THROBERT'S THEATRE of THINKOLOGIZING!
05 October 2002
Direct your gaze over to the links sidebar on the right, ladies and gentlemen, and you'll see there's a new selection playing in the Diskoteka bubble-action Wurlitzer today. (See here for a description of the previous selection, Ugly Girl -- it's not the parody version of Aqua's Barbie Girl.)
If you patronized U.S. dance clubs in the mid-'90s, or if you're European, you probably remember Swedish satire/pop sensations Army of Lovers for their big slice of operatic techno sacrilege, Crucified. Far more obscure on this side of the Atlantic was the completely deranged Israelism, based on the wheezy Hebrew School singalong staple Hevenu Shalom Aleichem. The lyrics are chock full of Jew-baiting stereotypes, but as Army of Lovers member Jean-Pierre Barda (himself a Red Sea Pedestrian) explained in an interview, it's all in good fun.
Besides, as my Russian friend Sasha commented the first time I heard this song playing at a gay Moscow disco, where a packed dance floor chanted along phonetically to the pump-your-fist-in-the-air Hebrew chorus, ''Anti-Semitic how? It makes me want to kneel before a Jewish man...''
P.S. If you've actually gone through the trouble of downloading the song and listening to it, please take a moment to fill out a Comment form and drop it into the wire basket to your right before leaving. Thanks!posted by Throbert | 10/05/2002 12:26:00 PM | (0) responses
Dang, what's in the water up in the Great White North?
Don't get me wrong, 'cause I'm not one of those U.S. jingoists who likes to piss all over the maple leaf. Canada's pretty cool, as a country; I'm half-sold on the national health care thing, and the Ontario-produced You Can't Do That On Television was an afterschool staple for me back in the day. And I wept in solidarity with our neighbors to the north when my 11-grade World History class covered Canada's tragic recent history -- the killing fields strewn with the grim, sunbleached mementos of Khmer Rouge purges; the evacuation of Phnom Penh. Plus, I totally dig Canadian guys with those butch flannel shirts, scrimshaw necklaces, and fratboy thirst for brewskis (Q. What's the difference between a straight man and a gay man? A. Oh, for gracious sake, Mary, you know the punchline...).
But, geez, some Canucks can be so touchy about political issues. For instance, the Canadian border police just seized a shipment of pro-Israel pamphlets from the Ayn Rand Institute in California, en route to the University of Toronto. Why? Because the newsletters were flagged as possible hate propaganda, the dissemination of which is unlawful up there.
Now, I did the College Objectivist Club thing back at the University of Virginia (class of '93 -- go 'Hoos!), and I know that Rand could get a bit strident in her polemics. And the newsletter in question sounds like it was dictated by Ms. Alissa R. Kapitalismova herself via Ouija board -- Christ, don't Objectivist pens have any setting but "high dudgeon"?
Nothing racist in the newsletter that this careful reader spotted, even assuming it were appropriate for any decent liberal democracy to censor racist content in the first place.posted by Throbert | 10/05/2002 01:07:00 AM | (0) responses
04 October 2002
Man, 28 gigabucks must buy a truckload of lung transplants. You could stock up on a bunch, keep the extras in a foam cooler full of dry ice and have a new one installed every two or three years -- I mean, after the first one you're looking at a lifetime of immunosuppressant drug therapy anyway to prevent rejection, so it's like your body's primed and ready for a fresh replacement lung to be popped in.
And, for my under-18 readers: kids, the time to start thinking about your retirement is today -- give a homeless dude forty bucks to buy you a carton of American Spirit yellows and let him keep the change. (Prices slightly higher in New York state.) It may seem like a big chunk of your allowance right now, but one of life's unbending rules is that you gotta spend money to make money.
If you're too much of a pussy to smoke, consider going into law -- did you know that litigation attorneys like Michael Piuze can take 30% or more of the punitive damages awarded to their clients? 30% of $28 billion is so much money that extremely hot people of the appropriate sex will want to pleasure you all night and let you eat breakfast off their taut torsos in the morning even though you are a non-smoking acne-scarred stoop-shouldered priss with tape on your bullet-resistant, thumbgrease-smeared glasses.
Light up!posted by Throbert | 10/04/2002 10:53:00 PM | (0) responses
03 October 2002
Hey, Blinkin' Blog patrons! I've got quite a bit of writing-for-pay to get done today, so no long updates. Instead, take a quick browse through the Greatest Hits section in the right sidebar. (Returning readers who've already been through my archives, just bear with me.)
In case you're new around these here parts and haven't made his (or her) acquaintance yet, Child Prodigy is as good an introduction as any to my cute-as-a-button adopted baby, Throbert Jr. (or Throbertina Jr.). Here, I've got a photo in my wallet... let's see, expired credit card, empty Ziploc microbaggie with white powdery residue, ATM receipt, picture of one man spooging on another's chest that I cut from from the back of a video box, photo of my dog, Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Our Lady Mary blinking 3D portrait, perpetual calendar... oh, here it is. Just be careful not to attract unnecessary attention to yourself with loud noises or sudden movements, avoid eye contact, and ideally have ready some sort of small, distracting creature like a hamster (but not a pet that you're fond of; consult the Biology Department of your local university for laboratory suppliers) in case of an emergency. Also, women who are currently attending the monthly bread-and-roses luncheon of the Red Army Ladies' Auxiliary Committee, if you know what I mean, should probably steer clear.
Open-minded Christians, and anyone interested in how some factions of the very early Church portrayed Christ, may enjoy When Baby Jesus Attacks! Though sprinkled with humor that some will find irreverent, it's actually a serious look at a couple of ancient manuscripts known as the ''Infancy Gospels,'' in which -- no joke -- Jesus sometimes comes across like one of the deadly half-alien kids from Village of the Damned. Why were such unflattering depictions of J.C. once accepted as true by many of his followers? Read the piece for my suggested answer.
TMI on my sex life (NC-17) is just what it sounds like. It's gay-themed, too. And there's talk of what goes on in public sex clubs. It's not written as pornography or even erotica, though, and there's a serious point to be made.
If you prefer good, clean absurdist humor at the expense of little old ladies, or if you've ever lived in a multi-unit apartment building with elderly tenants in rent-controlled apartments downstairs, read The Neighbor. It's dedicated to Maude (not her real name), an eccentric but wonderful old bat who always has an affectionate word for my doggy when we pass her in the hallway.
Finally, readers who are at least conditionally supportive of U.S. military engagement in the Middle East and annoyed by left-wing portrayals of America as some sort of bullying thug should check out the short piece Buffy the Mujahideen Slayer, in which I advocate a rather different perspective. (There's not really that much Buffy in it, come to think of it. In fact, she gets only an oblique reference towards the very end. But sometimes one has to go with what sells.)posted by Throbert | 10/03/2002 11:05:00 AM | (0) responses
01 October 2002
Freakazoid robots, report to the dance floor!
As a public service to readers with broadband connections, I've added a new section to the right-hand sidebar: Diskoteka, where I'll occasionally link to MP3 files of note. The focus will be on... exotica. Obscurities from abroad. Mostly-forgotten '50s MOR ephemera. Stuff that my parents used to have on vinyl but that took me hours of searching on file-sharing networks to track down. This week's selection is Ugly Girl, a strange but singularly infectious bubblegum rap number. Oh yeah, and it's mostly in Mandarin Chinese (click here for instant computomatic translation of lyrics), apart from a brief and unforgettable English chorus. Should you wish to sample a few seconds before downloading the 3.1MB file, treat yourself to this Japanimation-style Flash video. (Or is that Han-imation? What with it being, uh, Chinese and all, and the Han being, to the People's Republic, kinda what Russians were to the multi-ethnic USSR. You know, I can't think of a single clever thing to say about this song; you'll just have to experience it for yourselves.)posted by Throbert | 10/01/2002 05:57:00 PM | (0) responses
[SFX: The jingle-jangle melody of coins in a tin cup]
Christmas is coming
If you haven't got a penny
Readers: Although maintaining this Blog involves no out-of-pocket expenses for me, the labor I put into it takes away from the time I have available to accept freelance assignments as a consumer electronics reviewer -- my major source of (moderate) income.
(See, for instance, a recent digital camera review I did for cnet.com. The Minolta F100 is a compact model offering plenty of manual control so that users who know what they're doing can get more predictable results in tricky lighting conditions.)
Although the reviews pay well, they can be labor intensive and writing them is much less enjoyable than working on the Blog. So if this site one day generates enough PayPal revenue that I can afford to turn down one of the freelance assignments offered to me each month, I'll be a very happy camper -- and I'll have more time to produce quality writing for your entertainment.
With grateful air kisses or manly handshake,
P.S. I promise not to bug you about it again for another month or so, when mom's birthday comes up.posted by Throbert | 10/01/2002 11:19:00 AM | (0) responses
30 September 2002
Did you know that shoddily-constructed stuffed animals may pose a safety hazard to infants and toddlers with certain rare but serious genetic abnormalities? It's disturbing but true. For instance, while the child has Bosco Bear's head in its mouth, with serrated teeth seeking to tear a surgically-precise incision in the bear's carotid artery so that swollen venom sacs can pump in neurotoxic saliva causing almost instant paralysis and eventual liquefaction of muscle tissues, one of the baby's dewclaws may snag on a large piece of stuffing and fling it onto the gas range, where it might be ignited by the pilot light and cause what could have ended up being a tragic kitchen fire.
Please pass this warning to everyone on your mailing list and if you know how to set up an online Internet email petition for submission to Congress and the UN, which unfortunately I don't, please create one and forward the URL so I can link to it!
Thank you.posted by Throbert | 9/30/2002 01:03:00 PM | (0) responses
Today's update is a new essay linked on the right via the headline TMI On My Sex Life (NC-17). It is posted offsite and thus outside of my regular archives because it contains entirely Too Much Information about my sometimes-busy gay sex life and should not be accidentally or deliberately read by anyone of decent character. (Hi, mom and dad.) Moreover, it will strike a few very careless readers as being disgustingly shallow, racist, ageist, weightist, lookist and/or self-loathingly homophobic. However, although the language is frank, it is not pornographic in tone, is not intended to titillate, is insulting to no one, and in fact is a serious moral essay about sexual ethics (and gay men's sexual ethics in particular). posted by Throbert | 9/30/2002 11:30:00 AM | (0) responses
29 September 2002
Readers: Because -- judging by the hit counter at the bottom -- my regular audience is still very small, running this website currently requires no monetary investment from me other than a recent upgrade to a Blogger Pro subscription, which I can easily afford. Hence, no PayPal tip jar as yet. However, I do put a fair amount of labor into producing polished material, and in researching links when necessary. If you've enjoyed what you've read here, then, please consider paying me back by taking a few minutes to spread some positive word-of-mouth by linking this Blog on your own site or passing the URL along to friends who you think might also enjoy it.
Update: Now that I think about it, I guess there's no harm in saying that monetary donations are gratefully accepted if a few dollars are within your means. Look at it this way: How much are you willing to pay for your favorite magazine at the newsstand? Divide that by ten because my Blog offers much less content than the average magazine, has a staff of one, and lacks glossy-paper photo spreads you can cut out and use for a découpage project. There, surely you can afford that much, can't you? If not, then positive word-of-mouth will make me almost as happy.posted by Throbert | 9/29/2002 01:43:00 PM | (0) responses
You wanna know how fucking gay I am? This evening I took my dog Poochy around the block to make with the sprinkles, and I all of a sudden realize that I've been whistling a merry tune ever since goddamn 7th Avenue. Started out with "Don't Fence Me In," moved on to "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-bob-bobbin' Along," and wrapped things up with, yes, "Swanee River." Neighbors must've thought I'd fallen through a wormhole sometime during the Eisenhower administration. posted by Throbert | 9/29/2002 11:53:00 AM | (0) responses