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Live-Blogging Mad Men: Here Is New York?

Earlier today on another blog far, far away Blue Girl suggested that the last episode of Man Men (the best in my opinion) reminded her of far away New York and made her wish she was here. I didn’t see it – even the famed “New Amsterdam” episode (the only other one I actively enjoyed, outside of this blogging crowd) didn’t quite get there in terms of its Gothamicity. The whole thing seems confined to studio sets, and a bit too clean for an active represenation.

Then too, the accents don’t work because they’re basically not there. Not is the stance, the attitude, the posture. Any episode of, say, Sesame Street seems much more New Yawkish than Mad Men. Bugs Bunny too. And then there are all the TV shows gone before that were set in New York and its environs: The Odd Couple, the Dick Van Dyke Show, All in the Family (and Maude and The Jeffersons), Car 54, Seinfeld, The Cosby Show, I Love Lucy and the Honeymooners. Some filmed in studios here, most filmed in studios there – meaning California. And yet evocative.

Mad Men is too laconic for New York, too Steve McQueen and not enough Archie Bunker – who, after all, sat first in his chair in Queens just a decade later. Ironic, of course, that the rabid anti-Semitism portrayed in 1960 New York shuts its place-in-time cultural consciousness off from the dominant Jewish-inflected humor of the city. It’s a loss.
Continue reading “Live-Blogging Mad Men: Here Is New York?”

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Dead Rock Stars: Heaven’s Best Pick-Up Band (Or Hell’s)

Saw a headline right out of The Onion today: Rock Stars More Likely to Die Early. Yes, it was an actual study conducted by academics in England, the blockbuster follow-up to their famed Drunks More Likely to Suffer From Liver Maladies work. No kidding around, this was a real study:

A study of more than 1,000 mainly British and North American artists, spanning the era from Elvis Presley to rapper Eminem, found they were two to three times more likely to suffer a premature death than the general population.

Between 1956 and 2005 there were 100 deaths among the 1,064 musicians examined by researchers at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University.

Turns out that rock stars are “at a disproportionate risk of alcohol- and drug-related deaths.” Color me gob-smacked. But it was a good excuse to start a list. The ten best rockers to depart before their times. No oldies: Carl Perkins, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, even Jerry Garcia (53), Roy Orbison (52), George Harrison (58), Johnny Ramone (56), and John Entwhistle (whose coke-inspired demise came at 58) and the like all had their time. So, sub-50, taken from us. In their prime. In order. Here goes:

1. John Lennon
2. Elvis Presley
3. Otis Redding
4. Johnny Thunders
5. Duane Allman
6. Keith Moon
7. Buddy Holly
8. Kurt Cobain
9. Jimi Hendrix
10. Gram Parsons

Elvis is the only guy (and they’re all guys though Nico almost made it) over 40. He still had so much to give. Who’s on your list in the little outfit I call, The Great Hereafter?