Happy Towel Day everyone. Let’s make it a good one!
It could very well be our last.
Happy Towel Day everyone. Let’s make it a good one!
It could very well be our last.
Friday Fictioneers, here we go!
“I’m freakin’ Boba Fett, baby!
I’m the slam dance, cardiac arrest king of mofo, daddy-o! You can’t stop me.
I’m flyin’ through hyperspace on hyperbole. Diggin’ the fascinatin’ rhythm of life, distorting it, blowing it right out its own ASS, Freakman!
These roads are my personal vagina, Nerdsville. I slide up n’ down ‘em until we both blow our freakin’ tops – slamming them hard into submission, Johnny Paper Hat!
I am a freakin’ Man-God, you Douchsicles.”
“That’s all well and good, Mr. ‘Fett,’ but I’m still going to need to see your license and registration, please.”
Thought I should lighten up a bit. Happy Friday kids =)
Another walk, another mix tape.
Several years back Kelly, Kevin and I were having a conversation. Now right up front, I’ll let you know that those are their actual names. I had originally thought of using aliases, but quickly realized, that as none but one of you knows who I truly am, then none would know who they are either. Besides, the aliases I had chosen were just going to be “Kerry” and “Ken” at any rate. And if you knew me, you would then know that it was really them that I was speaking of. That, and I’m pretty sure Kevin would punch me if I ever called him Ken, aliasdentally or not. And speaking of Ken – errr – Kevin, he was with Kelly and I, clustered around a warm dinner and cold beers, chatting about 80’s music. Of course.
During the chat, both Kevin and myself were explaining how, back in the day, we had always felt a stronger pull towards “gay” music than that of the “straight” variety. When Kelly asked us to elaborate, she was surprised to hear that the gay culture had such a strong presence in music. Now, I’m not quite sure why she would be so shocked by this fact, but then again she IS from Missouri.
As I’m sure you guessed by now, in an effort to “educate” her, I was only too happy to take the opportunity to create yet another of my beloved “mix tape” CD’s. And if you’ve been reading along these past several weeks, you already know that the title of this one was “for me: The Gay-ties.” The rules of the mix were quite simple: each song had to be either written, sung or “taken in” by the gay community. In addition, each artist and track had to be devoid (well, as much as possible) of gay stereotypes (sorry B-52’s, that took you out of the running). And finally, the mix overall just had to be damned good. It starts off with a no-nonsense one-two knockout punch of Queen’s “Flash Gordon” and Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Two Tribes.” Chosen not so much because these were two gay icons of the eighties, but rather, because each song could almost be seen as a flag bearer to the generation.
These opening shots are followed by such powerhouse hits as – well, hell – I might as well just give up the track listing. Because, yeah, the mix is THAT damned good:
1. Flash – Queen
2. Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
3. You Spin Me Right Round – Dead Or Alive
4. Suburbia – Pet Shop Boys
5. Pretty Boy & Pretty Girls – Book Of Love
6. I Feel Love/Johnny Remember Me – Bronski Beat with Marc Almond
7. Oh l’Amour – Erasure
8. Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
9. Don’t Go – Yaz
10. The Great Commandment – Camouflage
11. We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off – Jermaine Stewart
12. Church Of The Poison Mind – Culture Club
13. Freedom – Wham!
14. Take Me Home – Cher
15. Lay All Your Love On Me – ABBA
16. Love To Hate You – Erasure
17. Comment Te Dire Adieu – Jimmy Somerville
18. Crucified – Army Of Lovers (OK, technically a 90’s track. Whatever. We’re talking “generational 80’s” here, not “Calendar 80’s”, OK?)
19. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls (WHAT??? Can you name a better one to end it with?)
If you happen to have access to all these tracks, I suggest you make yourself a copy. If you don’t happen to, then drop me a line. We’ll get you hooked up. And yeah, to those of you in the know, I DID include Jermaine Stewart, AND he actually works pretty well in the mix. Even IF he never does get around to taking his clothes off.
Sadly, the gay icon that loomed largest in my young life (BESIDES Liberace) doesn’t appear here. And that’s only because – while I love me some Judas Priest – there simply wasn’t one square inch of audio space that I could squeak Mr. Halford and friends into the remainder of the mix. Now, when I first created this, my daughter was young enough as to still think that I was simply the living end of musical knowledge, and a dance talent. As such, we spent many a day twirling around the living room gleefully to the final track. So much so in fact, that she swore that this would be the very song she’d use for the “father/daughter” dance at her wedding (my choice of Bobby Darin’s “18 Yellow Roses” being forcibly dismissed). This is sadly no longer the case however. And last time I checked, I believe we’re slated to stand toe to toe over some artist I’ve never heard of, who requires a voice modulator to sing, and in general is far less “raining menish” then I’d normally care for.
This mix has provided me with many more such plusses as well. For instance, it is the only “for me” in the series to give shout outs to three others for it’s creation (in addition to Kelly and Kevin, T-Bone – also a real name – is credited, as he came up with the title for the mix). However, possibly the coolest thing resulting from the Gay-ties disc (besides the kick assicles mix itself, of course) is that it was through its mention that I started the relationship with my Best Friend That I’ve Never Met; when we inadvertently “took over” a mutual friend’s facebook status for a spell. So even if the mix was total rot (and it is so NOT), then my efforts would still have been more than worthwhile.
Now, based on previous posts of this ilk, I’m sure you’re wondering what brand new window of knowledge was opened during my walk with the “Gay-ties” mix. What pray tell, did I learn this time whilst walking in a solitary fashion, to the beats of gay men and synthesizers? Not one damned thing. I just had me a nice brisk walk with some great tunes to push me along. I can tell you one thing though, of all the solitary walks I’ve taken as of late, this time I didn’t just hump along like a balding middle-aged schlep. This time, I walked Fabulous!
Today’s track was chosen over all the rest because it was one of the first-ever attempts by artists to bring awareness to the AID’s epidemic. Sadly, it was not heard by nearly enough, and ignored by even more.
“He” raised what Clive imagined to be a finger to his almost-lips, shushing him about alerting Douglas to his presence. Or at least that’s what Clive assumed he was doing, based on what he knew of the “physicality” of his unwelcome visitors. When they first started making themselves known to him, Clive assumed he was only having some sort of vision problem, in that the spirits weren’t really human in form. No, much like when you break the shell of an egg and the life of it simply runs out all over the place – free of shape or reason – the spirits were very much the same. Their bodies, now broken and discarded, left them free to be. A freedom that also damned them into not being. They could affect human form if they desired, but it seemed almost hard for them to do so. Like a faded habit that they could just never seem to get quite right again. For all but with the notable exception of the man with the red hair, that is. However, he seemed to be so much different from all the rest in almost every aspect. He seemed almost “real.” Though rare in occurrence, he was the one who made Clive’s skin literally crawl with each visitation. The very thought of him was enough to make Clive jump from his seat.
“We have to… I… I have to go Douglas.” “”But Clive, you haven’t even finished your burger, m’man.” “Right now Douglas, I need to leave right now” Clive replied urgently, ignoring Douglas’ concern about the damned burger. Rising quicker than a person normally should, he slammed his knee into the formica top as a reward for his efforts, and left the place with Douglas – grabbing the last of Clive’s burger – trailing behind him. The spirit, the ghost, the “he” – the whatever the hell it was – fortunately did not follow. Clive made sure of it. But had he looked back with a touch more scrutiny, he would have seen the cruel almost-smile that crawled across “his” almost-face, just before he disappeared again into the thin blue air.
Rushing to catch up, Douglas slammed down the last bite of greasy beef before grabbing Clive by the shoulder and stopping him dead in his tracks. “Clive, you want to tell me what in the hell that was about just now? You mind filling in a friend as to why a perfectly good cow had to die today in vein AND I’m all outta breath; when all I wanted to do was to sup with you and a delicious quarter pound?” Clive looked pensively around him, hoping to see no one, and was surprised to see he got his wish. This had to stop. This idea of keeping Douglas in the dark. He was his friend, dammit! So what if Clive spoke and Douglas laughed. Or worse. So what? Clive knew one thing for certain, not telling anyone was bound to kill him, and not in the good way. “Douglas, I need to tell you something” Clive said, almost whispering. “Well, imagine that!” boomed Douglas in response. “Shhh! Keep it down. I need to tell you something that will most likely ruin our friendship. I need to tell you something that’ll make you hate me, because you’ll finally see me for what I am.” “And what are you Clive?” Douglas asked patiently. “I’m a man who sees ghosts, Dougla…” Clive stopped mid-sentence, his heart sinking as he watched the smile that slowly danced across Douglas’ face. “You said you wouldn’t laugh at me Douglas.” “Clive, I’m not laughing at you my friend, it’s just that the kid said it better” replied Douglas. “The kid…?” “Yeah, the kid. The kid in that movie. You know, the whole ‘I see dead folk’ or some such thing. That kid.” “Oh, yeah. But I’m for real Douglas. I’m not making a joke or anything. I really do see ghosts. Spirits. Whatever. They’re all around me. All the time” pleaded Clive. “And what do they tell you, m’friend?” Douglas asked calmly. “Well, they don’t say anything just yet. But with every visit, it seems like they’re getting closer to, well, to starting to make demands or something. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. I’m sorry Douglas, I shouldn’t have told you.” “No Clive, I’m glad you did. At least we now what we have to work with here, don’t we?”
As Clive had previously confirmed, there was no one nearby Douglas and himself – neither alive, dead nor other – while this conversation was being held, but the man with the red hair still heard it all. Unlike the others – those ignorant servants, those has-been peasants – he had figured out how to still listen into the other side. The “other side” as it pertained to him. And he had figured out how to do so without actually ever having the need to step “foot” into it. He duly noted the lack of surprise in Douglas’ response to Clive’s news, as he also relished in the fear that could be tasted in Clive’s hushed tone. Yes, things were coming together quite nicely. And freedom – his freedom – was finally well within reach. Ah yes, if even the man with the power couldn’t keep it under control… Then his plan would truly be unstoppable. How he wished that he could step through the veil to taste just a bit of Clive’s fear and self-loathing, but there was little time for pleasure just now. With an almost life-like hand, he casually summoned one of the others. A being that – had he been human in form – would have looked very much like an older, more fearful, version of Clive. “I believe the time nears where we shall speak” the man with the red hair communicated to the elder Clive-like spirit. “Now, why don’t you run along and pay a long overdue visit to your ‘beloved’?”
© t – 2o12