Pop Culture Gadabout
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
      ( 6/13/2006 03:29:00 PM ) Bill S.  

"STUN ME WITH YOUR HONEYGUN" – Nick (Jesus of Cool) Lowe is on the Sony CD player: he's singin' a gun lyric, so it must be time for another round of bullet points, eh?
  • Several bloggers (including Mark Evanier) have been linking to this John Derbyshire piece, wherein the conservative pundit publicly "apologizes" for supporting the Iraq invasion. I was curious as to where the National Review regular would take this piece, and after reading it through several times, the primary message I took from the posting was Derbyshire's sorrow over the fact that we didn't bomb them heathens all the way back to the Wog Age. That's one swell apology . . .

  • Also read with the interest the swelling indignation among pro-war bloggers over father Michael Berg's interview reaction to the death of al-Zarqawi, the man linked to the beheading of Berg's son, Nicholas. Apparently, there is only one sanctioned, strategically correct way to manage family grief these days, and Berg's wasn't it. Ever get the sense that these guys spend their days affixing Play-Doh bumps to their foreheads so they can play at being Klingons?

  • But enough of me not knowing what the hell I'm talking about. Let's talk about Fla-Vor Ices: bought a box of these puppies for a buck at Big Lots recently ("18 Giant Freeze & Serve Pops") and if there's a more refreshing way to get through a hot June afternoon, I don't know it. The box sez "Six Fruity Flavors," but when you actually read the ingredients, the only juices listed are apple, pear or grape. I suppose it's a combination of the three that makes the remaining fruity flavors, right? Personal favorite: the blue pops – because eating one makes me feel like a Simpson . . .

  • And speakin' of tasty pops, I caught the two-hour premiere of Hex on BBC America last week. The show looks to be a blend of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer with Dark Shadows, centering around a young blond coed named Cassie Hughes (Christina Cole) who discovers she has a witchy heritage and the powers to go with it. She's pursued by a handsome and wicked (or is that wickedly handsome?) fallen angel named Azazeal (Michael Fassbender), who somehow plans to use and abuse our heroine so he can free an army of his fallen buddies. Cassie's lesbian roomie Thelma (Jemima Rooper makes her character more appealing than you'd initially guess from that name) warns our heroine to stay away from the guy, but you just know that yearning should-I-stay-or-should-I-go movement will be a part of the full story arc.

    Neither Becky nor I have decided if we'll be giving this show the full summertime commitment yet: Thelma is fun (even if her fate at the premiere's end was spoiled more than once in commercials that Beeb-Am chose to run during the show itself), but heroine Cassie is a bit of a drip, while the show's secondary cast of typical stuck-up jocks and schoolgirls is largely indistinguishable. I like Colin Salmon as the school's headmaster and probable Rupert Giles figure, though . . .

  • Latest music being played in the PT Cruiser: Rhett Miller's second solo release, The Believer. Unlike The Instigator, Miller's first solo release, this 'un works overtime at being a Big Broad Pop-Rock Album in the mode of Ryan Adams. But the tracks I like best are the ones ("Help Me, Suzanne," "Singular Girl") that hearken most to Miller's work in the Old 97's. Most revealing tell: that our man ends the disc with an acoustic slowed-down version of a song from Satellite Rides, still arguably the finest of 97's releases . . .

  • Received the new premiere issue of Boom! Studio's Hero Squared recently. I'm heartened to see Giffen & DeMatteis' series continuing, though one of the problems with doing a new Ish One every six months or so seems to be that you're obliged to re-explain the premise at length every time. The guys solve it this time by pulling in an old friend who gets to snark at both hero Milo Stone's and the story's expense. (Am I the only one who had to go back and check his copies of Planetary Brigade to see if Blaine was the real world version of Mister Brilliant? He isn't.) But I'm hoping this is the final re-start – and that G & DeM are finally able to aim this rascal toward some, you know, resolution . . .

  • Speakin' of resolution, I finally got a copy of the last volume of Battle Royale, and while I generally enjoyed it on a first reading, at times you could really feel the creators stretccccching the action. Could've done with maybe one less moment of solemn remembrance for all the characters who've passed away, though perhaps this'll seem less excessive on a second reading. On the plus side, adapter Giffen's narrative voice-over at the end of the book has a believable tone of anger/remorse that stuck with me past the back page Tokyopop ads. . .
More eventually . . .

Music for this Round o' Bullet-Pointing: Nick Lowe, Party of One.
# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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