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Everyone is Horrid Except Me (And Possibly You)

Posted on April 19th, 2021

Dave!If you know even a little bit about me, you'll know that my musical tastes are a bit... um... eclectic. I love pop. I love electronica. I love dance. I love classic rap and hip-hop. I love hard-core rap. I love metal. I love punk. I love grunge. I love dream-pop. The only music I loathe is opera. The only music I avoid (but have listening to more and more lately) is country.

But there is one genre that I love more than any other: 80's Pop.

And it's not just a small segment either... I love everything from the 80's. And, in particular, 80's Euro-Pop. Thompson Twins, New Order, The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Smiths... I could listen to it all day every day and never tire of it.

Which is why I was absolutely thrilled at the latest episode of The Simpsons (titled Panic on the Streets of Springfield) because they parodied that genre flawlessly... coming up with a character that typified some of the more angsty artists like Robert Smith and Morrisey. But especially Morrisey. You can see him all over the episode, and the incredible parody song Everyone is Horrid Except Me (And Possibly You) which I adored...

Flawless.

I rewound my DVR and played it again and again and again. I loved it.

But boy did somebody running Morrisey's official Facebook account not enjoy it...

Surprising what a “turn for the worst" the writing for The Simpson’s tv show has taken in recent years.
   
Sadly, The Simpson’s show started out creating great insight into the modern cultural experience, but has since degenerated to trying to capitalize on cheap controversy and expounding on vicious rumors.
   
Poking fun at subjects is one thing. Other shows like SNL still do a great job at finding ways to inspire great satire.
   
But when a show stoops so low to use harshly hateful tactics like showing the Morrissey character with his belly hanging out of his shirt (when he has never looked like that at any point in his career) makes you wonder who the real hurtful, racist group is here.
   
Even worse - calling the Morrissey character out for being a racist, without pointing out any specific instances, offers nothing. It only serves to insult the artist.
   
They should take that mirror and hold it up to themselves.
   
Simpson’s actor Hank Azaria's recent apology to the whole country of India for his role in upholding "structural racism” says it all.
   
Unlike the character in the Simpson’s “Panic” episode...
   
Morrissey has never made a “cash grab”, hasn’t sued any people for their attacks, has never stopped performing great shows, and is still a serious vegan and strong supporter for animal rights.
   
By suggesting all of the above in this episode…the Simpson’s hypocritical approach to their storyline says it all.
   
Truly they are the only ones who have stopped creating, and have instead turned unapologetically hurtful and racist.
   
Not surprising... that The Simpsons viewership ratings have gone down so badly over recent years. — Peter Katsis

This is just stupid. When you're in the public eye and phenomenally famous, you're going to get parodied in places like Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons. It's just part of the game. And while, yes, it can be painful to see... the simple fact is that it's incredibly flattering that you're somebody famous enough to be parodied in the first place. People understand that this is a frickin' cartoon PARODY, and the fact that his handlers feel that the real-life Morrissey is so different pretty much proves that.

The character of Quilloughby (from "The Snuffs, as played brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch) is not Morrisey. If The Simpsons wanted to have ACTUAL Morrisey on an episode, they would have called up Morrisey and asked him to be a guest on the show. They do that all the time. But that's not what the episode called for, so they came up with the stand-in they needed to tell the story they wanted to tell and get the laughs they were trying to get.

And the episode is hilarious to anybody like me who loves the genre. I mean, come on, my parents once got contacted because a teacher noticed that I was listening to Morrissey and The Smiths. The music was considered by some to be "psychologically dark and damaging" and parents were concerned that kids who listen to it would commit suicide. For me it was the complete opposite. On the contrary, knowing that there was music which so adeptly captured what I was feeling made me feel less alone in the world.

So... holy shit... RELAX about it! Morrisey has done some crazy shit over the years (he canceled two of the shows I was supposed to see... then cut his show short when I had to FLY ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO SEE HIM because he didn't like the energy of the crowd!). Plenty of crazy shit. So it's not like there was no material for The Simpsons to draw from. With Morrissey, it's a frickin' gold mine.

My love for all things Morrissey has dwindled over the years because he can be such an asshole. But watching Panic on the Streets of Springfield actually made me like him again. But even more surprising? The Simpsons is better than it's been in years this season.

And it goes without saying that I had The Smiths and Morrissey playing all night and all morning after the episode. Dang they had some amazing, amazing music.

   

Living Comfortably Numb

Posted on February 4th, 2019

Dave!Blergh.

Today I had to run into The Big City to have some dental work repaired. Going to the dentist is never fun, but today's trip was made worse by the brutal cold front that descended into the valley last night. It was so cold out that the windshield wipers fell apart after ten minutes on the road.* Which is dangerous when road-slush is fusing itself to your car...

Ice Fusion to My Car

Fortunately I was able to crank the defrost and drive carefully enough that my windshield stayed mostly-clear. At least long enough to drop by the auto parts store for new wipers.

And then it was dental reconstruction time.

Which was a piece of cake.

I can't believe how anesthesiology tech has advanced over the years. Used to be they shoot you up with novocaine and you're uncomfortably numb for an entire day... then you have that awful taste in your mouth as the drugs leach out. Gross. Then everything hurts for a while as your body recovers. Even once novocaine was replaced in the 80's, the new generation of numbing agents seem like they're improving.

Now? You feel nothing. You taste nothing. The numbness fades in hours. There's no residual discomfort or pain. The work was completed just six hours ago and I can barely tell that anything was done. How cool is that?

And speaking of cool...

There's a musician named Simon "Blanks" de Wit in the Netherlands who reimagines popular songs with his own musical arrangements on YouTube. The results are fantastic, especially when he takes contemporary music and turns it into 80's pop with a "StyleSwap"...

The result is often something I like far more than the original...

The guy is incredibly talented, posting "One Hour Challenge" videos where he attempts to remake songs in 60 minutes...

He composes his own songs as well...

His sound is still developing, and it will be interesting to see where he goes as a musician. If he can come up with an album that's 80's pop inspired, I'm so there.

   

*Note to self: Not replacing your windshield wipers for six years is probably not a good idea.

   

Bullet Sunday 560

Posted on April 29th, 2018

Dave!An abundance of sunshine is headed your way... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Gnats! I don't live in the South. But this video made me LOL because most every year gnats show up for three or four days here and it's exactly this...

Another thing that came my way that got me to thinking is this story link, which is exactly the kind of thing you want to be thinking about since mid-term elections are seven months away.

   
• Four-Twenty Day! This is seriously funnier than most stand up specials I've seen...

Dayam!

   
• WHCD! This year they had another Daily Show corespondent host the White House Correspondence Dinner, Michelle Wolf. In my humble opinion, it was a less than stellar performance. Not because the things she said weren't truthful or relevant... I think she hit the right notes there... but because her humor wasn't landing. Skewering people is fine, that's what the dinner is for. But you have to make it sound more lighthearted than just being mean. I think back to Hasan Minhaj's brilliant commentary last year where he totally killed it without going vile, and feel that's a better take on how to do it...

Of course, everybody pales when compared to the absolute master of the White House Correpondence Dinner... President Obama...

Too good to be true in so many ways.

   
• Good Medicine! Then again, no fancy dinner can compare to a solid dose of truth delivered in desperate times...

This is where we are. The current administration is doing nothing to fix anything.

   
• Faux Friends! As for the actually president of these United States of America? Still unhinged, completely detached from reality, and bat-shit insane...

I have no idea... none... how anybody supports this deranged shit show.

   
• New Twins! It's no secret that one of my favorite bands of all time is the Thompson Twins. Which is why it's no surprise that I was thrilled when the group's front-man, Tom Bailey, started touring again. And now? New music!

Tom Bailey's Science Fiction

If you want to support his efforts (which will hopefully be more like a new Thompson's Twins album than anything radically different), you can head over to his page on Pledge Music.

   
Until next week, just keep swimming...

   

Modern

Posted on September 27th, 2010

Dave!omg... OMD...

History of Modern by OMD

   

Yeah, it's pretty frickin' amazing and was well worth the wait. I'd blog more about it, but I'm too busy listening to it. Get your own copy at the iTunes Store!

   

Furs

Posted on June 19th, 2010

Dave!In my never-ending quest to see all my favorite 80's bands in concert, I headed over to Seattle this morning so my sister and I could see The Psychedelic Furs playing at the Showbox SoDo. The Furs were responsible for transitioning me out of my "punk" phase, and led me to a life-long love of the new wave music scene which has lasted until this day.

As expected, the show was phenomenal, even though they didn't play my favorite song (Until She Comes) and the Showbox SoDo is not one of my least favorite venues. Still, with 30+ years of material to draw from, Richard Butler tore through their setlist with an energy and enthusiasm that was contagious, and belied his 54 years...

Psychedelic Furs Album Covers

Probably best-known for their hit Pretty in Pink, The Furs have a fantastic catalog of music that's well-worth checking out if that's the only song you know them by. Their 2001 "Greatest Hits" album is a good place to start (iTunes Link), and at $7.99 for 17 tracks, it's quite a bargain.

   

Bullet Sunday 140

Posted on July 12th, 2009

Dave!In news that surprises even me, my head hasn't totally exploded. That makes Bullet Sunday a bit easier...

• Eventful. In catching up with my mail, I discovered that I was invited to a kind of important event. It's one of those things where I have no idea how my name ever got on the guest list, and am certain that if I showed up that they would realize they made a terrible mistake and kick me out immediately. Fortunately, I won't have to risk having my ego crushed... I can't attend because I'm already scheduled for something else that weekend. Probably just as well. I couldn't really blog about it, so what's the point?

• Phooey. Speaking of pointless... Hong Kong Phooey as a live-action movie? Seriously?!? Nobody could come up with anything better to film than this? I'd say that Hollywood is now officially out of ideas.

• Characters. Speaking of Hollywood, it's kind of odd how small it really is. After a while you notice how the same actors keep popping up over and over again in shows and movies. Two of my favorites are Tim Guinee (from Strange World) and Margaret Colin (from Now and Again). They're everywhere...

Tim and Margaret
Tim Guinee photo from Facebook. Margaret Colin photo from LIFE.

It's shocking that these two have never managed to do a project together. They appear in so many things that I suppose it's inevitable... probably as a Lifetime Television movie or something. Even so, I'd watch that.

• Shock. Speaking of shocking... how is it that I am still discovering 80's music? Groups like Blancmange and China Crisis completely escaped my notice back in the day, and I have no idea how. Oh well. It's kind of cool to be finding them now, because it's music that's all new to me...

• Battles. Speaking of new... I know that all the LEGO video games are made for kids, but I still like them. LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Batman, and LEGO Indiana Jones are all basically the same game with different scenery, but they're still a lot of fun to play. Now LEGO has entered the Real Time Strategy game genre with LEGO Battles for Nintendo DS. It's a drastically simplified version of RTS games like Warcraft and Starcraft, but still has enough going on to be entertaining...

LEGO Battles

The characters change depending on whether you're playing Castle, Pirates, or Space scenarios, but it's basically the same game over and over. Using builders to stock supplies so you can build soldiers to defeat enemies. It gets repetitive but still manages to keep me wanting to move forward to see what's going to happen next. About the only thing that I'd change would be to smarten up the AI that drives the characters. All too often they take wrong turns and get stuck, which means a big chunk of your time is spent herding LEGO mini-figures around. This gets to be really frustrating after a while, and it's so prevalent a problem that it's shocking nobody in development fixed it. Oh well. Until the totally awesome Warlords II FINALLY comes out for DS, I guess this is about as good as it gets.

   

And now I suppose I should go to bed... seeing as how it's midnight and I have to be up in five hours.

I am not fond of Mondays.

   

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