hooray! boo! tinfoil hats for everyone!

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Sunday, March 09, 2008
Here is a random sampling of things that have been making me happy lately, in no particular order:

1. Amy Poehler -- Poehler cracks me all the way up! She has a wide streak of unpredictable but generous energy that I always enjoy watching. She doesn't just play the matriarch or the sexpot or the little girl, she's all over the map in the best possible way. She's really smart and she seems like she is HAVING FUN, which makes me happy. Her interview in Bust magazine last year was great -- The Huffington Post has excerpted some of it here. She talks about how she gets her agent to send her parts for guys (since some comedy writers "freeze up" when writing for women), and her "feminist agenda," which is to see more women comics over 30. "You know, when we were growing up, there were female leads in comedies over 30 who actually looked like they could live in your building. Like, Terri Garr, Lily Tomlin, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton --"

anyway, it's a good interview which unfortunately is not online in its entirety. If you happen across the magazine, read the whole thing because she is FUNNY.

2. Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens are both visible and gorgeous from portland today. (sometimes the clouds hide them completely.) Both very snowy and scenic in the distance.

3. 30 Rock -- Just got season one (from the library!) and I can't believe I haven't been watching this all along. I'd seen an episode or parts of episodes here and there, but OH MY GOD. (there is one part I saw in a promo which my sister and I often repeat to each other, which ALWAYS ends in helpless giggles -- it's Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy saying "Of course I'm in a tuxedo, it's after six o'clock. What am I? A farmer?" -- just the way he stretches out the word farmer makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. That it works completely devoid of context is a testament his talent and to how sharp the writing is on this show.)

Everyone is so good! Tina Fey I loved (so much!) already, Tracy Morgan is perfect here -- "they said I smoked crack. I don't smoke crack, I am straight up mentally ill!" (I had limited tolerance for him on SNL -- he was either brilliant or exhausting.) And of course Alec Baldwin, who is so very good at what he does. (The whole fracas around Alec Baldwin's behavior in his personal life gets me wondering about the line between public art and private life and how much the latter should influence opinion of the former. (but then there are celebutantes whose private life is a huge part of their public... I hesitate to say art, so let's say offerings. it gets confusing.) I haven't really gotten to an articulate place with this wondering, but since I just had a conversation with a friend who was conflicted about having broken her Woody Allen ban, it's on my mind.)

I can't believe I watched that trainwreck Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and didn't watch 30 Rock from the beginning. I mean, I probably STILL would have watched the other, but my bitching would have been more varied with this to compare it to.

4. Maira Kalman -- !!! "She dated George Gershwin, for God's sake!" I just started reading The Principles of Uncertainty and it is so good I can't stand it. I love her use of color, her oddball obsessions (some of which I share) and that she kept a diary through paintings. She is thoughtful, melancholy, hopeful and whimsical. I wish I could paint! This book is made up of work from her NYT blog, but it's so nice to hold in your hands and look at it on paper. I recommend a) buying the book (I still can't believe I found it for 3.98! it was meant to be) or b) putting the book on hold at your local library.

you make me feel like slapping:
Vampire Weekend: slap, slap, slap, slap. I'd read the odd headline here and there, but not really followed the Vampire Weekend phenomenon. I was, of course, excited that there was a song about Oxford Commas (anything to do with punctuation or parts of speech or counting or alphabets is usually alright by me), but I listened to it and was kinda "eh." I mean, it was okay, but it did not thrill me. Maybe the subliminal taint of the inevitable backlash had worked its way to my uninformed brain. The song didn't stir animosity in my heart or anything, I just didn't care. I didn't care at all, that is, until I saw them last night on SNL -- now my overwhelming desire is to somehow transport myself through time and space so I can slap them each individually during that performance. They made me mad just looking at them! This so rarely happens! (although I also have the same reaction to Matthew McBlahblah and GWB-- I think it is a reflex located near the perhaps overly sensitive smugness detectors in my brain.) They seem DESIGNED to elicit this response, so I must assume that this is an art band whose objective is to irritate mild mannered viewers into fits of open-handed slapping. What's up with that? They reminded me of nothing so much as the Squares (Baldwin and the Whiffles, specifically) from John Waters' Cry Baby. What I wanted more than anything was for Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker (or Uncle Belvedere Rickettes, even) to come roaring onto the stage and launch into some impossibly, hilariously lewd rockabilly anthem.

slap, slap, slap, slap.

On the other hand, maybe they just caught me at a bad time. I'm fully aware that my reaction is irrational and they're probably perfectly nice.

Tinfoil Hat Alert: apropos of nothing so much as the date, did you know that the GOLF LOBBY is one of the biggest proponents of Daylight Savings Time?!?! I hope this is some kind of internet hoax, because I don't know that I can wrap my head around bending time for the whole nation in order to sell more golf clubs.
9 comments on "hooray! boo! tinfoil hats for everyone!"
  1. I had never heard of Vampire Weekend until last weekend, during S.N.L. promos, and I must tell you that my reaction was the opposite. I am amazed that 30 Rock was not a program you watched from the start. It is, without doubt, the funniest thing on tv. Not just "network", but all tv. I had no idea that there was a Golf Lobby. That is an unsettling idea. But I do say HOORAY to this sunshine day

  2. Oh right. I forgot to mention the new VF has oodles of funny ladies in it. Of course the article is small(it is in response to, sort of, an essay Christopher Hitchens wrote about women NOT being funny) but it was okay. I liked the Amy Sedaris photo the most. So bad it was good. Or maybe so good it was great? Definitely read it on their site. The $4.95 price of admission is a bit steep for the content.

  3. Good Lord! Why would anyone want to impose a Woody Allen ban on themselves in the first place??

  4. Yay 30 Rock! I love it!

    Yuck, Woody Allen. Nasty disgusting pedophile. I won't watch any of his movies either. More power to your friend. Anyone who's wondering, read up on what Mia Farrow has to say about it. ICK.

    And of course: you CAN paint! Check it out. Get some paints and a brush and a surface of some kind. Then have fun!

  5. BBD, I can't believe I haven't been watching 30 Rock either! Why didn't you tell me?? Thanks for the VF tip, I will check it out. (that Hitchens piece was ... interesting.) As for Vampire Weekend, ha ha ha! I'm sure the fact that I went to high school with a bunch of preppy assholes colored my reaction, as embarrassing as it is to admit all these years later. I'm glad you liked them! It's fun to find a new to you band.

    Anonymous: see Maggie's reply -- my friend was a huge fan of his work, but was greatly offended by aspects of his personal life and chose to quit supporting him in any way. Agree with her or not, it was certainly her choice to make (as is breaking her ban).

    Maggie: Ooh, I want to paint so bad! I have done some dabbley stuff (abstract and mixed media mostly), but figurative painting ELUDES ME. But you're right! I should just do it anyway! I think it would be fun...

  6. I have no plans to run out and buy Vampire Weekend but I did find them enjoyable. I haven't read Hitchens' piece but will probably get around to it. Wait until you get to Jenna saying, "Me want food". That is hilarious, and I think it is season 2, episode 1, of 30 Rock. Woody Allen. I find that I can't always discuss him due to the fact that I feel guilt about the enjoyment he has brought me. Other times i just don't care and think about Manhattan Murder Mystery and I want to play big band music and solve crimes with Diane Keaton!!!

  7. I love Manhattan Murder Mystery! I too want to play big band music and solve crimes with Diane Keaton!!

    I am of two minds on the guiltiness of it. (not of his behavior, but of how much that behavior colors how I enjoy his work.) I'm still working it out -- must we vet every artist we enjoy to make sure that their personal morals line up with our own? Can you take the art apart from the man who made it? Obviously some people can make that choice very clearly, but it seems like a big old grey area. What about artists in the age before newspapers or the internet? What if Botticelli kicked his dog? Anyway, it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately, for some reason.

  8. What Woody did was, I guess, abnormal, to say the least? But it is grey when it comes to creativity and the madness of the creators. I guess in this age of all information all the time it is difficult to distance the two. But if we judge an artists work by what we know of their private lives how can we enjoy any artists work when we don't know what they do in private? Wouldn't we need to know everything about all of the creative types we enjoy? I loved Scoop, but I will say that MMM just makes me all giddy and goofy inside and out. I wouldn't say I support Woody the man but I would say that I support my right to laugh and enjoy and feel conflicted all at the same time.

  9. yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at.

    And now I'm off for an afternoon of crazy lady wrangling in west linn! I hope the sun comes back out.


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