Friday, July 23, 2010

KaraokeFanboy Weekly #2: The "Like To Hear It, Here It Goes" Issue

Internet magic is permitting me to post this even as I'm attending the San Diego Comic Con right now, so while I wander among X-Men, Storm Troopers, and Ghostbusters, your daily dose of geek will have to come from . . .


KaraokeFanboy Weekly vol. 1, no. 2: The "Like to Hear It, Here It Goes" Issue


I'm grateful to live in a metropolis named after something. When I lived near Los Angeles, I could use its old adage, "a city of angels," to explain certain benevolent events, especially in contrast to how absolutely dismal downtown Los Angeles really is. Now, in Phoenix, I'm often experiencing examples of rebirth, just like that fiery, mythical bird, and every now and then she actually spreads her wings for me, to prove she really exists. For example, I captured this picture from the loop 202/I-10 interchange last Friday, heading to (of all places) Firestage.

A few months ago, I took a totally different picture that captured that same spirit, and even wrote a poem about it for National Poetry Month. Just goes to show, a phoenix has fiery feathers aplenty.


That night, I saw and captured this poster, too.

I've been studying the art form of the contemporary protest sign for a few years now (in fact, I self-published a zine collecting four years' worth of anti-war protests in Los Angeles if you're interested), and this poster has all of the demonizing staples: devil's horns, swastika, Hitler-'stache. (Michael Jordan is just two away from making a bold statement of his own.) These symbols easily conjure thoughts of evil -- but have we ever established the imagery necessary to depict someone favorably? A halo could be the opposite of devil's horns . . . but the opposite of a swastika? A happy face? A rainbow? Uh, those may already be taken. And has anyone done as much good as Hitler did evil for us to warrant his facial hair worthy of sainthood? Our priorities are clear -- pointing out the problem is much easier than seeking the solution.

Interestingly, whoever designed this poster used the same image I Google-imaged and turned into this custom T-shirt. That's a KaraokeFanboy original!


Al and Tipper Gore announced their divorce a few months ago now, long before Al's MasseuseGate, and I was absolutely dumbfounded by it. Initially, Al wanted to pursue his environment-oriented career and Tipper wanted to focus on family -- which was what I thought they were doing anyway, but with the benefit of one another's support. That something -- perhaps MasseuseGate (though CigarGate didn't shatter the Clinton franchise) -- finally broke this bond baffled me, and indicated a turning point in the already rocky age of marital fidelity. With divorce rates teetering at 50/50, when public marriages forty years deep dissolve, marriage as a whole may just go the way of the dodo. Since other events have buried this headline, I wanted to post this piece now, before it's ancient history.

The Inconvenient Truth

The Gores are getting divorced.
And like any child of divorce, the Internet wants to know,
“Mommy, Daddy – Is it my fault?”
I suppose we should be grateful.
If Al was able to juggle his marriage with inventing the Internet,
who knows what he’s capable of now that’s he’s shucked off the old ball and chain? Holographic television? Star Trek-like matter transporters? Cities on the moon? Al – the future is waiting for you to claim it.
Tipper isn’t one to sit idly, either.
Surely rappers have invented new swear words
since her last campaign against the music industry,
words like assolicious and twatastic.
Now that she doesn’t have to baby her husband’s ego anymore,
she can get back to the business of being America’s mother.

No, what they’re going to do isn’t the question –
but, after 40 years of marriage, the question is why are they doing it?
Thanks to Al Gore’s headlining running mate,
America has been unwaveringly faithful to infidelity.
America wants to know, did Al cheat?
Where’s the mistress?
But we all know the answer.
We’ve seen Al out with his other woman.
Talking about her fondly.
Brazenly buying her expensive jewelry like Oscars and Pulitzers.
He’s even said outright that she’s been getting hot and bothered for him for years. This is Mother Earth we’re talking about – the ultimate seductress.
What a slut, the way she lets men walk all over her.
Talk about everybody getting a turn.
Tipper never had a chance.

Who would? Who does, when men feel owed the world?
The inconvenient truth of the Gores’ divorce
is that everyone is his own self-righteous cause.
I see a day coming
when the cold shoulders of neglected spouses will melt and flood the earth,
when the hot air from heated arguments will rise and burn a hole in the ozone layer, when everything we’ve ever wanted finally takes that plunge
from the tips of our tongues and when we part our lips . . . apocalypse.

The Internet doesn’t come around the old neighborhood anymore.
When he does pop up, he just wants to sell me pills.


All of this writing about what I've most recently seen or experienced reminds me of my favorite In Loving Color character, Calhoun Tubbs. His tag line is as topical as it is timeless: "Wrote a song about it -- like to hear it, here it goes!"

That's one cat that always tells it like it is.

I'm cheating on Mother Earth with Father Time's daughter,
Russ a.k.a. KaraokeFanboy

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