Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cultural disconnect

Three things I saw today that weren't completely logical:

1. Future Republican congressman Fred Grandy answering "boobies" to a question on Match Game. Sure, he was better known as "Gopher" at the time, but it makes you wonder how much the parties have changed. (That's the Republican Party and the ongoing party on the Match Game set.)

2. I had a couple of minutes before leaving the house, so I flipped to CMT to see if they were showing any of the amusing videos I'd seen in the gym.

Guess who I saw?

Go on, take a guess ...

Hint: You've undoubtedly heard of this band, but not as a country band.

Another hint: You probably know where they're from, and it's not in the South. Or West.

Another another hint: You know them from the '80s.

And it was the whole band, not the occasionally cowboy-minded lead singer.

OK, now you've probably got it ...

Yes ... BON JOVI. On a country music channel.

Sure, there's a blonde Georgia woman singing with him, but it's "Bon Jovi featuring Jennifer Nettles," not some guest appearance for Jon and ubiquitous sidekick Richie Sambora on someone's country album a la Aerosmith's Run DMC phase. David Bryan gesticulates from behind the keyboards and Tico Torres pounds the drums like it's 1986 and you're watching the You Give Love a Bad Name video.

The song is called Who Says You Can't Go Home, and the video admirably uses the title as a tie-in for some work the band is doing with Habitat for Humanity.

I then flipped to VH1 and saw another Bon Jovi video. Twenty years ago, that would've seemed odd, but VH1 is no longer just the adult contemporary version of MTV.

The video before Bon Jovi on VH1 was Kelly Clarkson's attempt at a Big Statement, Because of You. Kelly is in the middle of a big fight with a significant other when the action suddenly freezes, except for her. Confused by her boyfriend/fiancee/casting director's best bud's sudden lack of motion, she sees a little girl who leads her by the hand to show her a disintegrating household through the little girl's eyes. The girl watches with a horrified Kelly as they float in the room like Woody Allen taking Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts back to his childhood in Annie Hall, except that you'd gladly pick Allen's version of dysfunction over this one. It's appropriately heartbreaking, but the song is abysmal. And I'm not a knee-jerk Kelly Clarkson-basher by any means.

3. Found the following reference in Sports Illustrated: "Like Spinal Tap's 1992 album, Break Like The Wind, the 2005 Trojans defense was entertaining but flawed."

You couldn't find a more random reference to something in my CD collection and memory bank. Maybe if someone wrote about bicycling teams and mentioned that Throwing Muses bassist Bernard Georges works in a bike shop, that would top it.

4. This isn't really cultural disconnect, but we just happened to flip the channels and see this, so I have to mention it -- Olivia Newton John's Physical is quite possibly the least sexy song about sex ever recorded. The video of guys on some cheap '80s set that we're supposed to consider a "gym" really doesn't help.

1 comment:

Neel Mehta said...

Did you see the complete version of the Physical video, where two of those newly muscular guys walk out of the weight room and into the locker room hand in hand? Shockingly, they never showed that part when the song and video were popular. But it explains a lot.