7-5-2008 Video flapdoodle

I just read on a long-defunct, but now resuscitated local blog fast destined for the overcrowded local blog recycling bin that Home Rule is coming to Luzerne County.


And how’s that supposed to work? We’ll do what we always do, we’ll make a lot of noise about Home Rule and then hope and wait for someone else to pick up the anathematic political ball and run with it? Yeah, that’ll work. What starts with a J and ends with an A, an S and yet another S?

Off to the NEPA Blogs graveyard for this one.


My vacation is getting short, but it’s been a great week, being that the grandkids and their parents made the long trek from Tennessee. I was subjected to the goodbye hugs and kisses earlier today, and a really big part of me really wanted to ball like an emotional girlie.

Long story short, I miss the hell out of them and a week just isn’t enough for me. I’m happy for them. I’m happy that they have a wonderful life far, far away from here. I’m happy with my daughter’s choice of soul mates. I’m happy watching the steady progress my grandkids are making. But I want them to come home. Call me totally selfish, but that’s where I’m at. A week here and there will do little more than make me wish that Congress mandates that weeks as we know them run much longer than they currently do.

With that whined, it really has been a great week. We hit the streets on the elongated bicycle. We took in the new playground at Kirby Park once again. We ate, we swam, we drank, we bitched, we laughed and we figured out why leftists make absolutely zero sense. We tried as hard as we possibly could to blow a few fingers off, we were paid a friendly visit by a guy who gets paid to carry a gun and we saw the numerous pictures generated up there by the Ice Lakes. Or was it Ice Ponds? Got me, I just stick the memory card in the USB port and go with the flow.

My point? Truth is, I ain’t got one. The week that took so painfully long to get here--the joyous blur--is already over. I’m equal parts happy and sad. And last I checked, their ain’t no known remedy for what makes one healthy and ill at the same time, save for heroin. Long whine short, money’s good, but family’s better.

Oh, yeah, and today is the 20th anniversary of my Mother’s death. I miss her more than I thought I could ever miss anyone, and the guilt still burns like a white-hot cattle prod pressed against my flesh. But there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it, so why fuss? It could have been worse, my brother could still be alive, meaning he’d be calling me today and trying to convince me to join he and my sister as part of their yearly pilgrimage to St. Mary’s cemetery for the big sob fest. Never went. Not even once. If what I really wanted was a good, deliberate cry, I’d pour a six-pack of Rolling Rock cans down the storm sewer. Never did. Not even once.

Although, even though he’s no longer around to endlessly pick on out of sheer boredom, somehow, my Brother had me laughing my long-dormant family jewels off just yesterday. And here’s why. Remembering “history back” via Youtube.

Whether I deserved him or not, Ray was my television guide. Ray was my TV Guide that took a lickin’, but kept on tickin.’ Yes, at all hours of the day, practically every day, he’d call me and make me aware of what movies and television shows I just had to see. And right now.

Needless to say, unless his uninvited previews had something to do with the New York Giants, the Atlanta Braves, or somewhat popular music, they’d go for not. Sure, I’d tell him I was going to follow up on his excitedly delivered leads, but I rarely if ever did follow up on any of them. He just never fully understood that that dreaded and oft-hated video advertising box was and continues to be about as important to me as is the fast-dying hippie generation that practically destroyed my blessed country.

Mark, you gotta see this!




But in very late 1999, maybe early 2000, I received a call from Ray like none other before it. He was shouting into his phone. He was almost panting. His excitement level was heretofore unseen and unheard of by your not-so-modest internet author.

Mark!…Mark!…you gotta see this movie! That was you!! Back in the seventies, that was you, man!!!

I gave him the usual empty promise to see this thing through, but, admittedly, this one had my interest level heightened as never before. What the hell? Why was he practically climbing through the phone to tell me about this? That was me? Back in the seventies? Yeah, I know, I was an unrepentant asshole back in those days. I was the asshole that probably broke the mold. And some say I’ve seriously regressed since those heady days. So? So what? What makes this one uniquely special, or personally descriptive?

So I went and watched it. I went out and rented it, that movie…Detroit Rock City. And I have to admit, without a fault, that was indeed me back in the seventies. Not one of the four main characters, mind you. It was more of a collective mindset kind of thing. Idiots all to the very end. That sort of thing.

Truth be told, I have splattered slices of pizza off of the windshields of vehicles owned by those who were suspected of combing their scant few chest hairs. Okay, I did nail my sister’s copy of Saturday Night Fever to her bedroom door. Yeah, she saved for months on end to buy it, and, yeah, I ruined that offensive piece of black vinyl. But, can you blame me? The Bee Gees?

Is their no rock ‘n’ roll god?

Um, the car chases? Wrecks and rollovers? Perhaps. It depends on who’s asking and whether they’re wearing a badge or not. Foul language? Bad, bad clothing? The occasional person in desperate need of being hurt getting hurt? Guilty as charged.

And, it’s absolutely true, I was the guy who was married in a t-shirt reading, “Disco is a communist plot to undermine man’s faith in music.” True story. Pictures to prove it, too. And, no, I’m not totally demented. I mean, it wasn’t intended to dispirit all men being of the Jolly Green Giant with distortion pedals variety. Just the all-knowing western, rock ’n’ roll men like me. Men, by the way, who couldn’t shave just yet.

Anywho, here’s the trailer, here’s what got Ray to snapping out, a very short snippet from my life in those days.

Detroit Rock City Trailer (1:25)

And it needs to be stated that whoever it was that wrote the screenplay for this movie was inspired by none other than me. Completely unaccredited, I might add.

“A hunk of fu>kin’ cheese” (4:34)

And then, the then hottest band in the land: KISS!!!

Detroit Rock City, from the movie of the same name (3:00)

I still got my Army field jacket that was given to me by a three-time Vietnam veteran. I still got my powder blue jean jacket with the huge KISS logo embroidered across the back of it. And I still got every one of my KISS records. I still remember what happened at the Paramount and at the Host Motel afterwards. Oh, yeah, and I still take a keen interest in making disco fans suffer.

Whatever, man. I’m an American. And as an American, I’m free to be as completely stupid as I see fit and for as long as I see fit. What’s not to like with this enduring program?

You wanted the best and you got it!!!

Unfortunately, I ain’t it.

Fourth of July ‘08 at Kirby Park

Watch for the Smiley faces.