Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ethnic music

Mamma Mia! opened in London in 1999, premiering as a musical mixing the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA and borrowing the story from the 1968 film Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell. It has grown in immense popularity, with productions all over the world, including Broadway and Utrecht, the Netherlands.

I've never seen it.

I do have the option to see it now, though, with a Hollywood film adaption of the play, starring the ever graceful Meryl Streep and he-hunk Pierce Brosnan. I doubt I will, however. It's not that I dislike musicals; far from it. Heck, you can throw some tap dancing in there if you like, and I'll watch it. No, after seeing the film promoted heavily on American television news magazine shows, I have decided that Streep's singing is akin to one of MacBeth's witches screeching out a recipe, while Brosnan doesn't so much sing as shout. It would be almost funny if the story wasn't so heavily saccharine.

In any event, just like the birth of the play, the appearance of a feature film has put ABBA back in the spotlight. Nevertheless, hearing 10 second clips of various ABBA songs was driving me insane. I personally consider that the biggest of all cockteases. I hate when radio stations do that for promos, I hate when commercials do that to sell songs, and I hate it when "news" programs do it about ABBA. I do own an ABBA album, Gold, and to relieve myself, I played the disc for the first time this decade. Literally.

I rediscovered what a catchy band they were. Lots of terrible music came from the disco era, but ABBA produced quite a number of memorable, and maybe even pleasing, pop songs from the mid-to-late 70s. Not so much that their music will be a regular staple in my audio diet, but hey, once every 9 or 10 years, why not break out the ABBA?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Amazon's mistakes and meat through the mail

Editor's note: this post was originally written on March 7th, 2008, but never published. To meet the contractual obligations of this blog, the author has agreed to allow the content to be published for the first time ever.

Via email:
Dear Amazon.com Customer,

As someone who has purchased or rated books by Jon Stewart, you might like to know that Kierkegaard and His German Contemporaries: Literature and Aesthetics (Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources) is now available. You can order yours for just $114.95 by following the link below.
Not quite, Amazon.

I've also been getting discount grocery offers from them, such as $15 off $39 worth of crackers or $15 off $39 on select meat snacks. What would I do with $78 (retail) worth of crackers and meat? This is not good meat we're talking about. We're talking about a combination of Slim Jim and Beggin Strips.

When is it okay to call someone a sambo?

In case you live in Belgium and are more concerned about your collapsing government than stupid American news items, the Reverand Jesse Jackson may or may not have called Barack Obama a nigger. This has led to all kinds of questions, including when is it okay to use the word nigger, who is allowed to use the word nigger, and did you just drop my golf clubs, nigger?!

I have provided a handy list of when it is appropriate to say nigger, followed by a list of people who are allowed to say nigger. Nigger nigger.

When is it okay?

- When talking with your friends
- When talking to black people
- When mispronouncing the country of Niger
- When someone cuts you off
- When describing to police who stole your bike
- When telling a real estate agent who you don't want to live next to besides Asians
- When you suspect the valet took your Mercedes for a joy ride
- When explaining why you want to vote for McCain
- When you are too stupid to know what niggardly means
- When you are making gay porn
- When politely expressing disagreement
- Whenever else you want

Who can say the word?

- Everyone except Elizabeth Hasselback

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Heywood Jablowmi

I was at Virginia Beach this past weekend, but the real fun was in Greece:
ATHENS (Reuters) - Nine British women were facing prostitution charges after being arrested at the weekend for taking part in an oral sex competition in the Greek holiday island of Zakynthos, police said on Monday.
The article doesn't go into much beyond that, sadly, except to say that six British men and six Greek men were charged with encouraging obscene behavior. The women were paid to play the skin flute and were recorded doing so, with the intent to post the video online. Sadly, the police confiscated the video. Not since the destruction of the Library of Alexandria has the human race lost so much.

The article ends this way:
Around 15 million people -- a fifth of them British -- visit the eastern Mediterranean country each year, drawn by its soaring summer temperatures, azure waters and sandy beaches.
And blowjob competitions. Don't forget the sloppy snake sliders!