Saturday, February 6, 2010

dumb that damn tv down, you

In one corner a family from the bayou with an interest in Cajun deep frying and wall-mounted alligators, in the other, a family of self-professed ballet enthusiasts with a passion for the arts. Did you get that, siblings ? ARTS, brothers and sisters, although I suspect the 'T' is optional; certainly it might involve dressing down a rung too far.

Lest we don't grasp just how a trip to a hanging - a picture hanging mind you, not a lynching - might add some civil colour to our charbroiled palette, our pirhouetting patriach is keen to demonstrate. Gesturing at a particularly hellish piece of figurative airbrushing, he invites teenage son #1 to corroborate his sense of elevated wonder from mere close proximity. The distressed youth is so clearly traumatised by repeated exposure to one exhibition after another that his tongue is stilled entirely.

"Look. A woman and an animal. And they're getting along. Even though she's partially nude."

F@ck me. Bestiality with a unicorn. A unicorn with the horn, no less. And as if this is not enough, we are than informed how much our renaissance family has benefitted from its recent excursion to Paris.

Paris, France, naturally. A glimpse around mom's living room is sufficient to tell us they have been to Europe. Every mirror polished surface boasts a scaled down replica of the Eiffel Tower. Most gold-plated as if by Jeff Koons. Or KMart.

No, definitely Jeff Koons. Mom would never stoop to shopping in KMart, although she quite obviously aspires to the late Michael Jackson's taste in frightfully expensive nick nacks and would quite comfortably leave her children in the safekeeping of Neverland while she hits the craft fair in Santa Barbera. And on to a private tasting at the winery.

Now. All this might be moderately funny if fronted by the Griswalds, with Randy Quaid in a minor role as the Cajun inbreed canoing through the swamps with tobacco wasted front teeth. But this is Wife Swap USA, the reality show inspired by its dreadful British counterpart. And as such it is hilarious. Hideously so.

Throw them to the alligators.

JAMBALAYA (ON THE BAYOU) from "Stars & Hank Forever: The American Composers Series, vol. II" LP (Ralph) 1986 (US)



Your driver said...

Conway Twitty did in fact perform with The Residents. Life has meaning. Life is good. Here's the proof:

Alright, the residents were just standing around, but they were on the same bill and I swear I remember them doing a song together on the same show.


picking up the blower
"Hello, sir or madam, is Art there.?"
"Yes, is Art there?"
"Art. There's no Art here."

@eloh said...

I've been locked in combat with your blog on and off all afternoon. My computer is such a POS... I was unable to hear Hank.

I'm going to have to go over to playlist to hear it...assuming that is what you had previously posted.

Today's version of Jambalaya is slow and dark... like the "fun" referred to is at the expense of unwary travelers and small woodland creatures.

These two interpretations of the same song constitutes a wonderful analogy of the few episodes of "Wife Swap" that I have seen.

I can't recall the specifics, but one I saw I knew if it was me I would somehow figure a way to get the husband off camera... and just beat the unholy shit out of him.

@eloh said...

I hurried back, thinking I may have left a poor picture of myself in my past years in the role of "wife". I felt the need to profess that I had never beaten any of my husbands....I hate a lets just say they quickly learned not to raise their hands to me.

I'm really just a sweet old lady now... really I am. Really.

ib said...


Very disturbing. In the first couple of frames I was only semi-convinced, thinking it might be a bunch of kids dressed up like the ones in cowls on Neil Young's "Rust Never Sleeps" tour of '78; an equally disturbing hybrid of the flims, "Phantasm" and those later Ewoks of "Star Wars" menace...

Then one Resident unravelled himself full height and I noticed the top hat.

Bizarre. Alarming.

ib said...


Yes. The unravelling tapestry of televised backbiting and needless oneupmanship was 'eartless and artless in the extreme.

I have no idea where that particular exhibition was filmed but the curator had either had his eyes gouged out or was just paid to to turn a blind eye.

"It's the kids I feel sorry for."

ib said...


Sorry. On the previous posting it was the same Residents version I featured. No Hank.

I only really caught the first ten minutes or so of this episode before I switched it off. I have sat through enough to know this kind of voyeuristic shit is bad for my health.

The self congratulatory zeal with which the families set about each other is tantamount to domestic abuse as it is.

Mind you. I was vaguely hoping the Cajan wife would pick up one of those miniature Eiffel Towers and bludgeon the ballet dancing dad with it. And his own Stepford Wife was too much of a bitch to feel remotely sympathetic to.