Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vox Lox (13): Mini-Mailbag

Morning, faithful. If you're just coming back from your weekly Church & Bob Evans combination, you're just in time to read me ripoff Bill Simmons. I've been doing that for six years anyway, but now it's a bit more obvious...and, of course, these are actual messages from actual readers. I should've knocked'em out Voxes ago, but it's finally time for a small portion of my very small audience to be heard. If you have a question, comment or a request for a random top ten, I'm always an email away.

Q: Seriously, whoever wrote this list should be fired immediately if they are supposed to write about music every day. The Beatles are at 34, and COUNTING CROWS is in your damn top three? Please end yourself.
-Dog


Vox: Unluckily for Dog, I am still alive and barking over a year after he sent that love note. Anyway, like Plain Dealer Minister of Culture Michael Heaton once said to me, "I don't read my bad publicity. I weigh it."

Q: Any list that claims that Bon Jovi is 30 positions higher than Led Zeppelin surely must be an example of Poe's Law.
-Opal Armor


Vox: I like the way you think, Opal. But stop over-thinking. Vox Rox Redux was not extreme idealogy or even parody. I am not bonkers, and wasn't attempting to create an authoritative list that speaks for all rock fans. My list was simply my taste. But I believe the Bon Jovi declaration: Light a candle, blow the world away /Table for two on a TV tray/ It ain't fancy, baby that's OK/ Our time, our way is an effective 80s upgrade on Robert Plant's happiness-out-of-dust platitude: Many dreams come true and some have silver linings, I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold. Am I suggesting, lyrically, that Jon Bon Jovi was superior to Plant? Maybe, maybe not. I'm only inferring that, in 1988, Bon Jovi's ode to lower-class romance resonated with me more than anything Zep has done. Doesn't mean I don't get chills during "Tangerine."

Q: Goddamn, Cleveland is an angry city!
-LatinLover69


Q: I've been living here for just about a year now and I can tell you, this place is scary mad at everything. Listening to the radio sports shows is like listening to someone attempting to kill the listener with shame.
-JPreston2005


Vox: Mr. Preston and Latin Lover,
We're going on 50 years without a championship. You're goddamn right we're mad.

Q: How did Ferris do all that shit in one day?
-C4Coolzone


Vox: Glad you brought that up. Saying John Hughes took some liberties with time is a colossal understatement. Ferris lounges around the house for at least an hour, talking to the audience, trying on various outfits, hacking his high school's computer, playing the trumpet, quoting John Lennon & singing in the shower, etc. By the time him and Cameron meet up, prank Mr Rooney, pick up Sloan and drive downtown, it has to be at least 11:00am, no? Somehow, there's plenty of time time to dine at the upscale restaurant Chez Quis, hit the Art Museum and a Cubs game, and, finally, star in the German-American parade. At this point, it must be 5pm, minimum. But they still have to drive home, eat Oreos by the pool while Cameron is catatonic, and watch Cam flip out on the Ferrari before making peace with his existence. It should be 10:30pm by the time Ferris runs home for the climactic scene at the doorstep. Is Ferris still the crown jewel in the Hughes cannon? Almost. Here are my top ten films written by John Hughes:

1. The Breakfast Club
Besides the realization that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal, we found out that all of our parents are dysfunctional, high school principles in 1985 made $31,000 a year, academic clubs are demented, sad, but social, chicks cannot hold their smoke and the janitor is the smartest person in the school. If only Bender had finished that joke before falling though the ceiling...

2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Now this is true romance. Rock on, Dream Academy.

3. Some Kind of Wonderful
"The only things I care about in this goddamn life are me and my drums and you." --Watts.
Look, if you aren't on board with that quote, then all of 1987 was wasted on you, and you'll never have any use for anything I write in my columns. And that's ok. I'm not for everyone. We'll still see each other at Cavs games, Jack's Deli, or the frozen food section at the super market.

4. Weird Science
Was it just me or did Bill Paxton completely drop off the face of the earth during the 21 years between his role as evil older brother Chet and polygamist Bill Hendrickson in Big Love?

5. Mr. Mom
Underrated Michael Keaton shows off his comedic range opposite the lovely Teri Garr, the lovelier Ann Jillian, and North Ridgeville's own Martin Mull. Keaton, despite lacking classic leading-man good looks, would go on to show his dramatic versatility in Batman and My Life.

6. Pretty in Pink
Or as I like to call it, Hot Mess in Pink.

7. Career Opportunities
I want Jennifer Connely on the horse. You want Jennifer Connely on the horse. The world wants Jennifer Connely on that horse. Give them what they want, Vox.

8. European Vacation
This column has been hijacked by semi-breaking news of Herman Cain's campaign "suspension." Defiant to the very end, his word choice seems to imply he's coming back. I hope he does. I'll never vote for him, but his courtship of America was high comedy and I'll miss the way he says "9-9-9." Almost like it was some sort of gratifying and necessary sexual position that everyone needed to try. For the record, Herman's penchant for banging anything that moves is not an indictment of his ability to govern. But this was.

9. Sixteen Candles
An unlikely companion piece to Ferris. If the latter was about a perfect day, then Candles was the unmitigated opposite- redeemed only by Anthony Michael Hall on the school bus, the Thompson Twins, and everybody's favorite foreign exchange student, Long Duc Dong.

10. She's Having A Baby
John Hughes wrote what he knew. Before going Hollywood, he started out as an advertising copywriter. So was Teri Gar in Mr. Mom, and Kevin Bacon in this mediocre melodrama. SamVox started out as an advertising copywriter, too. So let me tell you what you may not have already figured out from John Hughes' characterizations, Jen Aniston in Picture Perfect and/or Mad Men: advertising copywriters are bullshit. As a writer, you'll waste supreme amounts of billable hours mainlining coffee and brainstorming with so-called creative thinkers, jerking off their own elitism at the expense of naive clients. Did I rush through an entire top ten just so I could unload on ad agencies for a sentence or two? Yes, and it was so worth it.

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Dolphins (-3) over Raiders, 1 dime
Falcons (-3) over Texans, 1 dime
Jets (-3) over Redskins, 1 dime

Last week: 3-1 (+2 dimes)
Season: 22-16-3 (+7 dimes)