Freaking Out Squares

Friday, October 27, 2006

Frankly, My Dear...

Such a baaaaad title, given the text I'll be taking today. And it's a Gone with the Wind reference, which I know will send a certain person who shall remain anonymous (Marcia) to the loo with dry heaves. As they say in the Jack Chick tracts, haw haw!

Ahem. As I mentioned, I've been rereading Sarah Vowell's books lately. I can't help but love a self-realized history geek who manages to work President James A. Garfield into the same sentence as Lou Reed, and who publicly admits to once having uttered the phrase "Wonder Twin powers...activate! Form of...a straight-A student." That said, I also "can't help but" feel like a total dumbass in her literary presence. I mean, the lady is a nerd. And I envy that. I wish I had the drive and the attention span to "go too far and care too much about a subject," as SV describes herself. Oh, sure, I have the Rosenberg case to keep my soupcon of nerdosity thumpin', but that's nothing compared to SV and the geekiness of some of my friends. The Pirate, for example, has a master's in medieval history. He can also hold forth on physics, current events, George Balanchine versus Jerome Robbins, Bela Bartok, and every war movie ever made. Only twice have I been able to point out errors in his narrative. Once, he claimed Auschwitz was liberated in April 1945, but I happened to know it was liberated in late January of that year. Another time, he claimed that Morgan Freeman was the original Gordon on Sesame Street. I am in the proud possession of a book called Sesame Street: Unpaved, and was thus able to inform him that the only 1970's kids' show on which Morgan Freeman appeared was The Electric Company. Both times, the Pirate felt it necessary to go look this shit up on the Internet rather than take me at face value. How insulting! I suppose that's what I get for jettisoning my "commitment to excellence" shortly after my mother died, so exhausted was I by her campaign to turn me into a Stepford student by drilling me on the various works of obscure Baroque composers and clobbering me upside the head. But I digress, per usual. Point being, as a former straight-A student myself turned surly underachiever, I am wildly intimidated and self-loathing in the face of such overwhelming nerdiness, whether leaping from the pages of SV's books or filtering through my telephone courtesy of the Pirate.

But there is one area in which I feel confident enough to refute SV's position, and that is on the topic of Frank Sinatra. As with Elvis, another one of SV's musical heroes, I have never quite understood the Sinatra mania in which at least two-thirds of my fellow townspeople appear to be in possession. Don't get me wrong--I like Sinatra. I find him enjoyable to listen to, albeit in small doses. "New York, New York" never fails to engender a big, goofy grin on my face, "Luck Be a Lady" makes me want to throw on the glad rags and swill a few martinis at the Stork Club, and even "Something Stupid" sets my toes tapping, despite the fact that he's singing it with his daughter and because Sideshow Bob sang a version of it in the Simpsons episode wherein he marries Aunt Selma and subsequently tries to murder her during a postcoital viewing of McGyver. ("And then I go and spoil it all by doing something stupid like explode you." Remember that? Sigh.) But too much Sinatra is like being drenched with maple syrup. I don't need to feel like I'm in a mob movie for more than oh, say, ten minutes before I find myself yearning for things like bagels and the Equal Rights Amendment. (For the record (hee), I feel compelled to state that I really. Don't. Like Elvis. At all. "Jailhouse Rock" is about all I can handle before I have to snap off the radio and bleach my brain.)

I was partially raised by my maternal grandparents, and so I grew up listening to the greatest hits of World War II. Go to my grandpa's house, and you can still listen to 8-tracks of the Mills Brothers, the Ink Spots, Vera Lynn, and the Andrews Sisters. But there's nary a Sinatra album, cassette, or CD in the house, although many years after her death, I discovered that Frank had been my grandma's favorite singer at one time. When I asked my grandpa why, he said "Because he's overrated." Hmmm, thought eleven-year-old I. He's certainly ubiquitous. (One of the perks of having an intellectual despot mother was learning words like "overrated" and "ubiquitous" at a fairly early age. Those things stayed lodged in my brain; the complete works of Monteverdi did not. Tough titty toenails, Maman.) Summering at the Jersey shore as a kid, I could neither fathom nor handle the Sinatra onslaught that seemed to befall us every time we set foot on certain areas of the Boardwalk. What was the deal with this guy? Why, like Elvis, did he have to be everywhere? What was so all-fired great about him, and what was my problem (and my grandpa's) that we were unable to jump on the Frank-wagon?

My dad, per usual, opened up the Sinatra phenomenon a bit for me in my teens. I learned that at least some of the Frank adoration was warranted, that he was actually a fine musician, and that he had an amazing arranger, Nelson Riddle, who unflaggingly accomodated him after he famously lost his voice sometime around the occasion of his marriage to Ava Gardner. (Another thing I didn't realize, that the Frank with whom I was most familiar was post-voice loss Frank. I've since heard recordings of him singing in the '40s and I recall an angelic tenor, not too different from the crooners emanating from my grandpa's 8-track.) Why so many people slobbered over the man, my dad could not explain. The girls loved his looks, but to me, he was a rubber-faced doofus. (Still is. Heresy!) And yes, he was a fine singer and an excellent showman, but still, why was he a friggin' industry?

Beatlemania, for some reason, I could totally dig. It's not that I'm completely against hero worship. In fact, that's how I've conducted my relationships for most of my life--find someone to worship, hope they pay attention to me, and do everything possible to gain and hold that person's attention, lest I find myself forced to commit suicide. Gee, wonder where I got THAT, Mother? I don't advise living your life this way, and I'm working very very hard to find a new, less degrading way of relating to people, but I get it. It makes sense to me. If I'd been born thirty years earlier, I have no doubt I would have been running after the moptopped lads from Liverpool screaming my lungs bloody. At the very least, I would have ensconced myself in my dorm room at Berkeley, playing "Tomorrow Never Knows" over and over while ingesting copious amounts of acid. And no, I'm neither unaware of nor insensitive to the fact that John and Paul were hardcore Elvis worshippers.

Like anything else of this ilk, when all is said and done, I suppose it's a question of personal taste. The Beatles were brainy. They were trippy. They went to India with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They assaulted my young, fertile mind with such lyrics as "Now my advice for those who die/Declare the pennies on your eyes" and even "Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna/Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe," backed up by wailing guitars, overdubbed strings, and weird, dissonant harmonies. The most sensitive of my erogenous zones has always been my brain, and the Fab Four infiltrated my gray matter with the power of a hypodermic needle delivering a shot of the purest amphetamine. Then, too, let's not forget that they were British. At the crux of hero worship is a strong sense of inferiority, and like many of my tribe (Americans, not nerds), my reaction to the British can best be encapsulated by that old New Yorker cartoon in which an old lady states, "Everyone in Paris is so sophisticated. Even the streetcleaners speak French." Clearly, I'm not the only one with the need to feel inferior to something. Yes, I can and do blame my mother all I want for kindling this need in me, but I have to wonder if I wouldn't have felt the same had she been a garden-variety Bohemian with PMS who didn't beat the living shit out of me every time I failed to cater to her myriad psychotic needs. After all, there's a reason Christianity has been such a, well, "success," and we can't blame it all on the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition.

And Frank Sinatra? Well, he was smoove. There is a difference between "smoove" and "smooth," and while I'm wont to respond to the latter, I'm rather allergic to the former. "Smoove" is specifically about "come here, baby, I'll buy you diamonds and mink." As spineless as I tend to be, I've never fallen for that jive. If a fellow tried some line like "Your mother should be arrested--she stole the stars and put them in your eyes" on me, I'd laugh in his face. By contrast, when my high school boyfriend told me "You have this alluring quality that makes me want to stand riveted to this spot talking to you all night, but I can't, because my fucking mother needs her car back by one," I fairly swooned. Then, too, I never felt inferior to Frank. We're both from the same people, although as I frequently remind my dad, being one-quarter Italian does not a paisan make. But I think it has less to do with ethnicity than it does the idea of What Women Want, or What Humans Want. Most humans--well, American humans, at least--are easily smooved. They love it. It's no surprise that we have the pituitary case we do sitting in the White House. And although I liked the guy, although I cast my first presidential ballot for him, Clinton was a grade-A smoover. But even though I'm still pissed at him for essentially destroying the last vestiges of the American Left, at least in the mainstream, at least the guy had the goods to back it up, even if he often didn't use them for honorable purposes.

I suppose I get it the Frank thing now, at least on an intellectual level. But I don't want to turn this into some kind of ideological battle any more than I already have. In short, I guess it's more like preferring tomatoes to carrots than it is declaring one's political allegiance, but maybe if I keep this up long enough and do some hardcore research, someone somewhere will give me a Ph. D.

As for Elvis? If someone reading this wants to explain THAT whole mishegoss, be my guest. Because I really. Don't. Get it. At all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're really smart. Why not spend your time on stuff beyond Sinatra and Beatelmania? You deserve better.

5:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,nice blog!!! I found a place where you can make an extra $800 or more a month. I do it part time and make a lot more than that. It is definitely worth a visit! You can do it in your spare time and make good cash. Make Extra Cash

2:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,nice blog!!! I found a place where you can make an extra $800 or more a month. I do it part time and make a lot more than that. It is definitely worth a visit! You can do it in your spare time and make good cash. Make Extra Cash

2:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very useful site with good content, thanks!!!

replica louis vuitton sunglasses
paycheck cash advance

fax loan payday quick

loan personal quick unsecured

1000 advance fax no payday

payroll cash advance

100 advance cash online payday

cash easy fast loan payday simplepaydayloancom

cash emergency fast loan loan loan payday quick

home equity loan calculation

credit free louisiana report score

With best regards...

12:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very Nice! Please read my post :)

buy phentermine prozac

buy cod online pay tramadol

buy soma pill

tadalafil topical

buy tadalafil

atarax tablet

cheap phentermine 375 mg

Good Luck!

2:57 PM

Anonymous Terry said...

Please don't go the Richard Brautigan route ;-)
I know you are upbeat but hey you sound sad and you really, really dont need to be. You have skills and live in a great place.
Love and peace.

7:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have been using Advanced Gain Pro for 3 months now and I must say I'm simply amazed. I really didn't think the product would have this many benefits. I really only purchased the pills to help the reliability of my erections. But to my surprise every aspect of my penis and sex life has improved. I have larger, harder erections easily, and I can really satisfy my girlfriend fully now."
Dexter, Chicago

Don't miss out on improving your performance!

Our others products, more info here:
Ultra Allure Pheromones

7:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool site! Welcome to my sites too:

lose body fat gain muscle

herbal weight loss patches


4:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

emo myspace layoutemo myspace layoutemo myspace layout

9:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi man! Thanks for the site!
online drug store
drug store pharmacy online
discount drug store online
canadian online drug store
cheap online drug store
prescription drug store online
canada online drug store
drug foreign online store
online drug store ultram
drug medication online prescription store
drugstore online
online drugstore
online drugstores
mexico online drugstores
1 drugstore online
canadian online drugstores
online drugstores spain
foreign drugstores online
generic viagra

12:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work guyz!
zithromax 1g
zithromax z pack
zithromax used for treating
zithromax as treatment for chlamydia
zithromax dosing instructions
zithromax medicine
zithromax as for treatment for chlamydia
zithromax dosage
alcohol and zithromax
zithromax no perscription
side effects of zithromax
zithromax azithromycin
zithromax no prescription
antibiotic zithromax
zithromax side effects
zithromax z-pak
zithromax 3 week course
See you later, thanks

6:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, man! Cool site!
effexor xr
effexor xr withdrawal
is effexor xr a good drug
effexor xr withdraw symptoms
effexor xr side effects
effexor xr weight loss
effexor xr withdrawal symptoms
effexor xr and eye problems
effexor xr withdrawals
generic effexor xr
effexor xr online
effexor xr 75mg side effects
alcohol and effexor xr
effexor xr generic
antidepressant effexor xr
effexor xr dosage
side effects of effexor xr
buy effexor xr
cheap effexor xr
effexor xr 37.5
effexor xr discount
effexor xr hearing loss
effexor xr treats depression
See you soon!

3:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NSU - 4efer, 5210 - rulez

1:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

[b] Relax and enjoy [/b]


6:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sexy storie …
My 14-year-old sister Megan came bounding into the kitchen wearing her black bikini. I had little time to react before she jumped up and wrapped her arms and legs around me. She squealed loudly in my ear and I had to grab onto the counter to keep from falling over.
… I leaned down over her body and licked along her nipples once gain. I slowly dragged my tongue down her stomach and tickled her sides. She giggled and I laughed too. My sweet baby sis, still so ticklish. My sweet baby sis, who I was about to make love to.
I love lolitas !! and sex :)
Young lolita it is a best !!!
__________________ - New Teen Tgp Site! Visit it and have fun! Enjoy it! - Free TGP site directory
I am not kidding) - is very hot )

9:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tramadol, viagra


2:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latest news. Viagra, cialis


11:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russia - forever!

5:23 AM

Anonymous THE BEST SITE said...

Very interesting site :) You can find more information at :
porn mag scans
porn clips
free anal porn
legal preteen porn
jordan porn
elin nordegren porn
porn pics of teenage girls
Hope it will always be alive! THE END :)

7:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oZzy moved away earlier, I miss his cock, for always hungry for intercourse.


Check out my web-site - hcg injections

6:16 AM

Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren, tory burch outlet, gucci handbags, tiffany and co, air max, nike free, burberry pas cher, michael kors pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin, christian louboutin shoes, jordan shoes, polo outlet, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, prada handbags, uggs on sale, longchamp outlet, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, nike free run, ugg boots, jordan pas cher, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, kate spade outlet, nike outlet, nike air max, longchamp outlet, nike roshe, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ray ban sunglasses

8:52 PM

Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion outlet, polo lacoste, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet online, guess pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, kate spade, replica handbags, michael kors outlet online, new balance, michael kors outlet, nike air max uk, nike air force, michael kors, sac vanessa bruno, vans pas cher, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet, mulberry uk, ray ban uk, nike tn, nike roshe run uk, burberry handbags, abercrombie and fitch uk, converse pas cher, lululemon canada, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban pas cher, coach outlet store online, sac hermes, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, michael kors, hollister pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, uggs outlet, hogan outlet, coach outlet, timberland pas cher, ralph lauren uk, coach purses, hollister uk, north face uk, oakley pas cher, nike free uk, uggs outlet, nike air max

8:53 PM

Blogger oakleyses said...

nike air max, insanity workout, vans outlet, vans, hollister, ghd hair, hollister, bottega veneta, mac cosmetics, new balance shoes, ralph lauren, mcm handbags, oakley, mont blanc pens, nike roshe run, p90x workout, nfl jerseys, babyliss, instyler, toms shoes, wedding dresses, gucci, louboutin, hollister clothing, abercrombie and fitch, north face outlet, soccer jerseys, jimmy choo outlet, lululemon, lancel, celine handbags, herve leger, chi flat iron, asics running shoes, longchamp uk, hermes belt, baseball bats, ferragamo shoes, nike trainers uk, soccer shoes, valentino shoes, timberland boots, reebok outlet, converse, nike air max, ray ban, converse outlet, north face outlet, beats by dre, nike huaraches

8:54 PM

Blogger oakleyses said...

canada goose, links of london, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose jackets, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, hollister, ugg pas cher, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, moncler, canada goose outlet, swarovski crystal, supra shoes, canada goose, wedding dresses, moncler outlet, swarovski, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler outlet, moncler, montre pas cher, louis vuitton, pandora charms, canada goose uk, pandora uk, moncler, moncler, louis vuitton, ugg uk, moncler uk, karen millen uk, coach outlet, doudoune moncler, ugg, canada goose outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, juicy couture outlet, replica watches

8:54 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home