Been & Going

[California Seething] Shark-noir-do

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SPOILER ALERT: This post may contain details and information that could spoil the experience of watching Sharknado 3. Then again, it would be hard to imagine I could possibly spoil the experience of watching Sharknado 3 Cal Seething- 081115- handsawany more than the bozos who made the movie already have. And therein lies the biggest mystery of Sharknado 3. No- it’s not whether Tara Reid lives or dies at the end- I guess they’ve just left that up to Twitter to decide- so do yourself and America a favor and hashtag “#AprilDies” on everything you Tweet – because the most believable part of her performance is her prosthetic chainsaw attachment which is the most human thing about her. But, anyhow, the biggest mystery about Sharknado 3 is – how did they manage to ruin something that was already so terrible to begin with? Look at it this way, any chef can screw up beef bourguignon- but it takes a special kind of incompetence to fuck up Ramen- and that’s exactly what the geniuses who made Sharnknado 3 did. How the hell did they manage that? All they had to do was take a cheap, pre-packaged shark movie, boil it in shlock til it was dumb enough to be funny but not so long that it was reduced to a brainless mush, and add in a shiny flavor packet of Gen-XCal Seething- 081115- ramen in-jokes (Ian Ziering is cinematic MSG) and voila- a Sharknado 3 that doesn’t suck. Just a tasty little movie with no nutritional value that’s even more delicious when you’re wasted. They followed this recipe and produced two perfectly good (or, let’s keep it real, perfectly bad) Sharknado movies- but they messed it up badly with the third one.

First of all, they overcooked it- going well past the “brainless mush” stage until nothing was left but a gelatinous glob of gore and idiocy. Then they emptied an industrial sized canister of celebrity cameos into the glob (David Hasselhoff is cinematic Cheez Whiz), deep fried the whole thing in product placement and served it with a side of cynical self-awareness- like oh oh oh- we know it’s dumb so that makes everything ok. Well, I’ve got news for you guys- it doesn’t. Dog shit with parsley is still just dog shit- and yes, I realize I just pulled off the extremely rare “metaphor inside a metaphor”- the blogging equivalent of the flashback inside a flashback. And, yes, I realize that was actually a metaphor FOR a metaphor- which is even more rare- as rare as a unicorn or a Lincoln Chafee supporter or a transgendered Republican reality TV star. Come to think of it- why isn’t Caitlyn running for president? I mean – Olympic champion, successful businessman, conservative Christian,Cal-Seething--081115--voltr pop culture icon and now a WOMAN??? That’s something for everyone! She’s a one woman Fox News debate! She’s five candidates in one- she’s GOPTron! Hell, she’s even got a black son in law (or, ex-step-son-in-law- close enough). Now if she can just get Khloe to marry Pitbull she’ll be UNSTOPPABLE.

Which gets me back to my original point- how did the producers manage to screw up Shaknado 3 so badly? The movie starts with a tornado full of sharks hitting Washington DC and destroying the White House- could there be any better metaphor for the election??? I mean, come on – 10,000 sharks hit DC and not a single one has Trump hair- how did the producers miss that? It’s like striking out at kickball. Sure, there was a tiny nod to political satire with Cal Seething- 081115- cubancoulterPresident Mark Cuban and Vice President Anne Coulter (easily the scariest part of the movie) but they could have done so much more. For instance: Obama orders Congress to evacuate- the Republicans refuse and are eaten by sharks. Trump says the sharks are murderers and drug dealers that are attracted by Megyn Kelly’s blood. Bernie Sanders has some great ideas but #SharkLivesMatter shouts him down at a rally which the mainstream media won’t cover. Jeb Bush claims he’s half shark, Fox News claims the science is still out on sharknados, Jimmy Fallon says the sharks can eat more than Chris Christie, Marco Rubio compares the sharknado to an abortion, and a shark eats some lion no one’s ever heard of in Zimbabwe and Facebook loses it’s GODDAMN MIND. Meanwhile Hilary hangs back and doesn’t say a damn thing cause she knows sooner or later the sharks are all gonna Cal Seething- 081115- hilaryeat each other and, when the storm clears, she’ll be the only one standing. Yup- that’s Hilary- President of a ruined nation, its institutions of government destroyed, standing knee deep in shark guts- but- hey- at least she got to be what she always wanted to be when she grew up- so the American Dream is still working for somebody. Slow clap for Madame President. Credits. And THAT’S how you make a Sharknado movie in Washington.

Sadly, though, that’s not what the producers of Sharknado 3 did. Instead, they expected us to believe that Mark Cuban is leader of the free world, an action hero and a passable actor- in ascending order of implausibility. Seriously, Cuban hasn’t been this unconvincing since he met with DeAndre Jordan. And then, after Cal Seething- 081115- iwojimaour heroes raise the American flag Iwo-Jima style in order to impale a flying shark, the worst thing to happen to Veterans in this country since the VA, the movie leaves DC for Universal Orlando- a perfect example of cynical corporate interests ruining something that pretty much sucked to begin with. Hey- come to think of it- you could say the same thing about the Republican party- so maybe this movie is a sly political satire after all!

Anyhow, back in Universal Orlando, Tara Reid is about to give birth to Ian Ziering’s baby (the Cal-Seething--081115--bodersecond scariest thing about this movie) and is hanging out with her mom, Bo Derek, who, in the movie’s only pleasant surprise, looks refreshingly human for an actress her age. Things just get dumber and bloodier from there and the whole thing ends up in outer space with Ian Ziering, David Hasselhoff – who turns out is a former astronaut (one of the less plausible things about the movie) and also Ian Ziering’s dad (one of the most!) and Tara Reid, who was fortunate enough to find a petite maternity space suit at the very last minute. Actually, that’s not really so surprising – what’s surprising is that they take the opportunity to do product placement “Finn- I don’t care if I am pregnant. If you’re going into space to save the world I’m going with you. And besides, I found the cutest little space suit at Pea in the Pod, and I’m just dying to try it out!”

Anyhow, they are launched into space by NASA on a secret space shuttle with the intention of creating a huge explosion which will somehow end the sharknado, which is TOTALLY PREPOSTEROUS. I mean, everyone knows if you want to blow something up in space you hire Space X. But anyhow, the explosion thing doesn’t work and they have to use the old SDI (“Star Wars”) satellites from the 80’s instead to fire a laser pulse into the heart of the giant storm. Well, before the ghost of Ronald Reagan can say “I told you so- wait- what were we talking about again?”, Hasselhoff leaves the shuttle to float out to theCal-Seething--081115--hoff satellite and hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete on it so that it can fire the laser- even though he knows it means he will die in space because the shuttle doesn’t have enough fuel to come back and pick him up. Which I guess is supposed to be heroic, and I guess we’re supposed to be inspired by his courage when one of the movie’s final shots shows him standing on the surface of the moon- but I have to wonder – if he could float 240,000 miles to the moon how come he couldn’t float 50 feet back to the space shuttle? But then again, I suppose I too would rather suffocate in the infinite blackness of space then spend ONE MORE FUCKING MINUTE ALIVE with Tara Reid #AprilDies.

Anyhow, sharks in space, something something something, space shuttle destroyed, Tara Reid gets swallowed by a shark, Ian Ziering goes in after her and she gives birth to her baby while plummeting to earth in the belly of an enormous flaming shark, ultimately slicing it open from the inside with the buzzsaw attachment on her hand (man, that thing can act!) and handing the mewling infant to Ian Ziering before slicing her way out of the carcass of the beast. And it’s perfect cause this is exactly what she wrote in the birth plan she gave her doula except for the Enya and aromatherapy candles.

Oh yeah, sharks also eat the cast of the Today show but spare Kathy Lee and Hoda because they’re in recoveryCal Seething- 081115- aprildies and at the very end of the movie, a giant hunk of space debris falls out of the sky on Tara Reid and, we, the viewers get to vote on Twitter if she lives or dies – and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AMERICA, I’m begging you once more to tweet #AprilDies. An America that doesn’t want to kill Tara Reid just isn’t an America I want to live in.

Alright, so, yeah, Sharknado 3. Total crap. The worst movie of the summer not featuring Planned Parenthood. I’ve already written 1500 more words than that fucking movie deserved. And maybe the reason I’m being so critical of it is that I’ve been obsessed all month with the TCM’s Summer of Darkness- DVR’ing 24 hours worth of film noir classics every Friday in June & July and slowly working my way through them. Now, some of you may not be aware of what film noir is or have any knowledge of classic cinema- and that’s OK. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a culturally illiterate philistine wallowing in the excrement of your cinematic ignorance who thinks that being a sophisticated movie goer means spending $15 to see Pixels at the Arclight in Sherman Oaks. You know, per se. Hey, it’s your money (Mazal Tov, BTW, to the fast food workers of New York State for their recent minimum wage increase. They’ll be earning no less than $15/hour state-wide by 2021, which is perfect as it gives McDonalds exactly enough time to perfect the robo-cashier. Just hand over your money to the animatronic clown, kiddies, then never stop screaming in your sleep.) If you want to spendCal-Seething--081115--pixel your hard earned cash watching Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad (add Jack Black and you’ve got the Mount Rushmore of Ugh) fight classic video game characters in a movie that’s been hacked to pieces so that it be sold to the Chinese (I suppose it’s only fitting. First we ruin Chinese food to make it palatable to Americans now we ruin American movies to make them palatable to the Chinese), that’s your terrible choice to make. Who am I to judge? (GUILTY!) Hey, we all have our taste in crap- I liked the first two Sharknado movies and I’m a sucker for the Fast & Furious franchise. But, sometimes it’s good to know that there’s something better out there and that’s when I turn to TCM. Because like Monterey Park hot-pot in a world of Panda Express- TCM has the real thing.

So what is this film noir thing anyhow? First of all- it’s important to know how to pronounce it- it’s not “Film New-ahh” with a silent “r” like it’s en francais or something – it’s “Film Newarrr” with the “r” pronounced American style. Cause while the name may be French, the film movement is as American as French Fries or French Dressing, although to be fair- the stories are actually told through the international language (film- what were you thinking?) Anyhow, there are a million ways to define Film Noir (or “freedom flicks” as Lindsay Graham called them in the mid 2000’s) but I like to start with this quote from Walter Neff, protagonist of Double Indemnity, the best film noir of all Cal Seething- 081115- nefftime:

“Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money – and a woman – and I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman. Pretty, isn’t it?”

And, weirdly, enough, it is pretty. Cause that’s what film noir is all about- making bad choices while looking good. And while I realize that could also be the logline for Models, Inc, it’s nevertheless true of film noir. Now, some of these choices can seem innocuous at first- pick up the wrong hitchhiker, notarize the wrong document, go home with the wrong guy and, boom, just like that your life can be changed forever. In these movies, fate can seem arbitrary and cruel- like a pop-quiz from the universe designed to test your character.

But in most film noir, the choices are not so innocent. Take our friend Walter Neff. Now, Walter has things pretty good. He’s a charming, handsome bachelor with a good job that allows enough flexibility to go bowling in the afternoon (my lifelong dream) and an apartment in Hollywood with underground parking- which in and of itself is something worth killing for (“I killed him for off-street parking- and an open-plan kitchen- and I didn’t get the parking and I didn’t get the kitchen”- House Hunters Noir!)

But he is dissatisfied. He’s restless. We’ve all felt it. This country was founded on restlessness and dissatisfaction- it’s at the root of the American Dream. But it’s dangerous. Hell, there’s nothing more dangerous than restless, dissatisfied white people- just ask anyone we haven’t killed yet. Now for the first 150 years or so of this country’s existence the answer to restlessness and dissatisfaction was always “go west, young man”. But Walter Neff finds himself in sunny Los Angeles- as far west as he can go. I mean, technically, I suppose technically he could move to Santa Monica but then he’d have to give up his underground parking spot and THERE ARE LIMITS. So, what does he do? He goes slightly north-east instead to the home of Mr and Mrs Cal Seething- 081115- walterandphyllis.Dietrichson somewhere in the hills. He is hoping to renew Mr Dietrichson’s car insurance but ends up concocting a much deadlier plan when he meets Mrs Phyllis Dietrichson, a very sexy woman with a really unsexy name.

In fact Walter and Phyllis sound less like a couple of sex crazed killers and more like my grandparent’s friends from Congregation Beth Emeth. Sure, Phyllis hosted a killer Hadassah luncheon and Walter was a hoot at the Brotherhood breakfasts, but my grandparents had to cut them off when they caught Walter cheating at canasta. He couldn’t help himself. He’s no good. He’s rotten. That’s the reason why most noir heroes and heroines make the terrible choices they do in response to their dissatisfaction. They’re rotten. And it’s the only reason we viewers need- we don’t need to know about their terrible childhoods, we don’t need to hear about how they are victims of society, how they suffer from FFS (Femme Fatale Syndrome.) Everything we need to know about their backstory is wrapped up in this quote from The Hollow Triumph – “It’s a bitter little world.”

The men and women of noir have been kicked around their whole lives and so they are shitty people with poor impulse control who are likeable because they are so damn cool. It’s a blast to watch them try and get away with stuff the rest of us barely dare to think about and cathartic as hell when they fall on their chiseled faces with success just tantalizingly out of reach- tripping over their shoelaces at the finish line of the marathon. Or- better yet, they cross the finish line and feel warm and safe all wrapped in the shinyCal Seething- 081115- marathon insulated blanket of success only to fall into an open trench reaching for someone to hug.

And in the best noir flicks, what trips our heroes up is not their wickedness but their inconvenient humanity- the shot they can’t take, the heart they can’t break, the home they shouldn’t try to go back to but can’t help themselves, the lover they can’t leave behind, the betrayal they never see coming. And sometimes, it’s just the fact that they can’t live one more day with their horrible, rotten selves and so they jump in to that open trench with a crooked smile on their face and leave the rotten world behind.

As for Walter Neff- I won’t tell you exactly what happens to him. Suffice it to say he makes some bad choices and they don’t turn out well. He doesn’t get the money. He doesn’t get the woman. And he’s probably gonna lose his parking spot. A bitter little world indeed.

There’s a lot more I can say about film noir and, in fact, I’m going to say it! In my next post, though because I’ve already wasted your whole fucking lunch hour (sorry). Why not? What am I supposed to do instead of wallowing in the great films of the past- deal with reality? Seriously??? Have you seen that place? There’s random violence, Cal Seething- 081115- debatesanctioned brutality and a perfect storm of right wing lunatics gathering in the skies above Washington threatening to strike the White House in 2016 (GOPnado). And since Shitnado 3 was such a major disappointment and I refuse to gorge myself on the globs of orange chicken being vomited out in 3D from IMAX screens, I turn to noir for distraction instead- a cool, dark cafe away from the blazing sun. And you know what, it’s nice in here. I think I’ll stay awhile. I mean, just look at what’s waiting for me in the outside world- armed white supremacists marching around Ferguson,  Trump gaining in the polls, the Jets punching each other in the face- why not live in the past??? The present blows! But the sad truth is that sooner or later I’m gonna run out of noir flicks on my DVR and I’m going to have to return to the present- and in anticipation of that terrible day- allow me to just say one thing- #AprilDies. It’s the least I can do to make the world a little less bitter.

[California Seething] They Might Be Giants- But I’m Definitely No Rock Critic

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I was very excited when I read that Bloomsbury Press was looking for writers to write book length essays about Cal Seething- 072015- 3313iconic albums for their 33 1/3 series. Now, I’m not a rock critic. Or a musician. Or a person who really knows anything about music. Or a particularly passionate music fan- but still this sounded like the perfect opportunity for me – 30,000 words about an album? No problem! Who’s better at writing more about less than I am? Maybe Andy Rooney, but fuck him, he’s dead, it’s all me bitchez! So- emboldened by my confidence in my limitless verbosity I resolved to apply to write about They Might Be Giants’ third album Flood and set forth to write the first chapter, one of the many requirements for submission.

Well, I may not be a music person but I am a theatre person, so you would think I’d know all about hubris. But no, I arrogantly ignored the lessons of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus: Rise of the Machines and Oedipys Genisys in which Oedipus kills his father, marries his mother and then travels into the distant future where he makes an ill-advised deal with Goldman Sachs to temporarily conceal the extent of Thebes’ crushing debt load with catastrophic consequences for the global economy. Damn you Oedipus!! Why must you anger Merkela- Goddess of Austerity and Conveniently Cal Seething- 072015- merkelForgetting How Germany’s Economy Was Rescued By International Debt Relief. Yeah, that’s right. Talk about hubris!

But even the hubris of the hypocritical Germans doesn’t live up to the hubris I was feeling when I set off to write my trial first chapter about Flood. Let’s just say that, if banging his mom wasn’t enough to make Oedipus poke his eyes out, reading my efforts at music criticism sure would do the trick. OK, so maybe it’s not that bad (or, at least, maybe I shouldn’t say it’s that bad, cause I’m about to ask you all to read it)- but there’s a whole lot more stuff in here about me, and who I was in 1990 when I heard this album then there is about the actual “music”. Then again, if you wanted to read about some silly old album you could go to Wikipedia- but where else could you read about ME. Uh Oh. Here comes that hubris again! Well, before you put my skills as a music critic to a referendum, I encourage you to read the never-before and most likely never again first chapter to my unwritten 33 1/3 tribute to Flood.

Chapter One: A Brand New Album for 1990

In the grand and illustrious tradition of the American muscle car, only one black Pontiac Trans-Am has ever been purchased ironically- and that was the one that my friend Mark bought in High School. Now to be fair, I’m not sure if the purchase was intended to be ironic- but it sure as hell came off that way because Mark, like me, was a gigantic Cal Seething- 072015- hipsternerd. Now, I know some of you younger readers are saying “What’s the big deal? Nerds are cool!” Well, my millennial friends, you have to remember that this was 1990. A very different time for the American nerd. There were no cool nerds. No hip nerds. No bearded bowtied dot-com outdoor movie screening Decemberist fan blueberry acai craft IPA maple bacon artisanal Ho-Ho Portland Brooklyn Silverlake nerds. Hell no! We were nerds of the old school- think less Nate Silver, more Orville Redenbacher. Think Anthony Michael Hall before GNC and steroids (Joe Piscopo was his pusher) and Booger before he started working for Bruce Willis and fell hard for Ms. DePesto. Think computer camp and calculator watches. Think bad skin, BASIC and BIG plastic eyeglasses. Sure, nerds may be accepted, nay, even loved, today- but back then- we were social lepers eating lunch under quarantine. You remember that spot in the woods where everyone was always partying and drinking beer and Cal Seething- 072015- amhgetting laid- yeah- I DON’T. We were persecuted by the jocks who cheated off our tests. Last picked for kickball- first picked for lab partner. Sure, we dreamt of a better day- Revenge of the Nerds was our Django Unchained– but we knew our place (in the Video Lab). And while there were many things expected of us- high SAT scores, Golden Key National Honor society, wearing clothes our moms bought on sale at JC Penny- one thing that was not expected was to have a bad-ass car- especially not one as totally bitchin’ as a jet black Knight Rider Trans Am. But Mark bought one anyhow, and it was perfect- right down to the lights that flipped up (if you pulled over and sort of tugged on them a little.) And while we were in this car, it didn’t matter that we were nerds- we were as cool as anyone out there skipping gym to go to Dunkin’ Donuts and we didn’t care who knew it.

And so, it couldn’t have been more fitting that the first time I heard Flood, I was sitting in Mark’s Trans Am. Because if it was unexpected and unusual for a nerd to own a Trans Am, it was down right subversive for nerds to be rock stars. But were TMBG rock stars? Well, their second album Lincoln was so successful that Elektra picked them up to They Might Be Giantsrecord Flood, the “Dial A Song” service on their answering machine was a viral streaming-media sensation before any of those words meant what they do today and Tiny Toon Adventures used two of their songs for cartoon videos. So….if they weren’t bona-fide rock stars they were damn close. As close to being rock stars as any accordion playing nice Jewish nerds from suburban Boston were ever likely to get. Let’s just say they were a hell of a lot closer to being rock stars than Mark’s Trans-Am was to being KITT- and listening to them made us feel just as cool as being in that car.

I should add that, when we first listened to the album, we were sitting in Mark’s Trans Am all dressed in suits and ties parked on Krumkill Road in Albany, right outside Congregation Ohav Shalom and we were blowing off Yom Kippur services to listen to it. An act of defiance so utterly weird and dorky that only They Might Be Giants could provide the soundtrack.

So yeah- They Might Be Giants were strange- but that didn’t make them unique. After all, they were hardly the first band to embrace stangeness. It’s how they embraced strangeness that set them apart. You see- usually when bands choose to be “strange” they take the cool, mysterious, elusive route- often conflating “strange” with “difficult” and even “inaccessible”. Lyrics are mumbled, screamed or distorted – as difficult to discern as they are to comprehend. The music is “experimental”-  more punishing than entertaining. These bands place themselves on a pedestal of weirdness, where they may only be reached by an enlightened few who are willing to ascend to their level or, at least, Cal Seething- 072015- eyeballfake their way through it in a vain effort to get laid. It’s the Salvador Dali approach to weirdness- a voyage through a grotesque and willfully bizarre dreamscape – music screaming from the subconscious like a knife slicing an eyeball.

They Might Be Giants, though, take a whole different approach. The music is light and bouncy- Nouveau Polka with a drum machine and Casio keyboard. The lyrics are sung clearly, easy to make out, perfectly comprehensible- the listener can hear them well and make them out perfectly so there is absolutely no doubt about the fact that they make no goddamn sense. It’s like looking at a painting by Rene Magritte. Look at the canvas and you know exactly what you see. It’s a man with a bowler hat and an apple floating in front of his face. Very straight forward, totally clear, and utterly impossible.Cal Seething- 072015- appleface

And it was exactly this wonderful strangeness which drew me to them, because they fit in so well with my other obsessions at the time- Monty Python, Kurt Vonnegut, David Lynch, Douglas Adams- all the high priests of wonderful weirdness that made a nerd’s life worth living. Because, you see, as a nerd- I didn’t have much going for me in high school. I’m not talking about grades, or AP classes or SAT scores- I I’m talking about the stuff that really mattered. Despite all my best efforts, I was useless at sports. If the EU was a softball team, I would be Greece. (Hang in there, Greece! I know what it’s like to be up at the plate in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, the tying run on first and the global economy at stake while Germany and France just sit there in the dugout burning holes in your back with their eyes. You’ve just got to figure out the economic equivalent of getting hit by a pitch on purpose and get yourself on base- worked for me!) or getting girls (my teen stand up comedy nickname was Platonic Man- sort of like Superman but Lois Lane just wanted to chat. Shockingly enough, the joke didn’t really improve my situation with the ladies) I knew I would never compete in the nightmarish preppy Wonder Bread abyss that was Bethlehem, New York (“Where Suburbia Meets Dystopia!”) with its packs of roaming cheerleaders and jocks who looked down upon Cal-Seething--072015--collathe likes of me from the lofty heights of their popped collars, the alligator on their chest embodying the cruelty in their hearts. And, so, like so many other freaks and misfits I said “fuck it”. Who wants to be part of your stupid club anyhow? I’m building my own tree house, inviting my friends in and pulling up the ladder behind us so you can’t reach us (an elaborate metaphor for skipping gym to hang out in the Video Lab with Mark and other nerds, before we could just take the Trans Am to Dunkin’ Doughnuts).

And, I was hardly alone in this. There were numerous groups of freaks and rejects – probably more of us than there ever were “cool kids”, each group with our own special way of responding to the “normal” order of things and a corresponding soundtrack. If you were angry about normalcy, you could listen to Metal, if you were sad about it, you had The Cure, and if you just wanted to drop out of it, the Grateful Dead were waiting to envelop you in their patchouli scented, hairy armpit embrace. And if, like me, you just wanted to laugh at the absurdity of it all, then They Might Be Giants were the perfect band. Because life may be nothing but a meaningless joke, but at least we were smart enough to get it and we had artists like TMBG who were cool enough (or, let’s face it- uncool enough) to get us. Most days, that was just enough to make our adolescent lives worth living. These artists reminded us the world was a bigger, weirder and more wonderful place than Bethlehem Central High School and that we could have a lot of fun in it if we could just (as the band said) “hang on/hang on tight….just to keep from being thrown from to the wolves”.

OK- so- yeah- there you have it. Everything you need to know about Flood. Except for any information or insight into the music. Or the band. Or the record itself. But- hey- that’s what the rest of the book is for- I’ve got 28000 more words to go- I’ve got to save something for the rest of it! So, read on and enjoy chapters like “I’m Your Only Friend: Alienation, Despair and Building a Birdhouse in the Dark Night of the Soul”, “Istanbul Was Constantinople- A Satiric Meditation on the Psychological Disorientation of Shifting Geo Political Boundaries in a Post Cold-War World?Cal Seething- 072015- traingle Nah. Not So Much” and “What Did Particle Man do to Triangle Man, Anyhow?”

But really, the most important thing about a great album is how it can take you back to a very specific point in your life. And for me, whenever I hear Flood, I’m right back in Mark’s ludicrous Trans-Am, listening to freshly unwrapped gem of nerd culture, laughing our assess off and waiting for one of our dads to come drag us back to Kol Nidre. Ahhh. Good Times.

And, besides, Flood has never been more relevant- hell, the Fight for 15 could use “Minimum Wage” as their anthem. The ocean levels are still rising, though most scientists no longer think TMBG are responsible (Jeb Bush isn’t sure and Donald Trump blames Mexicans); thanks to Facebook, everybody knows they have at least one racist friend, and, most importantly of all, despite all our differences, what all Americans really want deep down is just a rock to tie a string around. Or maybe it’s prosthetic foreheads on our real heads. Who the hell knows for sure?

So there you have it, more or less everything I have to say about Flood. Hopefully, this makes you want to listen to it again or discover it for the first time. It sure deserves a book to be written about it…by somebody. As for me, I’m gonna stick to writing about stuff I’m better at- like the T-Rex sized crapitude of Jurassic World, the “Summer of Darkness” noir festival on TCM I’ve been obsessed with and the unfathomable buffoonery of Donald Trump. After all- I do know a thing or two about hubris. But of course, the real tragedy is how many people would vote for that shithead. And wait wait wait wait wait- I almost forgot- Sharknado 3 is premiering this Wednesday- now there’s Cal Seething- 072015- sharnado2something I can really sink my teeth into. Ha! Sink my teeth! Wow. That was terrible. They Might Be Giants really dodged a sapphire bullet of true love by not having me write more about them. OK, OK, I’ll cut it out. The next time I get going, just tell me “don’t let’s start”.

Enjoy Flood! I’ll be watching Sharknado Week on SyFy. Oh, hell yes!!