February 28, 2003

Fun With Dr. Frank: Dr. Fra...

Fun With Dr. Frank: Dr. Frank, the singer/songwriter of the East Bay punk-pop band The Mr. T Experience (which I saw at the Roxy in Prague, opening up for that straight-edge D.C. band everyone except me likes) ... is one of my favorite post-Sept. 11 writers. Here are some recent examples why:

* A brief account of being gassed by a Parisian cop while busking:

"She's gotta *cough* *sniff* ticka *wheeze* *choke* tooo ri-i-i-" I had burns around my eyes and on my face for weeks afterwards. Busking is hard work, but it shouldn't be *that* hard. I think that remains the worst review I've ever received.

* On Bush's neo-con speech:


At the very least, any further waffling, wobbling, or backtracking, any hint that our efforts at Liberation will be less than sincere or thorough, any nod to the stability-at-all-costs mantra of Foggy Bottom and the GHWB alumni, can now be criticized fairly powerfully with a playback of the President's own words.

* On being an American in London, listening to anti-Yank sentiment:

I've always kind of enjoyed being the caterpillar in the salad, and I can't say I've ever felt in the least humiliated or wounded in such situations. [...]

Admit you're a bit less than thoroughly anti-American, though, and they stare at you flabbergasted, open-mouthed, as though you've expressed admiration for Hitler or something. It plays out like a breach of decorum more than anything else. Your date may, with a pained expression, say something like "Oh, really, Herbert..." Usually, as in most things, they're far too embarrassed to make a scene about it and it goes no further. Everybody sort of mumbles the word "right," and looks at the floor or ceiling. Usually, as in most things, they're far too embarrassed to make a scene about it and it goes no further. Everybody sort of mumbles the word "right," and looks at the floor or ceiling. Eventually, someone buys the next round of lagers and you move on. (If you enjoy this kind of thing, you can make a sort of game of it: the best card to play is not about this or that war, nor this or that president, nor even this or that McDonalds-- which most Brits dearly love, whether they admit it or not. No, the checkmate move is Guns. Freaks 'em out every time.) The ultimate irony is, of course, that by and large they really do love America and Americans, often to the point of obsession.

I'd add, though, that you can play this kind of Outrage Roulette in Berkeley just as easily. The difference being that in Berkeley, someone usually ends up crying. So it's not even remotely worth it.

Posted by at February 28, 2003 01:43 AM
Comments

Mr. T Experience? Huh. I seem to remember a band circulating through the Southeast several years ago that was called the Nipsey Russell Experience.

Of course, no band name will ever surpass Kathleen Turner Overdrive.

Ever.

Posted by: Media Minder at February 28, 2003 09:33 AM

Media,
I've seen adverts all over California for a band called REO Speeddealer. That's some pretty tough competition.

Posted by: Emily at February 28, 2003 04:01 PM


Call me old-fashioned but band names have all been downhill since Throbbing Gristle.

Posted by: Michael Farris at March 1, 2003 06:32 AM
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