Daily Archives: March 17, 2019

Top Ten Songs of 1991

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Hey 3.5 readers.

I’m DJ BQB and I’m spinning the greatest hits of 1991, but it will have to be in your mind because this is a blog post.  Better yet, go out and stream some of these hits and transport yourself to the days when Bush the Elder was president.  Wow, so much time has gone by.

#10 – Enter Sandman – Metallica

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word.  And never mind that noise you heard.”

Gotta say, by today’s standards, there’s something creepy about grown ass metal rockers warning a theoretical little kid listener about all the evils that will come for them when they go to sleep but then again, I suppose this song is maybe a metaphor about how bad things happen just when you think life is going your way…I think.  Who knows?

It’s fun to rock out to though.

#9 – Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers 

What you got you gotta give it to your mama, your papa…I don’t know.  Nonsense words, really.  But if there’s a better band of shirtless Californians with long hippy hair, I’ve yet to see it.

#8 – Motownphilly – Boyz II Men

These dudes had skills.  They made that “I’ll Make Love to You” song that serves as a soundtrack for many risque encounters and they did that “End of the Road” song which you need to play when one of your homeboys dies.  So they wrote the soundtrack for death and sex if you think about it.

PS – I’ll be honest they may have had bigger hits than Motownphilly I’m just not sure when they came out so if they had a bigger hit that came out in 1991, my bad.

#7 – Losing My Religion – R.E.M.

I’ve been a humorist my entire life, ever since I popped out of my mother’s snootch with a pair of Groucho glasses on.  Ergo, it’s hard for me to not think of history in terms of jokes what were popular at the time.  Thinking about this song reminds me of that inevitable joke that people busted on it, i.e. you’d make fun of it by just saying “That’s me in some place” like “That’s me in the taco stand…that’s me in the parking lot….that’s me in the grocery store….that’s me in the laundromat.”

#6 – Shiny Happy People – R.E.M.

I’ll give them another one, though Boyz II Men should probably get more spots on this list too.  At any rate, the 1990s were a time of peace and prosperity.  WWII was long over.  The Soviet Union was on the way out.  There weren’t any wars on the horizon.  For a brief, flickering moment it looked like America would be able to come together and enjoy some stability…and act like shiny happy people holding hands…finally.

Think we’ll ever get there again, 3.5 readers?

#5 – O.P.P. – Naughty By Nature

Want to know how woke the world has become since the early 1990s, 3.5 readers?

At the time, the big complaint about this song was that people should never steal someone else’s pussy.

Today, the complaint is the backward notion that a pussy could belong to anyone other than she to whom it is attached.

#4 – Good Vibrations – Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch

I was just a kid at the time but even then had you told me that the guy who sings this song would one day become an Oscar level actor, I would have not believed you.

#3 – Something to Talk About – Bonnie Raitt

TRANSLATION OF THIS SONG – If people are accusing us of humping anyway, then we should just go ahead and hump.

Therefore, by the transitive property, Bonnie Raitt is a fan of humping.  Who isn’t though?

#2 – I Wanna Sex You Up – Color Me Badd

Who doesn’t?

#1 – Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

The song and/or accompanying album that changed the music world as well as the rock genre.  Rock no longer had to be fun, funky, or even campy.  It could be depressed.

Earlier I mentioned the 1990s were good times.  Unfortunately, it’s just human nature for people to be unhappy when there isn’t conflict.  You had the old people bitching and moaning about how tough they had it and how that strife made them better people, but now old the young people had grown soft.  Yup, we’re soft, so I guess we’ll just rock out to our ennui.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Paula Abdul came out with another album with songs like, “Rush, Rush” this year.  It was good, but her best stuff was in the 1980s.

DISHONORABLE MENTION:

Michael Jackson had a comeback album with songs like “Black and White” that are still memorable today, though given the recent Showtime documentary, I think Michael’s days of being remembered in any kind of fond light are over.

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Text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

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Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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Top Ten Songs of 1990

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Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.  I’m going to start a new feature on this fine blog.  We talk about books and movies, mostly movies here, but why not songs?  I’ll be going through the music industry’s past catalogs and if I miss one of your favorites, let me know in the comments.

Let’s start with 1990.

#10 – Nothing Compares to You – Sinead O’Connor 

That voice!  That bald head!  What was up with that bald head anyway?  Maybe she just wanted to be all about the music and not about the hotness and good looks that most singers embrace.  She did rip up a photo of the Pope on SNL but knowing the Pope, he probably forgave her.  He has to.   He’s the Pope, right?

#9 – Vogue – Madonna

All I remember is that it became a running joke that when you wanted to pretend you were a rich celebrity, you’d shout, “Vogue!” and then hold up your hands around your face like you were framing your face.

#8 -Poison – Bell Biv Devoe

Never trust a big butt and a smile, 3.5 readers.  It was good advice then and it’s good advice now.

#7 – U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer

Who could forget those pants?  I just wish Hammer had remembered to save some of that money.

#6 – Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

Alright, stop.  Collaborate and listen.  Ice is back with a brand new edition. I think that’s how it goes.  Poor Ice.  He was destined to become a one hit wonder, but at least his hit was very catchy.

#5 – The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground

Oh, Humpty.  With your Groucho glasses and your old timey fur coat, you really tried to make the humorous rap genre take flight.  At least you weren’t a one hit wonder.  You were at least a two hit wonder because All Around the World Same Song was pretty bangin’ too.  And you introduced us to Tupac.

#4  – Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J

To this day, if there’s a better song to work out to, I haven’t heard it.

#3 – Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks

I don’t what it was about 1990.  The music industry was really kicking it, and country was no exception.  This one really sealed the day for our cowboy in black.

#2 – Cradle of Love – Billy Idol

Alas, rock and roll would die a seemingly final death in the early 2000s, but in the early 1990s, Billy was still rocking with British flair.

#1 – Gonna Make You Sweat – C and C Music Factory

When C and C commands that, “Everybody dance now,” we listen.  Try your best not to.  Even today.

HONORABLE MENTION

Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite

Psychadelic stuff.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Moon river, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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At some point in life, you’re going to have to make a choice, 3.5 readers.  You’ll have to choose when it’s time to abandon a pie in the sky dream that isn’t panning out.  The good news is that in doing so, you might get something that’s a lot better than the nothing you’ve grown accustomed to.  The downside is you’ll probably always get down on yourself to some extent, wondering if you’d just put in a little more time in pursuit of that goal, would it have been achieved?

That’s what I got out of this film, anyway.  And frankly, it’s a movie that I’ve wanted to see for a long time but never got around to it until recently.

The fabulous Audrey Hepburn is Holly Golightly, a wannabe socialite and a poser’s pose, having dived so deep down the world of feigned Manhattan trendiness that it’s hard to know where the real her ends and where the fake her begins.  Complicating matters worse is the notion that she has chosen to live as socialite, even though technically speaking, she isn’t one.  But then again, shouldn’t we all get to be who we feel we are on the inside?  What a woke question for a movie that was made in 1961.

Every night, Holly, clad in her little black dress (an icon popularized by this film for, if you are a lady with a little black dress, then you have something to wear to any occasion), spends her nights living it up among New York City’s wealthy and well-to-do, hoping that in doing so, she’ll land a rich husband who will be able to finance her exorbitant appetite for the finer things in life.

Alas, these fishing expeditions typically yield little fruit, so when morning rolls around, Holly takes a cab home to her apartment.  On the way, she stops at Tiffany’s, the famous jewelry store, where she eats her breakfast (a honey bun I assume) and stares at the fancy necklace on display, yearning for the day when that hoped for rich husband will buy her one.

One one fateful day, Holly befriends Paul Varjak (George Peppard), a struggling writer who has just moved into Holly’s building.  At first, Varjak comes across as an accomplished man.  After all, he appears to be renting the apartment on his own and even introduces an older woman, Emily Eustace Failenson (Patricia Neal) as a personal decorator he has hired to give his new digs a special touch.

(SPOILER AHOY!)  – Long story short, Varjak disapproves of Holly’s lifestyle.  She is unemployed, has no skills, and sustains herself by a) asking lecherous men at these parties for fifty dollars for “the powder room” (one assumes at that time going to the can was an expensive place, maybe they sold perfumes or something) only to spurn their advances and run off with the loot, much to the chagrin of the perverts who thought that they were buying something “extra” with that money and b) delivering coded messages in the form of a “weather report” between a mobster posing as a lawyer and a mob boss imprisoned at Sing Sing.  Whether she understands what these messages mean or if she understands the gravity of delivering is up for debate.

Ironically, as the film progresses, we learn that Holly is a teetotaler compared to the skeleton in Varjak’s closet.  SPOILER – Emily isn’t his decorator at all, but rather, an older rich, married woman, who pays to keep Varjak as her boy toy.  Yup.  She pays for the apartment, furniture, clothes, all of Paul’s needs and Paul gives her the old Stiffy McGee.

I’ll tell you.  In my youth, I might have considered such an arrangement, but even rich old biddies didn’t want me.

As Holly and Varjak begin to fall for each other, they’ll have to wade through their own personal worlds of bullshit and pluck out what is real and what isn’t.  Even scarier is the fact that they’ll also have to figure out what parts of their dreams are worth saving and which should be abandoned in exchange for, well, settling for each other.

You see, Holly has built it up in her mind that becoming a rich man’s wife is the end all, be all.  It’s a good idea in theory.  In practice, as she learns literally daily (or nightly) any man who would be willing to marry a woman who just wants his money is a) an asshole and b) going to treat that woman like a hooker.  No love involved.  Here’s your money.  Give up the goodies.

Meanwhile, Varjak is a struggling writer.  He published a book of short stories years earlier, and now he claims he’s waiting for the day when inspiration hits and he writes his magnum opus – the book that will blow all other books away and make him famous.  Emily has built it up in his mind that he should not be supporting himself with lesser writing jobs.  Sure, Paul could support himself with shorter submissions to magazines and newspapers (apparently writers could live off that back in the day) but rather, he should be resting and waiting for that great book to come and don’t worry, she’s not her She-John but instead, is a patron of the arts, doing her part to support good writing.

Ultimately, both will have decisions to make.  Their false realities vs. their real love for one another.  Holly can wait on that unicorn of a rich man who would actually be nice to a gold digger, or she can be with the very real Paul.  Paul can keep being Emily’s plaything, taking her money and waiting for that big book to pop into his mind, or he can support himself through daily paid writing work.  He may never become a household name that way, but he’ll have dignity and be able to be with Holly.

Decisions, decisions.  At times, this movie is funny as it lampoons phonies, hippies (the old version of hipsters) and social climbers.  It’s also gut wrenchingly sad because it is the best illustration of the dilemma of life – i.e. life is full of possibilities but short on time, and we must often choose between what we hope for and what we can actually achieve.  Dreams vs. reality.  A bird in the hand vs. two in the bush.

You’ll have to make that choice one day as well, 3.5 readers, if you haven’t already.  Marry the person loyal to you or hold out for the unlikely  supermodel knockout.  Stay where you are or move to a big city.  Take the menial job or hold out for something better.  How much will we lose if we quit on our dreams vs. how much will we gain if we choose what is in front of us over what we wish will be in front of us one day?

Sadly, the movie is dragged down by Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi, a Japanese pervert (not implying that all Japanese men are perverts but this one happens to be) and professional photographer whose frequent complaints about Holly’s noisy parties are all quenched by false promises from Holly that maybe one day she’ll pose for his camera.  The whole goofy Asian get up is offensive by today’s standards and shows how far we’ve come.

Other than that very lamentable blemish, the film is solid and as far as I know, may very well be the world’s first Rom com, or at least, the first memorable one.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Also, all this time I thought the movie was called this because you could go to Tiffany’s and be served eggs and pancakes while you look at diamonds.  I didn’t realize it was talking about a woman eating breakfast while hoping diamonds will be bought for her.  You learn something new every day.

P.S. – I was a boy in the 1980s and my first intro to George Peppard was as the white haired, grizzly old, cigar chomping Colonel Hannibal Smith, leader of the A-Team.  Quite a different role than Varjak.  As a pop culture lover, I enjoyed both roles and I’d argue that if anything, this shows Peppard’s range.  He played the ultimate tough guy and also, the ultimate romantic guy.  Even Schwarzenegger never pulled that off.  George deserved more recognition for this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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