The Momusu Phenomenon

July 14, 2011

Morning Musume this year celebrated its 14th anniversary, and I as an avowed otaku – ( °٢° )(^▼^), etc. – would be remiss if I didn’t dedicate an entry (or five) of my blog to the group, of whose music I have so many very happy memories.

Assembled in ’97 by vocalist-cum-producer Tsunku of Sharan Q: Abe Natsumi, Nakazawa Yuko, Iida Kaori, Fukuda Asuka, and Ishiguro Aya – altogether known as Morning Musume (モーニング娘。) – released their first official single, Morning Coffee (モーニングコーヒー), in early ’98.

(to be continued…)

'Morning Coffee'


Deviation from the Norm

July 13, 2011

So, I’ve been on kind of a Norm Macdonald kick lately – Netflix has the seasons of SNL during which he was the ‘Weekend Update’ anchor, and I ALWAYS look forward to his segments. He has theee most hilarious deadpan expression and voice, and… I don’t know, this mischievous glint in his eyes. It’s sometimes almost as if he’s telling jokes in spite of the audience, solely for his own amusement.

He also employs a number of recurring gags. To name a few:

'You guessed it - Frank Stallone!'

He’ll read something out of the news, for instance some state’s plans to abolish the statute of limitations for rape, and then he’ll pull out a tape recorder and take a ‘note to self’ – “Note to self: Don’t go back to [Name of State].”

He’ll follow something out of the news with “Or so the Germans would have us believe,” and then stare into the camera for a good 20 seconds.

If a Michael Jackson joke (of which there are many) goes over weak, he’ll follow it with “You know the guy’s a homosexual pedophile, right?”

Frank Stallone. “And finally, the number-one-selling doll this Christmas is Tickle Me Elmo. And the LEAST-popular-selling doll? You guessed it: Tickle Me Frank Stallone.”

BSS for Satan

July 13, 2011

First things first – I’m not the mysterious stranger of the title. It’s a reference dually to Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger and to Camus’ L’Étranger, so… that’s not pretentious. I’m not especially mysterious, though I guess at this point I’m a stranger to most of you – assuming my readership consists of more than… anyone to whom I’ve PERSONALLY sent the link.

Anyway, I started the blog because I found my head was full of (as Peggy Hill would say) musings, and I thought it might be cathartic to take some of them down.

So, I’m reading The Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts, an assembly of… three theretofore-unpublished manuscripts which comprise Mark Twain’s final work.

The first of the three is called ‘The Chronicle of Young Satan,’ and I’ve got to say – Young Satan is HOT. Here’s his intro in the book:

He had new and good clothes on, and was handsome and had a winning face and a pleasant voice, and was easy and graceful and unembarrassed, not diffident like other boys.”

“He was bent on putting us at ease, and he had the right art; one could not remain timorous and doubtful where a person was so earnest and simple and gentle and talked so alluringly as he did; no, he won us over, and it was not long before we were content and comfortable and chatty, and glad we had found this new friend.”

So, you see what I’m saying.

Later on he goes into these rants, the crux of which is how pathetic/evanescent man and his achievements are.

Have to say, it made me love him MORE. I think I’ve got Battered Spouse Syndrome for Satan.

‘Me,’ colon ‘Kitsch,’ colon ‘A Rope of Sand’

July 13, 2011

So, in case my introductory post was insufficient, I thought I ought to introduce myself more formally and in some more detail.

I’m Matthew Blythe, an aspiring writer and avid consumer of pop culture in all of its avenues (as I think it says on my… Gravatar profile, whatever the fuck that is). I love books and I LOVE kitsch, both of which I hope to feature extensively in the blog.

Kitsch is one of those slippery concepts, but I think of it as… for instance the moment on SNL where Jim Breuer and Colin Quinn’re doing the umpteenth edition of the ‘Joe Pesci Show’ sketch, and their REAL-LIFE COUNTERPARTS, Pesci and De Niro, walk out to a solid two minutes of thunderous applause, Quinn and Breuer go dead silent, and Pesci kneecaps them both – that’s kitschy, right?

OR, the end of that episode of Family Guy with the nuclear holocaust, where it turns out the whole thing was Pamela Ewing’s dream and Bobby asks ‘What’s Family Guy?’ THAT’S KITSCHY, RIGHT?

So, I live for that shit. How ’bout you?


July 13, 2011

So, I know… a lot of people claim this ‘cause they think it’s somehow cool or individual, but I’m more and more noticing tendencies of OCD in myself.

FOR INSTANCE, it used to be I had to speak ONLY in iambic pentameter.

As I am sure you have guessed, it was hard.

Lately it’s been… when I or a friend repeats letters for emphasis (e.g. WAAAH), the repeated letters have got to be in a multiple of three, or else I’m itched – ITCHEDDD!