And Ne’er the Twain Shall Meet

Dog lovers! Read this! Take it to heart! It’s a very insightful dialogue between a man and a borrowed Labrador retriever about English architecture, Genesis vs. Peter Gabriel and the differences between humans and dogs, pop music and prog rock.

Dogs like prog. There’s the whole dog-prog rhyming thing, obviously. And the changes of tempo and mood—very doglike. We can dance to prog, because generally speaking, we can’t dance at all. And few of us have much of a sense of rhythm.

"Don't give up/ 'cause you've got friends..."

Which also explains, even though the topic does not specifically come up, that look your canine friends give you when you listen to hip hop.

The 68Comeback Special’s Year of the Rabbit (Special)

Based on the Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Rabbit begins today. For those who are sticklers for absolute accuracy in their astrology, we’re talking year of the yin metal rabbit, which, to us here at the 68 Comeback Special, seems destined to rock.

So, the following list of songs has been ‘specially calibrated to resonate perfectly with the year we’re just getting underway with. For the best possible listening experience, we suggest you place yourself in the southwesternmost area of your listening environment, which ideally would be Mr. McGregor’s garden, facing north, while eating his lettuce and taking the utmost care to avoid both him and his wife. And leave the rest to us.

Frightened Rabbit  –  I Feel Better

Siskiyou  –  Hold It In

Bebob Cortez  –  Mighty Forces

British Sea Power  –  Thin Black Sail

Big Black  –  The Power of Independent Trucking

Service Fair  –  Just to be Nice

Ray Charles  –  I Got a Woman

Steve Lacy  –  Played Twice

The Joe  –  Apathy

Chikita Violenta  –  The Monster (Was Last Seen Approaching the Power Plant)

Mogwai  –  You’re Lionel Richie

Fembots  –  Variations 1 2 3

Fergus & Geronimo  –  Wanna Know What I Would Do if I Was You?

The Dead Science  –  Throne of Blood (The Jump Off)

The Go! Team  –  Lazy Poltergeist

Galgamex  –  Odin Rides Again (In Space)

Young Galaxy – The Angels Are Surely Weeping

Secret Fires – Travis vs the Truth

Secret Mommy – Music Room

Catlin W Kuzyk – Demon Song

Miesha and the Spanks – Love, Baby

Electricity for Everyone – Corner the Counterfeits

Seefeet – Gzug

There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand – Blaise Pascal Wagers that You’re An Asshole

Jason Robinson – The Elders

Blogging the Commercial I Didn’t Just Watch: The Most Interesting Man In the World

Well. It would appear that the man who plays the most interesting man in the world on TV is… rather  interesting. From The New Yorker:

They stopped at the Ducks Unlimited booth to inquire about a decoy with battery-powered wings, a potential gag gift for a friend. A man there asked, “Are you the Most Interesting Man in the World?” Talk soon turned to dogs. It turned out that Goldsmith was in the market for a German shorthaired pointer, and the man knew a breeder. He called up pointer photographs on a laptop. The men exchanged information. He goes to a boat show and buys a dog.

Bachelor Brad: Too Much Wishful Thinking

"Please...just, go home."

We get comments! Well, just barely, but still.

Someone asks, “Aren’t we going to see man-tears? When are we going to see man-tears?”

Man-tears? From who, Chris? Because from Brad, I doubt it. Well, maybe, I guess. I mean, if there’s one thing you can count on to happen on the Bachelor, it’s that the show’s needs for of-the-moment drama will always get addressed, i.e. via dates on which women are confronted with their deepest-seated fears or with incidents from their pasts which have left them emotionally scarred. I suppose that anything can happen in that sense, but if you can understand that I am a person who doesn’t cry and who doesn’t see much purpose for crying, then you’ll see how I don’t see why Brad would have reason to cry and in fact, I would be rather scornful of him if he did.

But I’m pretty scornful of Brad anyway. Remember how Jake, even though he was bland and not very interesting, would cut women from the game if he didn’t figure they needed to be there any longer, and never seem to feel very bad about it? Brad’s bland and not very interesting, too, but he hoards the women, feeding them lines to keep them interested until he has to cut them, after which he pretends (not convincingly) that he feels quite bad. Dude is totally worthy of scorn, which I admit is only my opinion and probably not enough to keep the harem from following him to Las Vegas.

Now, personally, I have misgivings about the change of venue. Having just finished reading The Passage, I have it on good authority that Vegas is crawling with a plague of blood-sucking vampire creatures – ‘virals’ they call them – and is no place to take the group of women from which you are trying to select a mate.

Maybe it makes sense, then, that Brad’s first solo date of the episode is with Shawntel, the funeral director. Much to the chagrin of anyone who last week got character building/drama manufacturing dates involving walking on the bottom of the sea or rappeling down the side of a building or otherwise NOT go on a shopping spree in Las Vegas, Shawntel’s date involves lots of conspicuous consumption and then dinner with Brad on the angular-looking roof of some building, where she regales him with tales of embalming while he good-naturedly pretends the stories aren’t making him nauseous. Chemistry! “What could make this night better?” he asks. I answer, “Virals?” I am wrong. Apparently it is fireworks and smooching. And a rose. Oh, sure. I guess if you say so, Brad.

Now, as we move our discussion over in the direction of the group date, a little NASCAR-themed thing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – where Emily’s fiance/baby daddy was enroute to when he, er, died – it’s important to bring into the foreground something that always sort of gets let go by in all these dates, that being that the fix is totally in on all of them and any given Bachelor(ette) has precious little to do with their planning or execution. Emily is visibly freaked out by the nature of this date, and so there she is in the infield with Brad as he apologizes for doing this to her. After all, he didn’t know, right? Right. But if Brad doesn’t deserve blame for taking his dates on creepy/scary/traumatizing dates because he is ignorant of just how creepy/scary/traumatizing they are for the women that go on them, then how much credit does he deserve for successful dates with helicopters and shopping sprees? He’s not only not planning or executing these things, he’s not paying for them, either. Like, fuck. These people are being encouraged to enter into televised romantic entanglements with strangers, being fed lots of booze, getting told to let their guard down so maybe they can fall in ‘love’, but they’re not even allowed to be properly informed as to what’s real and what’s not?

Anyway, Emily gets in the car and drives anyway. She says in the voice over, “The first few laps were for Ricky and the last one was for me,” and that’s when Emily realizes that she’s too good for this show or the schlub who’s been made this season’s centerpiece, and points the nose of that car towards home and her daughter and floors it.

Or, no, not actually. She goes to the crying party instead, where almost everyone is crying because even though they might be special, they’re not special enough to have high enough self-esteem to not cry. “See how emotional the women are,” Brad says. “This is pitiful*.” But Emily doesn’t cry. Is it because she wouldn’t dream of giving him and all the other voyeuristic creeps who’re peeking in on her life at that moment the satisfaction? We can always hope. Man, Michelle looks pissed when Emily gets the rose.

Last date, a two-on-one date featuring the two Ashleys. Too many Ashleys. One must go, by the end of the date. The funniest part of the segment? When Chantal and Shawntel are sitting on the bed back at the hotel, talking about which Ashley they’d most like to see not get eliminated. Second funniest part of the segment? Brad saying, “I am a huge Cirque de Soleil fan!” They rehearse for awhile, then go for dinner. Brad really can’t decide who to keep so he does ‘eenie meenie miney moe…you are not IT!’ and boom, Ashley S. has to walk home**. It makes her very sad. It makes Brad sad, too, but not the kind of sad that makes him cry man-tears, the kind of sad that makes him call his therapist/life coach so that douche can give him some trite sounding advice over the phone before he goes to the rose ceremony cocktail party.

The party is lame. Another question that’s been asked in the comments is, “Why are there not any fights with hair-pulling and the such?” Well, doesn’t Brad referring to Chantal’s tears earlier at the racetrack as drama, before they make their peace and he gives her a rose, count for that? No? Well, how about when he gives Alli a little tiny dessert and then gives her a rose? Not that either? What about the part when Michelle takes him in another room, closes the door, sits on his lap, tells him not to talk and then doesn’t say anything interesting herself? Well, at least she strokes him off, eh?***

Gone: Lisa, Marissa.

Not Gone Yet: Michelle, Alli, Britt, Jackie, Chantal, Ashley H., Emily, Shawntel

*”difficult.” He said, “This is difficult.”

**To the cab. She has to walk to the cab.

***Sigh. This show never goes the good way.

Do You Still Love “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”

It’s been fifty years (FIFTY!) since Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow took the Shirelles to #1 on the U.S. pop charts, and More Intelligent Life wants you to think about that a little bit.

It’s actually a bit of a dirty song for a television show that carries around such oddly puritanical ideas about human relationships, but if you start your densing up process right now by NOT reading the article and going with a perfectly literal take on only the song’s title, then you’ll be able to happily watch the Bachelor later on tonight without issue. Not that I’m recommending that you watch the Bachelor tonight.

68Comeback, In a Nutshell

The 68Comeback Special presents, on this, the 27th day of January, 2011, the list of songs we listened to while waiting for the tow truck to come and rescue us from the snowbank.

Quiet Life  –  Cave Country

Toques and Beards – Aristocrat Cooker

Big Dick – Bodies

Destroyer – Savage Night of the Opera

The Mark Inside – House of Cards

Smokey – The Worm

Tiny Ruins/Singer of Songs – Running Through the Night

Lady of the Sunshine – Smoking Gun

Sean MacDonald and the Astronauts – Homlette

Rigormorticians – Deathsauce

Julia the Stone – What is Wrong With Me?

Pizzarhea – Transcient Bologna Mating Call

Eugene Mirman  –  The Will to Whatevs

Couples  –  Blued and Black

Cousin Dud  –  South Dakota part II: Chicago & Minnesota

Lisa Marr Experiment  –  How I Got My Pretty Smile

Hidden Words  –  Temple

Fergus & Geronimo  –  Girls With English Accents

The Tammys  –  Egyptian Shumba

The Granny Smiths  –  Boom Boom

Steven Wonderful  –  I’m the Coolest

Long Long Long  –  Mandarin Collars With Women

Les Jupes  –  How Do You Keep This All in Line?



Bachelor Brad: Mysteries and Miracles

"Please be patient. I will tell you how little you mean to me soon."

What a show. Week after week, I’m amazed by this show, the Bachelor. If you don’t watch it, then keep up the good work, but if you do, answer this question, and answer it honestly: do you ever cease to be amazed by the mysteries and miracles that you witness every week on the Bachelor? For starters, there’s the fact that Michelle woke up with a black eye. She didn’t have it when she went to sleep, but there it was when she woke up, and what’s more, no one took credit for it. That’s a mystery.

In the way that this show encourages you to treat people like mail, I must say, I’ve had Michelle sorted wrong. For weeks, I’ve had her slotted in as another version of Michelle from Jake’s season – a lunatic who, with very little help from anyone else, would Lorax her own self right out of the house in due course. But she’s not that crazy Michelle – with all her possessive talk about “My man,” and how all the other girls should just pack up and go home and junk, she’s Vienna.

But why are we talking about the mystery of Vienna, er, Michelle in the space where we ought to be talking about the miracle of love that was Brad and Chantal (Slugger) O’s date at the bottom of the sea? This was one of two dates that started with a helicopter, so while we knew everything was going to work out great (helicopters, right?), we couldn’t possibly know how, because Chantal is deathly afraid of putting on big undersea helmets and immersing herself in water, and yet, that’s what they were doing on their date!

Fortunately for Chantal, she’s the one the show has chosen to put forward as the good-natured type foil for Michelle’s crazy bitch routine, and as such, she realizes the importance of this date. “This date could change my life,” she says, and she must believe it to one degree or another because not only does she get in the water, but later on, she apologizes to Brad for hitting him. It’s Bachelor Miracle #1! Rose City, here Chantal comes!

Oh, but Chantal is only just about to discover the mystery (misery?) of the rose. The rose, it makes them crazy! Why does the rose make its recipients so craaazy? Check out Ashley H. on the group date – she got a rose once, and does she look happy? Not at all.

The theory at work here is that, having received a rose, its recipient is led to believe that in a house fulla women who are all vying for the same man’s affections, she’s got a ‘connection’ with that man. In the world where they come from, many women believe that a connection like that makes them ‘special,’ but in a house fulla women, though it may be a little bit special, it’s not a lot. It doesn’t get them any more time with him and in fact may get them less and it doesn’t make the other women back off at all like it might out in the world*. All it gets them is confused and upset and less likely to get another rose if they can’t get control of their womanly feelings, which makes them even more upset, which is exactly what happened to Ashley H. She had such a crap attitude that he was going to give her the group date rose just to cheer her up, but then her attitude got even crappier so he chose to curse Britt, an eager smoocher, with it instead.

Did I mention the group date was a trip to go on the Dr. Drew radio show? Yeah, Brad wanted to create a safe atmosphere for them to get to know one another really deeply, and he thought a nationally syndicated radio show would provide that sort of safety. Yeah, Brad’s thought processes are a bit of a mystery sometimes.

Meanwhile, back at Estrogen House, Michelle finally gets the note inviting her on a solo date – “Let’s hang out together,” it says. She acknowledges that she’s been flipping out a little (um, yeah, the last thirty years), apparently punching herself in the face in her sleep**, not sleeping well (what with the punching), she’s got heartburn, and of course she’s strange and off-putting and she’s from Utah***. But everything’s okay now, or it would have been if Chantal hadn’t pointed out that all the invitations except for Michelle’s have featured the word ‘love’ in some way, and if Ashley H’s behaviour the night before hadn’t so resembled her own previous attention-whoring**** behaviour, requiring Brad to cut out some of the time he would have spent with HER, on HER day, on HER date with him, in order to calm those waters.

But none of that matters once Michelle is in the car with her man, going to her man’s house, getting picked up and dropped off on top of a tall building by helicopter (two in one episode!) with her man and rapelling down the side of said building with her man, which she could never do without her man beside her because Michelle is SOOO afraid of heights, and yet she did. So there. Bachelor Miracle #2.

And then it’s the party. Say, have you noticed that Emily hasn’t been mentioned once yet today? Well really, lots of people haven’t been mentioned by name, and that’s for a good reason – they’re not really all that special, and to try and remember all those faces AND put names to them when they’re just going to be shown the door in a week or so is, like, too much hassle.

But that’s not why Emily didn’t receive a mention. Emily hasn’t been mentioned until now because she’s more special than anyone else. She didn’t go on any of the dates this week, but that doesn’t stop Brad from pulling out a little box (in front of everybody!) with pillows and blankets and booze and setting up a little recreation of their vineyard date in the front yard because he wants to make sure she knows how special he thinks she is. Isn’t it funny how everyone else has to make do with vague promises and stern reminders that they need to hang in there and be the patient and confident women they are? We wouldn’t want anyone else showing a spine like Madison did last week and quitting the fun before they can get fired, would we? Though it’s a mystery to me why more of them don’t.

It ends in tears: Meghan, Stacey, Lindsay.

It has yet to end in tears: Chantal, Britt, Michelle, Emily, Ashley S., Alli, Shawntell, Lisa, Jackie, Marissa, Ashley H. (who really didn’t look any happier for “getting” to stay than did the ones who had to leave).

*in the case, in the real world, where another woman doesn’t back off, it confers on the special, ‘connected’ one a certain moral advantage, if nothing else. Not so here.

**does anyone else find it sort of strange that no one else appears to find this sort of strange?

***I’d like to pretend that it’s a total mystery where this show finds these people, but it’s no mystery at all. The planet’s crawling with them.

****thoughtfully pointed out by Chantal, with whom I am now in love


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