Friday, September 29, 2006

On No, Not Another Entry In The Blogosphere!

Yes, another entry in the blogosphere it is: not a right-wing a left-wing or one of those rabble-rousing centrist blogs we've heard so much about, but more verbiage by (oh no, not another one) some middle-aged white dude who weighs his excess avoirdupois against an irresistible desire to spout off his opinions, finds both a tad excessive, but in the final analysis doesn't give a crap. And it won't get political unless I get possessed by a momentary urge to, as Bill Maher puts it, "satirize for your protection".

So WTF will I be talking about here in my impassioned yet infrequent posts? I am obsessed with comedy in all forms, what's funny, what isn't, why and what other folks have to say about it. I really believe that good animation executed with flair, standup comedy, sketch comedy and slapstick are indeed (shudder) art forms - yes, ART on the highest level. Don't believe it? Watch a 1920's Harold Lloyd flick and then sit through some groaning melodrama from the same period. Harold still KICKS ASS, while the melodrama remains pertinent as history, but too dated to retain its entertainment value.

I will periodically jabber on about music, just about all from the pre-MTV era, those halcyon days before marketing came first and music came second. All those with great enthusiasm for jazz - not that wussy easy listening or inoffensive "quiet storm" stuff, but good modernist blasts and the hard swinging sounds of guys like Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Charles Mingus and Art Blakey - will be most welcome here. I also love the obvious towering figures - Armstrong, Ellington, Parker, Monk, Coltrane - and enduringly classic swingin' singers like Sinatra (late 1950's and early Reprise period), Cole, Ella and Torme. Other kinds of music, whether lesser-known r&b and reggae/ska/dub artists, 1960's-1970's blues/rock guitar heroes and the pop songcraft of George Gershwin, Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson and The Beatles, will make occasional appearances.

Another one of my obsessions is the movie musical, whether a Busby Berkeley surrealism-and-cheesecake fest, a big budget Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly extravaganza, a 1933 Vitaphone short starring inspired African-American entertainers (who, in these cases, often never appeared in a film before or since), Soundies from the 40's or mid-1960's Scopitones, crammed with bee-hived bikinied dancers, supporting the inimitable Debbie Reynolds as she belts out her Las Vegas floor show version of "If I Had A Hammer."

There will also be posts on the topic of "bad movies we love", those train wrecks we just can't avoid looking at. And bad but entertaining cartoons from long, long ago.

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