The Self-Abasement Tapes
An Atlanta comedian's blog.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
"We shall beat our swords--and old propane tanks--into quirky, outsider art!"
Chamblee Shop Takes Expansive View of Antiques
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Harlequin has teamed up with Nascar for officially-licensed product placement in a series of romance novels thereby combining two of the rival genders’ most inane forms of entertainment. Now the derivative girl meets boy/loses boy/regains boy plotline of genre fiction adds the heart-pounding action of lap 1, lap 2, lap 3 ….In fairness, my MS-hindered sister gets much pleasure from romance novels and such admirable men as David Letterman and Deacon Lunchbox have thrilled to auto racing but what’s next? Cosmo quizzes in Maxim magazine? Speaker reviews on The Rachel Ray Show? Chuck Palahniuk writing a novel about a dystopian knitting circle? Another 8-month fucking run of Defending the Caveman?!
May a gender-transcending God help us all.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Jam-band mecca Jake's Toadhouse is now a sports bar, rock venue and occasional jam band mecca called Club 29. Last year for Toad-i-gras they dared to book Dutch Loves Bijou as the opening act. This "experiment in vaudeville" featured a 20's-style jazz band, a songstress, dancing girls, comedy skits and Leonard Sharing as a tap-dancing skeleton. I played Rene and Renee in the show and wrote 2 skits. The humor turned out more burlesque than vaudeville and I basically just stopped once I got to 2 pages and had the band come in, but here's one of 'em:
Cast: RENE (chomps a cigar), MICHÈLE (Speaks in a high-pitched, mousy voice a la Gracie Allen)
MICHÈLE Oh Rene, with the masculine spelling, I wasn’t there.
RENE (Disappointed) I know.
MICHÈLE Well, I went to my gynecologist today.
RENE Your gynecologist? Where’s his office?
MICHÈLE On Canal St. He said I’ve got the Dipper Mouth Blues.
RENE The Dipper Mouth blues? What do they give you for that?
MICHÈLE 12 bars of penicillin.
RENE Woa. Remind me to start wearing a plunger mute. So how’d you get to your gynecologist?
MICHÈLE I took a streetcar named Pap Smear?
RENE Think I tried that on a bagel once. Well I just went to my urologist.
MICHÈLE Oh really? Where’s his office?
RENE O’re Rampart Street.
MICHÈLE O’re Rampart Street? Did he treat your rocket’s red glare?
RENE No, he just made me cough. … With a clarinet obligato. He’s helping me with my shy bladder. Ya know how when I’m standing at the urinal and another guy walks in I can’t go. I freeze up. I have to be alone to urinate. It’s very embarrassing.
MICHÈLE And odd too. You love to be peed on.
RENE It’s New Orleans. You stand under a French Quarter balcony long enough you get used to it. It sure is hot and humid on the bayou.
MICHÈLE Are you sure that’s not just my smoldering sexuality?
RENE (Looks her up and down.) No I’m pretty sure it’s the heat.
MICHÈLE I feel so stifled by our repressed marriage. I’m like a Cat on a hot tin roof.
RENE Your pussy’s burnt? (sniff, sniff) I thought that was jambalaya. (sniff, sniff) Or blackened catfish.
MICHÈLE Why don’t we just get divorced?
RENE ‘Cause the church would excommunicate you.
MICHÈLE And yet murder is a forgivable sin. Hmm. I guess that’s what happens in a rigidly hierarchical church structure that fetishizes tradition over a woman’s empowerment.
(RENE does a take.)
Band plays Dippermouth Blues. Fin.
A jam band headlined.
BTW I'll be flashing my tits at MySpace 'til I can think of a good Ash Wednesday picture.
"Laissez les bons temps rouler!"
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Can History Repeat Itself?
Friday was Henry Adams' birthday. The great-grandson of John Adams and grandson of Q., he authored one of the most aclaimed works of non-fiction in American letters.
Will one of the Bush twins give birth to a great memoirist? Sadly, I think The Education of George B. _____ (Insert last name of whatever landed-gentry family Jenna or Barbara marry into) will be a Yale frat blog with lots of embedded Fark videos.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Today is the birthday of the first American to win the Nobel Prize for literature: Sinclair Lewis. Famous for his anti-provincialism, I know a thing or two about him mostly for provincial reasons. He was born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, I in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Moreover, a man named Mark Schorer was born in my hometown and went on to head the English department at UC-Berkeley and write the definitive biography of Lewis. With delusions of academia in my head I read his bio as a scholarly example of what a kid from the sticks could do.
Lewis' first 5 novels did nothing, but Main Street was a scandalous success. As The Writer's Almanac puts it:
"No one had ever written such a fierce attack on small-town American life. Lewis described the people in his fictional Gopher Prairie as 'a savorless people, gulping tasteless food, and sitting afterward, coatless and thoughtless, in rocking-chairs prickly with inane decorations, listening to mechanical music, saying mechanical things about the excellence of Ford automobiles, and viewing themselves as the greatest race in the world.'"
Ouch. 'Course by my day we had cable.
Lewis aimed his scathing wit at Chamber of Commerce Boosterism in Babbitt, evangelists in Elmer Gantry, and potential American fascists in It Can't Happen Hear. Schorer points out that of his major novels the only one with a truly heroic figure is Arrowsmith. In it an idealistic medical doctor ranges from small town doctor to public health official to medical school instructor to foundation researcher all while battling small-minded hicks, academic politics and the constant pressure for new glorious and lucrative discoveries. In the end who runs off to do his own research like a latter-day Thoreau. He stays true to the ideal: the relentless skepticism of the scientific method.
Ah, those detached, awkward Sauk boys. Always good for a snide remark.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
If You Like Your Coffee Bitter...
I'm doing 10 minutes at the Virginia Highlands Aurora on Feb. 10th. It's the Saturday before Valentine's Day so I'll make my annual attempt at a kind of lyrical cynicism (or cynical lyricism) on themes of love. Ah, to be an emotional cripple in February.
The host that night is electronic musician Jim Combs with indie bands/songwriters Matt Greenia from The Judies and Fairchild performing.
The Va-Hi Aurora is kind of the audition room for their Little Five Points location. Having done a nice litlle show at Manuel's Tavern, I continue my quest for personally fulfilling gigs in cool neighborhood venues. Some future dream gigs: outdoor sets at Findley Plaza, the next Art in Freedom Park exhibit and Oakland Cemetery at Midnight.
A coffee house implies a more relaxed, cerebral atmosphere but we'll see. Having struggled to make drunks laugh all these years it'll be a nice change to make grad. students roll their eyes.
Edit: It starts at 7 p.m.