Clown for a New Day

Clown for a New Day
Dagwood might make it in today's emasculated circus

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Showbiz A La Carte: Outtakes and Outbursts

Rock on, if that’s the best you can do, PBS. I am tried of tired old rock and rollers wailing away for endless PBS pledge drives. Wasn’t this whole public tv gig supposed to be about education? Oh, that’s right, I need to get smart on the best guitar twangers ... If our publicly funded networks can’t survive without the Beach Boys, maybe it’s time to turn off the lights and let the cable stations pick up what deserves to go on, like old rock and roll groups, if that’s what the public really wants to go on. What I dont want to go on is Digging for the Truth without Josh Bernstein.

Shame on you, History Channel! Josh was one compelling teacher when he hosted Digging, so why did you let him slip away? Whoever took over looked like another clone cable host. I will not watch the show until professor Josh returns ...

Broadway’s fresh dead draw big grateful crowds at going-away tributes in Times Square Theatres ... Admission is free, if you can get in (lines are long) to bid farewell to the likes of Jerry Orbach and Robert Merrill. Class act, NY ... And while we are walking the Great White Way, South Pacific gets ready for it’s April return, with its acclaimed director, Bartlett Sher, telling the NYT that to really succeed, the revival needs to be even better than the original. Without Mary Martin, that’s a tall order and I wish them well, and I have remarkable faith in Sher, for he staged the perfectly rendered Light in the Plaza ... Another reason to jump aboard Damtrak for a May trip back there ...

Back to Josh Bernstein --- Okay, I’m still fuming over his absence from Digging, for he made so interesting the exploration of ancient sites and lost civilizations. Reminds me that once upon a semester at Santa Rosa Junior College, a gifted biology instructor of rare enthusiasm made lab 1A so engaging, I of all people (I hate science and math) earned an A grade, nearly top of the class. Never again. I nearly flunked out of Astronomy. Don’t give me blood and guts, World, give me poetry and circus, ballet and big top and even Idol ...

Starring Simon Cowell, who else but?. It’s really all about him, isn’t it? We wait for that celebrated hated tongue to rattle like a snake. What will HE say. His cohorts on the panel are mere luke warm up acts for Simon Says. Idling away another Idol hour the other night, I haven’t a clue what drives these judges to their oddball judgements. A country and western guy (and I don’t much fancy c&w) struck me as perhaps the most authentic; not so the judges. They gotta keep us on edge, off guard and amazingly surprised. Shame on their professional stupidity.

Music, Even if You Don’t please: An Idea, Cirque du Soleil: Since you are very French and into serious scoring, why not include the strains of your master composers, like Ravel and Debussy? On your fan website, I notice one guy who says he mainly goes to your shows, even if he doesn’t like them, because of the music, so how about giving us the Greats? ... Heck, if you can get Bartok or Stravinsky into your fluffy dull Corteo, I might go back ...

Whatever Happened to Craig Killborn? He hosted a classy late night show, so promising, then he walked away, and even Google tells me little about what Mr. Exit is up to since he gave showbiz the finger. ... You retire at your own peril. My all-time favorite, Jack Paar, left the Tonight Show after only five years, and later tried for a comeback that is rarely mentioned in tv docs or bios (so many sacred cows get sacred protection). That comeback fizzled fast....

Monster Cinema Reigns, and I’ve had my fill for a while of diabolical barbers, viciously anti-human oil men, and strange psychotics who slit throats on a mystic whim down there where Mexico escapes into the US with drugs, hookers, farm hands and circus roustabouts...... Even the young pregnant woman in Juno, a worthy film dramatizing the profound power of motherhood to modern women, is so pretentiously hip and full of herself, I could hardly bear some of her more cynical syntax. Does a 16 year old in this day and age really talk like a jaded feminist in her 30s whom I would imagine finding in a woman’s bar? ...

And whatever happened to the great trapeze hero Miguel Vasquez? End ringing it here, are you just dying for a new tv circus celebrity show in the works? Circus of the Stars turned circus art into drek. So here comes another assault ...I still can’t shake the mediocre image of David Nelson posing as a flyer. Sure, anybody can do it, gracelessly. Yes, as in Idol, anybody can be a very accomplished amateur.

Shame on you, History Channel (or did I already say that). Blame it on the social buzz at L’Amyx, where I’m pounding out this mediocre rant. Or on the dizzy turbulence of Hojicha, the brew I daringlgy selected over my usual, more serene rice tea. Oh, yes, did anybody see the Academy Awards, and is it over yet?. I HATE awards shows that go on over an hour ... maybe they remind me of those endless PBS pledge breaks. Or movies that should wrap up in two rather than 3 hours. Like my friend Liz here in Oakland says, “They make them by the ton these days.” And still, endings elude them. No Country has no ending, it just suddenly ends in the middle of nowhere. Aristotle, who invented dramatic structure, would be outraged ...

And I better end this at the two ton mark. You see, I still have more tea to drink. Killing time can be hazardous to your prose, assuming you have any.....I learned that back in my Ovaltine phase...Blame it on my Mom... No, make that the History Channel...

1 comment:

Wade G. Burck said...

Great tirade once again, David. Keep them coming? Let me know if you ever decide to focus on me. I wan't time to dig a foxhole.
Respects,
Wade Burck