Posts Tagged Nelson Algren
They are Canada’s favorite technical death metal band and now they are set to appear on CBS’ hit television show The Honeymooners. Gorguts, those wild and crazy Quebecean death metallers who burst on the scene in 1993 with their Top 40 hit “Orphans of Sickness”, will become the first band ever to appear on the show. Honeymooners star Jackie Gleason is a huge fan of the band who claims to have listened to the album Obscura over 400 times in a row when it was released. Gleason, who became a fan when Considered Dead was released in 1991, said in a recent interview that no band he knows of “has been able to link the primal, bestial rage in the human soul with such profound, technical craftsmanship.”
The episode titled “Hey, Hey Luc Lemay, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?” was filmed on Monday afternoon in front of a live studio audience. The story is thought to be one of the more experimental Honeymooners episodes, although by no means as surreal as the episode where Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are trapped in the stomach of a moose.
It begins with a knock on the door from a shady, elderly man played by Sir John Gielgud, the elderly British actor known for his stirring performance as the butler in the movie Arthur. Gielgud introduces himself as “Luther” and hands Alice Kramden a box. He tells her she has three wishes once she opens the box, but should be careful what she wishes for.
After the man leaves, Alice and Ralph tear the box open only to find the paw of a monkey with a bow around it. Ralph holds up the paw and wishes for enough money to never have to work again. Suddenly, a box appears on their coffee table. Ralph opens it and is stunned by piles of hundred dollar bills. However, he is appalled to realize that in the box is also the severed head of his neighbor Ed Norton (played by the loveable Art Carney).
In spite of the beheading of Ed, they decide they are glad to have gotten the money and decide to make another wish. This time Alice holds the paw up and wishes that she could get the chance to see Gorguts live for the first time. Immediately, there is a knock on the door and the band appears. They run around the house smashing the furniture and throwing food at each other. Singer Luc Lemay knocks Ralph to the ground and tries to force him to swallow mustard until he chokes. Meanwhile, guitarist Kevin Hufnagel destroys Ralph’s favorite bowling trophy by attempting to play a solo from “Rottenatomy” using the trophy as a guitar pick. Finally, Alice has had enough. She holds up the paw and screams, “I wish Gorguts would go away!!!!!”
With that, the band disappears and the archangel Gabriel appears on top of the dining room table blowing his horn. Ralph, covered in mustard, launches into a recital of a Willie Loman monologue from Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” while Alice begins to grow a teeth out of the side of her face. The episode ends with Ed’s head rolling onto the floor and the entire cast, including the head, launching into an impromptu version of the song “Officer Krupke” from the musical West Side Story.
Gorguts appearance on The Honeymooners is not the first appearance of a metal band on a major television show. Who could forget the time Anthrax rocked out on Married With Children? Or the time Immolation played “Into Everlasting Fire” with Ricky Ricardo’s band on I Love Lucy? Gorguts’ appearance on The Honeymooners is certain to rank as one of the most entertaining and important moments in television history.
The LeBron Hate Machine has officially been cranked up to 10. Welcome to The Narrative, sir! Here’s how the next five years of your life are probably going to go. Most of the mob will hate you today, that is for certain. They’ll say you’re no Kobe, they’ll say you don’t have Nowitzki’s heart, they invoke the ever looming specter of MJ. They tell you you’ll never be as great as the ones that they remember. You’re not old school. You’re not committed enough. You’re arrogant. You called your own press conference. You left the folks in Cleveland high and dry. You think you are bigger than the game. You need to be taught a lesson.
This will go on for a little while. Then, you will win. The Narrative will shift. You’ve learned your lesson. You’ve been humbled. You went back to basics. You did things the right way. You overcame the odds. You have been redeemed. You are a champion.
Once you’ve seen the puppet show once or twice, the strings become remarkably annoying. We’ve done this dance so many times before. Remember when Kobe was an obnoxious, spoiled kid who didn’t know his place? Remember when Dirk was a soft-boiled choke artist? Heck, do you remember when Muhammad Ali was a dangerous, radical anti-American draft dodger? What did they do to rehabilitate their image? They won.
Redemption awaits anyone who can help his or her team score more points then the other team when the big spotlight is blaring. Redemption is a pretty easy formula. Time plus rings. Not exactly calculus. If you doubt the truth of what I’m saying, just watch the lovefest that is waiting just down the road if Tiger or Michael Vick get to the Promised Land. It makes you wonder what OJ could have done if he still had a good 40 time.
Maybe this time it will be different. LeBron has an opportunity to do something that has never been done. There is one trick left that they haven’t seen. They need to be introduced to the true Man in Flight. The Running Man. The person who finally takes the Narrative by the throat and squeezes. LeBron James can become the first Post-Rational Superstar.
At first, LeBron would have to follow some very well-travelled ground. He could start on the path that trailblazers like Dennis Rodman and Charles Barkley journeyed before him. He could become the zany, outspoken Bad Guy. The Heel. The difference between these guys and a Post-Rational Superstar is that they stopped there. They found their niche and they road it to the bank. What I am suggesting would be far more radical.
Next season LeBron starts the show by cursing at a few fans, hanging with some edgy celebs, coloring his hair blue, punching a reporter, whatever. Once the mob gets used to that, he flips the script. He becomes a highly pious, deeply caring man. Donates a year’s salary to charity. Gets photographed helping an old lady across the street. Donates a kidney. Whatever gets them to start loving him again. Then, when everyone is comfortable, he slams on the brakes! LeBron joins the Communist Party, starts quoting radical Islamic clerics, gets a backwards cross tattooed into his forehead, and becomes every red-blooded American sports fan’s worst nightmare.
Once there have been enough Bill O’Reilly interviews calling him a monster, he flips it again. Begs the forgiveness of the mob. Saves a child from a burning building. Donates the other kidney. Starts a mission in Peru that saves victims of toxic megacolon. Gets himself photographed with the Pope. Figures out a way to cut unemployment below 5 percent. Captures and kills an Al-Queda leader. Once they get comfortable with the New LeBron…..BAM! He joins the Church of Satan, projectile vomits on a referee and pour yaks blood over his head after each win. He keeps flipping and flipping and flipping until people want to get off the ride.
And here’s the best part, LeBron….No matter what you do, if you win, they will find it in their hearts to rationalize your actions. They don’t see you for your game or your stunning personality or your greed or your kind heart or your selfishness. They aren’t watching you at all; they are watching what you represent. Your biggest fans just love you because they want to be associated with your victories and your worst enemies just want to take some measure of credit for your defeat.
Turn the mirror on the mob. Let them see them see the carnival in all of its venal absurdity. Don’t let them rationalize you. Run The Narrative off of a cliff. When they say they’ve had enough, give them more. Make every icon equally worthless. Destroy any logical assumption that can be made about you or anyone who comes after you. Give them everything and nothing all at once. Confuse them to death. Leave nothing standing. The one thing a superstar can still provide the sports world with is an understanding of how insane its basic cultural assumptions and beliefs are. And the best part is, if you win, they’ll still love you.