Saturday, October 09, 2004

Did Johnny Ramone's solo on "Questioningly" make the list?

Down in the basement with Tommy Franks
There’s another debate under our belts. I wish they’d have debates every night. It’s great to see the candidates in more than five second sound bites, floundering, recovering, dancing around questions, and sometimes even answering them. It was also great to see citizens asking them questions rather than the same old teevee suits.

President Bush certainly did better in this debate than the first. And his willingness to go it alone, relatively, in Iraq became clearer to me. The guy hates Europe! Several times he went after Kerry for even wanting to sit down with Europeans, that somehow Kerry liked Europe better than America. “It’s harder to be popular in the halls of Europe,” he sneered. Talking about his deciding not to talk with Arafat, he said, “People in Europe didn’t like that decision.”

I don’t know what he has against Europe. Maybe it’s because they talk funny over there.

President Bush also enthused, “I love our values!” At one point, in responding to a question about appointing judges, he made reference to the Dred Scott decision, and looked very pleased with himself about it, as hs is wont to do, though he seemed unclear as to what the Dred Scott decision actually was, or whether the people in Europe liked it or not.

Portrait of a voter.
As President Bush was making his final remarks, a woman in the back row was revealed behind him. She had her legs crossed, and was leaning her head on her hand. She looked irritated and bored. She rubbed her nose. She removed something from her teeth, I think. She closed her eyes.

Proposal for future debates.
David Letterman suggested the other night that, in order to ensure absolute equality between the candidates, they will do the next debate prone.

I think this is a good idea. Much has been made about the candidates’ demeanor – if they smile, smirk, scowl, or twitch too much it has a negative effect on voters.

I suggest that for future debates the candidates should be removed altogether, replacing them with ventriloquists’ dummies in their likeness. The candidates would manipulate these dummies, off-camera, and speak for them.

This would not only eliminate the problem of seeing the candidates as human beings, it would give a shot in the arm to the troubled ventriloquism industry. Today, as you know, most ventriloquists are outsourced.

In other news….
The latest issue of Guitar World features the top 100 worst guitar solos of all time.

These include C.C. Deville’s, of Poison, on “Cherry Pie.” He is the number one offender.

The others in the top ten are:

--"Summertime Blues," Blue Cheer.
--"The Game of Love," Carlos Santana.
--Falstaff beer 1967 radio spot, Cream.
--"All You Need is Love," The Beatles.
--"Thirsty and Miserable," Black Flag.
--"Wango Tango," Ted Nugent.
--"Ain't Too Proud to Beg," Rolling Stones.
--"Sting of the Bumblebee," Manowar.
--"American Woman," Lenny Kravitz.

Myself, I would have included Neil Young’s solo on “Down by the River.” If you recall, it consists of one note repeated over and over. Kind of like a debate, only cranked up to ten.

When you are in a studio full of clay, you sneer at dictionaries.
An artist, Maria Alquilar, was paid $40,000 by the city of Livermore to create a mura,l at the entrance of its main library, that would represent many historical figures, including Michelangelo, Albert Einstein, and Vincent Van Gogh. Her spell-checking program was turned off apparently; eleven of the names were misspelled.

The scandal, if this is a scandal, made national news. She has been swamped with phone calls and e-mails. After first saying she would correct the spelling (for an extra six grand), but she is now unwilling to do so, she told the San Francisco Chronicle, because of “nasty messages from people who don’t understand art.”

She did consent to pay if the city wants to remove the mural.

She admitted that, while the names were spelled correctly on her sketches, she got them wrong in the transfer to the mural itself. She decided to go forward anyway: “I just wasn’t that concerned. None of us are particularly good spellers anymore because of computers. When you are in a studio full of clay, you don’t give it much thought.”

In a stunning non sequitur, Ms. Alquilar went further: “When you look at Michelangelo’s David, do you point out that one (testicle) is lower than the other?”

She has closed her gallery and will cancel an upcoming show because of the “furor.” “My career in public art is over,” she whined. My wife suggests that a suitable punishment would be to send her back to first grade.


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