Top Eleven Things: Sometime in June Edition

Farts.

I was going to publish a  post or two this week, but things piled up, and now I don’t have time. I’m overdue for one of these lists, anyway. Some of these might end up as bigger posts later on, in a perfect world I guess. Enjoy.

11. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

This is basically a guidebook to comic book criticism, and it is a must-read for anyone who is even vaguely interested in comics, art, literature, movies, looking at things, using a brain, etc.

10. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Yeah, this is my summertime album for real.

9. Halt and Catch Fire

When  Mad Men ended, I was like, I want more of this, but skip the seventies and make it about computers. Lo and behold, AMC was way ahead of me.

8. The theme song from The Adventures of Pete and Pete

This is the most infectious earworm I’ve encountered. I think it has been stuck in my head since 1995, and it gets uncontrollably more pronounced each day. I still don’t mind, because it’s such a great song. However, in my early twenties I made the mistake of looking up the real lyrics (or at least, what someone on the internet assumes are the real lyrics) and that’s when I became a grown up. I wish I could have just stayed in Wellsville.

7. The Star Wars ring theory

This is a daunting read, but really worth it. I take issue with the author insisting that this structure is so groundbreaking that is redeems George Lucas eternally or whatever, because it doesn’t, and the prequels still suck. In fact, I think some of things are partly to blame.

6. Rob Ager’s Shining analysis

Ager has a great YouTube channel dedicated to film essays, and they’re usually pretty enlightening. Though his recent Star Wars plotholes series is kind of nitpicky. Anyway, he released another video about The Shining which brings up an important point the documentary Room 237, a film I absolutely love, by the way. But the film does faultily give equal credence to every interpretation of Kubrick’s Shining that are out there, but some of them are a bit more significant than others. And, unfortunately, the one that is the least plausible is the one that everyone always talks about.

5. A good pair of headphones

I just can’t seem to get my hands on one.

4. Marriage equality in Ireland

Fair play to ye.

3. Marc Maron’s interview with Terry Gross

I’ve been listening to Maron since the early days of WTF, and I think listening for that long brings a perspective on his work that’s impossible to understand if you jump in now or any time in the last three years or so. His interview with Terry Gross is truly a landmark for his podcast, and hearing his satisfaction is delightful. And well-deserved, because this is one of the best performances he’s given as an interviewer, interviewing perhaps the greatest interviewer in radio.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

Of course. It’s one of those films, man.

1. Father Ted Island

Ok, there’s actually no such place, but last week I went to Inisheer, the island that can be seen in the opening credits of Father Ted. It’s the greatest Irish TV show ever, and the island was perfectly quaint and beautiful, even if the boat ride made me unbearably nauseous.

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Standing in front of the MV Plassey, a ship that wrecked on Inisheer in 1960, carrying Irish whiskey and yarn. Below, the Plassey from the opening credits of Father Ted.

Feminist Friday: Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

Have you ever had one of those weeks where life conspires against you? Where you just feel tired and worn out? I’m having one of those weeks. I usually write my posts on Thursday evenings (because I’m the best procrastinator that ever existed), and I find myself, this Thursday evening with no brain cells left to devote to a good post. I apologize, friends. Instead of posting a half-baked, lame post, I decided that you should just all read this excellent post by my favorite blog, Everyday Feminism. My job is a weird mix of retail/sales/medical marketing. Most people I meet at work are really friendly and respectful, but every so often we get someone who is rude and impatient. This article has five ways to practice self-care while working in the service industry and five ways to be a better customer. Give it a read and let me know what you think. I promise next week’s post will be better.

I’ll leave you with this awesome quote from the inimitable Maya Angelou.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

Feminist Friday: A Man’s War Too

Last week I wrote about 10 things feminists are sick of hearing. Item 10 was, “Men can’t be feminists”. I’ve heard this phrase quite a few times in addition to comments like, “Why would a man want to be a feminist? Don’t feminists hate men? Won’t that emasculate him?”  What if I told you that the patriarchy hurts men too? Intrigued? Go ahead, keep reading.

First of all, what is “the Patriarchy”? Merriam-Webster defines the word “patriarchy” as:

1:  social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly :  control by men of a disproportionately large share of power
2:  a society or institution organized according to the principles or practices of patriarchy
 
At first glance, it seems to make sense that any man would want to be a part of a society where he is in control. How could a society run by men, be bad for men? In an excellent article for Every Day Feminism entitled “5 Lies that Distort Male Sexuality and Hurt Men“, Jamie Utt describes five ways in which men are hurt by the messages they receive about sex and sexuality. He explains that men and women are not taught the same things about sex and their roles in relationships. Men are taught to be strong and tough while women are taught to be submissive and accommodating. Being strong and tough aren’t bad things to strive for in either sex. I know plenty of strong men and women. However, the idea that all men must be strong, powerful, and tough hurts men because it invariably pushes them to have qualities and characteristics they don’t necessarily identify with.
The five lies he expounds on are:
1. ‘Sow Your Wild Oats’
2. ‘Always Be In Control’
3. ‘Value Hotness (Traditional Measures of Physical Attractiveness) Above Everything.’
4. ‘If She Doesn’t Stop You, You’re Good to Go!’
5. This All Culminates in One Thing: Male Entitlement to Sex
Jamie’s last point is the one I want to expand on. It’s unfortunately not uncommon to hear a woman say, “Well, I didn’t want to have sex/ make out/ be physical with him, but he bought me dinner so I felt like I needed to pay him back.” I’ve heard this phrase used by friends and family, teens and young adults. It breaks my heart every time. Physical intimacy should never be seen as a form of payment for a date. This entitlement can eventually lead to violence. Jamie puts it so perfectly.
“Of course, #notallmen end up overtly expressing this learned entitlement through violence, but we all get the same messaging, and there are countless ways for us to act on our sexual entitlement by hurting others.

So how does this entitlement show up in the form of violence?

The most extreme form of this violence shows up when men murder out of this entitlement, as we saw in a sensationalized way with the Isla Vista killings and as we see every single day when at least three men kill their intimate partners.

This violence appears in the form of relationship violence, most recently in the public eye because of Ray Rice’s violence against Janay Palmer, and with at least two million men per year beating their intimate partners.

This violence shows up in sexual violence, where, though it is hard to truly study perpetrators of sexual violence, the vast majority of perpetrators of sexual violence are men (yes really, MRAs).

This violence shows up in street harassment, where the vast majority of street harassment is committed by men.

Sadly, I could go on and on with this list, but the common denominator is entitlement that is intimately woven into patriarchal masculinity.”

So what can we do? We can teach our sons, friends, brothers, and partners to be kind and gentle. We can use resources like A Call To Men, “a leading national violence prevention organization providing training and education for men, boys and communities. Our aim is to shift social norms that negatively impact our culture and promote a more healthy and respectful definition of manhood.”
We can push for public policy that defends victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. California recently passed legislature that would require colleges that receive state funding to redefine the definition of consent in their sexual assault policies.
We can watch how we use our language. “The Good Men Project” has a great article about how the language we use can hurt others. Last year students at Duke University started a campaign called #youdon’tsay. “The initiative highlights several commonly used derogatory phrases, such as “That’s So Gay” and “No Homo,” along with an explanation of why these sayings are problematic.” – “5 Reasons I don’t say ‘Man Up'”
I like this initiative because it encourages me to watch what I say and focus on using language that isn’t derogatory. It is a positive and active thing everyone can do every day, and it benefits us and those around us. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Are you convinced that the patriarchy is bad for women and men? Read this quote by bell hooks and join me next week for “Feminist Friday: A Man’s War Two” (get it, get it?) where I’ll talk about the “bumbling, useless, clueless husband” trope, that women hate just as much as men do.
“To create loving men, we must love males. Loving maleness is different from praising and rewarding males for living up to sexist-defined notions of male identity. Caring about men because of what they do for us is not the same as loving males for simply being. When we love maleness, we extend our love whether males are performing or not. Performance is different from simply being. In patriarchal culture males are not allowed simply to be who they are and to glory in their unique identity. Their value is always determined by what they do. In an anti-patriarchal culture males do not have to prove their value and worth. They know from birth that simply being gives them value, the right to be cherished and loved.”
― Bell Hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
Feeling the love yet, gentlemen?

Feminist Friday: A Feminist’s Awakening

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Camille, I’m 23 years old, and for the first 22 years of my life, I considered myself to be an anti-feminist. Strange, I know. My old college roommates can probably recall many conversations where I would start off saying, “I’m not a feminist BUT…” and then start to rant about how it’s ridiculous women aren’t paid the same wages as men for the same jobs, how absurd it is that women are often discouraged from re-entering the workforce after they have children, how upsetting it is that women are often blamed for their own rapes and assaults. I know now that I was always a feminist at heart, I just didn’t truly understand what feminism meant. Growing up, feminism was a dirty word, a word spat out angrily by my parents in reference to women they did not like and movements they could not agree with. “Women going to college to get a degree? How absurd! Women go to college to get married, that’s the whole point of higher education! Those darn feminists are trying to ruin families. Who will think of the children!”  I grew up thinking that feminists were bra-burning, man-hating, angry, shrill women, always asking for some sort of social justice I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. Weren’t women in the US better off than women in other countries? Why did they need to petition for rights? I had certainly never felt disenfranchised for being of the female sex, what were these women whining about?

It seems funny how little I understood then about a movement I now embrace with pride. I’m not sure if my awakening started when I took an American poetry class and feel in love with Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich. If it was when I poured over Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”, or if it was when I was told by the ward clerk of my small, LDS student ward that I had “spent too much of the budget” on my wildly successful Relief Society activity. I’m not sure if I can pin down the exact moment when I went from being the girl who said, “I’m not a feminist BUT…” to proudly rocking my “Smash the Patriarchy” tank top at the gym; all I know is that now, I’m a feminist and I can never go back to my old ways of thinking; the paradigm shift has happened, and I’m better for it.

My goal with these blog posts is to shed light on what it means to be a feminist in a time where, on the surface, things look good for women. We can vote, have jobs and own property. Birth control and access to other reproductive health services are being made readily available. Third-Wave Feminism is tricky to navigate but it is very much worth the fight. I’m excited to be writing this weekly blog post. I hope I can help buoy up my fellow feminists with positive and thought provoking posts, and maybe help a few more men and women join the cause.

I will leave you with the words of the amazing and powerful, Gloria Steinem. “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.”

 

 

It’s true, comic book movies are getting really boring

The Daily Beast’s Sujay Kumar has gone and done a wonderful thing. He wrote a story about comic book movies that I (largely) agree with.

In his piece, Kumar interviewed two writers, Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, who are at least partially responsible for the fantastic Spider-Man 2. They are both just as distraught about the state of comic book movies as I am, which is a very refreshing thing to hear. That give an interesting diagnosis of what went wrong and why.

But I don’t agree with everything in there. First off, Kumar refers to The Dark Knight as a “fanboy darling” when in reality it’s kind of just an everyone darling. On that same note, he quotes the writers of Spider-Man 2 as saying they thought TDK was a “hot mess” for a couple of frustratingly vague reasons, which is silly but it it’s also whatever.

With the TDK criticisms out of the way, I also disagree with their overall assessment of why CB movies have become so obnoxious. Now, that’s awfully presumptuous of me, because they write super hero movies and I don’t, so I don’t actually have any idea what I’m talking about. But their criticisms are directed mostly at industry-insider stuff: Comic book movies have “become pieces in a bigger machine” they say, “It’s become convoluted corporate destinies.” Comic book movies, according to Millar & Gough, have suffered because studios rely too much on them for their “tent-pole” value.

The problem with all that is that it’s nothing new. When Superman debut in ’78, it was a huge hit. The second highest grossing movie of the year and a cultural phenomenon (Grease is the movie that beat it). Because it was successful, they made about a million sequels and none of them were good. All of them were made as a part of the “convoluted corporate destiny.”

Same goes for Batman. First one is crazy successful, so the studio orders more and demands them to be more kid-friendly and ties them directly to toy companies. There has always been product placement (Michael Keaton wore Bat-Nikes in the first film) and pop music soundtracks (remember how Macy Gray was randomly in a parade in Raimi’s first Spider-Man?).

Millar & Gough kind of paint a romantic yesteryear portrait of “we used to do it for the art, man” type stuff that rings very false to me. Since the day Richard Donner signed that contract with Warner Bros or whoever he signed it with, studios have viewed comic book adaptations as nothing but potential blockbusters.

So this is where my beef — which I’ve been trying to spit out for some time now without any articulation worth linking to — comes in. What bothers me about CB movies is that they’ve figured it out. Studios have figured out how to make sure that super hero movies are successful. Or at least they think they have.

Comic book movies have been a thing for a while now. There is not a time during my conscious being that there haven’t been comic book movies for me to look forward to. BATMAN came out the year after I was born and the 90s was saturated with cooky comic adaptations.

The Mask, The Rocketeer, Dick Tracy (technically comic strip) The Shadow (technically pulp and radio), Batman Returns Forever (&) Robin and Mask of the Phantasm, Stalone’s Judge Dredd, Men in Black, the first Blade, The Crow, Spawn, Tank Girl, Mystery Men yada yada yada. The list probably goes on past that. Not all of those movies are good (I haven’t seen all of them) but there is a whole lotta creativity in that list. Some pretty bizarre movies. The ones that are failures (B&R, Spawn) are failures on a messy and massive scale.

Half the fun of going to see CB movies was just seeing if they pulled it off, and how. Batman Forever is a nutty movie with very little substance. It’s all flash, but it’s a pretty unique flash. Same goes for Dick Tracy and the Mask. The aesthetic of comic book movies was creativity. Weird puppets and stuff in Men in Black, that kind of thing. The problem we have in 2015 is that it is so much more difficult to stand out creatively when you’re using CGI. That’s just a reality I think everyone needs to come to terms with. No one in the world ever thought puppets looked realistic, but they did look imaginative. We are so saturated in CGI that it all just kind of blends together. It only stands out when it’s really bad.

Add to that, Marvel — which lets be honest here, is the primary studio responsible for the bland feeling curmudgeons like me get at the movies —has basically figured out a formula of balancing city-destroying action with Whedonesque wit to plug into every movie. They’re pushing this narrative that CB movies should first and foremost be “fun” in the most marketing sensitive use of the word. What Millar & Gough call “cartoony” and “comicbooky.” It’s working very well, to the tune of billions of dollars.

“We used to hear the word ‘comicbooky,’ which is always a disparaging word,” Miller told Kumar. “I think ultimately I look at these movies and guess what? They’re now comic-booky and I don’t think that’s a good thing.”

The great irony here is that “comicbooky” in that derogatory sense is exactly what every filmmaker and fan wanted to avoid a while back. I remember watching the special features of Batman & Robin when the SE came out on DVD and audibly gasping when I heard one of the cast members recite that Shumacher used to announce on set every day that everyone needed to “remember that this is a cartoon.”

In comic circles it was always well understand that the good movies were good because the director understood that comic books were serious things, stories about real flawed people, struggling to make sense of imagined worlds full of chaos and despair. Otherwise, what’s the point of having heroes? We were living in a post Miller and Moore world. Miller taught us that superheroes only make sense if the world they inhabit is in need of saving, not just from aliens but from itself. Moore taught us all that super powers do not free a character of his or her flaws, they exacerbate them.

But now it seems like you can’t turn on your Internets without hearing some influential comic book movie guy spouting off nonsense like “people have had enough” of dark superhero movies, or that we aren’t “ready to be post-modern about it yet” and should be focusing on lighter fare.

A few years back everyone was talking about how we might be entering into a golden age of CB movies. No one talks like that anymore. I think that’s because just as everyone was figuring out how to expand the borders, some whipsmart exec whose name rhymes with Bevin Peige realized that border expansion was not necessary. In fact, the stricter the borders the better.

And it really is a genius approach. I mean, think about what used to impress people in CB movies. When Spider-Man 2 came out everyone was all abuzz about how strong the emotional core of the film was. “It’s a real movie, full-blooded and smart,” Roger Ebert wrote at the time. “Genre-defying” was the buzzword of the day, and directors wore it like a badge. Del Toro created a mystical monster movie, Nolan a gritty crime drama. Now, people get excited because Captain American 2 has a plot that’s actually worth trying to follow, or because Rocky Racoon swears. I liked both of those movies, but anyone who says they are genre-defying or innovative is kidding themselves. The only genre they defy is Marvel’s. They seem exceptional only by comparison.

But, of course, there is no end. After people were bothered that Man of Steel actually tried to grapple with what the ramifications of having Superman around would be, DC is trying to reinvent itself as the new Marvel. The New 52 isn’t performing as well as they hoped, and they need to sell books. Granted, they’re clearly trying to be the darker counter-point, but that probably won’t save them from the fact that their movies are about to become 2-hour trailers for some other movie in the franchise.

Oscars, post mortem

So I don’t really have much to say about the Oscars, except that I did indeed watch them. Well, most of them. To my recollection, this was only the second time I’ve ever watched them. The more I think about it, the more I realize that probably has more to do with my access to cable than anything else.

The ceremony wasn’t anything special, but then again these things never are. You care when something you like wins, you don’t care otherwise. I think the reason I tuned in this year is because I’d actually watched the two frontrunners, and I enjoyed them both a lot. I also wanted to see if Michael Keaton would win Best Actor. He didn’t, so that was disappointing to me, but it’s hard for me to say that Eddie Redmayne didn’t deserve it because he did. The Theory of Everything is a wonderful movie and he makes it so.

I will admit that I was surprised that Birdman won Best Picture, even though that’s exactly what I expected to happen. I think I assumed Boyhood would win and I would be surprised, but instead I was surprised that I wasn’t surprised. I am also not surprised by all the chitty-chatter surrounding the controversial choice that wasn’t actually controversial.

First off, most people kinda knew that Birdman was going to win, because it won most of the awards that act as predictors to the Oscars. I think that’s another reason why awards shows just seem so irrelevant these days: Fivethirtyeight basically tells you what the results will be a week before the ceremony. I get why that can feed into frustration. Like, why can’t the Oscars just be different than the other awards shows? But that’s just how it works. These things are mostly about marketing and timing (which is why some people say Selma lost out) and then a dash of legitimate acclaim.

The other reason I’m not surprised Birdman won is because, despite the fact that I loved Boyhood, I think Birdman is overall just a better movie. In fact, I kind of think that’s obvious. I know that’s rude of me to say, and that means nothing in an actual court of law, but I saw both and was impressed by both and like them both for very different reasons. But if someone were to ask me to weigh them each pound for pound, I can’t personally come up with any good reason why Boyhood should win. Let me explain.

Boyhood is so great. But it has a couple of elephants wandering around. The biggest one is probably the performances. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are wonderful. There is no one else in the entire movie that feels worthy of our time. Which is both the strength and weakness of the film. The film’s protagonist is utterly dull, because this is supposed to be a movie about life coming at you. It’s a great idea well executed, but when you isolate the lead performance it’s hard not to see it was lacking.

The same goes for the script. Isolate the script and there is very little to behold. Which is clearly what Linklater intended. Life, in the frames of Boyhood, move aimlessly. That’s where the film’s magic comes from. The music, the direction, even the editing feel like they are almost accidents, like most events in life.

In other words, it makes a lot of sense to me that ultimately Patricia Arquette was the only person singled out. Her performance was like electricity in a pool of still water.

Birdman, on the other hand, is basically the exact opposite. Boyhood is celebrated because it did something no other film has ever done. Birdman should be celebrated because piece by piece it’s exquisite. Every performance — and the film borders on ensemble —was stellar. The rhythm of the film is perfect. Editing, music, intensity. It’s a messy display of high emotion that takes place over the course of a few days. In so many ways it it’s the antithesis of Linklater’s mystified mundanity.

So, I’m still al little surprised that Boyhood didn’t win, but it also makes a lot of sense to me. Besides the occasional hyperbole, I think it pretty much makes sense to most people.

In fact, lets unpack the most popular hyperbole:

In a piece for Slate, Dan Kois says he likes Birdman but thinks this is the biggest mistake the Oscars have made in twenty years. He goes into kind of silly terri—

You know what, no. I’m not going to do some dumb response to Kois, because he’s just speaking in dumb hyperbole. I will say this though:

The vast majority of filmmakers that I consider great have never won an academy award:

Terrence Malick – Nominated twice. Never won. 

Stanley Kubrick – Four nominations. Never won. 

Paul Thomas Anderson – Nominated four times. Never won.

Peter Weir – Nominated five times. Never won. 

Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West might be the best movie that’s not On the Waterfront) – Never even nominated. 

David Fincher – Nominated twice. Never won.

Akira Kurosawa. Yes, Akira freaking Kurosawa – Nominated once. Never won.

Robert Altman – Nominated five times. Won a lifetime achievement award (that’s it). 

David Gordon Green – Never even nominated

John Cassavetes – One nomination. Zero wins. 

Jeff Nichols – Never even nominated (he’s young yet) 

Richard Linklater is a wonderful director, but everyone I mentioned above is (in my opinion) significantly better, so he’s in great company. Linklater will keep making great movies. In fact, he’s probably going to have a lot more avenues open to him for the future after this. His movie is great. Birdman is better, by some measures. Iñárritu is an amazing, and clearly underrated, director who now has a hard act to follow.

One last thing: Birdman is a surrealist comedy. No matter how much people want to believe that Boyhood was some outlier in a sea of sameness, moviegoers in general have an aversion to surrealism. This was not Dances with Wolves or The King’s Speech. And that narrative that Hollywood loves to award films that critique Hollywood is also unfounded. The last time a film that “critiqued” Hollywood in any direct way won BP was The Artist a few years back. Before that was All About Eve in 1950. So yeah, that’s not a thing. Also it seems like Grand Budapest Hotel and Selma have more reason to be upset than anyone.

Now I’m descending into that thing again where I engage with arguments that no one really needs to care about.

Fin.

These Beatles Fans Don’t Even Know Who Billy Murray Is, And I Fear The Future Of The Planet

The other night I saw The Beetle music group on television again, and this time they were phoning in a talentless parody of a classic vaudeville act. Lately I’ve barely put up with the whatever drole passes for popular music these days, but to see these flash in the pan hacks butcher the music I enjoyed in my time? I could hardly stomach it.

I bring this up because this morning I was enjoying an ice cold phosphate beverage at my local drugstore when I overheard a few youngsters twittering over their sugar-loaded milkshake glasses about the supposedly dreamy young Pete McCarthy fella, bass fiddleman of the aforementioned Beetle group.

Maybe it was the gin I slipped into my beverage, but I was compelled to arrogantly intrude on their conversation to find out whether these young people were even aware of the classic vaudeville performers the Beetle folk clearly plagiarized on their recent television appearance.

To my shock, their faces only rested blankly on every name I dropped. I even mentioned the Denver Nightingale himself, Billy Murray, who I clearly remember and listened to all through my adolescence and definitely did not look up on a publicly accessible encyclopedia. Still, nothing.

I realized, in absolute horror, that these Beetle fans did not know who Billy Murray is.

My first instinct was that they were horribly mistaken, and must have some recollection of the singer’s ample and impressive discography, so I rattled off a whole list of obvious song titles, like “You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag,” and “Clap Hands! Here Comes Charly!” and “Give My Regards To Broadway,” but no, they were offensively ignorant to the music that I value and objectively consider superior to whatever is happening currently because the present is a place of nothing but attention starved, immoral, reckless delinquents who can’t bother to trim their hair above their ears.

I conceded that perhaps they just haven’t engaged with the music of their parents enough to appreciate the fine tastes of the vaudeville era. Nay, the children told me, they knew their parents record collections quite well. I pressed for an example of the shellac 78s that might be found in their collections, but they still laughed at me and said their parents mostly listened to jazz.

JAZZ. The arrhythmic noise of [racist comments redacted].

I didn’t think I would live to see it, but clearly we are in the end times. Human history seems destined to forget the genius of the musical dandies of my age, when everything was better and never for a moment sullied by the psychological purifier of nostalgia.

We’re going to hell in a filthy beatnik-woven handbasket, if you ask me, and the noisy, electronic guitar-saturated soundtrack will be scored by none other than Pete Flippin’ McCarthey, fiddleman for the insufferable Beetles. I fear the future, I really do, because how dare young people find themselves in an entirely different pop culture zeitgeist than myself and my own obviously superior generation. Rock and roll is not real music. It is a fad, and it will never last the decade.

  • Open letter from notorious racist and old person Thaddeus D. Oldstufferer, dated the week after whenever the Beatles did that vaudeville thing on tv. Probably 1963. Who cares.