Friday, April 15, 2011

Guilty Pleasures Part Seventy-Eight -- Fearless Maria Fails to See the Glam in Glam Rock

Fearless Maria is here this evening and we're enjoying some new technological ability, thanks to the latest upgrade in the Blogger software.

Dad, here's the story. We can now embed the videos directly into the post. Which is cool, but there's still a problem.

What's that, Maria?

As long as you're still picking the videos, there's a chance that seeing the people right away might scare them off! Hello, Dad -- it's a nice Halloween trick, but you find some scary stuff!

I don't know, Maria -- is Halloween more scary than tax time?

Oh, thanks Dad! You just gave me a great idea! Next year I'm going to dress up for Halloween as an IRS agent! That'll get you to cough some candy, huh? Especially if tax time is more scary than Halloween!

Good thinking, Maria. Shall we test out our new technology?

I thought you tested it out on your practice blog, Mr. Dilettante's Earlobe?

True, but now we're on the big stage. So what I've decided to feature this time is stuff from the "glam" rock era of the early 70s. All these acts are British and a little weird, which should give you ample space to critique.

Oh no! British and weird? Just don't show me any pictures of the Prime Minister in a flaming headdress from Arthur Brown!

No, I don't think we have that. First, let's start with T. Rex:

That doesn't look too glamorous to me, Dad! What it looks like is that he took a white banana suit and dumped a bunch of glitter on it. And his hair is some 70s version of Mike Brusewitz's afro combined with a poodle or something. But the girls are all screaming. So Dad, what happened to T. Rex? Were they carnivores, or did an asteroid hit their band and they had a mass extinction?

Actually, Marc Bolan, the singer died in a traffic accident, so I guess you were right. Don't think he got hit by an asteroid, though.

How come singers always die in traffic accidents? Or they die in plane accidents in the Midwest! Maybe they should just travel by crowd-surfing!

That's not a bad idea, actually. But now we're ready to move on. Here's a band with a somewhat, ahem, unusual fashion sense. Straight out of the Black Country, complete with strangely spelled song titles, it's Slade:

A-ha! Dad, you are in some big trouble, buddy!

I'm in trouble?

Of course you are, Dad. And you thought that I would fall for it! But I know exactly what's going on here! You are in an alliance with Michael's Craft Stores! It's so obvious. Here are some good reasons! First you show me Jeepster, advertising glitter and special occasions fabric, and now you break out the Slade, with the painted stained glass, leather, rug and curtain material, with sequins the size of compact discs, which they didn't even have in 1972! And you picked "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" is to show how fashion doesn't really help the squares dancing on the set of Top of the Pops! And in literary terms, you were using symbolism!

Symbolism? I thought I was just picking videos!

Don't play dumb with me, pal. Let me tell you -- because you're in alliance with Michael's Craft Stores, the word "Mama" symbolizes leadership, or superiority in an allegiance and "Crazee Now" symbolizes that you can't get enough of it! Therefore, you're using the overgeneralization propaganda technique and also transfer!

I still think I'm just picking videos!

No, you're on to something far more sinister, Dad. As I was saying, you're using overgeneralization in that the company you agree to support, you tell so with no basis in fact. And transfer, in that you're associating 1970s glam rock celebrities with the company! Fraud! Treason! And yes, I did take the NWEA test today to determine if I'm in Challenge Reading class at middle school next year!

Either that or you're working on a doctorate in semiotics from Duke.

Harvard, actually.

Well, good to know. Meanwhile, we'll go to something a little more stripped down, but from the same era. This will seem absolutely minimalist compared to Slade. It's one-hit wonder David Essex:

Well, Dad, I think I'll shorten my comment this time, because I think almost gave you carpal tunnel syndrome trying to keep up with my ranting, and I am sorry for any false accusations I leveled in the course of attempting highbrow, academic-style humor. Wait, do your fingers hurt now?

Not yet.

Well, anyway, what it looks like to me is that whenever they have someone on who is wearing something normal, the video is all shadowy and dark.

Actually, in 1973, a sleeveless black t-shirt and jeans would have been kinda strange.

Well, maybe you needed to send him over to Michael's Craft Store for a makeover, Dad! Asleep at the switch again, huh? And don't start with the testimonial technique!

I'm afraid to ask. I think I'll just pick another video. It's my favorite Guilty Pleasure band and the inspiration for this whole enterprise, the Sweet:

Mom told me that in 1975, these guys weren't telling the truth. All her friends had the same hairdos that the Sweet is wearing here! Well, Dad, it looks like you're up to your old trick again. Now you're advertising hunting season!

Hunting season?

If the fox is on the run, then that means the hunter is trying to catch it! And it also means they have a bunch of beagles! Cute! Which reminds me of my proposal I've made so many times! Get a dog! We'll all be happier for the rest of our lives! Oh no -- wait, I'm using the faulty cause and effect propaganda technique! I've been poisoned!

If you're using a faulty cause and effect propaganda technique, it means you have a promising future as a political commentator, Maria!

Do they offer that at Harvard, too?

I don't know, but I'd suggest you get through middle school first.

What fun are you? Okay, I will. Anyway, the song was pretty good and the clothing wasn't that terrible. But can you pick a better song? C'mon, give it a try!

Well, see if you like this one, also from 1975. It's Roxy Music, with backup singers dressed like flight attendants and a singer wearing an eyepatch. Don't ask me why:

Well, Dad -- all that fog they have going probably gave Bryan Ferry an eye infection! And maybe the backup singers were doctors in disguise. And if you're a doctor, what better disguise is there than a flight attendant's uniform? Actually, I found the entire thing a little suspicious. I think there's more to this story than meets the eye. Even if it is only one eye! Get it?

Wow, that's Dixie Riddle Cup quality humor, Maria!

Very funny, Dad. I must be a mirror because I'm cracking up! But now we're out of songs, so it's time to vote, people! And don't vote for the Dixie Riddle Cups, okay! Put your pick in the comment section and be nice, or I'll give you such a critique of your propaganda technique!

You heard her, folks. Let's get voting!


Mrs. D said...

Fearless Maria, your comments are a bit out there. Just exactly how many of those cookies with frosting and sprinkles did you eat tonight at the church supper??

Gino said...

thanks for a list of tunes i should have on my ipod that i dont have.

gonna go with david essex on this one. that song is timeless.