Saturday, January 28, 2006

I Need The Comparison Like I Need a Hole in the Head

Attempts to prove the authenticity of Mozart’s skull were finally deemed inconclusive after months of tests. Someone had fun. The skull was acquired 10 years after Mozart’s death by a gravedigger no doubt keen to the rising interest in Phrenology. The Intelligent Design of its day, the pseudo-science of Phrenology claimed to discern personality from the study of cranial contours. I once saw a Phrenologist outside a String Cheese Incident concert at Variety Playhouse—I was walking to the Five Spot. He determined my personality as that of a man who attracts ticks.

Mozart’s turned 250 on Jan. 27. I turned 35. Mozart and I share a birthday … and nothing else. He was a child prodigy who grew into prolific adulthood creating masterpieces in a variety of styles and genres--ranging in scope from opulent spectacle to heart-melting intimacy—all before his death at age … Christ, 35?! So far I’ve written one pretty good jerk sauce bit … and nothing else. And annually I must mark my mortality in the shadow of one who trascended his. But who knows, maybe someday I’ll get skull-fucked by a forensic pathologist.

Those that can touch the sublime, do; those that can't must content ourselves to listen.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Kurt Vonnegut Letter

Since Vonnegut is popping up on all the cool blogs, thought I'd post this.

My friend and former colleague James is a Vonnegut fan. This letter was sent to a friend of his who pointed out some typos in Hocus Pocus. Note the Al Hirschfeld-like hidden autograph.
Vonnegut wrote an insightful essay about one of my comedy obsessions Bob & Ray--quoted in this other guy's essay.

Their mellifluous broadcast baritones, ad man boosterism and fondness for baroque American names (Elmer W. Litzinger, Spy) masking emptiness and vacuity.

Their jokes turn out to be universal, although deeply rooted in old-time radio, because so much of life presents itself as the same dilemma: how to seem lusty and purposeful when less than nothing is going on.”

A Comedy Show as Poorly Planned and Ineptly Managed as the Iraq War

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What's in a Name

A sadly familiar story:

'MELLVILLE, W.Va. - Two men trapped in a West Virginia coal mine made a “valiant effort” to escape, but were blocked by scorching heat and thick smoke from a conveyor belt fire that also prevented rescuers from finding their bodies for two days, the director of the state mining agency said.'

Hard to believe a town named Mellville could be the sight of a long, drawn-out American tragedy. Guess the extra L doesn't help.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hoo Ha!

My infamously polarizing ad for a vaginal-flavored soda. Some think it's hilarious, others punch me out. Also starring Barry Wright's forearm.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pentateuchal Pedestrians Ahead

Driving up Briarcliff Road on a Saturday.
Top speeds of 15 mph near the synagogue.
Young women in plain, black coats and skirts.
One has calf-high boots with sheepskin cuffs.
Her knees are bare.
She's smiling.
(It's a living tradition.)
Her head is covered for modesty,
but her long, dark hair hangs down,
a diaspora of soft, Sephardic lace.
They never want a ride.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Our New Five Spot Flyer

Susan Sontag

Monday was Susan Sontag's birthday. The author of "Notes on Camp" which helped pave the way for thrift store fashions, flea market furnishings and "ironic" trucker hats. Susan Sontag, who lived in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war and directed a play in the midst of Milosevic's Seige, defying a tyrant with art. 'Course it was a pretty uninspired production of The Odd Couple with a woefully miscast George Plimpton and Norman Mailer--Mailer as Felix?!--but, still .... Susan Sontag with the shock of white in her hair well before There's Something About Mary. Susan Sontag who showed intelligence could be sexy ... so long as you were hot to begin with.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Madam President, Crippling Self-Doubt is Muy Bonita

Chile elected an agnostic woman as President. Fittingly, the only high school Spanish I remember is "No lo sé."

A New Toaster

Got a new toaster for x-mas. What thoughtful distant relatives.

Toast has been an oddly inspiring source of comedy. From Bob & Ray’s “House of Toast” to “Toast on a Stick” on Late Night With David Letterman.

But there’s something sadistic about a toaster, its heat applied vertically. A(n?) heretical slice of wheat and flax seed (it’s supposed to help depression) stands immobilized but upright as wire torches burn Papal authority into it’s whole grain hide. Eventually the victim succumbs—with a range of defiance from 1 to 7--and abruptly ascends marked by the sign of the One True Church or at least a crisp tan.

Previously, I’d just make toast in my George Foreman--that way all the grease drains off. But now I own an invention whose sole purpose is to torture man's greatest invention--sliced bread.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Israeli Political Party or Orkan Swear Word

Ever notice how those innumerable Israeli political parties and Mork's expletives sound eerily similar? See if you can tell which is which with this contrived quiz.

Which of the following is an
A. Israeli Political Party or
B. Orkan Swear Word:
  1. Shas
  2. Shazbot
  3. Shinui
  4. Nanoo Nanoo
  5. Kadima
  6. Mindy You Frigid, Castrating Bitch

  1. A
  2. B
  3. A
  4. B
  5. A
  6. Both. It's a cognate.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Favorite Star Bar Set 0f 2005

Monday Dec. 5, 2005

Set List: Christmas in Little Five Points!
--Artificial Tree
--The lights on Boulevard
--Popcorn String
--PBR Eggnog
--Flying Biscuit's Nutcracker Special
--Facial Transplant
--Piedmont Parking Deck
--But a Discreet, Unobtrusive Captain D's
--Cheese Dick
--X-mas Party at the FWHC