Monday, February 02, 2009

". . . Torture without End, Still Urges, and a Fiery Deluge, Fed With Ever-Burning Sulphur Unconsum'd"

So I guess Morrissey is coming further west than Texas, to Coachella. The Cure and Amanda Palmer are performing, too, so that's three acts I'd love to see. But I don't think there's anything in any form of heaven or Earth that could convince me to go to Coachella again. I blogged at the time (five years ago);

Coachella sucked. It was hell on grass. In a polo field. Where there were horses. The horses were pretty, yes. But the sun was bleedin' ferocious and there was hardly any shade . . . there were great big distances to cross on foot . . .

I was there with Trisa, and the experience was mostly a long day of sitting under a bright, cloudless sky in the middle of a grassy field with no cover. People weren't even allowed to bring umbrellas. We all sunburned, used disgusting portable bathrooms, watched a couple shitty bands, and then there were The Pixies and Radiohead, which was nice but comprised only about 3% of the day. I just wasn't cut out for that sort of thing. Well, not until I hit rock bottom, anyway. By then I hope to at least have some dementia to go with it.

I actually watched the entire Super Bowl yesterday. No, I'm not interested in sports at all. But I had a brandy and my mother had gotten same wonderful sandwiches and a variety of really good appetisers. I had my first bottle of Budweiser, too, and it was the first beer I didn't completely hate. As I said to my sister at the time, it tastes kind of like seltzer water with crumbled bread mixed in it.

Unfortunately, I think I made a nuisance of myself early on because I incorrectly figured the main value for everyone in watching the Super Bowl was in making fun of it--this may be a result of growing up on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and Weird Al Yankovic. They taught me that many things in life can be fun so long as you make fun of them.

The beginning of the show featured a seemingly endless line-up of talentless celebrities and public figures, including Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, and General Petraeus. "And now, here's the cast of Celebrity Rehab," I said, imitating the announcer's voice, which elicited no laughter, merely a dry remark from my sister that I've been watching too much RiffTrax.

But as time wore on, I actually became somewhat fascinated by all of it--the commercials, the celebrities in tacky vests and boleros, and even the game itself. First of all, there's a general atmosphere of violent hostility in commercials these days. Nearly every commercial featured someone getting hit by a car, clothes-lined by an overpass, or getting the shit beat out of them. The Cheetos commercial was about the joys of siccing pigeons on people, tearing off a woman's clothing, and breaking into ATMs. The Doritos commercial was about breaking vending machines and breaking a guy's genitals. One of the Pepsi commercials was a sort of updated version of the football player tossing a kid his towel in thanks for a soda, only in this version, the player beats up a bunch of advertising guys who try to stop him from drinking a beverage he's, in the fiction of the commercial, not endorsing. The kid smiles at the sight of the melee, and the player smiles back at him. The message being, I guess, that one shouldn't sell out, one should violently protest selling out, one should drink Pepsi because we are all born naturally with the desire to do so. Naturally the player was paid substantially to appear in the commercial.

I started getting interested in the game itself, too, especially when the sportscasters started talking about how there were an unprecedented number of personal fouls in the game. I watched players just walking right up to players on the opposite team and start slapping them around, even knowing their entire team was going to be suffer penalisations that would tangibly affect the game. One guy, running across the entire length of the field for a touchdown, apparently made the longest play in Super Bowl history. His name and face quickly became an integral part of the graphics segues and everyone was treating him like a hero. But even that didn't make him think twice about starting to beat on some other guy and receive a penalty for it.

In the end, the team with the slightly fewer personal fouls won. So I guess justice was served.

I watched the twelfth episode of Battlestar Galactica's second season. I still absolutely love this new story arc about the humans' uncertain feelings about the Cylons. But even as I was enjoying it, I couldn't help but laugh when Adama asked Sharon why the Cylons hate them so much. You've had her locked up all this time, you let people visit just to chat with her, and this is the first time you've bothered to ask her why the powerful enemy who's killed most of your species is so hellbent on your destruction? Moira has a word for this sort of thing, it is FACEPALM.

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