“Won’t someone please love me for who I am?”

-Mark Maynard

on parenting

This is a headline from today’s Wall Street Journal. I haven’t read the article, but I thought the title warranted sharing.

“Genes May Determine Which Abused Kids Will ‘Grow Up Bad'”

If I’m reading that correctly, some kids you can just beat and beat and beat and they’ll never go bad. They’re like bananas that never bruise!

You know, it’s just like the old saying says, “You just can’t beat the good out of a child.”

(Read this in an imaginary Dr. voice.) “You know, Mrs. Smith, I can do a little test right here in the office and it’ll tell you in five minutes whether or not you can beat little Timmy here without fearing repercussions at a later date. Some kids you can just beat ’em almost to death and they’ll grow up to be fine, well-adjusted adults. Other kids, you beat ’em a few times, you burn ’em with maybe two or three cigarettes and they’re ruined for good.”

What’s next in the Wall Street Journal, “Rape doesn’t necessarily adversely affect an employee’s productivity,” or maybe, “It’s OK to fuck 1 in 4 babies!”

mr show, meet mr shake and vomit

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here, but Sub Pop took out a full-page color ad in the upcoming issue of Crimewave for a David Cross comedy record they’ve got coming out later this month. When they first told us, we didn’t have any idea who David Cross was. That’s nothing new though. Except for an Iggy Pop ad we ran once for Virgin, I don’t think we’ve heard of many of the folks whose stuff we’ve advertised in Crimewave. Most of it is, quite frankly, garbage that these big media conglomerates are trying to shove down the throats of the sheep-like young of America.

Actually, maybe the stuff we advertise is OK. I shouldn’t blurt things out that I don’t mean. In truth, our advertisers are for the most part good, honorable people who are just doing their jobs. Sometimes the artists that they’re pushing don’t look interesting to me personally, but I certainly don’t think they’re evil. (“Back-peddle, Mark. Back-peddle!”) It’s not like we run ads for Britney Spears and her ilk. It could be a hell of a lot worse, I suppose.

(OK, Linette read that first part and reminded me that we’ve run ads for really good stuff including Cat Power, the Magnetic Fields, Belle and Sebastian, and a whole lot more. I was just wrong and stupid when I wrote that. Please forgive me. We have great advertisers and the things they are selling are right in line with the interests of our well-educated, well-employed readership.)

So, anyway, we get told by SubPop that they want to run a David Cross ad and then we start to ask around to find out who the hell he is. I believe that I mentioned it here in my blog and someone wrote to tell me who he was. David Cross was apparently, I was instructed, one of the guys behind the well-received, former HBO show “Mr. Show.” Of course, I should have known that, but I didn’t. I’ve only really been able to afford HBO the past few years, and their show must have preceded that. Any mention of things that happened between the end of Fraggle Rock and the beginning of the Sopranos is lost on me.

At any rate, we took the ad and we read up on David and we got interested. We liked what we read enough to suggest to SubPop that we would like to interview David, should there ever be an opportunity. They said that he’d be in Ann Arbor on September 26 and that they would try to work something out. (Apparently he and his partner, Bob Odenkirk, are touring now with a show called, “Mr. Show Live! Bob and David in Hooray for America!!!“)

The more we read, the more I got jealous of David’s career and the more I plotted to take his life.

…That was a joke. I just thought I’d through it in for the benefit of Steve Manning at SubPop, who I think may read this blog on occasion… Just kidding Steve, I promise. The only danger he’d be in with me would involve my violent, nervous shaking. I might jab him with a kneecap or maybe vomit on him, but I don’t anticipate anything worse than that happening to him.

So, we sold the ad, we started reading about Mr. Show and then we bought the first two seasons on DVD, in hopes of getting up to speed on the phenomenon that we’d apparently missed… The shows, by the way, are very good.

I don’t want for this story to drag on forever so I’ll cut right to it…

1) I’ve been undone by my greed. I waited so long to get free tickets to the show though the guy I know at SubPop that I lost my chance to buy tickets. I just called TicketMaster and I was told that they were sold out. I knew I should have called a few weeks ago when I first heard of the “Hooray for America” tour. I’m a fucking idiot. Now, if I do meet David, I’ll have to further humiliate myself by begging for him to smuggle me into the theater in a duffle bag.

2) The ad for his record just showed up today. The record is called, “Shut Up, You Fucking Crybaby!” My concern is that our printer in Indiana won’t print it. In the past, he’s drawn black spots over nipples that appeared in a cartoon we ran about performance art. He said that his employees found the images offensive. We put up with it because he’s a lot less expensive than the competition though. I’m afraid that a cover that blasts the word “FUCKING” might spell the end of our relationship and send us to a printer that will change about $2,000 more for the job. I want to run the fucking ad though, so we’ll probably take the hit. That fucking makes me crazy. I’m going to have to shell out two grand because a Christian printer doesn’t want to soil his press with the word “fucking.” It’s like hiring the Taliban to oversee a local production of the Vagina Monologues. (That, by the way is a great idea.)

One option would be to just send it to the printer and see what he says. If he calls me to complain, I can just respond with, “Shut up, you fucking baby.” If nothing else, that would give me an interesting story to tell… Like the time another printer told me that she was tempted, after having printed Crimewave, to drag it outside and set it on fire.

Wish us luck.

One last thing, if you should have any dirt on David Cross, or if you know any seemingly trivial bits of information about him, please let me know (remember, “nothing is too trivial for Crimewave”). I’d like to go into the interview well-armed with material, and not just rely on the booze to make things go smoothly.

As for the interview, we still haven’t had it confirmed yet, but I have a feeling that it’ll happen. I also have a feeling that I’ll either piss on myself or vomit from anxiety. While I’m used to interviewing people, I’m used to doing it on the down-sides of their careers. I find it a lot more intimidating to talk with them when they’re at the fucking pinnacle… On this same subject, believe me when I tell you that there will come a day when Gwyneth Paltrow will be happy to sit down with me and Linette. It won’t be for another 40 years, but it will happen. Everyone comes down, and, when they do, they’re usually a hell of a lot nicer. (And, yes, I just equated David Cross with Gwyneth Paltrow.

For more information on David, check out his new site, BobAndDavid.com.


Now that I’ve watched two episodes of the new TV show “Push, Nevada,” I feel as though I’m able to review it.

“Push, Nevada” is not as good as “Twin Peaks.”

It looks to me as though it was made by someone who once said to himself while watching Twin Peaks, “Hey, I could do that.”

Well, they couldn’t.

It’s like if Ritchie Cunningham set out to be the Fonz. He could dress like the Fonz and he might even be able to talk like the Fonz, but he could never really pull it off. You can’t just make something cool. You can’t put a racing stripe on a Yugo and expect it to go any faster. You know what I’m saying? You’ve either got it or you don’t.

Push, Nevada is burdened by the weight of all the trappings of “cool” and “weird” that have been thrust on it. You can see this little frame lurching along beneath this mass of gratuitiously quirky characters, clever camera angles and weird, unexplainable events. It just doesn’t work. On top of all of this, the washed out video effect that they employ throughout just makes the show look cheaply built.

The one good thing about the show is the guy in the lead role. He’s kind of mix between Chris Isaac and Crispin Glover, and that’s a pretty good combination in my book. Unfortunately, while he’s a strong enough actor to carry the role, he can’t carry the whole show. Everyone else, with the possible exception of the fellow from “Homicide,” who unfortunately is already dead at this point, is a caricature. I am, however, drawn to the voice of the female lead. Sure, her seductive whisper gets awfully old after a few minutes, but I find it sexy. I’m not sure how they do it, but I think that there’s probably some technology behind it. By that I mean that I don’t think it’s just her voice on her own. I think they’re doing something with it, like boosting up the “sexy.”

So, I don’t love the show. Quite the contrary, I feel offended by its calculated cool. I’ll probably keep watching it though. While it’s not great, it’s better than most stuff on this season.

It just makes me feel kind of guilty and somewhat ill that this is what’s become of David Lynch’s vision over the past dozen years, as it’s been watered-down for the masses and as production budgets have been cut. It really is the poor man’s “Twin Peaks,” pitched to a not-quite-literate MTV generation.

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