This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

It seems to me that there are too many things.

We've become so inundated with things that they are only describable in relation to other, familiar things. Well, at least it feels that way.

The SciFi Channel has a new show, "Eureka," which it describes as a series

...about a secret government facility in South Dakota where all mysterious relics and supernatural souvenirs are housed, is emblematic of the channel’s programming direction. “It is a dramedy and it is set in the here and now. It’s a kind of an Indiana Jones meets ‘Moonlighting’ meets ‘The X-Files,’” Mr. Howe said. “This is a very accessible, relatable, fun show.” [Edit: Sorry SA, the colors were too modern]
Wow. Now that sounds compelling! And vaguely familiar!

The Simpsons
(as usual) have already lampooned this concept with their (deliberately) short-lived character, Poochie the Dog.

Figure 1: Poochie Is Mad Irreverent!

Poochie even has a little "song" wherein he describes his corporate brain trust-generated character concept:
"Poochie Rap"

The name's Poochie D
And I rock the telly,
I'm half Joe Camel
And a third Fonzarelli.
I'm the kung fu hippie
From gangsta city,
I'm a rappin' surfer,
You the fool I pity.
Ah. That's the stuff. Spell it on out for us, Poochie!

Fortunately for us, this concept seems to be running, or bleeding, into other areas. Here's Sally Vallongo's review of the Toledo Opera's performance of Strauss' Salome.

Opera gives us many twisted heroines, but surely no other femme is quite so fatale as Salome.

Surely. Can you give a contemporary example of such a figure?

In today’s celebrity-fixated world, Salome would be part Britney and part Paris, a juicy, amoral beauty who answers to little past her own twisted ambitions.

Sweet. Now I want to go to Toledo!* Anything else to which I can easily relate? Something facile, perhaps? A dash of Lindsay Lohan?

Beneath a mane of hair a la Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City, [soprano Amy] Johnson floats and gyrates across the stage...

Oh. Well, crap.

Perhaps...perhaps we're interrogating the high art/low art dichotomy with this kind of comparison?

Figure 2: Salome (Lovis Corinth, 1900)

Figure 3: Reminds One of Figure 2, Yes? (Photo: Washington Post)
(If they're femmes fatales, does that mean they're dead?)

What's that funny taste in my mouth? Tastes like...dumbed down. Mmmm, dumbed down...

*May not be true.

[Edit: 3/20/2009: The SciFi show is not in fact Eureka, it's Warehouse 13.]


Empiricus said...

Ooh, ooh! Do Madame Butterfly nest!

Empiricus said...


buy research paper online said...

I think the artifacts are items in some way connected to some historical or mythological figure. Each one has been imbued with something of their creator or user, something they allude to in their writing or enhances some aspect of their personality