Gully washed

Dave Marsh tells the story this way:

Trying to pull a fast one on their tiny record label, L.A.-based Arvee, the Olympics and producers Fred Smith and Cliff Goldsmith sold a single to Argo, an affiliate of Chicago’s Chess. Since the group was still under contract out West, it had to be called the Marathons, a name whose unsubtle connection to the Olympics is matched by the equally obvious musical relationship of “Peanut Butter” to the 1960 Olympics hit, “(Baby) Hully Gully.” So without much litigation, Arvee wound up with the record anyway, and the group landed right back where it started.

For comparison: the Olympics original; the “Marathons” remake. Better blatant than latent, I always say.

The Hully Gully, of course, was a real live line dance with an MC calling the moves. (See also the Madison.) Most such dances had a shortish shelf life, though the Hully Gully managed to survive until 1964, just in time for this attempt to cash in:

ballet stockings by Burlington in which to do the Hully Gully

For that matter, you could probably eat peanut butter while wearing these.

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Besides, “clusterfark” was taken

Health-care exchanges explained, by the Crimson Reach:

It’s like a cargo-cult version of how markets are supposed to work: They just need to build some website (at the end of the day this is what it is right, a website?), call it an “exchange” for some reason, and market-magic will happen. Insurance coverage will be dropped, from on high, on the villagers by the Shiny And Mysterious Insurance Companies Who Come From The Sky.

Or maybe it will just be dropped.

My own working definition is purely etymological, from ex-, “former,” and change, “non-paper currency.”

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Brief update

Men’s Underwear Sales Show Bulge in the Economy, or kinda sorta anyway:

An uptick in men’s underwear sales bodes well for the economy at large — given the suggestion that men have enough disposable income to buy an item they don’t often update. Though 2012 men’s apparel sales rose a meager 1% to $57 billion, underwear sales shot up 13%, according to NPD group.

Not to be confused with BVD group, which, like everything else, is owned by Warren Buffett.

Disclosure: I bought no underwear in 2012, though I will likely have to in 2013, the inevitable result of having bought no underwear in 2012.

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The merest kibble

I’m thinking “yes, it would”:

Some days I wonder if it really would be so awful to find some kind of equivalent of Purina People Chow, that was nutritionally balanced but had nothing I “shouldn’t” have and just force myself to live on that, instead of all the label-reading, and the trying to substitute, and wharrrrgarrrbl, everything.

In fact, why eat at all? Just get a suitable I.V. drip.

This calls, I think, for a PROUD OMNIVORE T-shirt.

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Get off the road

Some people simply should not be allowed near motor vehicles — even innocuous models like the 1999 Toyota Corolla.

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Yummier than thou

From the Department of Rhetorical Questions:

Do you know why people still listen to and care about Bach, Mozart or Beethoven and no longer give much of [a] crap about the Ohio Express, Wishbone Ash or Pacific Gas & Electric? Because the first three wrote for the ages and the last three got into music to pull the birds, as the British put it.

Of course, none of those bands was anywhere nearly as prolific, and one of them, for quite a while, existed in name only. This was Ohio Express, which may or may not have been the Rare Breed, who issued a single called “Beg, Borrow and Steal,” which was also issued as an Ohio Express single.

None of these guys, however, had anything to do with the lascivious-teen specials sung by Joey Levine, starting with this one:

When Levine moved on to Other Things, various aggregations of individuals were recorded as Ohio Express, including (yes!) 10cc. The current band actually is based on the pre-Levine original, which proves — something, I suppose.

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Take a guess

This feeling I know too well:

Somebody was complaining the other day about getting E-mail from utilities saying their bill was due, but they did not tell them him the amount. I thought it was Dustbury, but I couldn’t find the post, so maybe it was someone else. I get notices from Blue Cross all the time telling me that there is a new message for me on their website. That’s all the notice says, and if I go to the website, all that message says is that they paid some medical bill, or didn’t, and I have to go to another page to see how much they paid or didn’t. At least I recall that’s how it works. I don’t even bother any more since if I owe one of these guys some money, they can be counted on to send me a bill on paper. Likewise American Express sends me a note every month telling me that I have a new bill, but I have to go to some other site and download the PDF file to see what’s on it. If this is what the paperless solution looks like, it sucks. I am going to stick to paper as much as I can.

Actually, I think this is what he remembered:

In other news, someone is actually reading my tweets.

AT&T, of all corporate pseudo-people, actually includes the amount in their email notices, for which I thank them.

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Here in the Duration Nation

Things we don’t know for sure:

One thing we do now know: how many times you can assemble LEGO bricks before they wear out.

(And the Friar knew it before I did.)

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OG&E fail

I have come to grips with the reality of power outages: they happen, and they’ll continue to happen, so long as we have the twofold problem of (1) overhead wires and (2) insane weather. I’m not saying I’m okay with that, but I have learned to live with it.

However.

Your automated outage-reporting system is deeply flawed, and no flaw is deeper than the one that’s kicking in when the automated voice says that there are several accounts associated with that number. No, there aren’t. This one account, this one number, for ten years. “Or the OG&E account number”? Yeah, right. It’s four in the morning and I’m sitting in the dark and you want me to find last month’s bill? This is stupidity on a governmental scale.

You want to know why I refuse to sign up for that “Smart Hours” crap? Because I figure if you don’t even know where the hell I live, I have no reason to trust the meter readings during those deadly 46-cent-per-kWh hours. For all I know, they could have been run up by someone who lived there 11 years ago — couldn’t they?

If you can’t do better than this, you don’t have any right to collect a franchise fee. Which, incidentally, is voted on now and again.

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The content scraper of tomorrow

He’s here today:

Please guys help me i have a website and there is no content in it please where can i copy content an paste on?

Reminds me of an old mid-Eighties cartoon, with an obviously Clooless Noob carrying a humongous computer box, and before he gets to the exit, he says to the salesperson: “Oh, I’m also going to need some data. Do you have that?”

Now why does this character even have a Web site? There are, I suspect, exactly two possibilities:

  • Someone told him it would be cool;
  • Someone told him it could make money.

The reality check is in the email.

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Sleeper unawake

Maureen Dowd, according to Doug Mataconis, is living in Aaron Sorkin’s fantasy universe:

Dowd has become enamored with the idealized New York-Washington corridor vision of politics epitomized by the movie she references in her column [The American President], and even more so by Sorkin’s classic television series The West Wing. According to this vision, the President is the all powerful leader of government who, with just a little bit of persuasion and a lot of political skill can bend Congress to his will. The problem is that this isn’t how American politics works, or at least not how it works in the real world. You can’t just solve problems by being a “strong leader” and giving nice speeches. If the political winds are blowing against you, then you’re not going to win. In the case of this gun control vote, the political winds were not blowing in Barack Obama’s favor, and that’s why he failed. Dowd’s dream that he could have been some fictional President that could enact the dream liberal agenda are just that, dreams and fantasies.

“But … but … 90 percent!”

Also a fantasy.

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Driving us Madhu

Madhu Shalini, twenty-three, grew up in Hyderabad and made several Telugu and Tamil films before being tapped last year for a Bollywood feature, Department, directed by Ram Gopal Varma. In Department, Shalini appears in various degrees of undress — the local ratings authority granted it an Adults Only certification — but she’s sort of demure here.

Madhu Shalini on promo tour for Department

Shalini, while not exactly plain, is certainly plain-spoken. Consider this 2008 interchange, while she was still doing Telugu films:

One would argue that most actresses in Tollywood look alike. Do you feel the same?

That’s because they all do! With all due respect to them, most directors still prefer a fair-skinned girl to a dusky one. They go to Bombay to scout for actresses. Everywhere else I get compliments for my dusky tone while here it’s the other way round. You always want what you don’t have.

Which is a concept you don’t have to be from India to understand, either.

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Long after the starting gun

On this date in 1889, the so-called “Unassigned Lands” in what is now central Oklahoma were opened to white settlement, the celebrated Oklahoma Land Run. The Native tribes, you may be sure, aren’t quite so enthusiastic about celebrating.

Just where were these Lands?

The first popular usage of the term “Unassigned Lands” started in 1879 when mixed-blood Cherokee Elias C. Boudinot published an article in the Chicago Times describing lands in the central part of the Indian Territory that could, and in his opinion, should be settled by white people. The boundaries of his so-called “Unassigned Lands” had been established externally through a series of treaties with Indian tribes. The border on the north was the Cherokee Outlet, created by treaty in 1828. To the south was the Chickasaw Nation, established in 1837. To the west was the Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation, established in 1867. And to the east were the reservations of the Potawatomi (1867), Shawnee (1867), Sac and Fox (1867), Pawnee (1881), and Iowa (1883). Altogether, the Unassigned Lands covered 1,887,796.47 acres, or approximately 2,950 square miles.

This description overlooks claims by the Creek and Seminole nations to the area, which were dealt with in the time-honored fashion. From Born Grown: An Oklahoma City History by Roy P. Stewart (Oklahoma City: Fidelity Bank, N.A., 1974), the terms of the deal:

In January 1889, negotiations were held to recover interests of those two tribes … Relinquishment gave those tribes $2,280,000 and $1,912,000 respectively. Thus the two tribes received a bit more than $2 an acre for land for which the United States paid France four cents an acre.

I note purely in passing that the site of Halvor Steanson’s farm, on a sliver of which the palatial estate at Surlywood is located, would now go for $100,000 an acre, were there any acres to sell.

The winners, of course, get to write the history books. Still, the idea of holding Land Run reenactments in the local schools smacks of Rubbing It In, and for several years now, members of various tribes have tried to get those events banned, or at least toned down. (Audio regarding a current effort [41 minutes].) Certainly the Land Run as an actual historic event needs to be covered in the curriculum; however, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for the reenactments, which boil down to “You guys won, and you guys lost.”

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Merch to be moved

Lileks is vending something called Tiny Lies, and this is what that something is all about:

Tiny Lies contains 150 + small ads from the back of old magazines and newspapers, annotated and commented upon with varying degrees of strained amusement. That’s right: less than a penny a page!

Provided you pay. If you don’t, there’s nothing I can do about that. This is an experiment, really.

Easily worth the equivalent of Daffy Duck’s quarterstaff. Hey, if it worked for Radiohead

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Strange search-engine queries (377)

This week’s collection of peculiar search strings, because it’s Monday and Mondays need all the help they can get.

bizet naked:  After the composer has decomposed long enough, such considerations become irrelevant.

what were the names of all the okla city public schools that were around klein area in oklahoma city during the 1920s + 1930s:  Um, there’s no distinct “Klein area.” The old Opportunity School was around 8th and Klein; the current OKCPS office is to its north.

asian men are polite:  Just don’t make fun of them.

itching powder rival:  Nothing truly rivals itching powder, though a case of shingles comes close.

im a bitch like the boldest person ever so ill go up to anybody:  You better home “anybody” isn’t carrying itching powder.

doodyful meaning:  Trust me, they hate you because you’re doodyful.

bruce’s unusual typing wizard background photo:  It’s Rainbow Dash, telling him that he needs to be, oh, about 20 percent faster.

opposite of date definition:  Whatever I was on, it was clearly the opposite of a date.

internet dating limbo:  Where you end up on the opposite of a date.

American dream is a phrase referring to the freedom that allows all citizens:  to tell the government to FOAD and quit interfering with the American dream.

googlenasty americans:  Those pursuing the America dream; they don’t appreciate your interference, or your inference.

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Rockets glared at

The catchphrase/hashtag tonight was #ShearTheBeard. It wasn’t quite that easy early on; in fact, this game might actually have been in doubt until maybe the last few minutes of the second quarter, when the Rockets came back from a double-digit deficit to tie it up at 38. After that, it became just another Number 1 thump of Number 8, with the Thunder taking a 60-47 lead at the half and pulling away to a 120-91 blowout.

The Beard did get at least somewhat trimmed: James Harden did come up with a team-high 20 points, though it took him 19 shots and seven free throws to get there, and only one of his six three-point attempts found the net. In fact, Houston’s long-distance prowess was conspicuously absent tonight, the Rockets throwing up 36 of them and cashing in on only eight. (The Thunder went 10-24.) If anyone was truly shorn, it was Jeremy Lin, who went 1-7 for a mere four points. The only other Rockets in double figures were reserves: Patrick Beverley, with 11, and Carlos Delfino, with 10. Houston overall shot an uninspiring 36.3 percent.

The Thunder ruled the box score: 53 percent scoring, 46-39 advantage on the glass, 28-17 advantage in assists, nine steals and nine blocked shots versus six and one. Kevin Durant bagged 24 points; Russell Westbrook approached triple-double status, with 19 points, 10 dimes and eight boards. Kevin Martin, as he should, led the bench with 16. About the only thing Scott Brooks is going to have to complain about was DeAndre Liggins missing three foul shots in a row late in the fourth, and it was over long before that.

The series resumes Wednesday at the ‘Peake.

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