Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gilbert & Sullivan


So, when my wife, my sister and I traveled down to Alabama for Thanksgiving we listened to a lot of Gilbert & Sullivan in the car. We listened to THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (my sister's favorite) once and THE MIKADO (my wife's favorite) three times. I would explain how we ended up with such a lopsided (in THE MIKADO's favor) listening experience but it would be even duller than the dullest thing ever "blogged" on a "blog." I will say that I was reminded of the pleasing jauntiness of Gilbert & Sullivan and how much fun they are, and it put me in mind of the time I may have seemed harsh toward them in a "humor" piece. My actual target was a certain kind of music journalism, which also led me to call Bob Dylan (in the same piece) "the greatest dead songwriter." And I love Mr. Dylan, too! You had to be there. The joke was, mainly, that there's an unwritten rock journalism rule that Bob Dylan has to be number one on every single list of every kind. In any case, something interesting happened (I am now far off the Gilbert & Sullivan track). Someone from USA Today was interviewing Bob Dylan and asked if he knew that Paste magazine had called him the "greatest dead songwriter." Then, according to the article, Bob Dylan laughed! What I'm saying is, I made Bob Dylan laugh - in an extremely roundabout, indirect, meaningless way (my joke taken completely out of context and paraphrased by a third party who seemingly didn't even "get" it) that would never stand up in a court of law, and yet it's the coolest thing I've ever done. Put it on my tombstone, boys! And oh yes, try to find a copy of the Mike Leigh film TOPSY-TURVY. Jim Broadbent should have received an Oscar or something for his portrayal of W.S. Gilbert.