Friday, January 28, 2005

WORST POSSIBLE BAND NAMES (1):

From the "I Spit on Your Groove" folder at Peoplesforum.com, inspired by the lists compiled on the blogs of my betters. (For some reason, I can't make links work in my posts today, so just check to your left for "Ludic Log," "From Here to Obscurity" and "The Vitamin B Glandular Show" and poke around.) If some of these don't make sense, well, a) you hadda be there, and b) I was there and I don't think I still get 'em all, either. Oh, and some of them make sense but aren't particularly - what's the word I'm looking for? - funny. Such is life.

Billy Ray Osiris
Zig Ziglar Sputnik
Scientologist Dior
Tubular Limicolae
Fecal Colorforms
The Hunan Reague
Stiff Little - Eek! Those Aren't Fingers!
Cinderella Backfat
Tao Jones and the Buddhist Junkies
Hot She-Male-on-He-Female Action
Spokesmodel for a Generation
Pat Ben-Fong-a-Tarres
United Colors of Benetar
Syndrome of a Down
Butterfly McQueens of the Stone Age
Peter, Beg Vlad
The Scarlet Pimp, Ernell
The Don't-Ask-Don't-Teletubbies
Full Metal Jacket and Matching Slacks
Def Limbaugh
The Exterminating Angler (less a band name than the perfect title for the world's first "extreme fishing" program...)
If Fatty Arbuckle Preferred Cans
Crosby, Stills, Nash, We Were Soldiers Once and Young
Sangre de Flatus
The New Christy Menstruals
Sadomassengill
Eunuchs With Tunics
Chanukah Geld
Another Bad Croatian
Thunder Choad
Some Loathsome Bread, a Juggalo's Whine, and WOW!
The Banshee Screams For Juggalo Meat
Gummo Marxists
Rand on the Bun (From the world's first Objectivist fast-food chain, A&W is A&W! Enjoy unlimited free refills from our soda fountainhead! Note: no man has the right to initiate any money/food transaction. The task of all customers is to perceive the food, not to eat it.)
Charles Atlas Shrugged (While Tightening His Muscles For That All-Important Dynamic Tension)
Genereal Disease
Temp-to-Perm Rimjob
High Colonic Youth
Near-Sighted Lemon-Scented McKinley
Thurman Manson
The North American Man-Dingo Love Association
Black Shabbos
Minnesota Fats vs. Virginia Slims
Van der Beek Generator
The Kenny Jihad
Popechute
George Ringo II
When People Like Wayne Shorter Lived Near Patty Waters
Matzoh the Hoopleh
Freudian/Gordian Slipknot
West Ham United With West Egg
Jesus Christo T.P.s Golgotha
Ratfrotteur
Fashionably Latent
Willa Catheter
The Zyklon B-52s
Arbeit Macht Fries
Boogie Chilblains
Fecalypso
Upward Motility
Kitsch 'N Sync
Chick Corea Digs Korean Chicks
333: The Semi-Christ
Mormon Nailers
Umberto Eco and the Bunnymen
Vladimir Whoopingkov
The African-American of the Narcissus
Sod Off, Shotgun
(British pro-gun control band)
Steve McQueen's Reich
Freeping at the Freeper's Ball
The Enoch Woolite Orchestra
LeAnn Rimes and Armand Schaubroeck Steals
Charlie Lower-Middle-Class (The Aluminum Fox)
Elfman and Little Boy
Eeyore Saarinen
The Atelier 5ive
In I Go, Jones
Unindicted Co-Conspiritus Mundi
The Grenadine Guards
The North American Man-Boy Trade Agreement
Port-au-San
Provided You Receive The Etching, If You Get The Picture
Bodacious Cantatas
Piss Off, Columbus
Bonfire of the Manatees

...and the following, lesser-known Beatles tribute bands:
I Wanna Hold Your Other Hand
Somewhat Less Magical Rather Lacking in Mystery Tour
Juan, Pablo, Jorge & Gringo
Happiness is a Warmed-Over Gun
While My Guitar Hacks Up Chunks of Lung
You Never Give Me Your Portion of the Door Receipts
Oh, So That's Why We Don't Do It in the Road
If I Needed Someone, Well, I Wouldn't Be Playing in This Crappy Cover Band, Now Would I?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

VAPID EYE MOVEMENT:

What with nothin' going on but the rent garments (and wrung hands and gnashed teeth and...) in my waking life, I am now forced to dredge my subconscious to provide what fleeting interest this online diary of a maddening man may have. Hence, for all you somnulence fans out there, a synopsis of last night's dream:

I find myself in the middle of a large crowd in the lobby of a movie theater (all pristine Kubrickian white walls, gleaming surfaces and what appears to be fiber-optic popcorn), gathered to catch the five-minute teaser for the long-awaited comic-book epic, The Yowling Fantods and the Prickly Clams of Xylocaine B. After no small amount of jostling among the capacity crowd (with one poor soul somewhere in the middle crying, "Get off me! I'm here to see Tangled Up in Jute!"), we eventually make it into the cavernous auditorium and seat ourselves raucously. The house lights dim and a roar comes up as the giant convex screen before us is filled with a rapid-fire, quick-cut montage of our favorite comic-mag heroes made flesh at last - Octoplatypus, Professor Sterno, Philip S. MacCandress, Esq., Billy Ray Cyrus as a Girl, That Green Fellow - a montage that lasts all of fifteen seconds before the screen goes black and the bombastic score falls dead, replaced after a few, uncomfortable seconds by the image of the film's director, slumped against a wall with a troubled look in his eye. He's not identified on-screen, but I recognize him immediately from his trademark black suit, graying tuft of hair, gaunt, slightly pinched features and the cigarette he's holding with a peculiar sort of Euro-Canuck affectation. Surprised, I cry out: "Holy shit! That's Ken Finkleman!"

Hundreds of glares turn in my direction, all bearing that mixture of contempt and bewilderment I've come to know so well. Outburst aside, it's obvious that no one has the slightest idea who I'm talking about (nor, probably, should you, unless you're Canadian, a bad-eighties-movie aficionado nonpareil, a PBS junkie or someone who's read the two previous abortive attempts at Finklemania on this very blog - briefly, Finkleman is a Canadian writer/performer who made quite a lucrative living in Hollywood by writing the screenplays for some of the most cynically commerce-driven drivel of the 1980s {Airplane II: The Sequel, Grease 2, Who's That Girl?} before retreating to Toronto and becoming a national hero in the mid-nineties via his hilariously dark-humored satire of network politics, The Newsroom, the success of which evidently went to his head in a major way, pent-up auteurist dreams he'd been holding on to since at least
Head Office exploding into things like the 8 1/2 homage that dominated the last three episodes of The Newsroom's original run, followed by further short-run series {More Tears, Foolish Heart, Foreign Objects} that utilized pretensions and hilarity in increasingly unbalanced proportions, sending his TV alter ego, George Findlay, deeper and deeper into some rarified trough of idealized self-loathing that suggests something deeply imbalanced in his character [and his character], finally coming full circle [well, okay, not quite full circle, as he's not responsible for giving Maxwell Caulfield work again or anything] with another season of The Newsroom this past year, which I haven't seen yet but I'm led to understand that somebody dies in each episode. Did I say "briefly"? At least I got this far without resorting to footnotes this time...). Finkleman clears his throat, a Sensurroundish rumble in the triskaidekaphonic theatre that snaps everyone back to wary attention. "Uh... that's all I came up with," he mumbles, his gaze unable to meet ours. "I don't know exactly what happened. I fought hard to get this job, only once I did... Put it this way; in Hollywood, the deal is the sex. Making the movie is like trying to get the girl out of your apartment afterwards.* So, at least I can explain what I was hoping to do. I, um, I wanted to, well, deconstruct the genre, turn it into something more submersible (did he mean "subversive"? No one seemed to know, notice, nor care), something with a touch of Borges, a little Satyricon, maybe, or maybe if Mordecai Richler and Atom Egoyan had collaborated on an episode of Mr. Dressup..."

He starts to tremble slightly and a tremor creeps into his voice as he continues, suddenly unable to complete sentences. "And I'd... Ontario existentialism... Nights of Cabiria... Italo Calvino... Al Waxman... parchment beef... Parthenon Huxley... Miniver Cheevy... John Haslett-Cuff... magical realism... Williams-Sonoma... Satie... poutine... Brecht..." That last word comes out as a brief choking hack and he falls silent, slouching even further against the wall, staring balefully at an indistinct point somewhere to the right of the camera, blowing misshapen smoke rings in its direction with an enigmatic half-smile on his face (the left half) until the five minutes runs out. Instead of the usual bombastic-fanfare-accompanied "COMING SOON" at the end, the words "Do Not Use" appear, backed only by the thin, lonely buzz of a reel running out.

The lights come up and I realize that the entire audience has cleared out; all, that is, but the young hipster couple asleep a few seats down. I nudge them as I walk past and they jerk awake, starled. "Oh! I can't believe we fell asleep before it even started!", one says (I'm not sure which one because they're both moving their mouths and neither is in sync with what's being said). "We've been waiting for this for years! So - what'd you think?"

I look at them for a long minute, then break into a smile. "It's gonna be great," I say.

*An actual quote. My dreams are nothing if not meticulously researched.**

** Ah, shit.