Up With Populist People

mark.jpgMy new favorite blog is Mark Blankenship's The Critical Condition, and not just because he sparked up my Lazy Sunday by posting his distressingly catchy Silence of the Lambs hip-hop track right after a post about Eminem's imminent return. I love it because even though he's often critiquing theater for the New York Times, he's not afraid to simultaneously feed his pop culture jones. And why not? If someone has to check out Celebrity Autobiography or Perez Hilton Saves the Universe, then all the better if they own a copy of Suzanne Somers' "Touch Me," (everyone should) or check in on the pink poseur several times a day anyway. 

New York.jpg
At this point, Pop culture is so pop that VH1 is already loving up the naughty aughties while we're still waist deep in their muck, and FakeSarahPalin has 4,263 followers on Twitter (Yes, I'm one of them). With troupes like Les Freres Corbusier eliding easily between Schoolhouse Rock and Ibsen, it ain't enough anymore to brush up your Shakespeare. You've gotta watch New York brush up on hers as well. Or not. But still, you never know.

So hallelujah that playwrights like Tom Stoppard are there to worry about the big stuff, to school us on Havel and Housman, and that theater critics are, for the most part, thrilled to have such a deep well from which to draw. But considering the heaping helping of Pink Floyd in his latest work, it seems even Stoppard's been dipping into the shallow end of the waterhole lately. 

Though Blankenship--kicking back and mixing up his arts coverage with "Clay is gay" stories--may not save the world, he just might help save informed, professional criticism from extinction by expanding its reach outside the realm of a handful of subscribers and niche enthusiasts. And by "save it," I mean, "make a video for his Silence of the Lambs rap." Hey, whatever works.

Below: the meta-moment of the pop culture year. So far.


September 24, 2008 3:59 PM | | Comments (4)


No worries, I have a Google alert for myself, too, and today it has your name on it, so thanks right back.

Had actual work last night (Anna Bella Eema, review in tomorrow's Philadelphia Inquirer) so I didn't get to see it yet. Now, cannot wait!

Am I blushing? Totally!

Wendy, it made my day to open my Google Alert and see your generous compliments there. (I Google Alert my own name. What?)

And as for LL Cool J on Project Runway... I realize now that he was there to keep Kenley from being even more of a freak show than she already is. If Dolly Parton had said Kenley's outfit didn't look very hip-hop, then Kenley would've said, "Ugh! What do you know about hip-hop anyway?!?"
But with LL, she can't say that.

:::fingers in ears:::

So anyway, what the heck was LL Cool J doing on Project Runway?

The Fall of Rome.

Hank the Plank, former CEO of Goldman-Sachs, is attacking our new crisis with the ferocity of a pagan idol. Our Treasury secretary, applying all his Christian Science ethics, announced he's gonna take a bazooka to the economy, no questions folks, just supply the bullets. Hank the Plank is about to become the largest land-owner since Charles V.

Meanwhile McCain, all thumbs uppy, grinning like a mump-inflicted gineau-pig, announced he's needed in Rome to fix the problem, which is rather like apply bostik to a cloven skull, the assumption is he couldn't send an e-mail.

Far away to the north, in the of land Santa, the Snow Queen, heartened by Hank's mention of the bazooka, has learned a new word, maverick, repeated thrice to a news anchor during an interview. The Beauty Queen from a town of toothless nubiles, wolves and trawler deckhands, the women who'd give a buck for a scalp, now may be getting close to holding a bazooka.
More alarming is the video of the Bible-bashing Procurator attending a church service in which witches were exorcised from congregants by a Kenyan pastor. Hold on to you pants girls, circumsion's next.....
Not to be out done by this Narrenshiff, Baracking Barack decends into our national urinal by announcing he'll debate himself. Lecture the US population on the virtues of the common man. The senator from Illinois, author of three best selling books about himself, holds his nose in dignified delight, I told you so he grins, reaching for another Newport......
The fourth player in this farce, bumbling Biden, from the only state which endorses usury, is strangley silent, better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than to stand up and remove all doubt.

Is anybody else as concerned as I am. At least I still have residential rights in Europe....

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