Otohelminthiasis—Part 3: Twitty Feed

Have you been taking your state-approved gullibility pills?  Let’s take a test to see how effective your dosage is …

The High Priest of Country Music

This was the sobriquet of a performer who had fifty-five #1 singles in his career, of whom Wikipedia says that he:

… was an American country music singer. He also had success in the rock and roll, rock, R&B, and pop genres. … Although never a member of the Grand Ole Opry, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

You know who I mean.  Let’s bring him out now.  Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Harold Lloyd Jenkins! Continue reading “Otohelminthiasis—Part 3: Twitty Feed”

Entr’acte—A Musical Prank?

 

Unexpected work responsibilities have kept me from completing the series I started, but I hope to finish it soon.  In the meantime, if you have a moment, ponder with me a question that has been plaguing me for years now.

If you play a prank on someone … does it matter whether they ever figure it out?  I think not.  So long as you’re amused yourself, what’s the difference?

In earlier days, I worked as an assistant for a big shot.  He was not the most fun fellow on the planet .  He was inarticulate, so one of my jobs was to write speeches for him.  On one occasion, I slipped something into his text about being “the master of his domain.” He was an American who put on Continental airs, so I guessed he wouldn’t pick up on the reference. I was right.  He delivered the line and remained clueless thereafter.  But for the last two decades, I have been snickering about the ribald Seinfeldism I made come out of his pissy piehole.  The prank was a success, despite his never catching on. Continue reading “Entr’acte—A Musical Prank?”

Otohelminthiasis—Part 2: Not Quite My Tempo …

Peter Schickele once quipped that the lute is a beautiful instrument, but that you won’t hear it if there is another instrument in the room—even if the other instrument isn’t actually being played! One seldom hears lute music on classical music programs, probably for this very reason: the delicate sound of the lute is simply not “good radio,” in the same way that a chess match would not be “good TV.”

Transmission

In his marvelous monograph, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Jerry Mander develops many fascinating points, one of which is: it is in the very nature of the medium to exclude certain kinds of experiences from public attention. Television takes a three-dimensional reality and flattens it into the two dimensions of a screen. Subtleties are easily lost. The senses of touch, smell, and taste are eliminated. Only that which is outsized and overly-dramatic makes for interesting programming: tight shots of faces, fast-paced action, conflict, and exaggerated sexuality. Events full of nuance that might be compelling when witnessed in person lose their luster when televised. A moonrise in the desert, a child and a dog napping together, the waves at the beach—there is no cable channel for these things, unless they were to get juiced up with a soundtrack or frequent jumps to new angles. TV is best for conveying scenes of strife and passionate sex, sports or violence. Continue reading “Otohelminthiasis—Part 2: Not Quite My Tempo …”

Otohelminthiasis—Introduction: That Damn’d Ole Opry

I’ve been MIA here at POM over the last couple of months due to an unusually heavy schedule of business travel.  A couple of Saturdays back, on the final day of my last trip, I woke up feeling great.  I had slept well (rare for me in a hotel), the constant rain of the previous few days had let up and the sky was bright blue.  Above all, once I completed my morning commitment, I would be on my way home.  I was walking on sunshine …

I ran down to the car to fetch my dress shoes.  It was a short walk from my room, down the elevator, through the lobby, and over to my car in the parking lot.  By the time I got to my car, I was in a blue funk.  “Dear Lord!” I thought, “What just happened?”

I paused for a moment to analyze this sudden emotional turn.  Soon enough I determined the reason: the clue was the echo in my mind’s ear of the song that has been playing in the lobby.  Continue reading “Otohelminthiasis—Introduction: That Damn’d Ole Opry”

Mackinac Machinations?

Mark’s recent post, Fake events of my lifetime, got me thinking: what news stories of the past left me feeling … unconvinced? A certain incident immediately popped into mind. Either I am an insensitive lout who is pitilessly digging up a family’s grief, or I have put my finger on an old school hoax—one from the days before cellphone videos and crisis actors. You help decide …

Source Continue reading “Mackinac Machinations?”

Ain’t Gonna Study S’mores No More

They say that rattlesnake tastes like chicken.

Ostrich meat, curiously, does not. Rather, it tastes like beef, so I am told.

So here’s the question for the coming weekend: What does child slavery taste like? Continue reading “Ain’t Gonna Study S’mores No More”

How to Rule the World in Three Easy Rolls

I was born a nerd, and I will die a nerd.

Like every nerd growing up, I was not much of an athlete.  I preferred to play board games with my best friend Thad, a fellow nerd. This was long before Nintendo and PlayStation, long before World of Warcraft or Minecraft.  We played chess and checkers, Risk and Stratego, and many of the Avalon Hill war games, like Tactics II and Stalingrad.

But I was not just a nerd.  I was also a tycoon wannabe.  And so I enjoyed the games where you made a million bucks: Careers and Masterpiece and above all, Monopoly. Continue reading “How to Rule the World in Three Easy Rolls”