185 posts from March 2008
The 6:44 1982 track "Shake Your Head (Let's Go To Bed)" by Was (Not Was) featuring Madonna and Ozzy Osbourne is one of those legendary "huh?" songs because when rumors of its existence leaked to fans in the '80s, no one could quite picture Madonna and Ozzy melding musically. As it turns out, this version is far superior to the one that became a hit single a decade later—Madonna sounds quite studio-tweaked, yet she does understand how to sing this aggressively quirky, surprisingly philosophical oddity. Some of the lines are lame and throwaway, while others would sound right at home in a true Madonna song, such as "you can't argue with death," "you can't rewrite the Bible," "you can't purify bad blood" and especially "you can't put your finger on the truth," the latter of which she delivers in such a way that it sounds like it was recorded yesterday.
Here is the 1982 version without Madonna. Ozzy's take on this is so, so off from the lyrical content—he's trying to sing it too straight:
Here is the 1992 (hit) version (which sounds like "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred or something) without Madonna and with Kim Basinger in a rare singing performance. The male vocal is apparently Ozzy (correct me if I'm wrong?), just a different take, and one that actually works with the kooky intent of the songwriters:
Thanks to Gareth for the Madonna-version link.
In early May, once they're ready to "come home" (as breeders put it), José and I will be adding two Shih-Tzus to our family. They are (left to right) Sash (a female) and Hyphen (a male). Sash was chosen for the iconic element of beauty pageants, a hobby of José's, and Hyphen is a dog name I've had for a decade, referring to my profession and also to his diminutive size. Scared. Shitless. Have not had a dog since my family got my Cairn terrier, Cinnamon, over 25 years ago, and most of the care fell on my parents. But we're excited.
Promises I intend to keep:
(1) I won't post endlessly about their progress or about how amazing every one of their bowel movements, spills and yawns are.
(2) I'll keep pictures to a bare minimum.
(3) I won't become one of those dog owners who feels it's cool to march into restaurants and stores with my dogs.
(4) I'll never let my leash block off 75% of available space on a sidewalk, oblivious to the fact that people can't get past.
(5) I won't be heartbroken forever if either of them ever gets sick or dies.
I'll definitely keep these promises, or at least some of them. At least for a while.
I'm not wild about Rich Cohen's profile of Madonna in Vanity Fair...it's nicely written, but it feels like he spends an awful lot of time assessing who Madonna is (something Vanity Fair and, well, just about every publication has done before) without integrating his interview time into the piece. In fact, most of the quotes appear at the end, en masse, and most concern the last thing anyone really wants to learn about MadonnaâKabbalah.
I think when people say things like you choose the gender of your own babies unconsciously, they sound silly. Madonna sounds silly when she says this to Cohen. But her other insights on lifeâthat we're responsible for our own actions and feelings (this works for me, short of gender-assignment for offspring), for exampleâat least ring true. I liked this thought:
âYou have to get to a point where you care as little about getting smoke blown up your ass as you do when you become a whipping boy in the press, because ultimately they both add up to shit. You just have to keep doing your work, and hope and pray somebodyâs dialing into your frequency If your joy is derived from what society thinks of you, youâre always going to be disappointed.â
That last bit resonates with comments Madonna made earlier in the article about the paparazzi. It's charming that she has no idea what TMZ is, at least by name. It reminds me of 1994 when she was telling Kurt Loder her fave Wu-Tang Clan member was "Little Dirty Bastard," albeit she did that self-mockingly. It's funny when she's able to sort of roll her eyes at her own disconnect from what's hot and of-the-moment, even when she is hot and of-the-moment.
The Steven Meisel images, however, are to die for.
From People (April 7, 2008), a little good news from the HIV front. A lengthy profile of Jake Glaser (son of Paul Michael Glaser and his late wife, AIDS activist Elisabeth) reveals him to be a hot 'n' healthy 23-year-old with a great attitude about the virus he's carried from birth, and that killed his mother and sister.
I learned from the article that a mutation in the CCR5 gene may be one reason some people (fewer than 10%) seem to live asymptomatically with HIV for long (indefinite?) periods of time—Glaser doesn't even require medication anymore, though he's vigilant about his health and about using condoms. Another interesting fact from the piece:
"In 1993 the life expectancy of people with HIV was seven years; today, with improved treatment, it's 24 years from the date of diagnosis."
Still no excuse for tossing safe sex out the window in your twenties and thirties, but amazing progress.