Intrepid Girl Reporter

Sunday, 10/12: what we talk about when we talk about love

I have a lot that I want to cover here, but none of it (well, very little) directly relates to anything interesting about me. Sorry for those who know me personally. Also, I would swear that I’ve covered a few of the themes herein before (and referenced similar sources), but either I haven’t or WordPress’s search engine is failing me.

To be addressed in this post:

  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  • The Westing Game
  • the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays
  • Ben Sollee
  • Christopher Walken’s best skit ever
  • marching band competitions

Okay, let’s go.

1. Someone (a real someone) once told me that when people talk about music, especially people of a certain demographic and generation, they’re not actually talking about music at all. (This is one of the things I feel like I’ve covered before, so if I have, apologies.) That idea was the only thing of any use that this someone left for me, but it’s a pretty succinct summation of what I’ve sort of always known, the way we use music (etc.) as a sort of cultural shorthand.*

Which is why I was unsure, going in, about seeing N&N. Everything from the soundtrack to the promotional fonts used suggested that the film’s creators were trying to create a Touchstone, a Cultural Reference Point rather than an authentic story. Another Garden State, if you will, something that guys on dates and girls looking to make friends could reference within the first five minutes of a conversation to assure the other party that they spoke the same language. (Of course, I am guilty of this too, and part of my feelings on the matter stem from my desire to prove that I’m not hopping on any sort of bandwagon. After all, I did sit through the first half of this movie thinking, “I’ve had Bishop Allen on my iPod for TWO YEARS!” and then cursing myself because in those two years, I’ve only listened to them maybe three times, thus making me just as Johnny-come-lately as anyone else. Sorry, end digression.)

Obviously I could go on for a long time about how our tastes should be freed from others’ judgment and yet never are, but what I wanted to talk about was the movie, which is actually very good. I think what made this film for me was the fact that this specific way of life is *not* particularly familiar to me – I was way overprotected and antisocial in the uncool way in high school, and I would never have been allowed to spend a night in NYC in that manner – and yet it felt familiar. The movie really captures the essence of those bizarre endless nights; in fact, it reminded me of nights at My College, which is saying something, because believe me, it is difficult to be further removed from New York than the town where MC resides. But the reason it does is because the movie gets at those feelings of absurdity and exhilaration and being young that exist no matter where you are. Also, Drunk Friend Caroline is amazing and dead-on. Also also, I’m not a huge Michael Cera fan exactly, but I do like that he looks real – when you see guys who are dorky like Zach Braff or (natch) John Krasinski, guys who sort of play into this trend of awkward, you (i.e. I) go, you are not actually awkward, sir, you are just trying to prove you are real. Whereas Michael Cera is NOT good looking (no offense if you read this, sir), and he’s legitimately almost squirmy. (That might be why I’m not a huge fan.) Watching someone like Zach Braff vs. watching Michael Cera is like watching Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed vs. watching Heather Matarazzo in Welcome to the Dollhouse. **

And yes, as much as I hate to admit it, the soundtrack is excellent.

2. This is for you, Brendan and Marie.

3. It’s a pretty well established fact that I’m not from anywhere in particular. That having been said, I still feel a particular affinity with the Floridian mindset and circumstance. Case in point: the Rays making it this far in the baseball season. No one in my family has ever liked, played, or even really watched baseball. Nonetheless, as I read Mr. Marchman’s article, I found myself nodding along in agreement, because I understood everything he was talking about. I remember when the Rays came, how excited everyone was, how willing we all were to overlook the fact that, as the author so kindly points out, they were all wearing “teal jerseys festooned with fish.” We weren’t even overlooking them; it seemed almost logical that if we in the old-people-infested swamplands of America were to be blessed with a real live sports team, we would have to wear something bizarre. Anything else would have seemed like a pose, a half-assed attempt to ape our brethren with deciduous forests.

There is a unique sort of surreal fatalism present on the Gulf Coast and further south. Elmore Leonard and “Maximum Bob” and their ilk are not, to be honest, all that far off; living there I grew accustomed, like everyone else around me, to my lot of extreme weather, ancient foreign intruders and alligators in the drains. Which is probably why I retain a great deal of affection for a place I haven’t lived in in nine years and would never live again, why I commend Slate for recognizing the unique position of the team fighting the underdog, and why I’m rooting for the Rays, even though they dropped the Devil from their name. My city’s still breathing.

(Side note: did you know that the so-called “devil ray” is actually harmless? Yes, our team was named after a powerless animal. Which means we appear to have outwussed even the Minnesota Twins. At least there are two of them.)

4. I just downloaded because he is my age and from Kentucky. I am excited, and I’m trying to figure out where in Lexington he went to high school, because we surely have some mutual friends. Again, I can’t shake off all these places I’ve lived, no matter how much I sometimes wish I could.

5. While the following skit is criminally underrecognized – it beats Cowbell by a mile – one of the underrecognized things WITHIN this underrecognized skit is the way it addresses Florida’s separate mentality. I’m not sure if it was on purpose or not, but “Don’t push your politics on me, buddy” almost feels like a shoutout. Also I wish Tim Meadows would get more credit for his abilities as a straight man.

The video leaves out the last line of the skit, which is a wild shriek, followed by Walken’s frustrated exclamation: “Again? But we just did it an hour ago!”

6. I went to see a marching band competition yesterday. This was my first marching band competition, and quite frankly, I don’t think I have the words to describe the pageantry of these sorts of events. Instead, I’ll leave you with a few photos from Bob Waters Stadium, Western Carolina University (home of the Pride of the Mountains).*** After watching, my mother and I were forced to conclude that when you’re a band director, inspiration is everywhere.

theme: “Taking Flight”/if you look closely, there’s a girl carrying a giant bird on a stick

theme: “War and Peace”/tragedies on display: atom bomb, dead soldiers


dueling flutes. This show would obviously take really well to the “On Ice!” treatment.

This show was called “Make Sense.” Which was ironic because it didn’t. (How could it?) I do have to say, though, that I didn’t expect quite this level of abstract installation art from Bourbon County, KY. Note the progression of the lights in the head.

giant flower, natch.

majorettes with eyes on their chests, natch. What are they trying to tell us? WHAT IS THE CODE?

Parents with purple glitter cowboy hats. Natch. Maybe my old Kentucky and old Florida homes aren’t so far apart after all.

*I have swapped iPods with guys as a courting ritual on multiple occasions. More on this later maybe. One guy actually said, half-seriously, “You realize that this is the moment of truth.”

**Of course, I would still rather date Zach Braff, which speaks to the aspirational tendencies in all of us.

***Given the fact that UT’s band, with whom La Sister cheers, is known as The Pride of the Southland, I suggested having a Pride-Off where all the bands who claim to be the pride of their respective areas battle it out for title of Proudest, or alternately, Pride of America. No one else seemed to like this suggestion.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i’m so glad there are others that recognize the wonders of this book.

here is another one of my faves:

Comment by Marie

Home slice, I marched all through high school and have three siblings who did and are doing the same. I have been to so many marching band competitions it is not even funny. I still enjoy them immensely, though…and often more when there’s less pageantry than performance.

Comment by grayshifter

thanks for you

indexindex netvbblogsmsyoutube

Comment by profnet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: