Tuesday, November 10, 2009

watch myself in monster glory

Cat Power - The Greatest (listen) On the way back from walking Maya to school, I was struck with an immediate urge to hear this. Back when, my outsideleft.com compatriot Joe Ambrose and I took turns throwing it under the bus. I'm not sure why this album garnered so much attention from us both; I think her publicist on our respective continents hit us both up simultaneously. I'll stand by my assessment that this record is a Springfield a little too Dusty, but I need to hear it and am hearing it and am liking it. Perhaps I am growing soft.

Looking back at the piece I wrote, I'm struck that I threw in the phrase "Barbara Mandrell special" because it keeps coming up. I read about the rural purge - when CBS killed rural programming in one fell swoop in 1972 - while looking into Doug Kershaw last week, and then just this morning a woman at the coffee shop randomly saluted me with a Minnie Pearl "howDEEE" and followed it by saying how much she, as a young black woman in rural Louisiana, hated all the cornpone country programming on the one TV station they recieved.

Me? I loved that stuff, or maybe not loved it but watched all of it as it was still in heavy syndication in the late 70's. That is, until that one fateful day in 1977 a babysitter insisted on watching "Donnie & Marie" instead of the first episode of "The Incredible Hulk" - ironically also on CBS, the show being a part of the urbanization of prime-time television.

The first episode! C'mon dude, seriously, don't mess me up like that! I'm already hanging by a thread socially, don't make me miss Bill Bixby's transformation into Lou Ferrigno so you can see Donnie Osmond do a barbershop quartet skit in his goddamn purple socks! Please! I have to go to school tomorrow and everybody will be talking about it! I never ask for anything! From anybody! She was unmoved, perhaps even steeled by my pleading. I gave up on the whole country variety after that. Bring on your rural purge and summon the locusts to finish it off. I wished I was the Incredible Hulk so I could split out of my clothes and become a monster in charge so I could spin the dial over to watch myself in monster glory. I still do sometimes. But no. I was and am, like Dr. David Banner, left to roam the earth to find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within [me].

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