Weekend Ear Candy: Mozz turns 50!

It was 1987 and I was hanging out at a campus bar in Columbus. The name escapes me but you had to go into a basement and it was as if someone had turned their dark and dingy basement into a bar. Dark and full of smoke. The strobe lights beckoned you to the dance floor except before getting hammered no one danced except the girls. After your first pitcher or bucket of swill light beer you got up to the floor and danced with anyone who looked female in the strobe lights. At some point the DJ would play “How soon is now…” and at this basement bar the song seemed to fit the style and atmosphere.

Then too soon the night was over and the staff donned baseball bats to “encourage” you to leave and if you made up the stairs to the ground level you had a good night. Going home with someone or having a non-fake phone number was better – too few – but better.

Morrissey, from The Smiths and his own great solo career, turned 50 on May 22nd. Here is my favorite Morrissey/Smiths song “How soon is Now”

OMG! Like how did I miss Square Pegs on DVD… like totally

There isn’t much that I am obsessed with in life except for getting some classic TV shows and films from my younger days on DVD. One that I thought I would never see is finally out. Square Pegs was a TV show about high school life that was broadcast on CBS for one season in 1982. The show hit a chord with me and I have nothing but fond memories of it. Until recently memories was all I’ve had. Of course I hate it that I found out seven months AFTER it was released.

It was created by Anne Beatts, who had worked on Saturday Night Live in its early days and the plots centered on Patty Greene (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Lauren Hutchinson (Amy Linker), two awkward teenage girls desperate to fit in at Weemawee High School. Their lives interacted with their friends Marshall Blechtman (John Femia) and Johnny “Slash” Ulasewicz (Merritt Butrick) and with the cool kids Jennifer DiNuccio (Tracy Nelson), the quintessential buxom Valley Girl, her boyfriend Vinnie Pasetta (Jon Caliri), a handsome greaser hood, and LaDonna Fredericks (Claudette Wells) and preppy Muffy B. Tepperman (Jami Gertz).

The show spoke to me because I was in the social place that Patty and Lauren are in. I wanted to be popular and although I didn’t try to be one at all costs like they did, I sympathized with their plight. Cliques in school were not a good thing because for some it causes too much stress at such a young age but this show had a funny take on the topic.

The DVD finally came out when Sarah Jessica Parker’s movie version of “Sex in the City” was released. Except for Parker, Tracy Nelson, and Jami Gertz none of the rest of the cast have done much more than this series. In the Wikipedia entry it even says that the actor who played Vinnie has disappeared off the face of the earth and his current whereabouts are unknown.

Merritt Butrick, who played Johnny, died in 1989 from AIDS. He was also known for playing Capt. Kirk’s son, Dr. David Marcus, in the Star Trek II and III films.

The other note on the DVD issue that is an issue with a lot of the old shows is they stripped out a lot of the pop music due to licence issues. It seems that sometimes the cost of using the music costs more than putting out the DVD so the show owners replace the music with something generic.

All the episodes can also be viewed on the HULU website. “Muffy’s Bat Mitzvah” is one of my favorites, mainly because DEVO makes a guest appearance as the band at the party.

How I lost my virginity in the College Republicans

I friend of mine posted a link to an article about College Republicans:

Swimming with Sharks: In the College Republicans, young GOPers learn to fight hard against Democrats–by practicing on one another.

The article describes the tactics CRs learn and use for the campaigns of the Chairman of the group and how it seems real familiar to those who follow real elections.

It reminded me of my short stint with CR back in the mid 1980’s and I thought I would share my story:

I grew up in a white bread conservative town where most of the city and county leaders were Republicans. Most of my friends in school were sons and daughters of Republicans. Even though the GOP didn’t really do anything for me as someone who was poor, lived in a trailer, and was on welfare from time to time, this was the Reagan Era and everyone was in love with the old coot.

I went to Ohio State in the fall of 1986 and when I made the move I wanted to be more political. Naturally I joined the College Republicans. It included the sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews of the big wigs of the Ohio GOP. The vice president of the group was the son or grandson of a former congressman.

I attended my first meeting and found someone else from Findlay there. In fact Jim was in my class at Findlay High. Not much about the meetings really stick with me other than at the time there was a governor’s race. Jim Rhodes, one of the most famous modern Ohio governors was trying again to be governor. Ohio had term limits and so he had to sit out for 4 years while his Lt. Governor – Democrat Richard Celeste ran the state.

Celeste was the last Lt. Governor from an opposite party as the constitution had changed to allow the Governor to pick their own Lt. Governor rather than the previous lesser vote getter getting the job.

Rhodes picked a youngster (compared to him) named Bob Taft to be his Lt. Governor. Yes, THAT Taft family – President, US Supreme Court Judge, two US Senators.

The OSU College Republicans invited Taft to speak at a meeting.

The day came and people filed into the classroom being used for the meeting and just before the event started a guy wearing an Army jacket and sandals sat in the back of the room. The CR suits were buzzing about this “hippy” in their mists but for the moment they left the guy alone. The meeting was public after all. They didn’t want any bad PR.

So Taft was introduced and began to speak about what he and Jim Rhodes would do to the state if elected. It was the usual “create jobs by cutting taxes.” A couple of minutes into the talk the “hippy” pulls out a sign from under his coat and holds it up. He doesn’t say anything. He just holds the sign up in protest. (I forget what the sign said but it was opposite what the GOP stood for of course.)

CR goons swarmed the guy looking like they were going to beat the crap out of him but Bob Taft told the guys to back off and let him protest – that he wasn’t afraid.

During the rest of the talk there were 3 goons standing near the guy staring at him waiting for him to do anything more than hold the sign. Taft finished with some Q & As then the meeting broke up into small talk. That’s when the “hippy” left.

Most of the chit chat was about the protester. “How dare he disrupt our meeting.” “We need to keep the riff raff out.” “Can you believe it, sandals AFTER labor day.”

It was on that day that I started not to have good vibes about CR or Republicans. I didn’t want to be part of a group that tried to control speech or who had shallow ideas about people. I was a poor person from a trailer – just image what they would say about me if they found out.

The other incident that finally caused me to quit CR was the OSU group sponsored a Reagan Birthday Party event as a fundraiser for CR and way for GOP members to mingle with the CRs. It seemed too much to me like when the Nazis use to celebrate Hitler’s birthday. They would sing songs about the fatherland and have a big cake.

Also being exposed to different viewpoints at Ohio State, I learned how closed minded and insular my hometown had been as I was growing up. It had been that way all along but I really didn’t see until I contrasted it with living in Columbus and meeting so many different people with so many different backgrounds. For example: I was shocked to learn that in other areas of the state there was subsidized housing. We were stuck living in a trailer for years because Hancock county had one apartment complex that was subsidized and the wait list stretched into years.

I didn’t go and join the College Democrats though because of my bad experiences with Political Correctness. That is another story.

My friend Jim stayed in CR and last I heard, after college, he was legal counsel for a state agency under former Governor George Voinovich (now our US Senator). Me, I worked as a security guard for a property management firm.