Sometimes they work in pairs.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — As this blog’s first year comes to a merciful end, I will celebrate in the next couple of posts by recycling content.
I mean, looking back wistfully or some such what have you.
Point being, since the “and humble photography” part of this blog has all but been left behind in massively long interviews, I figured I could at least start out with the photos. Photo cutlines, any way.
So here’s a gallery of silly cutlines. Cutlines should be informative. These were not that.
1. Belligerent Q&A, Vol. VIII: Earl Swift, author of The Big Roads (June 4, 2011)
2. Belligerent Q&A, Vol. VII: Vivian Paige of All Politics is Local (May 18, 2011)
3. Belligerent Q&A, Vol. XI: Writer and editor Tom Robotham (Aug. 26, 2011)
5. Belligerent Q&A, Vol. XVI: Hairspray author and scholar Dana Heller (Nov. 8, 2011)
7. Belligerent Q&A, Vol. IV: Jeff Maisey of Veer Magazine (April 16, 2011)
8. Ted Danson coming to Norfolk for talk with Mike D’Orso (April 9, 2011)
NORFOLK, Va. — Dana Heller is chair of the Old Dominion University English department and a professor whose scholarly work has tackled a wide range of subjects. Her most recent book is Hairspray, which discusses the significance of the 1988 film by John Waters. She considers it his most subversive movie.
Also, she is awesome.
Waters, as you should know, is a noted filmmaker, writer, visual artist, and, according to the good people who put such things on Wikipedia, one of the “notable persons who have worn pencil mustaches.”
Additionally, Waters remains the longest-serving Secretary of the U.S. Department of Not Quirky or Cute Camp But the Awesome Kind that Scares You Way Deep Down Where Your Real Dreams Are, also known as HUD. Okay, that last bit is not true but someone please get on that.
Say, maybe you should run it by him yourself. Waters will give a lecture called “This Filthy World” as part of the ODU Presents series at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10, at Webb University Center, 1301 49th Street, Norfolk. Admission is free but there’s limited seating, so RSVP via (757) 683-3116 or visit the University Events page via this link.
I recently finished Heller’s book, which is terrific. Highly recommended. As always, I should disclose that I am a graduate student at ODU. In addition to being a beautiful, beautiful man.
Heller engaged in this Belligerent Q&A via email. There is some brief adult language below. Which probably is why you’re here.
Q: Just who do you think you are? Please use three examples in your response.
Me? Well, if you must know, I am ODU’s resident champion of all things considered ‘bad taste.’ I’m not sure how it came to this, but I probably have only myself to blame for writing about cultural phenomena such as:
- Russian pop music
- Reality TV
- John Waters movies
There are worse ways to make a living.
Q: Your most recent book is an examination of Hairspray, the Waters film in which “the PG family movie meets the midnight cult film.” You note that Waters “made a PG-rated teenpic that encourages interracial dating and champions a family in which both parents are men.” Why did you omit the awesome part where Debby Harry pops Colleen Fitzpatrick’s zit? Does it blow apart your thesis?
No, in fact the zit-popping scene unequivocally proves my thesis that Hairspray is a teenpic posing as a civil rights comedy. I had an entire chapter on the zit scene but my editor cut it. Wait a minute. Were you making a pun?
Q: You’ve called John Waters a National Treasure. How will Nicholas Cage, reprising his role as Ben Gates, go about trying to rescue Waters from the clutches of the Illuminati while dispensing justice, thrills, and exposition?
By becoming a drag queen (code name: Bertha Venation), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Michaele Salahi, Cage will manage to penetrate into the darkest recesses of the Illuminati’s base station, located inside a Starbucks in a mall in East Baltimore.
Q: You edited the book Makeover Television: Realities Remodeled. It’s always fascinated me that people are willing to expose their insecurities and pain so publicly, however superficial the consumerist, conformist “solutions” offered by makeovers that, like Debby Harry snapping on a rubber glove to pop her daughter’s zit, seem to say, “Lie down. Mother is here.” I thought about that kind of superficial transformative process of such shows while I read Hairspray, because there are transformations represented in Waters’ films but also his films, generally speaking, seem to have transformed over his career from work that has a kind of mission to shock into work that, as in the film Hairspray, shows both communal and individual transformation toward acceptance and power. Indeed, his film creates its subversion by recreating and altering a television program and later adaptations seem to pander to “makeover” culture. What do I mean by the things I just typed?
It means the drugs are kicking in. Relax. Go with it.
Q: You write compellingly about how Hairspray “is the most subversive film that John Waters ever made, and possibly one of the most subversive popular comedy comedies ever made by an American filmmaker,” in part, because of Waters’ “representation of the unruly body.” And you mean subversive in the sense that it “transforms the cultural codes to which it ostensibly adheres.” When we think about the adaptation of the musical to film, does putting a straight actor (and one of a faith whose founder viewed being gay as a perversion) in a role created and recreated by gay men diminish some of force of the subversion Waters achieves in his film? A bit more widely, have the adaptations changed the legacy of the original film?
Every adaptation of an art work changes the meaning of the original in some way. But if I’m reading you right, you are referring here to John Travolta’s casting as Edna Turnblad and his affiliation with the Church of Scientology. That was a controversial decision, no doubt. And the director of the film, Adam Shankman (who is gay himself), got slammed in the LGBTQ press for casting Travolta, who persistently denied that Hairspray was a ‘gay’ film. What Travolta and Shankman failed to recognize is that LGBTQ audiences tend to feel and project a strong sense of ownership over certain cultural properties, and Hairspray is one of them, not simply because Waters is gay but because Edna had (until Travolta) always been played by openly gay performers (Divine and Harvey Fierstein). But I think that Travolta’s casting was a brilliant marketing strategy that helped rebrand Hairspray as a family-friendly film that could appeal to kids (Zack Effron) and their parents, who would have remembered Travolta from an earlier dance film, Saturday Night Fever.
Q: You note that Waters, as he said in a TV interview, makes comedies that “wink” at the audience. When art winks at us, how do you suggest consumers of such art – including those of us who want to make some of our own – return the favor and wink back?
By rewriting the comedies we love in our own creative idioms. We wink back by imitating (or stealing, if you will) from the artists who inspire us to make our own art.
Q: What is camp? If I was camp would I know it, or would I just want other people to know it with me?
Camp is ‘the lie that tells the truth’ (Philip Core). It ‘sees everything in quotation marks’ (Susan Sontag). And if ‘you’ were ‘camp,’ you really would not give a ‘crap’ what ‘other people’ ‘know’ or ‘don’t know.’
Q: Growing up, camp was where I learned exciting truths to hide from my parents. Am I on the right track?
If one of those truths has to do with popping zits so that they make a loud, splooshy sound, yes, you are on the right track.
Q: Does Nicholas Cage know what camp is?
Does the Pope?
Q: In your book Hairspray, you address racial representation as an area in which the film might rightfully be criticized. As in other Hollywood films, this is a Civil Rights movement story told through the eyes of and, in part, resolved through the agency of white characters. Did you ask him about that issue? What are your thoughts?
I did ask Waters about this, and he was quick to say that Hairspray is ‘a white man’s memory of civil rights.’ Waters admitted that he was worried about the racial politics of the film before it was released because he wasn’t sure if audiences were ready for it. But they were, they embraced it. And I think that’s because the film creates a coalition of outsiders who band together to fight for a common freedom — to be part of the great television dance show that is American history.
There is no question that Hairspray romanticizes white people’s fantasies of blackness and racial otherness. But the film simultaneously pokes fun at those fantasies. At one point, Tracy wishes that she and her boyfriend, Link, had dark skin. They long to be part of a culture that they see as sexy and much cooler than white culture, and their wish is genuine yet at the same time satirical. The critic, bell hooks, sums this up nicely when she argues that ‘Hairspray is nearly unique in its attempt to construct a fictive universe where white working class ‘undesirables’ are in solidarity with black people. When Traci [sic] says she wants to be black, blackness becomes a metaphor for freedom, an end to boundaries.’
Q: In one of the most compelling passages in the book, you assert: “(W)e live in a culture of powerlessness.” I want to disagree, but what gives me the right? Discuss.
You have the right, but you refuse to take it. In my book, I explain this through an anecdote: A teacher once asked his students to form a line, beginning with the most powerful student in the class and ending with the least powerful. The teacher was then surprised to see that rather than arguing over who would be first in line, the students all ran to the back of the line. None of them, apparently, either felt they had power or were willing to admit it. A struggle for power occurred over the question of who would get to occupy the position of least powerful.
The anecdote affirms something that is admittedly tough to prove or disprove. But it is something that I have long suspected, although I acknowledge the tentative nature of my suspicion: we live in a culture of powerlessness. We believe in our powerlessness, and we reiterate this belief in the countless ways that we submit ourselves to state agencies, religious institutions, medical experts, advice and lifestyle gurus, intellectual authorities, and consumer appeals. No matter what our personal politics, no matter what our profession, social class, race, religion, sexuality, ability, age, ethnicity, or gender, we live in a culture that thrives — economically and ideologically — on the sublime fantasy of righteous disenfranchisement.
In this fantasy, those who possess and exercise power are evil and corrupt. Those who stand outside of it are morally and spiritually superior. The conventional narrative form this fantasy takes, or variations of it can be found in all arenas of cultural production, but nowhere is it portioned out more generously and reliably than in the realm we know as popular culture.
Q: When Waters comes to Norfolk, will you take him to Harbor Park and say, “See, it’s like our own little Camden Yards,” and then sigh, look down at the ground, and become lost in a moment of reflection before so recovering: “And over there is the highway to the Beach, see?”
I don’t see this happening, although it’s a sweet scene in someone else’s movie.
Rather, I picture us at lunch, No Frill Grill, perhaps. He orders the Reuben, me the Spotswood Salad.
‘I’d like a Diet Coke,’ he tells the waiter.
There’s a moment as we both silently wonder whether or not the waiter recognizes him. But there’s something weightier on our minds, something we must talk about, although neither of us wants to be the first to bring it up.
‘I don’t know how to ask this,” I begin, tentatively.
‘Go ahead,’ he encourages.
‘Ok, do you think Rikki Lake stands a chance of beating JR on Dancing With the Stars?’
And then we talk, and talk, and talk for hours.
Q: Could you talk briefly about how this project came together? Would you have written this without the opportunity to interview Waters?
A few years back, Diane Negra launched a new series at Wiley-Blackwell on popular films and television series that don’t get taken very seriously by the academy. This was a book series custom-made for someone like me. She cornered me at a conference and asked me to write something. So I decided to test her by proposing a book on a film that most would consider wholly unsuitable for scholarly purposes. And she loved it. So then I had to write it. But the fact is that I would have written it anyway, eventually, even if Mr. Waters had not responded to my interview request. Because as difficult as it is to believe, nobody has ever written a scholarly book on ANY of John Waters’ films. And somebody had to do it. Why not me?
Q: We’ve covered so much ground. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
One of my favorite Waters quotes: ‘We need to make books sexy again. If you go home with someone and they don’t have any books, don’t fuck them.’
Playing us out is Debby Harry. Poor lip-synching is a must for any respectable Blondie video, but this is some unusually poor drum-synching. But that’s okay. We are not here to judge, but to enjoy. Please put on your beret before viewing, and remember to arbitrarily remove it before the second verse.
NORFOLK, Va. – This is the second part of my talk with Sean Devereux of comedy and improv group The Pushers.
Devereux serves as the group’s co-producer, manager and co-head writer. Additionally, he and fellow founding Pusher Brad McMurran teach classes on improvisation and comedy writing at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, and also are involved in Improvageddon, a long form improv competition between local teams. Additionally, he recently was featured here in a Belligerent Q&A.
This discussion includes some adult language and frank discussion of jokes you may find offensive. It is toward an end. Additionally, one of the video clips contains adult language and probably is not safe for work. This Q&A had been edited for clarity and length.
It helps to have read the first part for context. You can find it here at this link.
Q: How did you get into the group?
My wife and I broke up and once that happened there was about a six month period of time where I was moping on the couch, and then I picked up Portfolio and saw auditions for a play over at The Little Theatre of Norfolk, and I said, ‘You know, I might as well.’ I did theater in high school. I was always more on the tech side but I did some acting in high school, but at least going out and auditioning beats sitting on the couch. So I went out and auditioned and got the role. … I think I had two lines …
I was really immersed. Afterwards the cast would go out drinking and meet whatever cast was rehearsing at the Generic. I just really fell into that community theater world. … I was actually kind of surprised I did fall into it. The cast I was in was kind of an all-star cast as community theater goes for the early 2000s in Hampton Roads.
Q: That, by the way, is the most specific Wikipedia page.
(Laughs.) It is. Not even Hampton Roads — early 2000s Norfolk community theater.
Q: It’s just a list with no links.
Exactly. Through that I just met a whole bunch of people. … I was having a good time with that. I started dating a girl who was involved in theater. I started a run of like four shows in a row, which is probably like a year and a half, and had just gotten burnout. The second to last play I was in was where I met Ed and Lauren Rogers, who is now in (another Hampton Roads area improv and sketch comedy group) Plan B. We struck up a friendship. Through them I met Brad and Jeremiah (Albers) and a couple other people who would actually go on to form The Pushers.
Q: Rob Wilson (now of Plan B)?
He came in pretty close to the beginning. In fact, I wrote ‘Justice Crusaders’ with Rob in mind. For his audition, we knew he was going to be in but made him audition anyway. I’m pretty sure he read the Captain Pirate role at the audition. I’d also written another role with him in mind. …
At some length, we then discussed a sketch from an early show. Devereux wrote a sketch featuring two new characters. The following week he wrote a new sketch featuring the same characters, thinking both the original sketch and the new sketch would make it into the show. When the original sketch was cut, however, there was no context for the recurring characters. The Pushers went ahead with the new sketch, which bombed.
Q: There was no context?
It was eight or nine minutes of crickets.
Q: What did you learn from that?
Number one, we weren’t as big as we thought we were. We didn’t have a loyal crowd who would come to every single show. We learned that when you’re writing a sketch that has a recurring character, which I think is something definitely SNL has learned, you have to write the sketch almost as (if) it’s the first time people are being introduced to these characters. Which is why it’s so easy to take the game of the scene and apply it to a different setting.
Here’s ‘Justice Crusaders,’ a sketch we will discuss in some depth. This is a repeat of the link from the first post, for context. Again, NSFW:
Q: I think the writing is good. How do you build that scene?
I started that with Captain Pirate. Brad and I, we always have a couple of notebooks to jot down ideas. (He pulls one out of a bag.)
Q: Your brand is Mead.
Actually, one brand I have Mead. (Pulls another one out, reads the cover.) Downtown Norfolk Council – I’m not sure how … that was actually a work meeting. Moleskines, I actually have a couple in there. Something I can just kind of stick in my back pocket. It started with Captain Pirate. I just thought that was kind of an absurd name for a superhero. …
From there it just kind of grew. I think we came up – We don’t do it as much today, but back then we would meet and just toss out ideas. I think somebody else actually came up with Low Self Esteem Girl. Another actor was going to play Aquaman. I did notice there are some cheap jokes, like making Aquaman gay. That only happened because Jeremiah was in it. Well, Jeremiah’s playing him so obviously you’re going to have to make gay jokes. You know, never has a gay man played a character where there weren’t gay jokes.
Q: Well, stop there a minute. There are couple things there. There’s kind of a throwaway moment where Jeremiah leaves where he says something to Low Self Esteem Girl, he says “bitch” and walks out the door. How do you feel about those jokes a few years later?
Some of them are, I would have to go back to cheap. There’s another one in there with Low Self Esteem Girl, and the reason I say we need Captain Pirate is because he’s a minority and we need a minority in the group. And Low Self Esteem Girl, Sandra (Hernandez), who is Hispanic, says well I’m a minority, and I go, ‘What do you want? A medal and a taco?’ And nowadays I don’t think I would write (that). You get a cheap joke. It doesn’t really do anything to progress the story of the sketch.
Q: Did you talk about it at the time, or was the idea just to push push push?
At the time it was just push push push. Rarely did we ever – The only sketch we ever thought maybe this is too far was a sketch I wrote called the Terri Schiavo diet where it was kind of an infomercial. There’s a new diet plan and the way it works is, you know, get into an accident so you’re in a coma and then have your husband remove the feeding tube and watch the pounds just melt away. Yeah. That was the only time we were, ‘Maybe that’s a little too far.’ But we put it up.
Q: Wait so you –
Oh yeah. We did.
Q: See, for me, that would just be too much for me. (Schiavo’s brain damage and the resulting vegetative state may have resulted from an eating disorder; she lost 65 pounds in her late teens, then struggled to keep weight off, subsisting on liquids, apparently.)
Exactly. We debated that almost until the night of the show. That sketch came from my uncle’s kind of dark sense of humor.
Q: I guess I wonder when you’re writing a sketch are you thinking this is satire? What are you satirizing?
Back then I wasn’t. I was just kind of writing whatever popped into my head. Nowadays it’s definitely more of satirizing I wouldn’t even say social conventions. Now it’s finding everyday situations that kind of bug people and just kind of take it to the absurd. Like I’m a big offender of always being on my phone. It drives Brad up the wall. So right now I’m working on a sketch where it’s two couples out on a date and three out of the four people are carrying on conversations with each other that are strictly on the phone. …
Q: Sometimes when I’m writing and trying to write toward something, if I’m commenting on a social thing or something about a (racial or ethnic) identity, it just kind of reinforces the notions some people have about those groups.
I think it is a fine line. I think back in the day, I don’t think we cared. I don’t think we ever really thought about it. We did a lot of racial humor, which we would always run it by Rob or Saeed (Wilkins), who was the other black guy. That would be our litmus test. You know, if we turned in a sketch and they didn’t punch us in the face then you know we were good to go.
Q: But that’s not much of a bar.
It’s not. Again, I think we – We had no bar. It definitely got us a reputation that we’re trying to shake now — of doing things for almost like shock value. The ‘God is dead line,’ that character, I like the idea of a priest losing his cool in the middle of a sermon. We haven’t done that sketch in two, two and half years. If we were to do it again I don’t think we would go to the ‘God is dead’ line. There’s no point to it. There might be one atheist out there who thinks it’s funny, but the rest …
Q: I mean, what do you want to do? Do you want to make people laugh or – What do you want to do with your writing?
I would say, first and foremost, laugh. I would like to say that we’ve done some satire as of late. Our Ghent hipster characters. I did one video for AltDaily where I play a politician. I do like that. Every time I write something like that I have a fear of, you know, becoming pretentious.
Q: I’m not saying it has to have a message. … One of the things I think writing of all kinds doesn’t do well is address differences, and I’m very conscious about writing in a way that reinforces differences that have been inflicted on people, not developed within that community. So I guess what I wonder is when you’re writing, not just in that context, is there something you want to accomplish with what you’re writing? Do you want to just make people laugh or do you want to keep turning back expectation? One of the things about the ‘Justice Crusaders’ is I think it does take the expectation the audience has and turns it back and it builds. There’s another sketch I was going to ask you about where you play the dad and Brad’s your son and he’s got to be gay (because his dad wants him to be). I think that sketch is about expectations turned around and it kind of builds.
It is. That sketch started out as an improv scene I did with a girl when I was taking classes in New York at Upright Citizens Brigade, and I do like looking at political correctness. I think that is a scene of like taking I wouldn’t even say political correctness, but taking it too far. Now the hip thing is to have somebody gay in your family. You know, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy and all that. … When Queer Eye For The Straight Guy came out there was like, you know, people I knew who would watch it who would be fag this, fag that, but thought it was a great show. It was that way, and by saying they watched that it was like ‘Oh, no. I’m cool with gay people because I watch Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.’ Again, it’s taking political correctness to the – I wrote another one for Rob where a woman takes home her boyfriend to meet him for the first time and they’re shocked not because he’s black, but not black enough. They start quizzing him on Malcolm X and you know the black power movement and black authors. …
Rob a lot of times would get upset that he would always have to play the black roles. Like he couldn’t just ever play a doctor or a lawyer. It was the black lawyer or the black doctor. I was guilty of it in ‘Justice Crusaders.’ He couldn’t be just a pirate; he had to be a black pirate. And this was a sketch where he’s just supposed to be a boyfriend bracing for the fact that because he’s black a white family might be upset that their daughter is not going to be dating a white man. But they’re like no, if he’s black we want super black. …
It’s weird for a white person, you know, giving my perception of something black people have to deal with, but it almost seems that if you’re black you have to know the history of rap and hiphop because that’s your culture.
Q: In the mind of white people.
Exactly. In the mind of white people. It was kind of an exaggeration of what white people expect black people to be.
Q: Let me ask about Upright Citizens Brigade.
I think the most training I got that has helped my writing has been at Upright Citizens Brigade. They’re whole main focus — and this is applied to improv though it could be applied to all comedy — is finding the game of the scene. Stripping away everything, all the characters and things like that, what is this scene really about. That’s not that you can’t have a really funny scene that’s nothing but a bunch of crazy characters, but it seems the ones that are most successful are the ones you can break down into a simple sentence – what is this really about?
I think that’s something that has helped me the most with my writing, you know, stripping away all of the fluff. Which is hard. Nowadays when we write a scene there will be a lot of great lines and jokes and whatnot but sometimes they end up getting cut because they really have nothing to do with the game of the scene.
What does this character want? … Do they get it? Even if they don’t get it, what are they doing to get it. This other character, is he there to help him out? Is he there to be the voice of opposition? …
My process is so I’m wearing so many hats now, I have very little free time to do actual writing. I have my notebooks. I would say normally 99 percent of my sketch is written in my head. … I write almost like the nuts and bolts. I do find that because I’ve been thinking about it so long a lot of the funny bits of dialogue come out while I’m writing. I try to get out at least the nuts and bolts of the scene and go back and write in jokes later. …
Usually my premises are more relationship based ideas and usually autobiographical. One of the last scenes I wrote was right around Valentine’s Day, the day before my girlfriend apropos of nothing said, ‘You know what I really want? I want you to write me a love letter.’ I had written her a love letter, but now I’m screwed. Now when I give you the love letter on Valentine’s Day, yeah you’re going to be happy that yu got it but you’re going to think the only reason I gave you this love letter is because you told me you wanted a love letter. So I wrote a scene were a guy takes his girlfriend to a really fancy dinner and right as he’s getting ready to get down on one knee to propose she says, ‘You know the only way this could get any better is if you proposed to me.’ And then it just becomes absurd. … That actually got a pretty good response.
Q: So how did Valentine’s Day go?
It actually went well. She’s very understanding. Luckily I had other stuff to go with the love letter. …
Q: What are you plans long term?
We would love to open our own performance space, possibly a 60-seat theater. During the day we could have classes, then at night sell PBRs for $2 a bottle and put up shows. We’d like to own a theater and teach classes. And this is the pretentious part – maybe legacy. We haven’t given up the whole some day we could have our own show, but it’s not something we’re actively pursuing. We’re pretty good being a big fish in a small pond. But teaching comedy and improv, it’s kind of like making my name go on. Even if the theater is something that doesn’t make it, it’s something people will remember. …
We’re teaching. … I got pretty lucky. Hopefully we’re going to be helping people who have a similar type of dream and point them in the right direction. And it’s just fun.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — To get in the Labor Day mood and because the blog’s Wayback Machine recently was repossessed for non payment — yo, Imaginary Board of Directors, why do I pretend to bankroll you bums? — I’ve harnessed the power of the Internet to revisit the economic past.
This past has a soundtrack by one of Patrick Bateman‘s favorite bands.
Back we go to the days after a man changed his professional name to Huey Lewis because Hugh Anthony Cregg III and the Announcements of Certain Aspects of Events Most Pressing in Importance would not fit on the merch. Can you imagine the embroidered navy golf towel ($20), blue triangle laptop skin ($29.95) or the black ceramic coffee mug ($15) with all that on it? Neither could they. Then, a laptop was where you might let your steady gal rest oh-so chastely after the sock hop. T’was a simpler time. Even actors knew their place.
We’ve got a 9.1 percent unemployment these days, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But, in 1982, there were tough economic times, too. The annual unemployment rate (though it cannot be exactly compared to the current rate for some reason involving statistics, data and blah blah blah) was 9.7 percent, and crept over 10 percent, as per The New York Times.
But then something happened. A man with a harmonica sang this:
Hundred dollar car note
Two hundred rent.
I get a check on Friday,
But it’s already spent.
Sports followed in 1983. It does not address the workplace. But the labor market was improving to the tune of “I Want A New Drug”:
Why do we work? Motivation. In 1987, Cregg & Co. released “Doing It All For My Baby.” This came amid a year of strong job gains, with a jobless rate of 6.2 percent. Unemployment even dipped below 6 percent, as The Monthly Labor Review reported the following year.
And 1987 also was one of the last recorded times a video showed its attractive model as little as possible in favor of a lead singer made up like an old man:
In 1991, the national unemployment rate had risen from 5.6 percent to 6.8 percent. With another recession afoot, America was pooped. It wanted “A Couple Days Off.”
Cregg & Co. were delighted to oblige.
Which brings us closer to our time, meaning the almost present, which is only now-ish if you are not reading this later in an amazingly farfetched future in which these meandering posts get as many hits as do Belligerent Q&As.
The year was 2007. A duet version of an old song features Lewis and … Chris Gaines himself! So be it.
Meanwhile, annual unemployment was at 4.6 percent. What could possibly go wrong? Some thought the U.S. economy would crash.
Well, I am pleased to announce that Cregg & Co. are on Twitter. Have been for days. Really. So we’ve got that.
Believe me when i tell you
It gets a little rough
We work a little harder
But it never is enough
Enjoy your weekend. It’s all gonna be okay. I’ve got a bead on a used DeLorean. I’ll go back and warn somebody. Or bet on sports.
P.S. Every bass player should look like Mario Cipollina.