Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Andy Rooney's Gone, So I'm Stepping Into the Breach

Faux hawks are like the leisure suits of our times: things which, decades from now, will make it easier to identify the idiotic men in photos from now. Not that every single faux hawk has looked bad. David Beckham pulled it off a number of years ago. It probably should have stopped right then, though. Not every man who ever wore a leisure suit was an idiot, although every leisure suit not worn sarcastically looked bad. Some people who might know better just follow fashion while their minds are on other things. I've seen a picture of Stan Getz in a leisure suit. Don't identify Getz, or samba, with just "Girl From Ipanema." That song has been covered badly so many times and been heard so often as muzak that it's very difficult now even for a Getz fan to really hear Astrud Gilberto's record with Getz. (How many Grammy winners for Record of the Year are not a joke?) Listen to Joao Gilberto and Heloisa Buarque deHollanda singing "Waters of March" with Getz backing them up, or listen to Getz playing "The Dolphin." And that's still just samba. Getz did much, much more than just samba, he played just about every kind of jazz there was between the time he joined Jack Teagarden's band at age 16 and when the opiates finally caught up with him and shut down his liver when he was 64. He even did some fusion, although maybe he shouldn't have. I'm not talking about his solo on that Huey Lewis song. I like that solo. I mean some fusion records from the mid-70's. Maybe that was when he was wearing that leisure suit.

Anyway, my point is, if you're sporting a faux hawk, I'm just about dead certain that you look like a jackass. (I'm allowing for the possibility that there is a second David Beckham on the planet.) A mohawk would be just fine with me, no problem whatsoever, but not a faux hawk. And what's the deal with this greasy, unwashed, unshaven, uncombed and unlaundered look? I channel-surfed onto a movie recently, stayed a while because the female lead was quite stunning, very healthy and scrubbed and dressed in primary colors that popped. The young man sitting across the table from her was so gaunt and grey and stubbly and dirty that he almost disappeared from the screen next to her. It took some time to realize that he was not some unfortunate she had just dragged out of a dumpster before the garbage truck could compact him to death and was helping out of the goodness of her sweet heart, but that we viewers were actually expected to take him seriously as the male lead in this film. And to act as if his appearance were not repulsive, but that of a leading man playing a well-off college student, not someone just rescued shortly before starving to death in the desert and rife with lice. Apparently we were expected not to gag when he kissed that pretty girl onscreen, just as he was, just like that, without even showering and changing clothes and having a mint or five. Faux hawks aren't the worst.

Friday, November 11, 2011


So, how many people do you suppose are running around yelling, "It's eleven eleven eleven! It's eleven eleven eleven!" ?

PS: Perhaps it's many more than I had imagined: I heard about some nerds going "Oh it's so BINARY!!! The most BINARY date ever!!!" and about Egypt closing their biggest pyramid for fear of "Jewish or Masonic" rituals being performed there because of the date. (Nevermind that this is actually the Hebrew year 5772.)

And I didn't even look for stories about the date.