…but how could you?!

I’m sick of Glenn Miller.


Annoyed, really.

I hate Glenn Miller now. It was different 5 years ago, I couldn’t get enough. I suppose my tastes have matured, but there’s also a contempt born of familiarity that transcends a dislike for the man himself or his music. It’s the culture built up around it that I’ve truly grown sick of.

I’m not speaking of the countless movies he and his orchestra were in during the ’30s and ’40s, I’m not speaking of the tours that they did all over the globe doing moral support of the troops, I’m speaking of the oddly sanitized, goofy ‘oh-boy-oh-goody what fun!’ attitude that seems to surround the WWII reenacting and swing dance crowd, the people whose tastes haven’t matured and they still think it’s all about the music and the clothes.

I actually still like a lot of the music, but it’s the slower, calmer stuff, the less commonly played, rarely heard pieces. If I have to sit through PEnnsylvania 6-5000, In the Mood or String of Pearls one more goddamned time I’m gonna HURT someone, and I don’t care who.

Hey, I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, too…that doesn’t mean I want to hear Under the Bridge or Give it Away another 500 times.

Back to the point, though. There’s this bizarre superficiality – if that’s even a word, and spell checker says it is – built up around history that’s perpetuated by history buffs. There are little bits and pieces that keep getting dragged up to the top in favor of anything else. Certain pieces of music, movies, personalities, styles of clothing, certain cars, furniture pieces, appliances, etc. The resulting picture of the past looks like some sort of mutant world where everything was campy, overdone, sickly sweet and downright annoying. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s no different than today, the problem is that what’s survived is all the annoying overblown pop culture. That picture on the cover of Time of the sailor kissing the nurse, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, Cadillacs and Fords, spectator shoes and cherry-print dresses, all iconic and all done to death and worn out.

I have several pair of spectators in my closet. One pair gets use over the rest. Yeah, there are saddle shoes in there, too. Just got ’em, they were $6 and they came with shoe trees. I’ll wear them with a suit. In season. Or out, if the weather’s hot or the event seems appropriate. But I’ve got solid-color shoes, too, and they see far more use.

I’ve got big fat ’40s ties with wild prints on them. They get nowhere near as much use as the subtle ’30s brocades. Why? Because people will save a wild tie. They’ll get rid of the boring or less than remarkable ones. And 70+ years later, here we are with all sorts of wild ties…and the ‘normal’ ones are long gone…and that’s the picture people have. Wild ties. Pinstripe suits. Huge hats. Gangsters. Glenn Miller. Benny Goodman. ’40 Fords. ’41 Cadillacs.

All of those things would have been a very tiny piece of someone’s life in the ’30s and ’40s. Most of the world was listening to what we now call classical music. Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman were teenager and hipster music. Jazz was rebellious ‘colored’ stuff. Blues was something played in seedy bars and red light district clubs.  You want a rude awakening, go look at mugshots of ‘gangsters’ arrested in the ’30s and ’40s, hardly any of them are the overblown Hollywood version of what we think of today. So much of what’s held up as iconic of the early 20th century was a tiny piece of the overall picture.

So give me something better than Glenn Miller. Give me a good pair of captoe brogues and leave the spectators to the guy that’s trying too hard. If I get a car from the era, it won’t be a Cadillac, a Ford or Chevy, it’ll probably be a Plymouth or a Dodge. Maybe a DeSoto, or a Hudson, or a Studebaker. Or *gasp* a NASH. People have completely forgotten that there were 20+ car companies in the U.S. prior to WWII. I’ll wear a single-breasted suit, maybe in a checked pattern instead of pinstripes…if I can find one! Give me some freakin’ variety, because without it, the past is just a corny, campy, cheesy-ass pastiche that gets on your nerves…and people that blindly like anything from the era ‘just because’…well, I can do without them, too.

Hell. I even stopped swing dancing. Take that, scenesters!

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Say What?

The Smurfs have been announced as a live-action movie.

The Smurfs. That’s right. Another re-make, one based on a Saturday morning kid’s cartoon from the ’80s.

Live @#$%ing action, no less. Folks, if you thought Rosie O’Donnel as Betty Rubble was bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

I have a brilliant idea: every time a remake or ‘inspired’ movie is announced in Hollywood, a crack team of elite commandos springs into action to do two things:

1) Kill outright the brainless twit that thought it would be a good idea in the first place to resurrect some campy cultural phenomenon of yesteryear and put a more modern twist on it in the process, make it more ‘hip’ and marketable to today’s masses.

2) Completely bankrupt by whatever means possible any individual or corporate entity that puts money behind the @$$hole in item 1. Then kill anyone involved in the financing process.

After about two or three of these hits, Hollywood just might get the freakin’ idea and start producing original material again.

…yeah, I don’t have much faith in the whole thing, either.

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