By J.D. Oxblood
It’s true I’ve been out of the loop. Day gigs suck, that’s all I can say, and since good writers are now of less value than a foreclosed home in Florida, making a dollar these days is harder than ever. Not that anyone wants to hear me sing the blues. Let’s say I was in Mallorca banging Swedish stewardesses. Or at my pad in the Hamptons. Let’s all believe some lies and wake up happy for a change.
I missed a lot these last few weeks. That batard Madoff got sentenced, and, from what I’ve heard, none of his victims were given the option of kicking him in the nuts. So the justice system is totally screwed. Gay Pride happened, which I totally missed, which is ok, since I have no pride. And the Mermaid Day parade went off without a hitch, despite the ominous sense that the very ground would be torn out from under us at any moment. No one minded the rain—no one who turned out, anyway. It’s the best day of the year in New York City and y’all can’t ruin that. (IF YOU EVER WANT TO SEE CONEY ISLAND AGAIN, PLEASE CALL YOUR COUNCILPERSON. CHECK OUT SAVECONEYISLAND.NET—THE SH*T HITS THE FAN JULY 13.)
(Mermaid Day parenthetical: Mad props to Dreamland for the roller skating rink. When was the last time you roller skated? For us 70s kids, that shit says “birthday party!” When the DJ busted “Another One Bites the Dust,” all I needed was some disco ball action to have a full-fledged flashback to my childhood. Couldn’t fucking walk the next day, but that also might have been the “special” brownies talking. If you didn’t get one of J.D.’s patented brownies, I swear, I looked for you. (Yes, that means you, Gal Friday.)
Oh, yeah, and I got a year older. Mad fuck yous to all those tools who said I’d be dead before 25. Served.
But the biggest news of all is, of course, the death of Michael Jackson. On one hand, it’s strange to see millions upset by the passing of a (probable) pedophile. On the other hand, it’s awesome to see so many remembering why the dude was so badass to begin with. And at least in Brooklyn, Summer 2009 has been dubbed “The Summer of MJ.” You can’t go five feet without hearing one of his songs, and all the classics are coming out.
Here’s a take you haven’t heard: Lorin Maazel just closed out his affiliation as conductor and musical director of the New York Philharmonic. A lot of people care—though probably not my average readers, since I’m all subculture and Maazel is clearly “culture.” I happened to attend one of his final performances, and actually met the legend afterwards, and all I could think about was Michael Jackson. It was a strange foreshadowing considering he died shortly thereafter. (Michael, not Lorin). Follow me on this one—here’s the skinny from Wikipedia:
Maazel was a prodigy, taking his first conducting lesson at age seven and making his debut at age eight. At the age of eleven, he guest conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra on the radio. At twelve he toured America to conduct major orchestras. He made his violin debut at the age of fifteen.
Dude has been famous his whole fucking life. And he’s way older than Michael was by the time he got into his weird phase. And there’s the truth in the bullshit—being famous your whole life makes you very, very weird. When I met Lorin Maazel, one of the sycophants in the room went ape shit on Maazel for one of the pieces we had just seen—a composition by Maazel himself—and Maazel responded with the oddest monologue I’ve heard since Lucky’s speech in “Waiting for Godot.” It went a little like this…
“Yes, it’s fantastic, isn’t it, I wanted it to be more like the way music used to be made, because so much of everything that’s created today is so terrible, so draining on society, like rock music, so emotionless and devoid of any meaning, it’s no wonder that our society has become so lifeless when—“
I can’t go on. It was emphatically fucked. “Rock music?” Is it really palatable for a man to dismiss an entire genre of music and blame it for the ills of society? A man who was a TEENAGER when Elvis was rocking out. A man who is incredibly well-educated, well-traveled—this man has been exposed to everything, right? And can “Rock music” even be summed up in a few words, now that it’s had 60 fucking years to evolve and spin off new genres and turn in on itself? I don’t even know what “Rock music” is anymore. Half of country sounds like rock. Rock musicians write operas. Rock is on Broadway. And I’m pretty sure that the soul-sucking nature of our society is the fault of Viagra. Man, as soon as they started giving old men like Lorin Maazel boner pills, I said, this society is fucking doomed.
So Maazel is gone from New York and his more famous contemporary is gone from the planet. But at least one good thing has come out of Michael Jackson’s death—he totally overshadowed Farrah Fawcett. Dig—not 12 hours after Jackson croaked I heard this gem: “Since MJ was 99% plastic, they’re going to melt him down into Legos so that little kids can play with him for a change.” Just imagine what the wags would have cracked about Farrah’s cause of death if there’d been nothing better going on. Let’s face it, in this bent and twisted society, WE CAN ONLY KEEP TRACK OF ONE THING AT A TIME. After Semptember 11th, no one fucking cared about Gary Condit or what happened to that girl he killed. Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about.
And while I will shake my ass off to some MJ, I’d say that Farrah had a stronger impression on my upbringing. She. Was. The. Personfication. Of hot. She was IT. That poster of her in the red one-piece bathing suit? Can you feel me? Everyone born between ’67 and ’73, please raise your boner. Even in this remake world, I think most people know that Cameron Diaz was NOT the original blonde angel. And it’s sad to see such a glorious, iconic woman pass, sadder still considering how hot she still was in that Playboy spread she did when she was 50, and sadder, and more fucked-up still that ALL the original Angel’s had cancer. (Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith are breast cancer survivors. Bless you both.)
One final thought about our deteriorating society, or, if you hate metaphor, a suggestion for the next time you’re out at Coney Island. They won’t tear down the Cyclone—it’s a fucking landmark—and it’s still a badass coaster. You’re ridden it, you know it’s a necksnapper. I’ve ridden it about a hundred times. Late in the day, Mermaid Day, there’s no line, myself and a friend go for a ride. Two drunk-ass bitches cut in front of us for the front seat, and proceed to ride like 4 times AND talk shit to us every time they come around. School on Sunday—no class. We start talking to the sweet lesbian couple behind us, shaking our heads, and one of them offers to show us her tits. Can’t remember why, exactly, but they were nice tits. So we finally get on and ride once in the front, and decide to give it up for the nice lesbians. They take the front seat, another couple takes the seat behind them, and the rest of the train is COMPLETELY FUCKING EMPTY save us in the very last seat. When the train pulled us over the first big drop, the train—with no weight to keep it on the tracks—lifted off, and the back car was not touching anything and is free-fell down; simultaneously, our asses came a good 8 inches OFF the seat, and we put our hands down as quickly as we could. The rest of the ride was like that—trying to keep ourselves in the fucking car. It was absolutely terrifying.
For the metaphor-friendly: welcome, post-irony, financial collapse, no Michael Jackson 2009.
For the thrill seekers: Cyclone. Empty train. Back seat. Fucking A.