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Book Report: Memory

Your Humble Blogger has once again reread Memory rather than either completing any of the three books I’ve begun or starting any of the shelf-full of books I’ve been meaning to start. It’s not a bad thing. It’s probably better than watching teevee. Although I watched the first episode of ’Allo ’Allo today.

Why aren’t there more American period sitcoms? There are a few successful ones. Off the top of my head I can think of Happy Days, Hogan’s Heroes, Laverne and Shirley, and F Troop. I’m sure there are more. There was that 70s show that ran for a while just recently, but I can’t think of its name. I’m sure there were some lousy, unsuccessful ones, too, but then there are lots of lousy, unsuccessful sitcoms set in the present day as well. I know we’re in a period with very few sitcoms at all, so I suppose the people who pitch sitcoms are disinclined to make a pitch for a sitcom set, for instance, in gold rush-era San Francisco, or Capone-era Chicago, or in Apollo-era Houston. Do you know what would be great? A workplace sitcom where the workplace is the Brooklyn Bridge! It’s got a colorful cast of characters—a wise old freed slave, a mournful-faced Navajo, two Irish brothers, and Dutchy, the comic german engineer whose plans are always thwarted by the busty, dimwitted southern secretary that the boss is shtupping.

Or how about a show where the woman’s first husband had been missing for seven years, so she has him declared dead and marries again, and she moves with her husband out to the country, only to find themselves living in the same upstate New York religio-Utopian millenarian commune as the (not really dead) husband and his new wife? Wacky hijinks galore! Plus jokes about free love and anarchy!

Has there been an American sci-fi sitcom? You would think somebody would try. (note: after writing this, YHB thought of one, quite successful and well-known, but it is left as an exercise for the Gentle Readers.) You know, at one point it was pointed out to me that these days, a good idea for a sitcom is that he is a button-down conservative type, and she is a hippie. In the sixties, a good idea for a sitcom ws that he is a button-down conservative type, and she is a genie that lives in a bottle. Or a witch. Or, you know, a current idea for a sitcom is that he is grown up and married, but his mother lives down the block. As opposed to the idea about a guy who is grown up and married but his mother haunts his car. You see, it’s a situation comedy, one where the situation is inherently comedic.

OK, last idea for this note—ancient Greece, the main characters are satyr-play actor/dancers with their wives and the hetaeras, sponsors, and priests. Ashton Kuchner pretending to be a priest reading entrails! Kelsey Grammer dressed up as a hetaera, hiding from the real priest, who is in a satyr costume! Yuks aplenty!

And another thing—so what if the levee was dry? What was the big levee-related plan that was thwarted by the lack of water? Your Humble Blogger grew up in the desert, and so knows little of these levees. The only thing I can think of that fits in with the general feeling of the song is that he would have driven that Chevy into the water and drowned himself, but surely, the levee being (as he keeps on about) dry, he could just drive into the damn’ Mississippi River. But he doesn’t. Or at least I think he doesn’t. Anyway, my question remains: if, upon arriving in his Chevy, he had found the levee was not been dry, what would he have done?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


My friend Willie and I put together a notion about The New Animated Adventures of Suzanne Vega, where Suzanne (as herself) and her magical guitar, voiced by David Hasselhoff, fight for truth, justice, and the Liberal Way, alongside her urban familiars, Lilith the rat and Eve the pigeon.

Didn't get very much further with it than that, and although it's somewhat tangential to your notions, it's faintly germane.

Also, am I the only one who would love to watch V's ancient Greek sitcom? 'Cause I'm totally on board with that. That would be worth getting cable TV for.


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