Thursday, July 5, 2007

Low Culture Confessions

I watched Robert Altman's "Short Cuts" last night, but rather than launch a tome on how good it was (with the exception of Lyle Lovitt), or talk about how much I enjoy Raymond Carver short stories. I'll offer a one-sentence review: It was what "Magnolia" wanted to be.

Instead, I want to go in the exact opposite direction. Because after staying up for three hours watching something like "Short Cuts," it's healthy to admit that you're really not a cultural elitist and admit to all of your guilty pleasures. So here goes.

In high school I saw--and enjoyed--Weird Al Yankovich at the Stepan Center in South Bend, Indiana.

I've also seen The Monkeys and REO Speedwagon. And they were good.

I was completely engrossed by Steven Thayer's novel, "The Weatherman." I could not put down Dan Brown's "Angel's & Demons." And yes, I hate to admit it, but "The Da Vinci Code" interested me, too. I know it's horrible writing to end a chapter with, "But she had no idea what was going to happen next..." And yet, I turned the damn page and wanted to find out.

I am now completely engrossed in a very low-budget book about the Glensheen Mansion murders in Duluth. The writing is bad. The graphics and photography are awful. It's fascinating.

I've always liked the band Simply Red.

I've always loved Cheap Trick and make no apologies for it.

My favorite food on the planet is a pepperoni Tombstone frozen pizza.

I think Ozzy Osbourne's first two albums were among the best heavy metal records of all time.

I think "Everybody Loves Raymond" was a very well-written and well-acted show.

I am powerless to nachos and cheese at a baseball game.

I think "Titanic" was a far better movie than "Magnolia."

And finally, the one I couldn't admit to in my MFA program:

Ernest Hemingway was the shit.

(I'm hoping for some reader participation on this one. Come on... outdo me. Confess.)

9 comments:

Vegas Gopher said...

I think I caught Weird Al on the same tour -- 1985, at the Brown Co. Fair in New Ulm, Minn., with Limited Warranty opening. And I loved it.

I also loved the three books you mentioned. I was reading "The Weatherman" in my duplex in Edina, not more than a mile from the famed movie theater, when I came across the passage that included the toppling of the theater's marquee. I couldn't have been more spine-chilled.

As for movies, you haven't lived until you've stayed up until 3 a.m. watching yet another rerun of "Roadhouse." Quite possibly the best low-culture movie of all time. Unintentional comedy off the charts, yet there's something rewarding about seeing the bad guys get what's coming to them when the townspeople, rallying behind The Great Swayze, band together to defeat the evildoers.

I feel the same about "Red Dawn." Must be a Swayze thing.

Food -- I am powerless to the charms of a heaping bowl of Lucky Charms.

Beer -- OK, I'll admit it, I am a beer snob. Life is too short to drink bad beer or bad coffee. But Miller Lite's not a bad substitute on a particularly scorching day.

Anonymous said...

Avril Laivgne. Barry Manilow's "Mandy." That "Rockstar" TV show. Thomas Kincaid (tho I'm too cheap to pop for a pic). Doc Savage novels. And...argh, this one's gonna hurt...Paris Hilton's Larry King interview.

There's more but my brain's too busy humming the theme song from "Gilligan's Island" to remember 'em all.

And I'll throw in w/v. goph..."Roadhouse" is the bomb, the best bad movie of all time (arguably). Wall-to-wall gratuitous sex, violence, and rock n' roll. Freaking priceless.

Anonymous said...

All right, all right. But I'm going anonymous on this:

ABBA is a aural miracle.

When I was a kid, I thought Reader's Digest was the pinnacle of literature.

I'm a sucker for old Disney films of the 50s, 60s and 70s (just watched "In Search of the Castaways" tonight--sigh--Hayley Mills).

I'd cross the street for a chili dog and an A&W root beer in a frosted mug.

I read my horoscope, somewhat religiously. What can it mean?

All my clothes are substandard; I shop cheap. It shows.

Cooking shows automatically suck me in--could be cooking anything, I'm in.

I find flea markets oddly compelling.

Bellamy Grant said...

I think in the spirit of this discussion, all "Anonymi" should identify themselves.

Oh, I forgot a good one. Despite having seen it 25 times, I am weak-kneed and watery-eyed at the last scene of "It's a Wonderful Life."

"To George Baily, the richest guy in town." Excuse me, I'm getting verklempt...

Stephen Dashboard said...

okay, I'll fess up. I'm the one with the ABBA and chili dogs.

Will add: just about anything by The Carpenters.

"MacMillan and Wife"

Doo-dads.

"A Little Romance"

I think I've just psychically raised my blood sugar 5 points.

Random Weird Al Lover said...

Yes!

Weird Al Yankovic is probably one of the four or five greatest musical acts of our time.

Think about it: How many acts can you think of from our time who have sustained so long a career (20+ years and counting) of timeless and chart-topping classics? Two, maybe. Or perhaps three.

And no one else has been able to adapt to the changing times with such chameleon-like elan while still managing to retain an essential and personal sense of unique artistry. "White and Nerdy" is every bit as good and catchy and memorable as "Eat It," but each is completely of its own time.

The guy's pure sugar-coated genius!

Vegas Gopher said...

If loving "It's A Wonderful Life" is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.

Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!

fab4fan said...

Although I profess to be somewhat of a health nut, I am powerless around the Kraft Mac & Cheese I make for my son. I never allow myself a whole packet, but I inevitably take at least two bites of his before I serve it.

Us Weekly magazine for an occasional dose of celeb gossip.

Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies.

"Roseanne" (actually another well-written show).

Phil Collins, the Guess Who, and some Eagles songs.

cookielady said...

my lowbrow confessional:

any...and I mean any...movie aimed at teens has my attention. from "Havoc" to "Heathers", "10 Things I Hate about You" to "16 Candles," "Shag" to "Grease"--I watch them all, over and over again.

Rolling Rock beer, even though it isn't made in Latrobe any more.

Anything written by Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, or Kathleen Woodiwiss.

A bag of Lay's potato chips, followed by a cigarette. Preferably menthol.

Us Weekly over People, because there's more pictures.

And finally, if the men in the band are wearing spangled costumes and makeup, I want to hear them sing.