"A neat treat for an elite"
Blimey! "The Limey"
& Other Cultural Tidbits
Ex Austin Dispatches
No. 9
Oct. 23, 1999
Last weekend I took a break from my job search1 (which I conduct at the same fever pitch as George W. Bush's fund raising)2 to watch "The Limey,"3 starring Bernie Hunt.4

Just kidding. It's a neo-noir5 with Peter Fonda6 as a perfectly cast smarmy L.A.-type bad guy with '60s roots. Also in the cast: Lesley Ann Warren.7 She's typically a delight in her roles. For an even better neo-noir, rent "Choose Me."8 She'd have an Oscar9 for that in a world where such awards actually meant something. Oh yeah, and some Brit stars in the film.

Or, to put it in the protagonist's own words, courtesy of The Dialectizer:10

Last weekend I took a break from me Uncle Bob search (wich I conduct at the same fever pitch as George W. Bush's fund raisin') ter wotch "The Limey," starrin' Bernie 'unt.

Just kiddin'. It's a neo-noir wiv Peter Fonda as a perfectly cast smarmy L.A.-type bad lad wiv '60s roots. Yer can't 'ave a knees-up wivout a joanna. Also in the bloomin' cast: Lesley Ann Warren. She's typically a delight in 'er roles. For an even better neo-noir, rent "Choose Me." She'd 'ave an Oscar for that in a world where such orards actually meant sumfink. Oh yeah, right, and some Brit stars in the chuffin' film.

For another fantastic neo-noir, check out "Thief,"11 newly available on digital video disc(DVD).12

Elsewhere in the world of mass media, I recently finished listening to all the available bitcasters.13 About 2,400 radio stations worldwide transmit via the Internet -- 1,300 in North America, the rest scattered about the globe14-- and most of them play Britney Spears.15

Seriously, it's a small world after all,16 where you can hear rap in Poland, bluegrass in Singapore, and heavy metal in Brazil. Where are the musics from those and other foreign lands? American government radio stations.17 Is this another pernicious symptom of the New World Order?18

Perhaps Pat Buchanan will lambaste it.19 I doff my fedora to him for his dissent on the power elite's foreign policies, thereby enraging neoconservatives (New York Jews who think socialism is a bad idea unless it's managed by Republicans).20 I haven't read Buchanan's book -- yet. Though from other commentators' summaries of "A Republic, Not an Empire," Buchanan's critiques sound like those I encountered as a child from the mid-1970s on, and not just from booth-manning cranks at the county fair.

For example, "A New History of Leviathan: Essays on the Rise of theAmerican Corporate State" (E.P. Dutton, 1972), edited by Ronald Radosh and Murray N. Rothbard -- the latter a supporter of Buchanan's '92 presidential campaign. Rothbard, Llewellyn Rockwell and others associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute supported Buchanan in his 1992 campaign. Yet during the same campaign, Buchanan attacked his supporters in an anti-market speech. Just who does this mouthy little harp think he is?21

And if that ungrateful mick22 is really serious about culture wars,23 he might decry the creeping blandness of formerly good musicians who turn into Disneyfied drones during "crossover" attempts.24 Like Marc Anthony, whom a few months ago I touted as the preferable alternative to the cheeseoid Ricky Martin.25Anthony slid into the abyss of Top 40 with "I Need to Know."26¡Qué pena!27 His previous album, "Contra La Corriente," is a catchy salsa album with a real orchestra backing his accelerating delivery on every track, instead of a plaintive nylon-stringed guitar plucked over synth filler.28

Now, to judge from his latest album,29 plus his duet with Jennifer Lopez,30 he's turned into the aural equivalent of Taco Bell.31 Lopez, too.

On the bright side, the Amazon.com samples32 let me finally hear musicians that I knew only by reputation, or from '80s Down Beat articles:33 Allan Holdsworth,34 Gil Scott-Heron,35 Kip Hanrahan,36 Michael Franks,37 Joe Jackson,38 Elvis Costello,39 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five,40 Tangerine Dream,41Todd Rundgren,42 Jeff Beck,43 Rick James44, Gino Vanelli,45 The Tubes,46 and the '80s edition of King Crimson.47 Amazon's catalog lacks the Sawtooth Mountain Boys,48 however.

In other cultural matters:

Forbes reports the entire Mad oeuvre is available on a CD-ROM box set.49 Gloink! Fnitz! Vroop! as Don Martin might say.50

Rhino Records51 has compiled the themes and other songs from the various Scooby-Doo series52 lo these 30 years onto a new CD. My quibble: it lacks the background music from the original (1969-72) show.53 Instead, the CD contains a techno dance mix54 for the club kids.

In a related development, Ain't It Cool News reports on a possible Scooby-Doo feature length movie in development in Hollywood.55 Keep in mind, though, that "in development" means studio executives talk about it over lunch with screenwriters.

Meanwhile, Rhino has also released several compilations covering "wavo"(New Wave)56 and its contemporary and successor styles on the airwaves through the '80s.57 In other words, my childhood is now formally packaged as The Good Old Days.58 Zoinks!59

Even "Dubya" does a better job of reviving cultural artifacts of my childhood: Salon covers his reading of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to schoolchildren.60

Not to be outdone, U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert, R-Ill., reads "The Cat in the Hat" in public, according to Reason.61

Now that's leadership!

Still, better these works than, oh, "Catcher in the Rye." (Holden Caufield needed a swift kick in the ass and a job to get him out of his spoiled rich-kid mopery.)62

For slightly older audiences, Nexus magazine offers the lectures of Sir Laurence Gardner. I nominate Gardner for the most grandiose conspiracy theorist ever. He ties together more than 40,000 years worth of history, myth, religion, linguistics and speculation fromEurope, the Levant, Persia, India, the Caucasus, and Siberia, including theBible, J.R.R. Tolkien, King Arthur, the Holy Grail, elves, fairies, witches,werewolves, vampires, manna, alchemy, secret societies, European royal dynasties, and a partridge in a pear tree.63

Finally, The Times reports on the growing popularity of neo-Edwardian hunting parties, with all the trimmings.64 I predicted this about four years ago as the next retro trend.65 Between this and the success of "Titanic," it looks like I'm right.66 Maybe Rhino will issue an Edward Elgar compilation.67 Zoinks!

1 EAD No. 8 (3 Oct. 1999).
2 Bryce, Robert. "Take the Money and Run." AC 30 July 1999: 18.
3 Klein, Andy. "L.A. Noir." PNT 14 Oct. 1999: 81.
4 Bernard Hunt. Bernard.hunt.org. <http://bernard.hunt.org/>; Editor & Publisher International Yearbook, 80th ed. Ed. David Maddux. New York City: Editor & Publisher, 2000: I, 312.
5 Christopher, Nicholas, Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir and the American City. New York City: Free Press, 1997: 229-266, 279-281; Ebert, Roger. "Three Kinds of Noir." Chicago Sun-Times 11 Oct. 1995. Rpt. Roger Ebert's Video Companion, 1997 ed. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews & McMeel, 1996: 928-930; Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style, rev. 3rd ed. Ed. Alain Silver, Elizabeth Ward, and James Ursini. Woodstock, N.Y.: The Overlook Press, 1992: 398-443; Meyer, David N. A Girl and a Gun: The Complete Guide to Film Noir on Video. New York City: Avon Books, 1998: 249-251; Rainer, Peter. "Neo-Noir." Esquire Gentleman Spring 1995: 48-49.
6 Ragan, David. "Fonda, Peter." Who's Who in Hollywood. New York City: Facts on File, 1992: I, 545.
7 "Warren, Lesley Ann." Contemporary Theater, Film and Television: A Biographical Guide Featuring Performers, Directors, Writers, Producers, Designers, Managers, Choreographers, Technicians, Composers, Executives, Dancers, and Critics in the United States and Great Britain. Ed. Terrie M. Rooney. New York City: Gale Research Inc., 1995: XIII, 422-424.
Andrew, Geoff. Stranger Than Paradise: Maverick Film-Makers in Recent American Cinema. New York City: Limelight Editions, 1999: 25-26; Choose Me. Dir. Alan Rudolph. With Lesley Ann Warren, Keith Carradine, Genevieve Bujold. Island Alive, 1984; Ebert. "Choose Me." 1984. Rpt. Roger Ebert's Video Companion, 1996 ed. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews & McMeel, 1995: 129-130; Kael, Pauline. "Choose Me." (review) The New Yorker 24 Dec. 1984. Rpt. For Keeps: 30 Years at the Movies.  New York City: Plume, 1996: 1032-1034; Pierson, John. Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of Independent Cinema, rev. ed. New York City: Hyperion/Miramax Books, 1997: 28, 120.
9 Matthews, Charles. Oscar A to Z: A Complete Guide to More Than 2,400 Movies Nominated for Academy Awards. New York City: Main Street Books/Doubleday, 1995: 926.
10 Stoddard, Samuel. The Dialectizer. RinkWorks. <http://rinkworks.com/dialect>.
11 EAD No. 8 (3 Oct. 1999), n7.
12 Kobler, 126-127; Moser, Margaret. "Whither DVD?" AC 17 April 1998: 54-55.
13 EAD No. 7 (Aug. 1999), n34.
14 Ibid.
15 Laudadio, Marisa. "Time Out with Britney Spears." Teen. Aug. 1999: 60+.
16 Sherman, Richard M., and Roger M. Sherman. "It's a Small World." 1963. Rpt. in  The Best Fake Book Ever. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Pub. Corp., 1990: 319.
17 Garvin, Glenn. "How Do I Loathe NPR? Let Me Count the Ways?" Liberty Sep. 1996: 39-46+.
18 Brookhiser, Richard. "Waiting for Righty." NR 20 Jan. 1992: 40-42; Bush, George. Speech to Congress. 11 Sep. 1990. Rpt. Congressional Quarterly Alamanac (101st Congress, 2nd Session), Vol. XVLI. Ed. Kenneth Jost. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1991: 731-732; Chamish, Barry. “The Suicide of Canadian Culture.” Liberty May 1991: 45-46; Heard, Alex. "Bo Knows NWO." TNR 3 Feb. 1992: 11-12+; Moench, Doug. "Choppers of The New World Order." The Big Book of Conspiracies. New York City: Paradox Press, 1995: 75-78; Quinn, Jim. Interview with John Whitley. "Quinn in the Morning Show." WRRK-FM, Pittsburgh. 20 July 1997. Transcript available at <http://conspiracies.about.com/culture/conspiracies/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.inforamp.net/%7Ejwhitley/quinn.htm>.
19 Mailer, Norman. "By Heaven Inspired." TNR 12 Oct. 1992: 22+.
20 Arguing the World. Dir. Joseph Dorman. With Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, William F. Buckley Jr. First Run Features, 1998; Bethell, Tom. "First Things First." TAS Jan. 1997: 18-19; Dionne, E.J. Jr. Why Americans Hate Politics, rev. ed. New York City: Touchstone Books, 1992: 38, 55-76; Francis, Samuel T. "Neoconservatism and the Managerial Revolution" and "Inhospitable Neos: A Reply to Ernest Van den Haag." in Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism. Columbia, Mo.: U of Missouri P, 1993: 95-117, 176-180; Frum, David. Dead Right. New York City: Basic Books, 1994: 125-127; Hadar, Leon T. "The 'Neocons': From the Cold War to the 'Global Intifada.' " Washington Report on Middle East Affairs April 1991: 27; Moss, Laurence S. "The Power Elite Revisited." LAR Spring-Autumn 1967: 39-44; Rothbard, Murray N. "Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy." Liberty Mar. 1989: 13-22; Steinfels, Peter,  Geoffrey Norman; and Nicholas Gaetano. "Neoconservatism: An Idea Whose Time is Now." Esquire 13 Feb. 1979: 23-46; Tannenhaus, Sam. "The NY Intellectuals’ Shabby Legacy." NYPR 26 Jan. 2000; Tanenhaus. "When Left Turns Right, It Leaves the Middle Muddled." NYT 16 Sep. 2000: B7; Tyrrell, R. Emmett Jr.: The Conservative Crack-Up ; New York City: Simon & Schuster, 1992: Ch. 4-5, and passim.
21 Dwyer, John J. "One on One with Pat Buchanan." Dallas/Fort Worth Heritage Dec. 1999: 24-25; Frum, op. cit., Ch. 6; Lewin, Esther; and Albert E. Lewin. The Thesaurus of Slang, rev. ed. New York City: Facts on File, 1994: 220; McGurn, William. "Pat Buchanan and the Intellectuals." NR 17 Feb. 1992: 41-43; A New History of Leviathan. Ed. Rothbard and Ronald Radosh. New York City: E.P. Dutton, 1972; Podhoretz. "Buchanan and the Conservative Crackup." Commentary May 1992: 30-34; Postrel, Virginia. "Cutting the Static." Reason Feb. 1993: 6-8; Raimondo, Justin. An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2000: 281; Rockwell, Llewellyn H. Jr. "The Story of the RRR." The Rothbard-Rockwell Report. Dec. 1999: 1; Rothbard. "From a Speech by Murray Rothbard." NR 16 Mar. 1992: S28-S32; Rothbard. Letter to Buckley. NR 13 April 1992: 20; Singleton, Norman K. "Buchanan is Spending Too Much Time in Union Halls." Washington Times 25 Mar. 1996: 18.
22 Partridge, Eric. A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 8th ed. Ed. Paul Beale. New York City: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984: 735.
23 Bethell. "Losing the War." TAS Feb. 1997: 20; Buchanan, Pat. Speech at the Republican National Convention, 17 Aug. 1992. Rpt. "Buchanan Urges His 'Brigades' to Stand Beside President. Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report 22 Aug. 1992: 2543-2544; Edsell, Thomas B. "Buchanan Declares Culture War." WP 19 Sep. 2000: A9; Mailer, op. cit.; Vidal, Gore. "Monotheism and Its Discontents." The Nation 13 Jul. 1992. Rpt. United States: Essays 1952-1992. New York City: Random House, 1993: 1048-1054.
24 "Crossover." The New Harvard Dictionary of Music. Ed. Don Michael Randel. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1986: 215; Steyn, Mark. "The Michael Mouse Club." TAS Feb. 1997: 44-46.
25 Holthouse, David. "Ricky-Ticky-Tacky." PNT 25 Nov. 1999: 6; Tarradell, Mario. "Latin Aftershocks." DMN 20 Feb. 2000: 35A.
26 Galpin, Richard. "Marc Anthony." FHM Feb. 2000: 50-51; Hensley, Dennis. "Why Marc Anthony Maks Us Sizzle." Cosmopolitan Feb. 2000: 204.
27 Curland, David. Zarabanda: Beginning Spanish, 4th ed. 1976. Rpt. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., 1982: 26.
28 Riemenschneider, Chris. "Rickety Ricky." XL 9 Nov. 2000: 8.
29 Hensley, op. cit.
30 Duncan, Patricia J. Jennifer Lopez. New York City: St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1999: 34; Gottschalk, Mary. SJMN "Still Talking About the 'Dress.' " AAS 9 Mar. 2000: E3; Taradell, op. cit.
31 "MC." "Taco Bell: Official Food of the New World Order." Online forum. Top Secret Recipies on the Web. 20 Oct. 1998. <http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/oldboards/deadfoodboard-old11/messages/371.html>.
32 "Amazon.com Launches Music Site." Internet World 15 June 1998: 4.
33 "Magazines." All Music Guide to Jazz, 3rd ed. Ed. Michael Erlewine. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books, 1998: 1316.
34  Milkowski, Bill. "Allan Holdsworth's New Horizons." DB  Nov. 1985: 19.
35 NRSE, 878.
36 Kalbacher, Gene. "Profile: Kip Hanrahan." DB Mar. 1984: 47.
37 NRSE, 354-355.
38 NRSE, 482-483.
39 NRSE, 215-216.
40 NRSE, 390.
41 Diliberto, John. "Tangerine Dream: The Electronic Trinity of Space." DB Oct. 1986: 16-18+; NRSE, 980-981.
42 NRSE, 858-859.
43 NRSE, 63-64.
44 NRSE, 493-494; Vincent, Rickey, Funk: The Music, the People & the Rhythm of the One. New York City: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1996: 274-276; Sager, Mike. "Super Freak." RS 27 June 1996: 38.
45 Bates, Patricia. "Vannelli's 'Inconsolable Man' Tour Wraps Up Mid-May in Toronto." AB 6 May 1991: 7.
46 NRSE, 1019.
47 Lange, Art, and Charles Doherty. "Bill Bruford: A Drummer's Discipline." DB Feb. 1984: 16; Bill Milkowski. "Robert Fripp: Discipline in Another Dimension." DB June 1985: 45; NRSE, 544-546.
48 Rosenberg, Neil V. Bluegrass: A History. 1985. Rpt. Urbana, Ill.: U of Illinois P, 1993: 265.
49 Manes, Stephen. "Obsessive Madness!!!!" Forbes Digital Tools. 20 Sep. 1999. <http://www.forbes.com/Forbes/99/0920/6407210s1.htm>; "Our Favorite System Requirements." Computer Currents Feb. 2000: 24.
50 Reidelbach, Maria. Completely Mad: A History of the Comic Book and Magazine. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991: 166, 182.
51 Harrington, Richard. "Rhino, Pop's Recordkeeper Label Finds Prosperity in Saving Songs for Posterity." WP 22 Jan. 1995: G4.
52 Martindale, David. "A Howling Success." San Antonio Express-News 21 Oct. 1998: 1G.
53 Martindale, ibid.;  McNeil, Alex. Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming From 1948 to the Present, 4th ed. New York City: Penguin Books, 1996: 732.
54 Kid Rhino. Rhino Records. <http://rhino.com/Catalog/Cat17/Cat17_index.html>; McNeil, op. cit.; "Ramy." "The Meaning of a Rave." Cityheat Dec. 1999: 14-15.
55 Knowles, Harry. "Scooby Doo? Who's Writing You?" Ain't It Cool News 19 Aug. 1999. <http://www.aint-it-cool-news.com>.
56 Hoskyns, Barney, Waiting for the Sun: Strange Days, Weird Scenes & the Sounds of Los Angeles. New York City: St. Martin's Press, 1996: 297-300; Mark Jacobson. "Just Can't Get Enough -- New Wave Hits of the '80s." Review. Esquire Oct. 1994: 157; NRSE: 709-710; "New wave music." Oregon Daily Emerald Survival Guide.  Ed. Thomas Prowell. Eugene, Ore.: Oregon Daily Emerald, 1989: n.p.; Ira A. Robbins. "Preface." Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock: The All-New 5th Edition of the Trouser Press Record Guide. Ed. Robbins. New York City: Fireside/Simon & Schuster, 1997: 9-11; Weisbard, Eric. "What is Alternative Rock." Spin Alternative Record Guide. Ed. Weisbard and Craig Marks. New York City: Vintage, 1995: vii-ix.
57 Robbins, op. cit.; Weisbard, op. cit.
58 Elliott, Bruce. "Introduction." Retro Hell, ix-xii.
59 Martindale, op. cit.
60 Tapper, Jake. "On the Road With George W. Bush." Salon. 16 June 1999. <http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/06/16/campaign/index1.html>
61 Lynch, Michael. "Capital Letters: Linear Thinking." Reason May 1999: 22.
62 Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951.
63 Gardner, Laurence: Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed. Shaftesbury, U.K.: Element, 1996; Genesis of the Grail Kings: The Explosive Story of Genetic Cloning & the Ancient Bloodline of Jesus. 1999. Rpt. Boston: Element, 2000; "The Hidden History of Jesus and the Holy Grail, Part I." Nexus Magazine Feb./Mar. 1998; "The Hidden History of Jesus and the Holy Grail, Part II." Nexus Apr./May 1998; "The Hidden History of Jesus and the Holy Grail, Part III." Nexus Jun./Jul. 1998; "In the Realm of the Ring Lords, Part I." Nexus Aug./Sep. 1999; "In the Realm of the Ring Lords, Part II." Nexus Oct./Nov. 1999; "Star Fire: The Gold of the Gods, Part I." Nexus Oct./Nov. 1998; "Star Fire: The Gold of the Gods, Part II." Nexus Dec. 1998/Jan. 1999; "Star Fire: The Gold of the Gods, Part III." Nexus Feb./Mar. 1999.
64 Macintyre, Ben. "Uncle Sam Has Dreams of Edward." The Times 23 Oct. 1999: 1F.
65 Eisler, Dan. Letter to Bertha A. Eisler. 26 April 1995; Elliott, op. cit.; "Retrolexicon." Retro Hell, 178.
66 Edwards, James. "In Defense of Chain Stores." NR 20 May 1996: 72.
67 "Edward Elgar." The Oxford Dictionary of Music, rev. ed. Ed. Michael Kennedy. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford UP, 1997: 268-270.