The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, March 31, 1994 - 3
"'Melrose Place' is a really good show"
By MICHAEL BARNES
I agree with all of you: some
people, like those totally negative
Daily film critics, are clueless. I mean
who really likes random small movies
that are lame and boring and loaded
And you know most of them don't
like "Beverly Hills 90210" or
"Melrose Place." They're too serious
for petty change like that.
Serious? What do I need to be
serious about? Serious means mild
depression - and with Burger King
job prospects and the advent of a new
home shopping network to look for-
ward to ... look, its like skydiving
with a blindfold - if you're going to
fall, you might as well keepyour eyes
But what all those long-faced
psuedo-intellectuals don't realize is
that "90210" and "Melrose" are,
contrary to what that flabbag skeezer
in "Reality Bites" says, not just good
shows, but ingenious works of art.
Yes - Ingenious Art. Why?
Because both shows operate on the
law of paradox which, yes, I happen
to know, has something to do with
Post-modernism or some useless
theory that Professors stroke to and I
You see, "90210" operates like a
type of medicinal fertilizer. Yes, fer-
tilizer like mulch that you buy at the
flower shop and plant flowers in ...
even though it's decomposed horse
manure, the geraniums seem to dig it.
And that's what the creators of
"90210" deliver - blown up visual
pieces of decayed shit raining down
on an American society clamoring for
See all those chemicals Dylan puts
in his hair to make it stand straight up
are really conglomerates of oil which
is the incredibly valuable but dead
piss that leaks from layers upon layers
of historical skeletons piled on top of
In fact, we use oil to move our cars
and sure enough, "90210"'s cause-of
the-week plots, cardboard characters
and veneer of sex, style and money
give us something to rap about so the
day moves on.
You don't believe me. I'm telling
you - dead things mean something in
our society and the creators of "90210"
have yet to be saluted for their astute
observance of the American cultural
embrace of the laws of physics - if
it's heavy, it sinks.
Furthermore, everyone in "90210"
is tan, blond and beautiful. What is a
tan but accumulation of dead skin that
has been melted by the sun? And you
tell me what all those plastic
personality melodrama airwaves do
to your epidermis.
"90210" operates like
a type of medicinal
fertilizer. Yes, fertilizer
like mulch that you buy
at the flower shop and
plant flowers in ... even
manure, the geraniums
seem to dig it.
And the hair. It's blond because
its bleached. And what does bleach
do but kill the root cells of your hair
follicles? Those cells are ruptured,
and while being burned alive by the
bleach, emit the blond light like vomit.
But who cares at the beach?
People don't know that tanning
and hair salons contribute billions to
the budgets of both shows. Its an
incredible investment for these busi-
nesses. I watch the show, bake my
skin to a Chernyoble shade of orange,
chemicalize my hair, cop an attitude,
and bingo, I'm a mini-replica of my
favorite TV character. Now all I have
do is piss the public off and get on the
cover of People.
Those serious, give-me-quality
types don't even know that people
like Aaron Spelling ("90210"
producer) are laughing all the way to
the bank. He's an oilman making a
killing burning slick images of pimple-
free adolescent horndogs for an eager
American public. Remember "who
shot J.R.?"' - Aaron was behind that
too. He just slips that nozzle into our
heads and we're off to a paradise of
fast cars and attitude.
Sixty minutes and fantasy indul-
gence is up. We slip back to reality
content from watching made-up,
drivel-fed larger mannequin images
of ourselves doing the glamor thing.
Its a beautiful contradiction.
"90210" is a self-conscious fertilizer
for a dead garden and all those
pessimistic serious types don't even
know it. What idiots!
All we have to do is set up massive
force-feed cafeterias because it's
scientific fact that a lot of people pore
over fashion mags, stare atthe pictures
and hope, then make themselves vomit
in frustration. Since "90210" has twice
the flashy style of Cosmo, we could
have some hungry people out there,
-.- .. ...
The Afghan Whigs: Steve Earle, Greg Dulli John Curley and Rick McCollum.
A fghnWg wo
Aiga Wh-- S Wlout
backfired on the Whigs. Since the
band has a lighter attack than most of
the grunge bands that popularized the
label, they fell by the wayside despite
1992's brilliant "Congregation" and
its hard edged predecessor, "Up In
It." Soon after "Congregation," the
band released Dulli's favorite Whigs
record, an EP of soul covers called
Their most recent release,
"Gentlemen," is a superbly crafted
album mixing melodic grooves with
honest and heartfelt vocals. The Whigs
have definitely taken the slow boat to
success. "We didn't explode. We've
always kind of done it our way, right
way or not," said Dulli. They have
graduated to Elektra, allowing them
to produce two high-budget videos
now in MTV's heavy rotation (as
anyone who watches the channel
would surely know). The band seems
to be well on their way to success, but
according to Dulli, the band does not
feel it yet - "When our poster is
hanging in kids' rooms, then we'll be
a success." Their recent "buzz" was
known to everybody but the band
until recently. "We were touring
Europe for two months and when we
came back, we heard our record was
selling," he explained. "I never saw
(our success) happen. It's hard to get
a perspective on it. When we go out
on tour this time, we'll see it." Dulli is
honest enough to know the ephemeral
nature of success in the '90s: "No
band, with the exception of Pearl Jam
and U2, can sustain a buzz more than
Dulli is the driving force in the
See WHIGS, Page 8
By GIANLUCA MONTALTI
The Afghan Whigs have been
quietly ripping away at the fiber of
popular music for more than seven
years now. They have only recently
received the proper acclaim for their
swirling, poetic brand of modern rock.
After a past filled with unjust and
inaccurate "grunge" categorizations,
the Whigs have taken a major step
forward with their brutally honest
major-label debut, "Gentlemen."
The Cincinnati-based band is
comprised of Louisville guitarist Rick
McCollum, Washington D.C. bassist
John Curley and Cincinnati locals:
drummer Steve Earle and vocalist /
guitarist/songwriter Greg Dulli. Each
dropped out of college for the sake of
the band. Now an accomplished
songwriter, Dulli says it was not
always his forte. "When I first started
writing songs, it was pretty bad," he
said. "Some would argue that they
still are." Although band members'
musical tastes differed greatly, they
were able to agree on one unlikely
inspiration. "The one band that we all
worshiped was The Who," admitted
Dulli. Their collective influences
include HuskerDu, Dream Syndicate,
Big Star and the Motown sound.
After releasing their low-budget
debut record, the Whigs signed to the
now over-saturated Sub Pop label.
The unforeseeable success of the label
. Easter '.
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