Hopped, not hip.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Rainy rainy day here in the ATL, an election day (one runoff race), a day where Sam and I (accompanied by brother James) walked to our library (our polling place) in a light rain and returned in a really, really substantial downpour. The last third of our walk was what I think Sammy would call a marcha forcada, a forced walk through flooded streets and cracked Virginia-Highland sidewalks, slapped by drooping damp treebranches as we slipped on once-beautiful autumn leaves and water, water everywhere.

But we’re all safe and dry and warm now and our civic duty was done (later, the butchers at Whole Foods seemed amazed that there was an election today: “who’s it for? A judge? Judge Judy?”)…and I’m winding down our Tuesday, thinking about the mixed media on my Mac screen.

I’ve been watching a DVD set of SCTV–the first season of their hilarious ‘network 90’ broadcasts from the late 1970s. These folks have always inspired and entertained me in a way that Saturday Night Live never quite could, and their special breed of daring included isolating themselves in Edmonton, Alberta with very little budget–and in that fine “hey let’s put on a show” tradition I enjoyed at TBS, they did. They used television to parody and tell truths about television, and they did it at a time when (let me tell you) television was hard.

Also flowing through my G5 (going through the multiple steps necessary to grab a streaming RealAudio file and turn it into a playable MP3 file–oh, don’t ask) are several episodes of Pop Vultures, a program for Public Radio produced nominally by Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Productions, but really it’s a buncha music fans in their twenties sitting ’round talking–apparently in bulk, and then through the miracle of some inspired editing, it becomes a fresh, original set of conversations about music and our emotional attachments and didactic conclusions about same. It’s conducted by a Drew Barrymoreish young writer named Kate Sullivan, and once they’ve trimmed most of the “you know”s and “like”s out of it and muffled some of the “sh(mmf)t”s and “f(mmuh)ck”s, it’s really quite listenable.

The feeling I get overhearing excited chat about the Black Stripes and OutKast and what the hell breakbeats are reminds me of the pangs I sagged from when my fellow WGDR disk jockeys would talk music and it was clear that I just wasn’t in their league.

But I knew crappy music way better than they did. And see where that got me!

So I’m adrift between the old masters of SCTV and the young Vultures of Pop, and the rain might be picking up again outside.

Time to say goodnight.