Tuesday
Aug032004

« Utterly Wretched »

The worst thing happens to me at noon till about 12:20 or so every weekday. While I am at the lunch center with the old folks, the local Clear Channel "hits from the greatest generation" station called KPOP has a fucking hour of Frank Sinatra. No, it's not like a career retrospective with all sorts of juicy goodies turning up for the devoted listener. No, I swear, they must have about 10-12 songs they play in a slightly different order every fuggin' day. Same few songs—New York, Love and Marriage, [something about] Paris, High Hopes (?), Fly Me to the Moon, Lady is a Tramp, and a few others. It is so agonizing to hear. And the DJ (or "on air personality") has got to be the worst. Jerry G. Bishop has been a media celeb here in town for ages. I doubt he was ever exciting, but man oh man does he suck now. Clear Channel sucks as it is, but damn Jerry is bad. It sounds so patronizing and condescending, albeit in some innocent way. The jokes (made to appeal to 70 year olds) are just the most lame and conservative things you ever heard. The ads are for male enhancing snake oil, financial and estate planning assistance, golf courses, and anything else that might go with the senior scene. Anyhow, this has got to be one of the worst pieces of shit you can hear on the radio. I listen to it, and think, man this is just an insult to these old people who want to hear a few tunes from their younger years. It's all sap now. Clear Channel runs ads about 20-24 minutes an hour. You don't need many Frank songs to fill the rest of the hour. And there certainly aren't many coming out of KPOP.

Now, Sinatra rubs me the wrong way as it is. I think his singing is boring, uninspired, mechanical, tedious, soulless. Shall I go on? Well, then the music that I hear on this station has got to be the worst of it all. The tunes just sound silly to me. The melodies, while a whole lot more lush than anything now, just seem so damned corny. I guess it helps if the Mafia helps make you a big star. Then, as if the corny melodies and plaintive voice weren't enough, the lyrics are just repugnant to me. You gotta understand, I am marrying a woman who is a feminist. Not a radical militant lesbian feminist, just not one who will let shit get past her without a fight. Having had to police myself a little over the years, I now utterly cringe when I hear Luck Be A Lady or Lady Is A Tramp. Jesus, there is a little range for traditional male/female roles in music, and a little room for some sexist stuff, but criminy... this was pop music in the 40s and 50s? Lady is a TRAMP??? Broads? Dames??? You might forget your manners??? A lady doesn't leave her escort/ it isn't fair, it isn't nice/ a lady doesn't wander all over the room/ blowing on some other guy's dice???

Even I find these lyrics embarassingly chauvenistic. It's disgusting. I guess I never lived in an era when I could own a woman. Mebbe I missed something. I must be missing something, but then again, I have chosen to forego the cigars and martinis too. I am listening to LBALT and it just sounds like he is some slave owner or something. I have seen that Mel Gibson movie What Women Want where Mel decided he wanted to be a total pig of a male, and the only music to provide the soundtrack was Sinatra. I guess that was what helped me make the connection. Compared to today's misogynistic rap, Sinatra is just tame, sort of twee, really. But remember, he has been deified, and these songs are canonized into pop music. I guess that means there will be some gangsta rap songs that will be included eventually.

No wonder I totally missed the boat as a musician. I wasn't sexist enough.

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