Allergic To Logic

Yesterday afternoon in the store picking up supplies as the Will Smith Summertime song goes: “cause you’re invited to a barbecue that’s startin’ at 4!”

(Yesterday was deeply incredible…that heat was totally bbq inspired. As I driving I had all the windows down and stereo up cranking like Bowie’s Modern Love and MJ’s Off The Wall. Summer is beautiful and wonderful in that order.)

I picked up ketchup chips and was debating which gummies to pick up for the kids/myself when a young lass…maybe 13 or 15 sneezed.

It was like a shotgun went off and people froze like they’re bringing back the Mannequin Challenge.

Her face went all red…looking down at her faded red Cons she mumbled: “I’ve allergies.” Poor kid. She was instantly lepered.

I guess people with allergies now hafta start carrying that Joker “medical condition card” just to participate in our society. That sucks. Hang in there Red Con Kid (and others like her.).

Oh, and I went with sour patch kids.


New Book Alert: August 5-9, 2019

My weekly collection of new and notable books for your pop culture pleasure and edification: #ReadMoreTweetLess.

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The Red Flag of Neverland

You know lost in the whole Michael Jackson Leaving Neverland mess is how utterly arrogant we’ve become.

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Cavalier About Fear

Gimme some time this weekend…I’ve been writing for years long before #MeToo and subpar Michael Jackson documentaries…about that tenuous link between pop culture and morality. I came outta the church where playing cards and rock n roll were evil…so I spent that time writing and sorting out my thinking because what the church was saying wasn’t aligning with my experiences.

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Here’s The Real Deal…

Some positive Michael Jackson news: “a documentary series which will expose media and showbiz corruption.”

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#SetTheVCR: A&E’s Michael Jackson Cultureshock

We lost Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009. Monday June 25, 2018 at 9pm we get A&E’s Cultureshock: Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call which clearly revisits MJ’s final days. Single Tear.

An ending is just a beginning: Cultureshock is A&E’s pop culture five-part docuseries from producer Morgan Spurlock and Entertainment Weekly. Basically A&E’s pop culture 30 for 30…only it’s 5 movies. And…A&E is 34 years old. So 5 for 34?

Anyways the 5 documentaries “take an in-depth look at the untold stories behind watershed moments in pop culture that have had a lasting impact on our society.” Eh we’ll see how that all works out. ESPN’s 30 for 30 are fantastically solid so I’m hoping for that quality.

Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call is the first doc. S’directed by directed by Thom Zimny who recently directed Elvis Presley: The Searcher (Must See TV!) and 3 Bruce docs: Wheels: The Making of Born to Run (haven’t seen this one), The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town (good…check it out) and Bruce Springsteen: A Conversation with His Fans (s’a bit cheezy; see it on a lazy Sunday).

Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call is of course about MJ’s final days…I so hope it’s not some tawdry TMZ gossip but actually recognizes and cements MJ’s GOAT status while mourning what we lost…we take too much of our pop culture for granted.

The Osbournes: The Price of Reality follows on Monday, July 2 at 9pm. I can pass on this; not much interest… Alison Ellwood is the director don’t know her work that well.

The Rise of Trash TV is Monday, July 9 at 9pm. So in for this one! Featuring interviews with Jerry Springer, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo Rivera, Laura Grindstaff, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Maury Povich and more.

Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary is Monday, July 16 at 9pm…the profile of the cult classic series has all the kids buzzing. Some friends saw it at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and had good things to report.

The last doc…the one I long to consume doesn’t have a confirmed air date…yet: Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain. This was the Jordan like rise of Chris Rock where now he, Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K. battle it out for comedy’s top spot. Bring the Pain’s subject matter requires a savvy deft director but unfortunately we get W. Kamau Bell who talks and worse thinks like a Twitter account so I dunno how this’ll turn out.

What’s fascinating about doing a 2018 doc on a 1996 stand up special is that…traditionally most comedy doesn’t age well. You get that one group of people who apply today’s sensibilities to the work (“I can’t believe he said retarded!!”) which is always stupid while overlooking the actual jokes and there’s the real obvious that lotta comedy doesn’t age well…the references, the targets (what’s the deal with President Nixon! Carlin’s Seven dirty words etc) it all gets dated quickly.

Most music can be timeless you can go back to any song in any era and it’ll hold up. In comedy…well ain’t nobody going back to Bob Hope, right? Certainly there’s bits that endure: Eddie Murphy Ice Cream, Bill Cosby Dentist and other similar classics because fans actively keep them alive; constantly injecting them into our pop culture proceedings (in the last week on social media I saw an Eddie Ice Cream meme and an Andrew Dice Clay reference…neither of which were obscure; the intended audiences responded positively.)

So Set the VCR accordingly…this is where we’ve been and who we are.


#CouchWorthy: A&E’s Michael Jackson Cultureshock

We lost Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009.

Monday June 25, 2018 at 9pm we get A&E’s Cultureshock: Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call which clearly revisits MJ’s final days. Single Tear.

Read the rest of this page »

#NewBookAlert: March 5-9, 2018

My weekly collection of new and notable books for your pop culture pleasure and edification: #ReadMoreTweetLess.

Read the rest of this page »

Trailer Alert: Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall

Your opinions on Michael Jackson are entirely irrelevant. I’m sure you have them; I’m sure you’re passionate about them…comments are below: go nuts but they’re totally irrelevant.

MJ’s powerful contributions to our culture (beyond the standard pop culture contributions like the music and fashion) easily overshadow your thoughts: his actions speak louder than your words.

Spike Lee’s latest MJ doc…his follow up to Bad 25 is an opportunity to properly and authentically document Jackson’s crucial cultural contributions: Let The Record Show!

Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall premiered at Sundance at January’s end will now air on Showtime on February 5th at 9:00PM.

MJ’s journey from Motown to Off The Wall is crucial for him as an Artist and especially for us as culture. This is what I mean I say your MJ opinions are irrelevant:

In 1981 MTV refused to air Super Freak Rick James’ biggest hit; MTV focused on (white) rock and rejected videos by black performers (primarily R&B as rap was still in its formation…Blondie’s Rapture (often credited for giving rap it’s genre name) was released in 1981 several months before Super Freak. Rapture aired on MTV…white rock for the win.

That was the state of the union MJ recognized as he prepared to release Thriller in 1982 his eagerly anticipated follow up to Off The Wall. Fortunately he was already battle-tested courtesy of Off The Wall.

Before MTV and its racist ban on music/videos by black performers like Rick James came Disco Demolition Night aka the day disco died: July 12, 1979. An anti-disco demonstration held during a baseball double-header in Chicago’s Comiskey Park celebrated rock by literally crushing disco: Disco Sucks. It was (is?) a rejection of gay culture and black culture Trojan horsed as an emphatic rejection of disco…one loud hedonistic rock celebration. (The standard ongoing tensions that permeate American culture…Disco Demolition Night concluded with a riot, of course. How far have we come since 1979…30 seconds on social media reveals progress hardly worth celebrating…)

“On July 21, 1979, the top six records on the U.S. music charts were disco songs; by September 22 there were no disco songs in the US Top 10 chart.” Disco Sucks!

(By the way how amazing is it to look back and realize that KISS the very epitome of rock n roll (can’t get more rock n roll than Love Gun!) was on Casablanca Records which featured records by Donna Summer, Lipps Inc., Village People plus many more disco types…the more successful KISS became the more rock fans were indirectly supporting disco! Pop culture makes us all hypocrites).

Disco died on July 21, 1979 and Michael Jackson (with the talented Quincy Jones) delivered the eulogy on August 10, 1979 via Off The Wall. Creatively separated from the Motown Jackson 5 era MJ wanted to make a emphatic statement: a sonic manifesto to put listeners on notice. Off The Wall was extremely effective at establishing MJ’s adult and musical identity, further cementing Quincy’s reputation as a genius and putting listeners on notice.

(Popular 1979 hits include but are not limited too: Rod Stewart’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Tragedy by The Bee Gees and the never out of style classic You Don’t Bring Me Flowers by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond!)

Critical acclaim, American Music, Grammy and Billboard awards,  successful sales…the third best selling album of 1980…even establishing a bold record: Jackson became the first solo artist to have four singles from the same album peak inside the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 all amazing but…not enough; not even close, not for MJ.

Proving once again how you define success is irrelevant (I told you from the start your opinions on MJ are entirely irrelevant) Jackson was disappointed Off The Wall was not bigger. This disappointment was the fertile ground from which the seeds for Thriller grew.

Thriller brings us back full circle to MTV and their ban on videos by black performers. MJ affectionally became the  Jackie Robinson of pop music. His Thriller work could not be ignored and helped desegregate MTV but also many rock stations. That’s huge: we still live in that ripple effect.

MJ had to experience Motown to get to Off The Wall which lead to the end of disco and the start of Thriller the birth of short films disguised as music videos and most importantly the desegregation of our music media like MTV and rock stations.

MJ man…MJ.

Sammy’s Status: Considering how we just lost Bowie this is another sobering reminder of all that we’ve had…and lost.


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Ziggy Was Here January 8, 1947 – January 10, 2016

Birth Year Readings II

Friday September 28, 2012 was my birthday.

Not a particular milestone, another notch on the belt of time. Though one year ago I started Birth Year Readings…from birthday to birthday I was curious to see how much I read. I did not include all the various articles, blogs I tend to chew on, rather focusing on my three primary food groups: comics books (monthlys and one shots), books (like with no picture…novels to non-fiction) and comic book trades (collections anywhere from 4 issues to 10 or more).

And it turned out to be a crazy experiment.

From September 28, 2011 to September 27, 2012 I read:
486 comic books (monthlys and one shots)

35 books (non-fiction mostly)

99 comic book trades (dagnabbit, had I known I was so close I’d have pushed for 1 more)

Nuty nuts that is. Still let’s do it all over again and see how much I complete by Friday September 27, 2013.

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