And If Amanda Threatens to Kick the Ass of the Scene, That Will be Funny, Too

Dear Nashville Scene,

Here’s what happened. Nemesisboy showed up at a little blogger get-together wearing a Darth Vader mask. Ninety percent of the people there thought it was hilarious. Nine percent of the people there had no idea who nemesisboy was. One percent of the people there–Amanda and me and Coble, if I’m remembering it right, thought it was stupid, because how can anyone drink a beer with a big Darth Vader mask on his face?

The only person I recall being “miffed” was Amanda, because dude would not back off when we were trying to have a conversation. Amanda, never one to shy away from a fight, made it clear that he should leave or she would kick his ass.

It was pretty damn funny. Especially when he and his little crowd then immediately decided that they were too cool for the party and hastily left. Especially because, if you’ve ever seen Amanda, she seems all beautiful and girly, so when she turns on the “Oh, I’m so sorry I’m going to have to do you in” stuff, it’s both shocking and hilarious. Because, she can and would kick an ass if it came down to it.

I mention this only because your take on the incident is as follows–“And when Nemesisboy showed up at a local blogger meet-up in a Darth
Vader mask, some bloggers were miffed—proof that intelligence has
nothing to do with sense of humor.”–seems to overlook the fact that Amanda and I were howling with laughter. I think we have grand senses of humor.

Or don’t we count because we’re breasted bloggers?

See? That was funny, and I’m sure it made Roger Abramson (the only Scene-affiliated blogger who failed to win an award this year. Poor Roger. Were you unaware of his place as Best Conservative Blogger Regularly Run out of Conservatism by Terry Frank?) cringe and laugh.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention that what an alt.weekly calls “miffed” might seem to two girls at a bar like “mildly confused and being obnoxious in return.” And since it wasn’t like anyone but Amanda, me, and Nemesisboy heard what she said to him, it seems pretty presumptuous of Tracy Moore to tell the story like he was there.

Oh, got it. Very clever.

Anyway, thanks for calling Amanda and me intelligent.

I look forward to the day when you stop acting like blogging is the equivalent of someone peeing on you–something you have secret fantasies about at least enough to let one or two people you trust try it, but not something you’re ever going to accept from the general public.

As always,

Aunt B.

So, it turns out Tracy Moore is a girl.  That made me laugh so hard I think I hurt my eye.

“But I Rub My Root, My Luck Will Never Fail”

Muddy Waters can sing anything and make it sound like a seduction. I can imagine him strutting up on stage with a phone book in one hand and a sly grin on his face, being all like “That’s A, I say A, Abrams, Aaron, Abrams, Barton, Abrams, Daniel…” and all the women in the place just swooning.

In the current issue of the Oxford American, Bill Friskics-Warren has a nice piece about how people who write about music tend to focus on the lyrics and say very little about the instrumentation or even how those lyrics are delivered, as if songs were simply poems stuck over melodies.

It’s impossible to listen to listen to Muddy Waters sing and not be aware of how much information is conveyed not only in what he says, but how he says it.


So, I want to talk about “My John the Conquerer Root” from two ends, even though, I think, when you hear the song, those two ends are tied together about as tightly as they can be. I don’t know who to give credit to for that–Willie Dixon, who must be one of the greatest practically forgotten songwriters of the 20th century, or Waters. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

But the first end is how much information the song conveys about how to use a John the Conquerer root in one’s own root work. In the first verse–“My pistol may snap, my mojo is frail/ But when I rub my root, my luck will never fail”–we learn that the John the Conquerer root is lucky, that you active its luck by rubbing it, and that in dangerous situations, it’s more reliable than a gun and more potent than most magic. This is substantiated by the second verse, in which the speaker finds himself in an incredibly dangerous situation–“I was accused of murder in the first degree” but by rubbing his root, he can cause the judge’s wife to cry out “Let the man go free!” The root is so powerful that it can influence court cases and affect married (and I think it’s no stretch to say) white women to publicly demand the freedom of the black speaker.

In all the ways the deck of life might have been stacked against a black man in 1964, John the Conquerer can get a man a reshuffle. Speaking of decks, in the third verse, we learn it’s lucky for gamblers as well–“All I have to do is rub my root, I win every time.”

But isn’t this also as much a song about male potency?

Sure, the constant rubbing of the root suggests it, but so does Waters’ delivery, that casual swagger of his.

It’s hard for me to imagine what it must be like to be a man. But it’s also hard not to be delighted when I see one of y’all feeling his oats. That way you have when you feel like everything’s working just like it should, that bravado… I like it. You want to walk around all “I’m a man, that’s spelled M-A child N” and I’ll gladly provide the swooning giggles. You want to be all “I don’t want you to wash my clothes/ I don’t want you to clean my home” and I’m dying in anticipation for you to grab me, pull me close and growl “I just want to make love to you.” (speaking, again, of Willie Dixon songs).

I can’t quite bring myself to admit it, but the reason I love these songs is that you can boil it down to “I’ve got a penis, it works, I know how to use it, and that makes me feel like the luckiest, most awesome man on the planet.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love my cooter. But it must be delightful to have a penis. Shoot, especially if it makes you feel as good as Muddy Waters seems to be feeling. I hear him sing and I feel like I’m sharing, a little bit, in what the best, most fun parts of being a man must feel like.

That’s lucky for me, I think.

The Tiny Cat is Made of Lead

The tiny cat is a tiny cat.  She looks only slightly smaller than the orange cat, but much of that is fur.  Under it all, she weighs about eight pounds, sometimes less.

Sometimes, though, she can wake you up out of a dead sleep by just stepping on you.  It’s as if she can concentrate the mass of a black hole right where her every paw is placed on your skin.

The orange cat must weigh twice as much at the tiny cat and yet he does not have the ability to step on you and leave bruises.

It’s very strange, the tiny cat.

One More Bone

We should have a contest. A prize to the first person to guess this bone.

I don’t know what the prize is. Ha, that could be our next contest.

Woo, my contests suck.

Anyway, identify this bone and its purpose (either mundane or otherwise) and win something, I don’t know what.