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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

“King Tut”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 18, 2017

Note: The obligatory obituary post for AC/DC’s Malcolm Young will be coming soon.  But I’ve got to get this little rant off my chest first.  Plus, I think Malcolm would’ve really enjoyed hearing this tune again.

 

One of my dear friends on Facebook recently posted this article about some students offended by Steve Martin’s 70s novelty hit “King Tut.”  Something about the performance being “blackface” and akin to using the n-word.  Assuming they meant that literally, that means they’re assuming Tutankhamun was a black man.  That may or may not be the case; depictions of Tut pretty much run the gamut colorwise.  But seeing that he was born in a land of much sun, he probably had a bit more melanin in his skin than, say, your average Scandinavian.  (Skin color is directly related to how much sun your ancestors were exposed to when evolving.  Period.)  But the song wasn’t meant as a commentary on race.  It was meant as a commentary on the blatant commercialization surrounding the Treasures of Tutankhamun tour.  It came to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1978, and my family went.  (My original post of this song focused on that, written while Daddy the amateur Egyptologist was still around.)  It was glorious.  And it was also crass and expensive.  We alone purchased I don’t know how many silly souvenirs from it.  The entire country was gripped with Tut fever at the time.  Why shouldn’t Steve Martin have a little fun with it?

Of course, if the instructor of the class had played this version from Saturday Night Live, then they would’ve seen Martin’s introduction and contextualization of the song.  If they paid attention.  And if they didn’t decide to reflexively get their hackles up over the obvious stereotypes and pure silliness of the song.  He wasn’t making fun of Tutankhamun; he was making fun of all the idiots who acted like they knew something about him or ancient Egypt just because of one really spectacular art & artifact tour.

I don’t fault these kids for being aware of the bias against African-Americans in our society.  I don’t fault them for trying to fight for equality.  I certainly don’t fault them for fighting back against the brutality and violence many black people are faced with every day simply because of the color of their skin.  They’re right, dammit.  But I do fault them for not understanding the joke in this case.  They missed the point.  And the instructor probably missed it, too.  I imagine this was presented not in the cultural light it was meant to be seen, but as a case of racial stereotyping.

Really, these kids would be offended by pretty much anything from SNL back in the 70s.  You know, back when it was kind of offensive.  And really, really, really funny.  And truly insightful and satirical.  They only know about the tame buffooning that they see today.  They didn’t watch the good old days when the Not Ready For Prime Time Players and the show’s writers were both vicious and fearless.  If they’re offended by “King Tut,”  then they really better not ever see the Job Interview skit.  They’ll really lose their shit over that one.

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“Santaland Diaries”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 24, 2015

Here’s the second entry in what’s going down as Bitter and Sarcastic Christmas.  (I’m not feeling especially bitter, just kind of worn down.  Expect New Year’s entries to be equally downbeat.)  While yesterday’s piece from David Sedaris is my favorite, he’s much better known for the “Santaland Diaries.”  It’s the chronicle of his time working as an Elf for Macy’s, and it’s just as dark and wonderful as “Six to Eight Black Men.”  NPR plays it every Christmas, so you may well have heard it before, but please enjoy it again.  Or for the first time.  And if you’ve never read a David Sedaris book before, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, get your hands on as many of them as you can as quickly as possible.

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“Six to Eight Black Men”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 23, 2015

I’ve been neglectful this Christmas season–partly out of busyness, partly out of a bit of apathy, partly because I’ve had a cold.  (On a side note, can I please be done coughing now?)  And if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you already know that my patience for Christmas music is rather limited.  Luckily for all of us, this track isn’t music.

David Sedaris is a terrifically funny writer.  Dry, satirical, and occasionally horrifying.  This particular piece is probably my favorite of his.  I almost hurt myself laughing the first time I read it.  The title won’t make sense until about halfway through, but trust me, it’s sooooooo worth it.

Just a little Christmas fun.

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“Beep Beep”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 30, 2015

Today is the November 30th, the final day of Nano Poblano.  It was a fun ride this month, and I learned that getting back into the swing of posting regularly isn’t that hard.  This week’s gonna be busy, but I’m hoping to keep up the habit (I might start taking weekends off again, though).  School’s almost over, and I’ve got two final assignments due on December 8th, so a lot of my brain power will be heading that way.  I also enjoyed being a Tiny Pepper this month.  I’m not a huge joiner, but it’s always fun to be a member of a community.

Have I learned anything else?  Well, judging from my song choice for today, I’m gonna go with no.

I had this song stuck in my head all morning.  It wasn’t that bad, really, as far as earworms go.  It was one of those novelty songs I used to love to listen to when I was a kid, and it’s still kind of fun.

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“Existential Blues”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 21, 2015

I was thinking about this song today.  That’s all.  Well, that, and I think everyone could use a laugh.  Enjoy.

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Because I Am Cranky Today

Posted by purplemary54 on October 11, 2015

Well, things have calmed down a little bit.  I got caught up on my school work (for the moment, anyway), including all the stuff that I didn’t do when I was sick for a week or so.  Mom’s doing okay.  She celebrated being cleared to drive by getting a haircut and buying cigarettes, dammit.  (Damn the cigarettes, not the haircut.)  We had the house sprayed for termites while I was sick (a more eco-friendly version that didn’t require the house being tented and us moving out for a week).  And got the oven door fixed when one of the hinges decided to quit.  I’m behind on my podcasts again, but I’m getting caught up on the laundry (one more load, I think. . . no, two since Mom’s bedspread needs washing).  All in all, I think I managed to survive.

Did I mention I was sick?  Oh yeah.  I only get sick maybe once or twice a year, but I pull out all the stops when I do.  I felt like something one of the cats heaved up.  I did a little heaving up myself, and just the idea of food put me off for several days; I couldn’t even watch food commercials on TV.  It took me about two weeks just to get my sea legs back.  I’m still not back into my old routines, but I’m getting there.

Of course the weather has been putrid–you know, since everything else was going so smoothly.  Because it was so hot when I was sick, I lost several plants outside because I couldn’t water.  We’re still in hell (literally, not figuratively) temperature-wise for the next couple of days.  That’s what the weather people keep saying, anyway.  The electric bill is through the roof the last couple of months.  (Thanks, climate change!)

All of this is to say that the last few weeks have not been a little slice of heaven.  And although there is a light at the end of the tunnel (probably from an oncoming train, but at this point, I don’t give a flip), I have been, shall we say, a little tense today.  Or, to put it another way, fuck the world and the horse it rode in on.  Between grocery shopping today, my 49ers stinking up whatever joint they happen to be playing in, and all the other little annoyances of life, I’m about ready to rip out the throat of the first person who asks me how it’s going.  It’s probably hormonal, but I can’t be sure since the hysterectomy made it impossible for me to tell which time of the month is that time of the month anymore.  (Thanks, giant fibroids!)

And there’s still a lot of crap stuff to do.  All the household stuff that always needs doing, of course.  And I’m late for my annual checkup (like two years late), so I need to see the doctor now that I’m feeling healthy again.  I’ve got a half-dozen other things that are causing the hamster wheel of worry in brain to spin faster and faster.  Generally, the best thing I can say about life right now is that I’m still alive.  And that’s probably a good thing.

Where am I going with all this ranting?  What kind of musical connection am I going to pull out of my ass hat?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Because this song has nothing to do with anything.  But when I watched this video about fifteen minutes ago, it made me smile.  And given everything else, that’s a pretty big deal to me right now.

I hope it made you smile, too.

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“That Was Your Mother”

Posted by purplemary54 on February 17, 2015

Yeah, I know Fat Tuesday is almost over here on the West Coast, and it’s long past in many, many other time zones.  I suppose it’s not really an issue for me.  I’m not Catholic and do not celebrate Ash Wednesday or Lent; I only celebrate Easter in the sense that I like hard-boiled eggs dyed pretty colors.  (I will also enjoy Filet-O-Fish sandwiches being on sale at McDonald’s every Friday for the next month or so.)  But here’s a little Zydeco stylings via the great Paul Simon for your musical enjoyment, anyway.

On a totally unrelated note, if you are in need of a giggle, please check out this tumblr blog.  It’s sick and dark and twisted, and I’ll bet it’s right up a lot of my readers’ alley.  You’re welcome.

Posted in Music, Singer-Songwriters | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Freaky Friday: “Too Many Cooks”

Posted by purplemary54 on November 7, 2014

I saw this on Dangerous Minds late last night, but apparently it first aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block.  I’m not sure how much I want to say about this strange little clip, except that it’s very, very funny.  It also plays on my love of TV theme songs, as well as fond memories of my 80s adolescence.  Other than that, it really does need to be seen.  Otherwise, you might not believe anyone would be twisted enough to come up with this.

Yeah.  That just happened.

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Repost: “Fish Heads”

Posted by purplemary54 on October 29, 2014

I’ve been catching up on my DVR viewing (Sleepy Hollow is just as bananas as it ever was).  But I keep thinking I can smell tuna sandwiches somewhere.  I don’t know what that means.  But it led me back to this Freaky Friday classic.

I chose this old Dr. Demento standard by Barnes & Barnes for this weeks freaky post because I wanted to lighten things up after last week’s visit from The Residents. (Although, let’s face it, pretty much everything is happier than that freaky short film. Sorry if I actually freaked anyone out; that’s not actually the point of Freaky Friday.) Except the video for “Fish Heads” is a lot freakier than I’d remembered it being.

I’d buried this in the comments section quite some time ago, but didn’t pay much attention otherwise. “Fish Heads” is one of those songs meant to amuse and nothing more. There is no hidden meaning, no secret political agenda (although I’d like to hear it if anyone can come up with some kind of philosophy to attach to this one). It’s just a surreal little trip into the brains of Barnes & Barnes.

Art and Artie Barnes are actually former child star Billy Mumy and his childhood friend Robert Haimer (thanks, Wikipedia!). They got together as adults and recorded some weirdly funny songs and short films. “Fish Heads” is the best known, eventually becoming the most requested song in the history of the Dr. Demento show. There’s a whole backstory about the “twins” being from another planet, which explains the guys dressed in garbage bags with funky makeup, I guess. (I assume that’s Mumy and Haimler dressed up in lo-tech, low-cost alien “costumes.”)

Is there any redeeming social value to any of this? Well, it makes people laugh. That ought to be good enough for anyone.

Posted in Freaky Friday, Music | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

“Is this burning an eternal flame?”

Posted by purplemary54 on October 11, 2014

No.  It’s not an eternal flame.  It’s an STD.  Go see a doctor.

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