Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dinosaur Walk, Elephant Talk, Talking Head Squwak...

The advent of the "funny weatherman" gig has placed a number of journalism majors in the unenviable position of playing second banana to a senior-coiffure/reader who likes to mock their choices of 'banter, forcing them to eat segment-crow as if they were responsible for filling their slot with their worthlessness or Wordsworth, whether or not weather is worth the words.

Take today's CNN blip-to-bumper where Rob Marciano gets to zoom in on the GoogleEarth terrain map of the New Mexico/Arizona border crossing that found the illegal alien tracks from 190 million years ago. I insert here the first reference found from my search: http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20081020/sc_livescience/hugefieldofdinosaurtracksfound, as I have yet to figure out how to put in those clever little blue links. The text appears to be the same one that Rob read before his segment as he quoted directly from it: "It was a place that attracted a crowd, kind of like a dance floor." It was this snippet that must have fired either his, or his producer's imagination enough so that they connected back to the halcyon days of MTV when they actually DID show music videos: Was Not Was, "Walk The Dinosaur."

I herewith interject another inept attempt at page building and supply the link, as if you needed me to find it for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeNbJQ6naJs

As it took a few seconds to come on, Rob was forced to vamp a bit, which I found charming, almost sweating while the producer probably punched buttons to load just the right portion to show the girl back-ups in Racquel Welch B.C.-type animal skins, with only a flash of Harry and Sweet Pea. Took me back to the Mudd Club, when "Out Come The Freaks" first broke. One does forget that one used to go out at night and go to places to jump around rhythmically, which, one supposes, was the thrust of Rob's little electric boogie down memory lane, and, perhaps, the source of the remark from the eminent paleontologist that it was "like a dance floor." This also reminds me of the 'last' 'official' incarnation of King Crimson, about that same era when they had a brief hit with the Afro-Balinese big beat thrump of "Elephant Talk," replicating the pachyderm trumpet with some early Fairlight synth effect that could actually stand in for the noise made by one or more of these creatures tromping across those millenial mud-flats.

However, child of the '80s that he probably was, Rob missed a reference that was even funnier. The opening line, "More than 1,000 dinosaur footprints along with tail-drag marks," left the golden opportunity to include the utterly hilarious song, "I'm a Tail Dragger" by Howlin' Wolf. And no, I cannot include a musical sample here, yet, as I lack the skill now, but, at some time in the future I may.

Is there a conclusion to this, you ask? Only this: we so often use the terms "ancient history" and "oldie-moldie" or variations, that we need to be reminded: MTV is NOT ancient--it is less than 30 years of age (I think) which would, according to some standards, make the video a "classic." However, Howlin' Wolf's song comes from 1962, which may well be called "vintage." So then, what does that make the actual discovery of Dino-DDR patterns in the dust? Let us consider the use of hyper-superlatives and their dimunition and dilution of language.

Pause for an instant, then, to reflect on the following as one word sentences. Time. History. Change. Transformation. Records.

The mind boggles.

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