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Monday, 01 December
The Fevered Brain Seeks Release

Hello hello party people! Did you wake up this morning--after not misbehaving the night before--feeling as if jackals had gnawed on your bones in the night? As if perhaps Morpheus shat in your ears while you slept? As if your throat was under Panzer attack? No? Then, sadly for you, you did not wake up in the grips of a delightful cold. I welcome colds. They make me feel . . . pretty. Which is to say, pretty fucking awful. Which makes for good character work; this way, if I ever have to play some terrible role, like for instance Willy Loman, I can use my "sense memory" to recall this sensation, and bring it to life onstage thusly: Playing Willy Loman is exactly like coming down with a dreadful cold, in that I thoroughly despise the work of Arthur Miller. And then I will get reviews like, "Skot Kurruk's performance as Willy Loman is as appealing a spectacle as Bea Arthur's moldy truss." And that's how you grow.

I'm sure you can't tell that I'm a little foggy. Plus, I can't really sleep, so here I am, talking about Bea Arthur's notional truss, which is troubling on so many levels, that I'm going to just move on.

The wife and I had a nice Thanksgiving, as we just had a few friends over who had nothing better to do; in other words, we cooked turkey for our loser friends. Dish up, losers! It's either this or Taco Bell!

Oh, not really. They're not losers; they're just nice people whose families hate them and don't want them stealing their jewelry. Although one of our guests did, in fact, steal some jewelry. This friend, whom we'll call C., showed up with some ugly lesions under his lip. I could have handled this two ways: One, ignore them and pass the evening; or Two, get it out of the way immediately. Because I'm a schmuck, I went with the latter.

"Hey, C."

"Hey."

"So . . . what's with the face?"

"Staph infection."

(Brief pause while Skot summons all reserves of classlessness.)

"Ew."

"Yeah."

"I thought maybe you'd gotten into a fistfight."

"Yeah. That would have been cooler, huh?"

"Oh, well."

"So. I've been admiring your wife's jewelry!"

I brought that all on myself, I guess. C. made off with my whole dowry, except for the milk cow that we keep in the garage.

Later during the weekend--I think it was Saturday--the wife and I found ourselves watching something truly terrible on TV. We (read: I) discovered this wretched program on MTV2 called, ominously, "The 22 Greatest CDs Ever." I unfortunately immediately decided that it was impossible not to watch this horrible spectacle that was about to unfold: What unearthly kind of list was this going to be?

It turned out to be the Ragnarok of "best of" lists. What followed was something that could only have been conceived of by The Situationists after a long cough syrup bender. It combined staggeringly obvious choices (Nevermind) with purely surreal choices (Crazysexycool, Rhythm Nation) with . . . choices so strange and left-field that one suspects that they were derived from the sacrifice of animals (Born in the USA, easily the oldest album on the list, but where did that come from?, to say nothing of, say, The Foo Fighters. THE FOO FIGHTERS? I defy anyone to tell me that they have listened to a Foo Fighters album at any point after six months of its release. It simply can't be done.)

There were some hi-larious nods to the barely-fringe: Pretty Hate Machine was in there somewhere, which was adorable; I'm always glad to see Nine Inch Trent beat out The Who or The Beatles. Also making a showing was the obligatory, cred-establishing Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, whose enduring legacy is that only fourteen people ever listened to it when it was released, a wretchedly small number that has now in 2003 been increased to nineteen people.

But the number one pick was the real deal, the supremely unstable isotope in the entire baffling pop periodic chart that was being mapped out: Jagged Little Pill.

Number One.

Babies in the Sudan wept precious tears. Sultans in Brunei penitently shopped at Wal-Mart. Welsh people suddenly became comprehensible. Nothing made sense any more (and somewhere in Seattle, Skot morosely stared at his CD collection and noted two Morrissette CDs, prompting a sudden urge to recklessly drink denatured alcohol).

It's been a weird weekend. I'm trying to blame everything on the worrisome cold. Or maybe C., when I wasn't looking, maliciously rubbed his staph-infected face on my turkey. Or maybe . . . maybe . . . maybe Garbage really is one of the best 22 CDs ever made. I'm so confused.

I'll just store this up until, inevitably, I find myself playing Willy Loman.


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

goddamn that's harsh. set your tv on fire. and those alanis cds too.

Comment number: 003960   Posted by: nick on December 1, 2003 01:30 AM from IP: 68.89.157.172

I want to know...it was the greatest 22 CD's of all time according to WHO? What schmuck gets the honor of compiling these worthless lists? And why is his/her opinion so important that they get a whole show on MTV2? If I even tried to tell ANYONE my favorite 22 CDs of all time, chances are I would be in a fistfight. And then get a staph infection on my bloody lip.

Comment number: 003961   Posted by: Stacey on December 1, 2003 07:54 AM from IP: 129.106.21.180

"Jagged Little Pill?" Oh my. That makes baby-Jesus cry, I'm sure of it.

Comment number: 003962   Posted by: dave on December 1, 2003 07:57 AM from IP: 12.109.16.140

*helpfully sets Skot ablaze*

Comment number: 003963   Posted by: avogadro on December 1, 2003 08:18 AM from IP: 24.75.116.130

I have an old Foo Fighter's CD in my cd player right this second. But in the top 22? Baffling.

Jagged Little Pill as #1 completely demolishes all credibility though. I second the baby-Jesus crying.

Comment number: 003964   Posted by: Kimberly on December 1, 2003 09:20 AM from IP: 148.107.3.20

Gah. List season is upon us. Somewhere, some sadist is compiling a list of the year's best lists. His assistant torturer is readying a list of the top five best critiques of list lists. All this will be followed by a review of list list critiques. I choose to stay drunk this December.

Comment number: 003965   Posted by: weremonkey on December 1, 2003 10:05 AM from IP: 64.33.204.47

i'm sorry, am i the only one walking away in a state of bafflement that there's anyone (especially an actor) that hates arthur miller? i just don't understand. were you beaten or molested or something during a performance of "the crucible"? how does this happen?
i third the horrificness of alanis being #1 in anything. at all.

Comment number: 003966   Posted by: candice on December 1, 2003 04:11 PM from IP: 199.106.86.2

Duh. "C" = "Arthur Miller".

Comment number: 003967   Posted by: TheBrad on December 2, 2003 12:36 PM from IP: 216.114.64.26

i think the list was voted on by mtv viewers..and obviously "jagged little pill" hit a chord with a lot of them.

how many of yall have even listened to the cd?? the entire thing?? thank you.

Comment number: 003968   Posted by: theJakes on December 26, 2003 09:41 AM from IP: 24.167.90.43

what is the list, can u list it. damn i said list again

Comment number: 003969   Posted by: on December 30, 2003 08:13 PM from IP: 141.153.164.208

What, no Soul Coughing?

Comment number: 003970   Posted by: Todd Derscheid on January 18, 2004 09:04 AM from IP: 24.238.147.175

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