Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Read A Book, Listen To A Record, Watch A Game

"The Green Ripper" by John D. MacDonald

When I do these I just Google for the cover that’s best visually and then show that, because the covers of the printings I’m reading are the real generic ugly ones without the 70’s illustrations. But now I’m rounding into the early 80’s with the McGee books, and as a result of the more lackluster illustrations for this one, we all get a peek at the above red-hot mama from I think an Australian printing. Total Bozo management passed down a “sex it up” mandate, because Read a Book, Listen To A Record, Etcetera are the worst, most boring posts on here. Your eyeballs are the beneficiaries.

I’m about halfway through this one right now, and there’s no indication in the plot that a sexy SCUBA lady with her tots out is forthcoming. WHO CARES. SCUBA BOOBA. God bless the Australians. They don't let a little thing like "this is blatantly wrong" get in the way of their T or their A.

For at least the last four of these novels, McGee’s friend Meyer has been chiding him for being in a rut, telling him he needs to get emotionally involved in something to help shake the cobwebs loose. I love it when a writer apologizes for the boring book you’re reading while you’re reading it. This one is the “this time it’s personal,” MacDonald has been hinting at for a while, so I have high hopes for it.

Plus, bonus, it involves a cult. Apparently cults were a thing one needed to talk about in the aftermath of Jonestown. I can’t get enough of the subject matter, even if it’s giving MacDonald all the platform he needs to pontificate at length on the ills of society. I don’t mind. Pontificating on the ills of society from a late 70’s perspective is quaint. He’s, like, kind of dimly worried about fundamentalism in an “it’s generally upsetting that people want to live like that” way rather than a “we are all going to die from this soon because Pakistan has nukes” way.

CAN Soundtracks

Is there a band in the history of the world luckier than Can? Sure, they’re all great musicians. Sure, in spite of their musicianship they managed to be tasteful enough not to get too unbearably proggy. Most of the time. Those are two very VERY important aspects of their being a kickass band, and they have nothing to do with luck. But being fronted by Malcom Mooney AND Damo Suzuki? That is a run of front man luck that would get you kicked out of any self-respecting casino.

We found this guy on the street, his name is Malcolm Mooney, and ooops looks like he’s one of the baddest motherfuckers ever to hold a microphone. Whoopie! What? Oh no. He’s too bad of a motherfucker to even be able to HANDLE himself, and he’s got to go back to America to get his mental health together? Shit. What are we gonna do? I don’t know, how about we get this gibberish-slinging Japanese guy who’s 99% as bad of a motherfucker as Malcolm. Maybe we could do that, you guys. No biggie.

We’ll just lay some jams on tape. See if it works out. Might as well. We’ve got a couple of soundtracks we agreed to do for weird films that nobody made or saw. Let’s just goof around and see what happens and maybe lay down some of the best shit ever recorded by humans for those. No sweat, you guys.

Of course later they had their Icarus moment where they were like “hey, let’s get rid of this fucking Japanese badass and forget about the whole try not to be too embarrassing thing" and see if THAT works. With the way things had been, you can’t really blame them for pushing everything on snake eyes, actually believing it was going to work, and then crapping out. Soundtracks catches them at that insane nexus of luck that had them jumping from Mooney to Suzuki without batting an eye. It’s a moment so rare, the music is even more impressive for it. Like “we are UNSTOPPABLE.”

Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs, Western Conference Semifinals, Game 1

The Spurs are like the Can of NBA teams. More specifically, they’re like the Holger Czukay of NBA teams. There they are, playing bass and engineering whatever new recording techniques are necessary to move forward. Who’s our front man? David Robinson? Tim Duncan? Tony Parker? Whatever, I’m here and I’m ready to jam.

Steph Curry, who I discussed already but can’t get enough of, was the Malcolm Mooney of this specific game. Unbelievable in the third quarter, then disappearing. I guess that makes Manu Ginobli the Damo Suzuki, and that game-winner was his "Halleluwah."

I like the Spurs, but they have an air of grim professionalism that makes them hard to give your heart to, even as they’re clawing back from a 16 point 4th quarter deficit in a playoff game. The sloppier, less steady Warriors are much more compelling. They’re like the hare losing to the tortoise by a hair while also having gotten a nap in. From a narrative perspective, the Warriors in the playoffs so far have been the bad guy team from the end of every sports movie, except in real life you want them to win.

What is it with the Spurs? Tim Duncan is the Travis McGee of the NBA. He needs an emotional entanglement to make him go “this time it’s personal.” I guess that makes Gregg Popovich the Meyer of the NBA. This could not more clearly be the case.

Just for fun: