February 23, 2004

culture diatribes #674b


Hi kids, and welcome to Whining About Pop Kulture Korner®! Today we're going to look at a few bits of cultural plankton skirting around the seas of the American conscious!

1. The New Enya Song. I forgot to put the XM Satellite Radio in the car, forcing me to listen to 102.5 THE MIX on proletariat FM radio, and this song – seemingly untitled as all Enya is wont – was in frequent rotation. You gotta give it to someone like Enya, who keeps churning out backrub music year after year, all of it ending up on your local masseuse's CD mix. Personally, I'd rather listen to Enya than those "world music" tapes they put on while they're oiling up. If I hear one more CD of aboriginal instruments set to smooth jazz I'm going to massage myself.

Anyway, I'd like to put out an edict to all those who were thinking about buying Enya's new CD: please, for the love of God, put your money towards the back catalogue of the Cocteau Twins instead. It's what you're really looking for. Nothing is as remotely gorgeous as "Wolf in the Breast" off Heaven or Las Vegas or pretty much anything from Blue Bell Knoll. Start a trend! Be the coolest chick in 7th grade! Nothing says HIP more than a 13-year-old chick wearing an Abercrombie shirt with an iPod playing Milk and Kisses!

2. The New Santana Song. Does Santana know that the beginning of his likely new hit is actually an old, sad Jewish riff lifted straight from "Woman in Love" by Barbra Streisand?

3. Celebrity Playlists at the iTunes Store. They SUCK. More than half of Beyoncé's mix is stuff from Destiny's Child members or her own sister. Hey Avril Lavigne, thanks for putting "Hey Ya!" on your mix. What is this, 2003? Listen to her quote about Alanis Morrissette's "Ironic": "I love how this song was written with all of the different examples Alanis uses of things being ironic... this song is just really good lyrically."

Never mind Alanis has had to apologize, publically, for her butchering of "irony" – but I suppose the real irony is that the last laugh's on us, huh?

4. The Finale of "Sex and the City." I'm going to get in trouble here, because I really do like the writers for this show; they are great gals and fun at parties. But now they have vilified both Brooklyn and North Carolina. When Kristin Davis meets the parents of their surrogate child (a couple from Charlotte, we are told, in horror), they arrive in Manhattan seemingly without any teeth, unsure of what to put on sandwiches, and hair that hasn't been cleansed in weeks.

Now, if they had been from Rutherfordton, or Advance, or from the Tweetsie Railroad snack bar, I could understand it, but Charlotte? Charlotte is just as big, urbane, boring and full of high corporate mall fashion as Atlanta, Orlando or Houston. The blinding, infuriating myopia of these Manhattan-obsessed chicks will be good riddance in my book. As Bernadette Peters said tonight in Gypsy: "The center of New York is New York."

And if there's one thing I can't stand about a fucking TV show, it's cut-aways of characters laughing at other characters. Oh, you zany girls! Then to see Chris Noth and Sarah Jessica Parker laughing, laughing, O! The Laughing! through two entire scenes, was Self Congratulatory to the Highest Extreme. Give me "Curb Your Enthusiasm" any day of the week; at least Larry David writhes in his putrescence like the rest of us.

Tune in next week when we discuss the R&B lick-you-all-over remake of Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work"! When is Jay-Z going to cover "How Soon is Now?"

Posted by irw at February 23, 2004 11:01 PM
Posted by: block at February 24, 2004 1:54 AM

i'm glad your feeling like yourself again.

Posted by: CL at February 24, 2004 5:32 AM

Can I nominate that for funniest comment so far this year?

Posted by: chip at February 24, 2004 7:03 AM

You know, the next time the Canucks go on about what ignorant barbarians we Yanks are, I'm going to remember that quote from Avril Levinge. She and Alanis are embarrassments to the 51st state.

Tune in tomorrow to see what country I'll insult on Ian's blog. Early pesos are on something in South America, except I love those crazy hats made out of fruit that the ladies wear down there.

Posted by: cullen at February 24, 2004 7:08 AM

My sister lives in Charlotte and is a Sex and the City devotee like most women I've overheard lately (I'm on a leave all spring semester from teaching to be home with the young'uns, so my status as lone dad dropping off and picking up from daycare, etc. has made me privy to numerous dynamic discussions about the season finale.) Too bad that they couldn't do something to avoid further propagating stereotypes about southerners. Maybe it's just too cute that Charlotte met some people from Charlotte. Ain't it ironic, don't ya'll think.

Now I know why my parents never travel abroad (that would be over state lines) without proudly carrying their "funny hillbilly teethpieces" that my dentist Uncle Ted lab-fashioned for them. You gotta go with the flow. If you sound like a redneck to most of the world, why not play it over the top.

My first advanced girlfriend was from Advance. Go Davie High!

Posted by: Alan at February 24, 2004 7:16 AM

What what you are saying, Chip, or we will be forced to expose you to the song stylings of The Stampeders.

Posted by: Jennifer at February 24, 2004 9:02 AM

Uh, Davie High, Class of '90. Former resident of Advance (albeit only for about 2.5 years, with a year off in the middle to live in France as an exchange student). Advance was a nice place to live if you dig tiny, sleepy Southern towns where everybody knows everybody. But it's not exactly the first place I'd think of when considering rednecks (how about Gastonia?). They have their fair share like everybody else in NC, but there are also a lot of affluent families who choose to live in Davie County (most residents talk about the county as a whole) and commute into Winston-Salem, for various reasons.

And now I live in Charlotte. And I like it. Yes, it's everything you described for the most part, but it's a good life here. Brightlights/bigcity isn't for everyone. Some of us like big "small" towns.

Of course, like you, we have our getaway place - a condo up in dear old Chapel Hill. ;-)

Hope you're feeling better!

Posted by: Ian at February 24, 2004 10:39 AM

Perhaps Advance, NC was a poor choice, but I had to use it - especially since the accent is on the first syllable. I love Advance.

Posted by: steph at February 24, 2004 10:45 AM

yeah, that's pretty retarded that the SATC writers chose a major city as the residence of the portrayed rednecks. Charlotte is so soccermomville from the time I have spent there.

Everytime I hear Tweetsie Railroad I think of tootsie roll trains.

RE: Kate Bush. After hearing on MTV that Kate Bush influenced every other musician I had to hear this woman. I didn't "get" the craze but maybe I bought the wrong album, though "Babooshka" was pretty cool.

RE: Avril diggin' Alanis. Didn't Alanis get crucified in 1994 for her misuse of 'irony'? Because Avril would have been in Grade 3 or 4 or something like that and most kids that age can't think abstractly. I'm not deliberately defending the skaterpunk girl, I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Jennifer at February 24, 2004 10:56 AM

The fact that you know that the accent is on the first syllable earns you major brownie points.

This is what passes as righteous indignation in Charlotte:

"Sex finale disses Charlotteans"


(Yeah, you have to register to read it, which gripes my soul.)

Posted by: cullen at February 24, 2004 12:15 PM

I actually knew no rednecks from Davie County, only denizens of Bermuda Run, a mini-enclave on the scenic mudbanks of the Yadkin River with vistas of North Carolina's Tanglewood. Quite posh indeed.

Properly pronounced and appropriately 'accented' though, this town rings and resonates with potentially circuitous southern roots as much as its county seat's name, Mocksville.
(Insert sound card here of any sweet tea loving character proclaiming ADvance, North Carolina as the hometown of Misty Moffett, reigning Ms. North Carolina).

I'd have to consult my map, but I could almost bet ADvance, NC has a sister-city of sorts in PROgress, NC, complete with resident redneck or few.

"Holler Back(woods) Ya'll...."

Posted by: Annie at February 24, 2004 12:19 PM

Cullen--are you Cullen Howell from Winston-Salem? By any chance?

Posted by: cullen at February 24, 2004 12:28 PM

I am. Are you Annie from Annie's Song?

Posted by: Annie at February 24, 2004 1:17 PM

Whoa--weird! No (or, yes, in a way), I'm Ann Humphreys from Governor's School West! Chorus! 2nd Soprano! Drop me an email: ahumph27510 at yahoo dot com - and tell me how you're doing...

Posted by: Annie at February 26, 2004 9:14 AM

I forgot to mention before that Chip has again proven with the comment above that he is the funniest person living.

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