Monday, August 06, 2007

Snapshots from the first weekend of Slawgust

Friday, 2:11 p.m. I purchase a ton of produce at the Union Square Greenmarket, including a dark green watermelon the size of a volleyball. Summer is good.

Saturday, 10:34 p.m. I am dozing when Barry Bonds ties Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs. I get a text from a friend. "Did you see it?" Nope. And although I'm not one of the legions of baseball fans who spit when they hear Bonds' name or wish him ill, as if he's the only cheater and prick ever to play the game, I don't feel that bad for missing it.

Sunday, 11:17 a.m. A gaggle of foreign tourists surrounds the bronze bull at the apex of Bowling Green park. As I get closer I realize they're taking pictures of the women posing with their hands on or near the bull's massive, cast-metal testicles, and everyone is kind of giggling and enjoying themselves way too miuch. It made me kind of want to be part of their group _ not because I want pictures of women I know posing with their mitts on bull balls (dmbmeg, white courtesy phone), but because I like people who don't take themselves too seriously and can have a little immature fun once in a while. Unless it's my parents -- then I'm mortified.

Sunday, 11:57 p.m. A friend convinces me to watch another episode of Flight of the Conchords. I told him I really disliked the first episode -- I thought it was like a YouTube act that had been given its own show out of desperation. The songs are well-crafted and kind of funny on their own, but the actual attempts at plot in between were a wreck. The second episode I saw, which I think was actually the fourth, was better, but it still tried too hard to be clever. The unnecessary boss character, Murray, tries to be an antipodean David Brent a bit too much. The creepy fan adds little and girls who interact with the main characters are just plot devices who could be represented by cardboard cutouts, the best boy grip or an attractive, potted Norfolk Island Pine. Summary judgment: I think I want to see them banished to YouTube, because they write very clever songs that, strung together, can't quite carry a half-hour show. CrimeNotes will have more to say on this soon.

This Day in Slawgust:

August 4, 1693: The traditional birthday ascribed to Champagne, as invented by the monk Dom Perignon. Of course, this is apocrypha, much like Abner Doubleday's invention of baseball and the story of the ancient tribe of American people (like all ancient tribes, probably distantly related to the Celts) settling down by the banks of the Potomac in 4000 B.C. But hey, whatever. Happy birthday to champagne.

August 4, 1792. Percy Bysshe Shelley is born, setting a record for least masculine names given to a male child. He overcame this by becoming a poet and boning Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. Despite having a name about 1,000 times as manly as that of her husband's, she was pretty hot for the 19th century, proving that poets get laid a ton.

August 4, 1912. Raoul Wallenberg is born. I would be totally fine if we renamed Michigan Stadium for him. It would be giant middle finger to both hoary athletic traditions (which state that only coaches may be so honored) and Admiral Horthy, who, frankly, doesn't get enough scorn heaped on him.

August 5, 1735. Peter Zenger is acquitted, because the shit he wrote was true. The tabloid Nieuwe Yorke Pofte, writes a series of blistering editorials bemoaning the fact that Zenger got off on a "technicality" and engages in a smear campaign against the publisher in defense of Gov. William Cosby. Typical.

August 5, 1914. Cleveland invents and installs the first traffic light. Next time you're stuck at a red light, thank Cleveland! While I'm discussing great moments in Cleveland history, how about one more?


dmbmeg said...

Flop, your life is just better with me in it. Admit it.

voidoid said...

Flight of the Conchords is a marvelous show. The characters are likable, it's funny in a friendly and absurd sort of way, and, from a music standpoint, it is genius. The Serge Gainsbourg spoof from last night's episode was a riot, and their Bowie episode was incredible at mocking the various periods of his career (plus, the original song at the end was a spot-on facsimile of the Bowie/Ronson sound). I've watched every episode several times, and they keep getting better - you can always pick up more nuances once you get through the accents.

CrimeNotes said...

I started to write about the Conchords last night but figured people are sick of my opinions on TV, movies, etc.

The show turned me off at first, but I agree with voidoid's description. For some reason, the show is comforting. Everybody is a good person and there's a lack of cynicism to it that's refreshing.

It's never made me laugh. Not once. But it's got this weird charm.

Jeff said...

I'm glad to hear their are others who don't think Conchords is the funniest show on TV. I just didn't think much of it.