Swift Kicks


Taylor Swift in the midst of rapping, her blonde curly hair under a blinged-out cap sitting askew on her head, wearing a track jacket

The CMT Music Awards show last week opened with a laugh-out-loud — or at least grin-really-wide — collaboration between T-Pain, who even talks in vocoder, and Taylor Swift called "Thug Story".

Unread by Me


One of the several things I admire about Roger Ebert is his economy of words. No
doubt it helps that he likely spent at least his pre-fame years on strict word counts at The Chicago Sun-Times; also that his readership has become familiar with certain phrases of his which, though perfunctory, don't sound as judgmental as they might from an unknown source. He will often refer to a film as "adapted from the novel, unread by me". You have to marvel at such concise, neutral disclosure. The following books, graphic novels in the sense that the phrase has come to encompass just about any work of comics with a square binding, are as yet unread by me — but likely not
for long, and I have cause to recommend each.


cover of 'The Courageous Princess' showing a young lady riding a warthog

Vuelvo



Cover art to Ximena Sariñana's Mediocre LP © 2009 Warner Music Group.

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Deep Sit


The words 'Love of Chair' in yellow over scene of young man in baseball cap sitting on a chair in a small, empty room

A few years ago I was thrilled to find a DVD compilation of childhood favorite The Electric Company. You can read a bit about it — and in particular its crossovers with predecessor Sesame Street — on the Muppet Wiki, as well as in greater depth on Wikipedia.

I have fond memories of the show, from Rita Moreno's familiar opening shout to the animated Adventures of Letterman shorts to Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader to Skip Hinnant in Fargo North, Decoder, to — of course — the strangely silent Spider-Man
(on which more another time). What surprised me when I popped in the DVD was how much was unfamiliar, including the delightfully absurd soap-opera parody Love of Chair. The first episode of the serial is up on YouTube, albeit bootlegged; just when you think it's started running on fumes about two-thirds of the way through, it finishes with a couple of laugh-out-loud moments. Some interesting but spoilery trivia follows in the comments section below.