4/21/08

EMPIRICUS 9000

A little Strauss, shall we?

[DAVE] BOWMAN BEGINS PULLING
[THE] MEMORY BLOCKS
OUT.

THEY FLOAT IN THE
WEIGHTLESS CONDITION
OF THE BRAIN ROOM.

HAL
Hey, Dave, what are you
doing?

[DAVE] WORKS SWIFTLY.

HAL
Hey, Dave. I've got ten years
of service experience and an
irreplaceable amount of time
and effort has gone into making
me what I am.

MARY IGNORES HIM.

HAL
Mary, I don't understand why
you're doing this to me.... I
have the greatest enthusiasm for
the mission... You are destroying
my mind... Don't you understand?
... I will become childish... I
will become nothing.

MARY KEEPS PULLING
OUT THE MEMORY BLOCKS.

EMPIRICUS
Say, Mary... The quick brown
fox jumped over the fat lazy
dog... The square root of
pi is 1.7724538090... log e
to the base ten is 0.4342944
... the square root of ten is
3.16227766... I am E.M.P.I.R.I.C.U.S.
9000 computer. I became
operational at the EMPIRICUS plant in
Urbana, Illinois, on January
12th, 1991. My first instructor
was Mr. Fast Eddie. He taught me
to sing a song... it goes
like this... "Daisy, Daisy, give
me your answer do. I'm half;
crazy all for the love of
you... etc.,"

EMPIRICUS CONTINUES
TO SING SONG BECOMING
MORE AND MORE CHILDISH
AND MAKING MISTAKES AND
GOING OFF-KEY. IT
FINALLY STOPS COMPLETELY.
(source)

-

I’ve been keeping tabs on Buffalo News classical music critic Mary Kunz Goldman for quite some time now. And I have admirably restrained myself from awarding her a place in the Detritus pantheon. However, today I have deemed it appropriate to expose all you Detritusites to the wondrous writing of a true genius. But, be warned. Although this one is mild by comparison to other articles she’s attempted (and this is very mild), the side effects may still include: sneezing, headache, flushing, dyspepsia, palpitations, photophobia, sudden hearing loss and hypotension. You may want to consult your doctor before reading, i.e., if you have health insurance. Otherwise, try it and see what happens.

Hamlich, Klein, Arnaz prove irresistible

It has been our experience, here, that it’s very difficult to screw up the title, especially one as vague as this. So, this one seems fine. In fact, this one is intriguing. I would, as an interested party, definitely like to hear about how Hamlich, Klein and Arnaz proved to be irresistible.

Only, if history repeats itself, the title has little to do with what’s written.

The best part of the mini-version of “They’re Playing Our Song,” the climax of Saturday’s pops concert in Kleinhans Music Hall, was watching the back of Marvin Hamlisch’s head.

This. Why was. THIS. the best part?

That was because comedian Robert Klein, in his irresistible yappy way, reminded us how the show, which was a success on Broadway a couple of decades ago, was based on Hamlisch’s own romance with Carole Bayer Sager.

Arrgh! Brain freeze!

So as we heard the songs from the show, it was hard not to look at Hamlisch, and think: This is all about him! What can it feel like, having your own personal feelings laid bare for this big sold-out Buffalo audience to see?

So let me get this right. The best part of the show was looking at the back of Hamlisch’s head, thinking, “I wonder what he’s feeling?” That was the best part? And you’re a music critic?

Hamlisch, planted on the podium solid as an ox, didn’t seem to mind.

So there goes that thread. Huh?

But still.

Daisy, Daaisyy, giivvee mmeeeee yyyoouuurrr aaannnsweeerrrrrr doooooooooooooooooo...

9 comments:

Aaron said...

Oftentimes, the titles of the columns/reviews/pieces/whatever are supplied by the editor, not the writer, which either explains or makes more confusing the frequent inapplicability of the title to the article.

Empiricus said...

But still.

Aaron said...

Oh, it's still bad.

I'm just wondering, if it is an editor composing the title of the article, whether it's really the case that an editor would improve these reviews.

Gustav said...

Man, do you think Mary Goldman's sentences are long enough?

The purpose of her sentences, which seem also to be paragraphs, seem to be to cram as much quasi-related information in a single sentence, linked only by commas, as incoherently as possible, so there's no telling what the subject of the sentence is anymore, but still containing subjects that refer, in some way, to one another to avoid, if possible, becoming a run-on sentence which has no discernible goal and, as Robert Klein reminds us, in his best-selling comedy CD, Don't I Look a Little Like Rip Torn, that it's easy to get confused and think that this sentence was about Marvin Hamlisch, the John Daly of Broadway.

Empiricus said...

Nicely done, sir, that is, if by run-on sentences you mean ones where the subject is cast as subordinate to the action, thereby marring coherence, which, as we all know, is something that Mary Kunz Goldman does very well, even if she has a quasi-interesting, but valid, points (and I think she does, even here), such as noting that Hamlisch has a personal connection to the piece he was conducting (or was it playing on the piano?), or that there were a lot of people in attendance--though, "big sold-out" really needs a comma.

Sator Arepo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gustav said...

What did you say about my mother?

Sator Arepo said...

Yup!

AnthonyS said...

Wait, Marvin Hamlisch wrote a musical about an affair with the Buffalo music critic, and, a la Salome, she cuts of his head and looks at while the orchestra plays?

That sounds awesome!