I could read a woman’s flirtations, period, to determine which are real & which are faux.

All I do know is that Cashier Laura was not, is not, & will never be the (kind of) woman for me.

By all appearances… That trade consummated between Kiki van de Weghe & Billy King turned out well, no? Iverson’s pairing with ‘Melo, for his career-first duo-galacto experience, drew a sixth seed & minor upset potential against the Spurs. Turns out, one win in a seven game set makes an “upset” in the contemporary, favourite take all format that the NBA has adopted for its championship, though.

Too bad. So sad.

We have now entered phase three of W. Axl Iverson’s professional career, then. If the mid-season trade to Denver was the dismissal of Izzy Stradlin’ — in this case, Iverson leaving Philly, where he had been twined with Iggy (Andre Iguodala) — & the resultant half-season ascent into the playoffs the Use Yr Illusion series (with ‘Melo reprising the role of Gilby Clarke), then a full season of A.I. at altitude will be The Spaghetti Incident?

It will start out well enough, with Iverson re-assuming the mantel of go-to guy — cue: “Since I don’t have you” — but as the rest of the cast is integrated into the performance, we will see that the Nuggets are pretenders to championship basketball, an easy-out in the first-round, if that much. There will be games where they live & die on the three-ball of Duff Mc Kagan (Steve Blake), or the intermittent virtuosity of Slash (Nene), or the pale imitation of past glory of Matt Sorum (Kenyon Martin/Marcus Camby), but in the end, there will be more killed than sustained tempos.

& Axl will need out.

Where to, though, for the Answer?


A turn to the Grizzlies will inspire Iverson to his grandest ambitions… But not amount to that caress of the Larry O’Brien Trophy that he craves, that he needs to validate his professional existence. But damned if he won’t pour his sweat & David Geffen’s millions (I mean, the Grizzlies owners…) into the project.

In Memphis, A.I. will find his Slash, in fact, a more technically skilled Slash (Pau Gasol) than his previous Slash (Aaron Mc Kie). He will find a more drink than drug damaged Duff, one who can actually carry a song, the former Replacement Tommy Stinson (Mike Miller), in place of Kyle Korver & Steve Blake. He will have his propulsive, almost disco-metallic low-end at the kit like he used to have with Steven Adler (Dikembe Mutombo/Samuel Dalembert), in the person of Brain (Stromile Swift).

 All the pieces will be there. Maybe even his original mentor. But it just won’t be enough. The lightning in a bottle of Appetite for Destruction (the Sixers run to the ’01 NBA Finals) will not flash twice. They may get forty-five wins out of the line-up, but another playoff fade, a la the ’06-7 Nuggets will follow. Or, more likely, another trip to the lottery for The Answer’s team. Thirty wins, tops. Iverson, a beaten man; Larry Brown, unable to erase the taint of his season in the Garden. It will be glorious… gloriously awful. But it will behoove us to watch, so we can capture, in our mind’s eye at least, what might have been.

Axl… I mean, Allen, you do speak Chinesse, no? Maybe a word or two, a diss, you’ve picked up from Yao, if nothing else?

{Thu, 15 February, 2007}   This ain’t a post, it’s a movement.

Senior moments… I returned from Romania in June ’03, a beat but not beaten man, & as the months separating my departure from the now have lengthened to years, my recollection of those moments in Dacia has become clearer, & more forthcoming.

So, too, my interest in late nineties rock n’ roll. Precisely, Athenaeum. (Thus, the bold-face afore this post. It was twelfth grade when I recall hearing “What I didn’t know”.)

A bit over a year ago, then, I went to CD*Exchange & put down a sawbuck on a copy of Radiance. I didn’t know quite what to expect, buying on the whim of a whim, just the opening chords of the first track running thru my head for about a fortnight in late November ’05.

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Hometown “heroes”… Milwaukee, the Great Place on a Great Lake — note: not the transliteration of the Algonquin — that I call home, where I was birthed at Columbia Hospital, attended school to twelfth grade, & make my way, since graduating college & returning from Romania, possesses a paucity of newspapers. There is one daily — The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (I delivered its first issue, & the last of the Journal) — & there is the long-time weekly (Shepherd Express nee Crazy Shepherd), the former a decent read, light on the int’l news, but not bird toilet, & the latter a contemptible if it were worth contemplating squeeqee. Rest assured, it is not worth any thought, & can be summed in one phrase: “What da fock?” (Chief sentiment of life-time drunk & probably veteran’s disability/S.S.I. recipient Art Kumbalek, the backpage writer for S.E.)

In the last trio of years, though, three or four papers have emerged, at the very least to carry the torch that the Shepherd has burnt down over thirty years, but at least one with pretensions of intellect. We have The Press, which probably is defunct; MKE, an odds-&-sods off-shoot of the daily Journal-Sentinel for the twenty-five-to-thirty-five demographic (heavy on restaurant reviews, interviews with boutique owners, & show previews); & Vital Source, a vanity project of the unmarried-but-cohabiting owners of the arthouse & independent coffeehouse Bremen Cafe.

 & V.S. is the one with which this post is concerned.

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{Sat, 10 February, 2007}   Acronymology. (I just made that up.)

Previously seen on my other blog… I wrote of the sexual practice of ass-to-mouth, by which I mean, the performance of anal sodomy, followed by the removal of any rectal debris of the penetrated via the tongue of same (to wit: oral sodomy), at Why, Kiki! Therein, I posited that ATM should be known hence as “Alterran relations”.

 Now, in the spirit of Turkish idol Lee Corso, I spell it out for you.

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Alpha brah… So, the film was not what I expected, from the trailer. Not that they are, usually. But even Timberlake appeared ready to pop with his thespian skill. (Yes, indeed, his is one of the only bright spots in this feature, that said.) But this film, for the parts — Willis! Sharon Stone! Cassavetes’s kid! That dude from the OC that was in Girl Next Door! — lacks coherence. From first reel to last, this biography is composed in a scattershot mode, the tone never more than mildly jittery, no matter if the scene before you is goth kid reluctantly digging a grave or pot dealer begging same sex fellatio. For such an heinous series of events, in authorized reproduction, the film is quite blah.

 … But, that’s just it. Whether they meant to — they didn’t — the cast & crew have created the film Buddyhead: In the beginning… From the aforementioned goth kid (a dead-ringer for Travis Keller, ne sais pas?) to the braggadocious dealer behind the protection of two dobermans & two or three sycophants (Joe Cardomone; the Icarus Line?), we see the pieces that merged to become the “infamous” webzine of early second willenium vintage. Oh, their gossip was so incisive! Ha, their rock guitars shredded where most post-Nirvana rock bands tweeted! But were they, now? Not so much. They lied thru their teeth & preened their way to the status of lap-dog of the nation’s rich but insecure celebri-class (Reznor, Maynard Keenan). Theirs was nothing but the pose of the goth boy who flirted outrageously with the Valley “tart’s” plastic mother, the urban vernacular spouting but daddy’s-boy, really, personage encarnated by Timberlake.

There is truth in this movie, then. Just not what Cassavetes meant to detail. (Which, I suppose, makes Alpha Dog that much more like Buddyhead Gossip.) I recommend this for any post-scene — or, more hopefully, never-scene — moviegoer, therefore.

 As to Timberlake: his evocation of post-Nirvana suburban gangsterism, with the veneer of bravado (a pistol, some weed, a girl with low self-esteem that’s willing to fellate your immature willy), but the fragility of the meekest Vagrant artist, is pitch-perfect. That is why his is the brightest star, going away from this film.

Final grade: F (viewed as the director intends); B (when seen as a parable of present-day suburbo-indie subculture).

et cetera