Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lola Versus

The two-line TV onscreen description summarized the film something like this:  a twenty-nine year-old woman gets dumped three weeks before her wedding and then struggles to find love and happiness.  I didn’t watch the film because of the blurb.  I watched because of the title. 

Now that I’ve watched, I’m depressed.     

Lola Versus happens to be the first two words from the title of one of my favorite all-time albums, Lola Versus Powerman and the Money-go-round, Part One, from my all-time favorite band, The Kinks.  I would call it an iconic album, but the fact that so few people seem aware of its importance (existence?) kind of argues against the useful definition of the term. 

My love for The Kinks is such that even the merest suggestion of something connected to them brings me running.  My loyalty to The Kinks means I sometimes end up enduring things I wouldn’t otherwise endure.

Remember the movie Club Paradise?  Of course you don’t; no one does.  It came out in 1986, and starred Robin Williams, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy, Jimmy Cliff, and, if you can believe it, Peter O’Toole.  In the commercials for the film, they used the Kinks’ song “Apeman,” also from the album Lola Versus Powerman etc., etc.  That was enough for me.  Elizabeth and I went to see it the summer we started dating.     

Club Paradise put me in a difficult spot.  For years afterward I defended the film, insisting that it was “okay,” or “so-so.”  But it wasn’t.  It was dreadful.  Only I couldn’t bring myself to admit it, because they had been kind enough to feature “Apeman” prominently in the film.  With my twisted sense of fealty, I felt like I owed Club Paradise something because they had publicly acknowledged the greatness of my favorite band.

Here's the trailer for Club Paradise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Ud2UJCv4s (go ahead; it's worth it just to see Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy dressed in their 80's dweebish best)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Twerking Hitler

You may have seen the secret photo session pictures released this week of Hitler shortly after his release from prison (Mein Kampf, anyone?) in 1925, according to this story in The Huffington Post.

After seeing the photos, I'm kind of relieved that he was using that time to perfect his Angry Aryan impersonation. I was really worried they'd turn out to be boudoir shots. 

At any rate, as I was scanning through the photos, I couldn't help thinking about how silly he looked in them, practicing these exaggerated, almost vaudevillian poses.  I blame Mel Brooks for my failure to be properly impressed; he pretty much single-handedly destroyed any chance for me of taking Adolf seriously.  Don't get me wrong; I completely understand what a dangerous, hate-mongering fascist he was, and how much power and appeal his ideas continue to have amongst the feeble-minded and helplessly fear-mad in our world.  It's just that after you've seen The Producers and laughed uncontrollably throughout "Springtime for Hitler," and watched Dick Shawn's character, LSD (Lorenzo St. DuBois, if you must), brilliantly deflate Der Fuhrer without even realizing it, there's only so much respect you can hope to muster for a man who insisted on wearing a toothbrush moustache.   

As I scrolled through the pictures, one after another I had these completely ridiculous and equally incongruous captions pop into my head, imagining the things Hitler might be saying or thinking.   

Critics may accuse me of beating a dead horse, but I know better.  This horse isn't dead, really; it's more like undead, and as the current popularity of zombies extensively illustrates, there are no limitations on the type or frequency of beatings that can be visited upon the undead...

In that spirit, then, I humbly offer the following:

"This twerking thing is harder than it looks..."