February 13, 2005
In this issue…
** New Name, Same Goofiness
** Super Bowl Halftime
** Catch Up from Last Year
New Name, Same Goofiness
Hi! Remember me?
I’m that guy who used to write the Horsemen’s Voice newsletter. Now that Nancy and I sold the magazine, we no longer have the use of that name. The woman who bought the magazine, Catherine Logan-Carillo, is a level-headed woman who is going to do great things with the printed magazine, and I am certain that she would not want anything to do with the goofiness I spew out in this newsletter. So, for her protection, not mine, I changed the name of this newsletter to the Basta Ranch Newsletter.
Our new web site is www.BastaRanch.com. Come visit us there. Some of the essays you might have read on www.HorsemensVoice.com will be moved over when I get around to it, and I have started to put old newsletters on that site. Of course, you can already see pictured of our grandkids and horses there, but even those pictures need to be updated.
So, after that little brief re-introduction, let’s rock and roll…
Super Bowl Halftime
I was watching Super Bowl XXXVIII (why do they use those stupid roman numerals?) at my neighbor’s house last year. As traditional with Super Bowl parties, we were eating, especially at halftime. We weren’t paying much attention to the filler that comes between the two halves of the football game because it was filled with raunchy music that didn’t interest me. I was commenting that I don’t really care for all of the crotch grabbing and sexual moves those kids were doing on stage. I didn’t even really know who was performing.
But as I looked down to scoop up more dip onto a chip, the woman sitting next to me said, “You should have enjoyed that. She was taking her clothes off.” And that was how I experienced the Janet Jackson “moment” in Super Bowl History. I didn’t see it.
But considering the uproar, a lot have people must have. Actually, I bet that 90% of the people who complained about the wardrobe malfunction didn’t see it happen in real time, either. I mean, really. How many people actually watch the half time show? Most people watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. And I don’t really think that many Justin and Janet fans are in the demographic that watches Super Bowls.
And while I’m on the subject, I don’t believe for an instant that the incident was an accident. I think she planned it all along. What most people don’t seem to remember is that Janet’s breast was not completely exposed. She had pasties on. Now, think about this for a minute. How many women wear pasties under clothes when they don’t expect those clothes to be removed in public? Or how many men, come to think of it?
Ummm. After thinking about it, I don’t really know the answer, and maybe I don’t want to know the answer. To either question. Some things are better left unknown.
So, after a woman’s breast was sort of mostly almost exposed in a supposedly accidental wardrobe malfunction for less than a half second on a show that no one was paying attention to, the morality police went into high gear. Somehow people were shocked, SHOCKED that a show produced by MTV would be raunchy. Oh, horrors! Oh, the loss of moral values! Oh, the end of civilization!
Oh, the hypocrisy!
C’mon folks, don’t you have anything better to do with your time?
And the NFL and CBS were trying to lure the MTV demographic to the otherwise boring halftime show with the raunchiness. And they act surprised. Just like Janet act surprised when Justin grabbed and pulled her clothes, AND THEY CAME OFF!
So fast forward to Super Bowl XXXIX this year. The Fox network wanted to play it safe. They wanted healthy family entertainment. Someone who would keep his clothes on. They chose Paul McCartney.
This is the same Paul McCartney who was in the Beatles forty years ago. (Yes, Gen Xers, Paul was in a band before Wings.) These were the guys who shocked the establishment by - Gasp! - having long hair! These were the guys that caused a ruckus when John said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. This was the band that sang about “the girl with kaleidoscope eyes”, then feigned surprised when someone pointed out “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” has the same initials as “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide”, or “LSD”. (By the way, who was smoking what when they decided that the initials are LSD? Why not LAD? They must have been tripping.) Just where did they think that Magical Mystery Tour was going? To Nowhere land with the Nowhere Man, thinking all his Nowhere thoughts to Nobody?
Today, the Beatles are revered as almost gods of music. Surely no one could object to Sir Paul singing. But let’s take a look back at some of the lyrics to some of their songs.
Sex with minors:
Well, she was just 17,
You know what I mean,
And the way she looked was way beyond compare.
So how could I dance with another (ooh)
And I saw her standin’ there.
(You know that the singer in this song is not a teenager. Does a sixteen year old boy say “She was just 17”? To him a seventeen year old is awesomely old. No, this song was sung by someone who is much older and has the hots for a child.)
Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.
(These lyrics are amazingly silly when you read them instead of hear them in a song.)
Sex in public places:
Why don't we do it in the road?
No one will be watching us.
Why don't we do it in the road?
Sinister messages in secret code:
Obladi oblada life goes on bra
Lala how the life goes on.
(OK, so YOU tell me what it means!)
So, I guess that even with this sordid past, Mr. McCartney would not offend anyone during this year’s halftime show, and it doesn’t seem like he did. He performed four songs. First was “Drive My Car” which is about a guy who is in love with a girl who wants to be a star, but she hires him to be her chauffeur even before she has a car. It’s pretty innocuous and shouldn’t have offended anyone.
The next song had me giggling, though. I was just wondering how all morality police were enjoying a song about sexual identity confusion:
Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman
But she was another man
All the girls around her say she’s got it coming
But she gets it while she can
Get back, get back.
Get back to where you once belonged
No one was offended. Whew! Fox and the NFL were safe for another song. The shiny faced kids in front of Paul were all jumping and swaying and having a good time. I would think that today’s kids would think that ancient history music of the Beatles would be as boring as I thought Big Bands, Tony Bennett, and Frank Sinatra were. But, what do I know?
After a piano magically appeared in the middle of the stage, Paul sat down a played “Live and Let Die.” This was a theme song to a James Bond movie. No sex or violence there. Nossiree, Bob. And what does it mean to “live and let die”? Is this a song for Saddam? Or an abortionist? It didn’t seem to bother anyone, though.
The irony in the last song was the sweetest. Paul wrote “Hey Jude” for Julian Lennon. (He substituted “Jude” because it sounded better than “Jules”.) It’s all about family values. About how the kid should just accept the new woman in his dad’s life. He is told to put on a happy face: “Hey Jude. Don’t make it bad/Take a sad song and make it better./ Remember to let her into your heart,/Then you can start to make it better.” Jude is asked that when he feels the pain to not play it cool and “don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.” Yeah, don’t acknowledge your pain and misery. Just bottle it up.
And if this song is really about Julian and Yoko, after Paul says to let her under your skin, what are we to make of this line?
So let it out and let it in, Hey Jude, begin,
You’re waiting for someone to perform with.
Let’s not even go there. Let it be.
OK, so I may be exaggerating a little bit and reading something bad into a really sweet song. To that, I just say “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da. It’s been a hard days night, and I’ve working like a dog, and just I want to hold your hand eight days a week. Beep beep’m beep beep yeah.”
But the most delicious moment of the whole half time show was toward the end of “Hey Jude.” Fox and the NFL didn’t want to offend anyone with any bad messages, so they came up with the perfect thing. For those of you who recorded the Super Bowl with your TiVo, go back and look at when everyone in the stands held up cards. They made a red white and blue mosaic all around the stadium. The fans were all singing along with Paul. They were happy. And with those cards they spelled some words. Not only did it not offend any one, it didn’t say anything at all. The message the cards spelled out was the final line in “Hey Jude”:
I am not kidding. Go back to your recordings and watch it. To me, that was a lot more entertaining than any wardrobe malfunction. This year I was not missing the essential moment by dipping chips. I was spewing Diet Vanilla Coke and trying not to laugh and choke at the same time.
Catch up from last year
I know that this newsletter is kind of long, but it has been so long since I wrote one, that I have a lot of stuff pent up and ready to bubble out. That last piece has been cooking in my little brain for a week, and I had to let it out.
This is long over due. People wrote me some things last year in response to newsletters that I would like to share.
In my October 18, 2004 newsletter (http://www.bastaranch.com/BRNL/BRNL%2004-10-18.htm), I referred back to a previous newsletter (which I don’t have up on the web site, yet) in which I was riffing on e-mail addresses. In many companies they use the first initial, plus a last name to build the e-mail address. Sam Garcia wrote me:
“A friend of mine who's name is Paul Ennis has a real problem! The company he works for all use first initial and last name for e-mail!! Yikes! He finally got approval to change to PaulE@ I heard a sigh of relief!”
After our discussions about whether horsemanship ever gets old (http://www.bastaranch.com/BRNL/BRNL%2004-09-11.htm), I received this note from Aphrus Travers in Texas (she reminded me that I met her in Las Cruces about a year ago. How could I forget such an unusual name? It’s not every day you meet someone named “Travers”):
“I am writing in response to ‘does it ever get old’. I am a 34 year old mother of 3 and on my second husband. Unfortunately, I have been without my horses since about 1995 (financial reasons). It has left a huge hole in my heart. My horses completed me in so many ways. I could talk to them for hours and they always understood. They never interrupted, unless less you call nuzzling an interruption, and they loved me regardless of any of my shortcomings. They would scream good morning as soon as they heard I was up, followed by "feed me" of course...lol. I cannot keep from tearing up when I get a whiff of freshly mowed grass, one of my favorite smells, you guessed it...it reminds me of horse breath. Horses have been some of the most challenging, rewarding, loving relationships of my life. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share in the joy others have experienced with their own horses.”
This note from Aphrus touched me because I can’t imagine being without my horses. I am calling on you, Dear Readers, to brainstorm with me. What can we suggest that Aphrus can do so that she can spend some time with some horses, but not have the expense of owning one? If you are horseless now, how do you get your fix? What is a cheap way to enjoy horses?
Finally, on my essay in which I pretended my period key didn’t work (http://www.bastaranch.com/BRNL/BRNL%2004-12-05.htm), I received this wonderful note from my sister:
“You crack me up. You remind me of my kids.... They get great pleasure in the littlest things. For example, getting dressed. It is an experience to enjoy... What is the picture on the underwear? What is the picture on the shirt? Socks have to be just right. Shoes are cool because some of them make red lights when you stomp. The bathroom is also another wonderful experience. The way toilets flush is fascinating. Some have round levers, and some flush when you get up or wave your hand in front of the sensor. The echo in a public restroom is truly a life changing occurrence. And what about the soap? What is the color? What is the smell of it? How does it come out of the dispenser? How does the water comes out of the faucet? Nowadays you wave your hand underneath the faucet and it magically appears. And getting something to dry your hands: Do you use a blow dryer that you wave your hands under or do you use plain old paper towels or is it the one where it is real material that you pull for your next use? So, here you are writing a looooooooonnnnnnggggg dissertation about one little punctuation mark. Most adults just want to get a job done and over and move on to something bigger and better. They usually don't find that bigger and better thing, so they just keep moving hoping to find it, when instead they just passed over some really cool little treasures that they were too busy to see.”
And then, one woman wrote me that if I am missing my periods, I might be going through menopause. I’m not even going there.
Long enough for ya?
Well, after being away from this newsletter for a couple of months, I got kind of wound up, didn’t I? Thanks for reading this far in this long opus. If you didn’t read this far, no worries. You won’t even know how disappointed I am. You’ll never know how much the rest of us are talking about you behind your back. We know that one and one and one is three, and you got to be good looking ‘cause you’re so hard to see.
Come together. Right now. Over me.