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for May 1, 2002

The Real We're Keeping It
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love makes a startling confession: this week, Your Parabola was distracted by objects more matte than shiny. Shameful but true. Instead of basking in the sun at Rutgers' Ag Field Day or the New Jersey Folk Festival, heckling awards shows, zoning out at karaoke or rolling her eyes at uninspired guitar bands in clubs, Your Right Angle helped a charming confrere move house. Perhaps "helped" is too strong a word. Perhaps "sipped her drink languidly and hinted, 'You missed a spot'" is more like it. Anyway, a week's work done, and a week's events to brush up on.
Since we're being brutally honest, what in the world could be the lure of ABC-TV's The Bachelor? The migraine-inducing concept: some guy, two dozen women, one diamond ring. What self-respecting person would find anything valuable in viewing, let alone participating? We all know dating blows like Shamu, and filming this accomplishes ... what? You know what I mean: you want a man who'll swim in the gene pool, no matter how shallow, or a woman willing to efface herself on national television? Suppose - just suppose - you're the last gal standing, and your guy's studly exploits have been televised. Picture a wedding night where the attire's less Victoria's Secret and more like a Jacques Cousteau special, with some Teamsters-esque negotiating thrown in.
Hmm. Hmm. No.
On the other hand, rumor has it there's a NASA Channel, complete with bespectacled scientists, chalkboards, brown ties. Your Radius can't wait for a glimpse at the really smart people, for an earful of higher mathematics. In a country that glorifies All Things Vacuous, geniuses need their own cable channel. Think of the possibilities: game shows where contestants calculate their own odds of winning! Fashion tips from people who know their look is entirely irrelevant to problem-solving ability. Sporting events where - wait, let's not finish that sentence. Nerd stereotypes aside, the idea of a NASA Channel is very exciting. Your z-axis loves to watch a skillful mind in motion, and a chance to watch these minds work out how to make thinking sexy for American audiences is almost too much to hope for. Off come the training wheels! It's like the first time you read Slashdot without the assistance of a brainy pre-teen.
Sometimes, it's hard to stay in the present moment. Who can keep her mind on Yancy Butler kicking villains in the head when Spiderman debuts in theaters Friday? Your Indefinable Pi loves surprises, refuses to engage in speculation and maintains one's nerd credentials are in no way suspect without plot gossip. What is the plot? Who is the star? Who generated the effects? Are you kidding? Technology has advanced to the point where Spiderman can look to audiences the way the comic book always looked to fans on the mental movie screen. Instead of working yourself into a lather (however steamy, luxurious, slippery and - uh, never mind), let the film do it. It's a good bet: vivid colors, witty banter, improbable villains, very special special effects. With a possibly lackluster Star Wars episode nightmare looming over the summer, try going to the theater with the attitude we should all adopt regarding music and television, too: thrill me. Moviemakers, take me for a ride and scratch my itch for something smart and funny and sexy and cool. Do it. I dare you.


©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter

Friday, May 29, 2020
Polaris at The Foundry, Philly (POSTPONED)
Connor Bracken & The Mother Leeds Band, Jaron Clemons & The Late Nights, Morningside Lane and more at House Of Independents (POSTPONED TILL AUG 21)
Lucinda Williams at City Winery (Pier 57) (POSTPONED)
Peter Wolf & The Midnight Travelers at Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown NY (POSTPONED)
Bobby Cochran at Paramount Theatre (POSTPONED)
Bobby Bandiera: Runnin Down A Dream at Count Basie Center For The Arts (RESCHEDULED FROM MARCH 13) (POSTPONED)
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ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
The Cribs - Cheat On Me
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Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
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Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
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