Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Weird Things that Don't Get Enough Credit

A pretty random post, but here are my top three weird things that don't get enough credit for being weird:

1) Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, former guitarist for the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan is now a U.S. Defense Department Consultant on weapons technologies. Here is the first sentence of Wikipedia's entry on him:

"Jeff (Skunk) Baxter (b. December 13, 1948 in Washington, D.C.) is an unusual hybrid---a well-respected American rock guitarist and an equally respected consultant to his country's government on how to apply theoretically unrelated technologies to understanding terrorist thinking and planning."

Unusual hybrid seems an understatement, since this would imply that there are others of the similiar ilk. Though Ted Nugent would like to claim to be a weapons and guitar expert, Skunk Baxter deals with more than conventional hunting weapons.

2) Mickey Jones. A rock n roll drummer in the mid-60s, he toured with Bob Dylan during Dylan's famous 1966 tour, in which audiences would scream at him for being a sell-out of folk music. Many rock critics regard the "Royal Albert Hall" concert, offically released as "The Bootleg Series Volume 4" as the best concert ever, and Mickey Jones was the drummer.

He got pretty stressed out after this tour and gave up music. He resurfaced almost thrity years later playing a stereotypical biker on "Home Improvement." He played almost the same role on Mentos commercials.

3) Osama and Bert. This to me is the real proof that human history has jumped the shark. We've always had wars, and we've always had animosity between people of different cultures. In this sense, the aftermath of 9/11 was no different, with many Americans unfairly casting all Arabs or Muslims as evil, and many people of other nations commending the terrorist's actions. In Bangladesh, there was a rally against America, in which people held up signs of Osama bin Laden. Here is where it gets weird though.

Many of the bin Laden pictures also had pictures of Bert. Yes, Bert as in Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street. Turns out a lazy print shop owner googled "Osama bin Laden" and downloaded a picture that was photoshopped by someone who had a gag sight implying that Bert was responsible for all the evil in the world (the site also had pictures of Bert with Hitler, for example). The photo was run off and distributed to a bunch of protesters, and pictures of protestors with signs showing Osama and Bert were distributed all over the world. I suppose there is a lot you can make of this as a synthesis of ideology and irony. Maybe I'll write about that in my next blog.


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