Sunday, June 25, 2006

punk rock girl, or travel is so broadening

from the Dead Milkmen, circa 1988:

"Punk Rock Girl"
One Saturday I took a walk to Zipperhead
I met a girl there and she almost knocked me dead

Punk rock girl
Please look at me
Punk rock girl
What do you see?
Let's travel round the world
Just you and me punk rock girl

I tapped her on the shoulder
And said do you have a beau?
She looked at me and smiled and said she did not know

Punk rock girl
Give me a chance
Punk rock girl
Let's go slam dance
We'll dress like Minnie Pearl
Just you and me punk rock girl

We went to the Philly Pizza Company
And ordered some hot tea
The waitress said well no, we only have it iced
So we jumped up on the table and shouted anarchy
And someone played a Beach Boys song on the jukebox
It it was "California Dreamin"
So we started screamin
On such a winter's day

She took me to her parents for a Sunday meal
Her father took one look at me and he began to squeal

Punk rock girl
It makes no sense
Punk rock girl
Your dad is vice president
Just like the Duke of Earl
Yeah you're for me punk rock girl

there are 2 or 3 more stanzas, but you get the idea. I was reminded of this song and the Milkmen, whom I hadn't thought of in such a long time, when reading a particularly overwrought and purple-prosed letter at Cary Tennis's online column(here) at Salon[subscription or ad read-thru req'd.]. The letter writer wrote about wanting to reconnect with an old flame, and Tennis obliquely questioned his truthfulness and danced around actually answering the question, while (also obliquely) suggesting to the letter writer that he should be more concerned with examining his own psyche and emotional maturity than trying to hook up with his miss 1987. I left 3 responses, only one of them signed, which is admittedly somewhat squirrelly of me. I signed the one referencing the Dead Milkmen's "You'll Dance to Anything"(I got the title wrong and the lyrics slightly wrong):

"I met Andy Warhol at a really chic party."
Blow it out your hairdo, cause you work at Hardee's!"

Because that is how the letter writer came across to me, as narcissistic and foppish, as well as possibly somewhat obsessive. Many people commenting made fun of him, including me, even though others acknowledged the universality of pining for an ex (or an unrequited would-be ex) from days gone by, and I understand this. Several people suggested the letter reminded them of Wharton's Age of Innocence, and one recommended reading Rebecca West's novella "The Return of the Soldier."

Speaking of memory and associations, the 1st Milkmen song I thought of made me think of "Punk Rock Girl", and the wistful idea of a being with a pretty girl who likes to travel, although I'm somewhat less keen on the dressing like Minnie Pearl part. I did a lot of travelling 1965-1974 when I was a kid, but it was hardly my choosing. Then, apart from a week in Florida in '86, Mexico in 1990 and Connecticut in 2000, I've been pretty much stuck in Texas for 32 years. 32 years, less some 4 weeks.

The photo of the Brasile├▒a attending the world cup is from Ole Blue the Heretic. The 7-11 in Taiwan is from, well, I don't remember, but if it's your photo tell me and I'll credit you if it's really yours.

[note: when you have a very low-traffic blog and have stuff to do you might behave as I have here, and post something only partially, meaning to add more stuff later(like the actual text, as is the case here.) I edited these two images, above, putting them together and approximately the same size and the title above, then left this post alone for about 24 hrs. I'm guessing that wouldn't do if I wrote for
The New Republic or Vanity Fair, even only online.

Actually I wonder about that, generally speaking, because I caught an interesting scrubbing ammendation of something online a few hours ago, but more about that in a subsequent post, later this week.]