Friday, September 27, 2013

Whither Lines?

I can no longer walk a straight line.  There are lines all over my aging face.  I can't even see the lines I used to think I could read between.  (Okay, that last one was me ripping off Brian Eno.)  I should do a radio show about lines.

I will!  In an hour, on 88.1 fm WRFL Lexington! You can listen online at WRFL dot fm!  Call or come by!  I promise, there won't be a line.

Just lots of songs about lines.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Preface To Lines: What If I Can't Remember My Lines?

I used to think I had a good memory, until I realized how fallible memory is.  But I have been able to memorize lots of things in my life, including pretty much every Elvis Costello song before 1990, & all the Smiths songs too.  & more.

But I've never had to memorize an entire play.  I knew a woman who had acted in a couple of plays with the Shakespeare At Winedale program in the 1990s - something I didn't know about until long after I'd finished school, or else I might have wanted to audition for it, & spend a summer doing.

(It's funny, at the radio station the other day, one of the kids there returned from a job fair & was complained how square everyone there was - how they were mainly hiring accountants.  But she mentioned that someone was there from the State Department & that person said, "If you work for the State Department, you will probably spend your entire career overseas."  I had never heard that before. I never went to a job fair.  I want to work for the State Department at the age of 22!)

I have had to memorize things for class before, & I have gotten extremely nervous doing so.  Here are two stories about that (both involve Shakespeare):

First story.  In 10th grade, we read Julius Caesar, & we had to come after class (I guess to spare us the embarrassment of performing for our classmates?) (or perhaps so the teacher didn't want to waste time it would take to have a class stumble through the lines) & recite three passages.  They were Caesar's "cowards die a thousand times" speech, Antony's funeral oration for Caesar, & Antony's last speech over Brutus' body.  I was able to get through the first two with no problem, but toward the end I began to comprehend the enormity of my situation: I was reciting for a grade words that I might or might not have in my head to a woman sitting very close to me who could fail me if I messed up.  It didn't help that I was looking at her & she kept writing things down that I wasn't able to read.  I naturally became very nervous.

I did my best to keep it together but no one told my leg that.  It began to tremble at the last speech ("This was the noblest Roman of them all") & I struggled through those few lines while trying to keep my body from spazzing out.

The result?  At the end the teacher, Mrs. Phillips, said to me, "I was very impressed how emotional you got at the end of the speech there.  I really felt you understood Antony's words."

Oh good lord.

Second story.  A couple of years later, in Mrs. Kilpatrick's class, I had to memorize the Malcolm & Macduff dialogue (Act 4, Scene 3).  Now I can't remember who I was, but since we had to perform this in front of the class, I wanted to make sure I did a good job, & I memorized the whole damn thing.  The thing was, I was doing it with someone else, a fellow whose name I won't mention but he was a tall, blond, good-looking & well-liked fellow who also may have been the Senior Class President.

(I have no idea whether this is true or not, since I don't really trust my memory, but I do remember looking him up a few years ago & finding a person with his name teaching at a conservative college out west.  He had apparently gone into ROTC after high school.  That did not surprise me.)

I don't recall if I were Malcolm or Macduff & none of that matters.  The other person didn't really learn his lines so I would say mine perfectly & he would need cueing from the teacher.  The point of this story is that, when we were out in the halls practicing, he said something to me that made me realize I wasn't such a mutant after all.  He said, "Dickerson, man, I really gotta take a shit right now."

I had always thought that it was something defective about my G-I tract that nervousness made me need to void my bowels.  If someone as normal & well-adjusted as the Senior Class President had the same reaction, that was a wow moment.  I didn't even mind that he fucked up the scene, which I had spent hours more time on than he did: I felt a little less alone in the world.

Oh, & yeah: people in my high school called me by my last name.  Mainly the boys did, but I didn't really talk to girls, & they most certainly didn't talk to me.  I think it's because of gym class.  We were all called by our last names in gym class.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Favorite Church Sign

This is one of my favorite church signs (the sign, not the slogan, though I don't like this slogan).  I pass by it every day, & the people who maintain the sign change it every week.  & it's usually a little embarrassing.

Like this one: I don't think the people who put the sign up realize that when you put words in quotation marks, you imply that you don't quite mean what you're saying.  As the Wikipedia notes in its article on quotation marks:

Another common use of quotation marks is to indicate or call attention to ironic or apologetic words:
He shared his "wisdom" with me.
The lunch lady plopped a glob of "food" onto my tray.

The sign therefore suggests that the things that God (assuming it's the Christian god) does are "impossible" - meaning he does things that aren't really impossible at all.  The truly impossible things - influencing sports contests through prayer, creating storms to punish behavior he doesn't approve of, giving powers to heal to people who seems like charlatans - he really can't do.

I don't think they meant it that way.  Oops!

This week's - I don't have a picture - says, "HAVE A GOD DAY."  Really?  Assuming they mean the Christian god, are we supposed to walk with prostitutes, lepers, & the poor, & try to heal them, & spread the message that we are the son of the one true god up there?  Should we treat our supper as our last?  Should we go to the desert & fast until we hallucinate that we do battle with a demon?

Or do we have to go back & create the universe?  That could take some doing.  "Let there be light!" I would scream - & then my wife would flip a switch & call me a weirdo.

It's easier, I guess, than having a Zeus day, I suppose.  Jesus, how hard must it be to try to rape someone in a swan outfit?  Never mind as a shower of gold!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Self Help Radio 130920: Boom!

Here is my radio show designed to promote this year's Boomslang Festival by not playing any of the bands that appeared but instead concentrating on playing songs in which someone sang "boom" at least once.  I just can't understand why people don't pay me to promote events.

Boom!  The show is here!  Boom boom!  It's in two parts: boom goes one, boom goes two!  Boom boom boom!  The list of booming songs is below.

Hope you went to Boomslang & had a great time!

(part one)

"Boom Pacha Boom" Billy Byrd & His Penguins _Great Googa Mooga_
"Sh-Boom" The Crew Cuts _The Best Of The Crew Cuts: The Mercury Years_
"Chick-A-Boom (That's My Baby)" Flamingos _The Complete Chess Masters_

"Boom Boom" John Lee Hooker _Burnin'_
"Boom Boom Baby" Huelyn Duvall _Is You Is Or Is You Ain't_
"Boob, Deedy Boom" Claudia Baran _Boob, Deedy Boom_
"Boom Oo Yatta Ta Ta" Morecambe & Wise _British Comedy Classics_
"The Boom Boom Man" Freddy Cannon _Freddy Cannon: His Latest & Greatest_

"Sophisticated Boom Boom" The Shangri-Las _The Leader Of The Pack_
"Boom Bang-A-Bang" Lulu _Really!! They Sing It In German! Vol. 1_
"Boom Shacka Laka" Hopeton Lewis & Chosen Few _Gay Jamaican Independence Time_
"Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It)" Daddy Dewdrop _Super Hits Of The '70s: Have A Nice Day! Vol. 5_
"Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)" The Staple Singers _Soul Hits Of The 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 4_

"Things That Go Boom In The Night" Bush Tetras _Boom In The Night (1980-83)_
"The Rock-A-Boom" The Revillos _Rev Up_

(part two)

"Boom Boom" Trio _Trio & Error_
"Boing Boom Tschak" Kraftwerk _Electric Cafe_
"Sonic Boom Boy" Westworld _Rockulator_

"The Boomin' System" LL Cool J _Mama Said Knock You Out_
"Boom" Flight Of The Conchords _Flight Of The Conchords_
"Doin' The Boom Boom" Eli 'Paperboy' Reed & The True Loves _Roll With You_
"Chick A Boom" Joe Bataan _Ursula 1000: Ursadelica_

"Bim Boom Bam" The Rip-Off Artist _In Through The Out Door_
"Does Your Heart Go Boom?" Helen Love _Radio Hits 3_
"Boom Boom" Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine _Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine_
"Sonic Boom" Andy Patridge _Fuzzy Warbles_
"Satanic Boom Boom Head" Thee Michelle Gun Elephant _Gear Blues_

"What Goes Boom" Pixies _EP1_
"Boom Boom" The Stranglers _Giants_
"Killed By The Boom" The Veils _Sun Gangs_