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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why Didn't DNA Hear This Before?

DNA has liked the artist Toni Basil for a long time. If you listened to music in the 1980's, then you couldn't help but be beaten over the head by the song "Mickey," by her.


She was made annoying by radio and MTV overplay, but "Mickey," a cover of an earlier British song by the group Racer, called "Kitty," was more subversive than we could have guessed, since we were so young and innocent back then. Toni Basil was cool to DNA because of her street and film cred, (since the 1960's) and her relationship artistically and personally with DEVO. There weren't many women who were spudboys, ever, but she was. DEVO personnel played on her first album and penned three of the songs she sang, including "You Gotta Problem," "Be Stiff," and "Space Girls." She was in a B-movie slasher called "Slaughterhouse Rock" which featured several songs by DEVO.

No, don't thank DNA yet for this trip down memory lane. She gets so much cooler. The other day, DNA was listening to the song, "Mickey" again in an 80's playlist, and discovered what he always, subconsciously, knew was there. So, you have just heard the song, if you played the youtube link, and DNA presents the lyrics below:

Mickey, by Mike Chapmann and Nicky Chinn, adapted by Toni Basil

Oh Mickey, you're so fine
You're so fine, you blow my mind, hey Mickey, hey Mickey
Oh Mickey, you're so fine
You're so fine, you blow my mind, hey Mickey, hey Mickey
Oh Mickey, you're so fine
You're so fine, you blow my mind, hey Mickey...

Hey Mickey
You've been around all night and that's a little long
You think you've got the right but I think you've got it wrong
Why can't we say goodnight? So you can take me home, Mickey

Cause when you say you will, it always means you won't
You're givin' me the chills, baby, please baby don't
Every night you still leave me all alone, Mickey

Oh Mickey, what a pity, you don't understand
You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand
Oh Mickey, you're so pretty, can't you understand
It's guys like you, Mickey
Ooh what you do Mickey, do Mickey
Don't break my heart, Mickey

Hey Mickey
Now when you take me by the... who's... ever gonna know
Every time you move I let a little more show
There's something you can use, so don't say no, Mickey

So come on and give it to me anyway you can
Anyway you want to do it, I'll take it like a man
Oh please baby, please don't leave me in this jam Mickey

Refrain1:
Oh Mickey, what a pity, you don't understand
You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand
Oh Mickey, you're so pretty, can't you understand
It's guys like you, Mickey
Ooh what you do Mickey, do Mickey
Don't break my heart, Mickey

The song doesn't get interesting until the last verse. Remember, this song was originally about "Kitty," and if you just let your mind wander down double entendre lane where rock and roll lives, you understand what the song was about. So here is the last verse again, reading between the lines with DNA.

Hey Mickey
Now when you take me by the... who's... ever gonna know
DNA humbly submits that when she says take me, she means biblically.
Every time you move I let a little more show
There's something you can use, so don't say no, Mickey ......A rubber! She's telling the dork to use a rubber and he'll get laid! Notice in the video as she says this, she brings her hands together and prays that he will slip a jimmy hat on.

So come on and give it to me anyway you can Okay, are you ready?
Anyway you want to do it, I'll take it like a man If you were having sex, and she says she'll take it like a man, just what does that mean? Ass fucking. She's talking about weapons of ass destruction. How else do you take it like a man, sexually, if you are referring to getting fucked? Like a man? In the ass. Also, notice in the video, she does the one-person make out move here, in which her arms wrap around herself and go over her body.
Oh please baby, please don't leave me in this jam Mickey Or, Don't be a douchebag, ya litte bitch, it's my turn to ride the baloney pony.

The more DNA listens to it, the more he is convinced that Toni Basil converted the irony of a song about Kitty, and made it a song about the boy being hesitant to engage sexually, and then spelled out just how open she would be to anything he wanted to do. In other words, the cheerleaders in the video, and a generation of girls grew up singing and dancing to a song about getting F'd in the A.

This is why Toni Basil is cool. Subvert, subtlely. DNA's hat is off to you.

Happy Thanksgiving, What Are You Getting Me For Christmas?

When your rude-ass monkey-in-law asks that, turn the other cheek. And the rest of your body, and walk away. Pick up your Thanksgiving dish you brought, and give thanks that you got the hell out of there. Then, on your way home, stop by your local Media Whore big box outlet and reward yourself for suffering the ignorant around you by doing a couple of things. First, go buy The Family, by Jeff Sharlet. It will scare and sicken you, and put the spotlight on religion this holiday season, which should put you in the proper mood. Afterwards, you may really need something to listen to which will restore your faith in humanity, or at least the music biz. Go buy Them Crooked Vultures, one of more interesting, accessible, and unplayed albums of 2009, but DNA thinks this will change soon.

Them's DNA's suggestions this Thanksgiving. Of course, you may choose to get drunk and sleep with your cousin's wife instead. Either way.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It Only Takes Eight Years....

As is the custom, when I talk about the anniversaries of my dad's or mom's deaths, I'm not DNA, I'm just me.

Eight years ago, October 28th, 2001, my dad died from an aggressive brain tumor. Every year, I have attempted to recall some memory or story that would give you an idea of how much my dad meant to me. This year, I was discussing with my wife that on the actual anniversary day, I completely forgot it was the anniversary. I had thought about dad passing away in October all October, but it wasn't until Halloween that I remembered that I forgot!

So, eight years is what it takes. Kind of like the answer to the tootsie pop question. Eight years is what it takes to allow a memory of an important thing to occupy less of a prominent position in a person's mind. At least for me. As I was talking to my wife, and trying to think of a story to tell you in this blog, she told a story about dad and how he acted with my son Carl, which was more personal than she could have known, because her recollection of how dad acted with Carl were so similar to one of my own memories of how my dad acted with me that it freaked me out a little. There in the car, as our family was motoring across the river Sunday after church, I was brought back in time as surely as if H.G. Welles were writing my story.

In the car, I say that I just realized I forgot the anniversary of my dad's death. We discussed it for a bit, and one of my daughters say that it's not fair that they didn't get to know Grandpa, but Carl did. Carl doesn't say much. It still bothers him more than he is comfortable talking about. Lara and I talk about Carl and my dad together, and Lara remembers how we never used to make a bed for Carl when we visited the grandparents, because Carl and dad used to stay up late and watch cartoons together, and Carl would curl up in the space at the end of the couch behind the crick of dad's knees as he lay on the couch. He would get one of the afghans folded nicely over the cushions of the couch and use that for his blanket, and slowly drift off to sleep sometime before dawn.

While we described this, Carl seems surprised because he didn't remember staying up late with Grandpa like that. Then, a light dawns in his mind, and he says that he remembers watching a cartoon that looked like a talk show with a superhero on it (Space Ghost Coast To Coast), which they did watch very often. He seems glad to recall another memory of his Grandpa, and while he is enjoying a moment or two of his Grandpa's presence, I am transported back 40 years, to the same place.

Though the couch was different, and the TV shows were different, I remember that living room like it was yesterday, those Saturday nights when I would make my way downstairs, unable to sleep, and curl up at the end of the couch. Dad would be home, and so used to working the third shift, that even after a hard day of work at home, he couldn't sleep at night. I would gently step over dad's outstretched legs, and worm my cold little feet behind or under his backside. I would tuck his gnarled old feet under my arm or put them up against my chest, and warm them up. Sometimes he would stir, but sometimes he would act like I wasn't there, and we would stay up and watch bad movies, re-runs of wrestling, or Don Kirschner's Rock Concert on the TV.

I have three very early clear memories, say, from about two to three years of age. The first is going to the hospital when my mom had her hysterectomy. The second was watching the first moon landing on TV. The third was being at home with my dad one time when he was sick (a very, very rare occurrence) and being curled up on the couch with him.

When I look at my son, I see me, my dad, and a line of people back to the origins of humanity. I see sons trusting their fathers and fathers protecting their children and some kernel of that experience surviving in an unbroken bond of what it means to be a father from then until now. I consider it an honor to be entrusted with the duty to keep this bond alive, and in so doing, keep my father, and his father, and those before us alive in thought as well as in deed. Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, this bond is a very real expression of eternal life, and is as tangible in our lives as is the dna of my dad's which I carry in my genes. There is so much of dad in me, and nearly as much in my son.

The gulf of time seems like a very small divide today.