When you’re polishing the brass railings of the HMS Titanic, it’s important to remember one thing; do it with style. Otherwise, why bother? The more you polish, they better you get. So what if the ship hits the iceberg and sinks?
Since 1998, largely to keep myself out of a rut, I’ve changed the heading of the Bands I Useta Like strip every few years. In the very beginning (when it was self-published), it looked like this:
When something restores your overall morale, and very nearly your faith in humanity, that something must be publicly acknowledged. And yes, that’s humanity, not “hupeopleity”, or any other spurious, Canadian word salad.
Two things you already know if you’ve read articles on this site in the past month: 1., I’m flat broke, and 2., my dwarf hamster Vern has had a growth under his chin since mid-January.
A Vern in the hand.
This past week, the growth grew significantly, and I began to worry that it was hurting Vern. Hopefully you don’t know this, but when you’re so broke that you can’t even provide for the pet that depends on you, the spiral of shame and depression is mind-boggling in its brutality.
Imagine if you will, a world parallel to our own, identical in many ways, disparate in others. Long story short, in this mirror universe, Bands I Useta Like was optioned by a major independent film studio, and made into a hit movie. It combined animation and live action, and because the producers had deep pockets, licensing songs for a decent soundtrack wasn’t a problem.
Whether I allowed the film to be produced at all was contingent upon the quality of the music choices. If they balked at a crucial song, or refused to include it, I would walk off the project. Which I did, and they replaced me on-screen with a real actor. Like I said, the movie was a hit.
The 2-disc soundtrack sold out of stores overnight. Even though it came packed in that shitty double jewel-box, which just winds up broken, on the floor of a car.
If I may, I’d like to speak to the ladies a moment. The women, the females, the girls; there’s something I think you’ll find very interesting. I’m so sure of this, that I’m just gonna hit you with it cold; straight, no chaser. Afterwards, I’ll reveal why.
The following YouTube link should be cued up to the correct spot, but on the off chance it isn’t, you’re looking for the 9:04 mark: “The Slave”, from Art Bears’ 1979 album Winter Songs. The lyrics are under the link in case you’d like to read them. The words are so clearly sung, you probably won’t even need to.
I won’t lie to you; I’m a conceited guy. I probably possess an overabundance of confidence in my own skills. As I grow older, I try to temper this arrogance, because I’ve seen how it can drive others away; friends, loved ones, fans. But you must understand the importance of this feature (not a bug). In today’s world, you have to be crazy to get anything accomplished.
I have a “Messiah complex”, for which I blame no one but myself. My endless vitriol directed at the entertainment universe springs from the concrete belief that I can do better for you. I can give you what you really want.
Vern, aka Vernal Squeequinox, is my Winter White dwarf hamster. You might have seen him in other articles here, or in my interminable Facebook posts. Maybe you’re not interested in another page about my emotional support hamster*, but I assure you, Vern only wants to share love. Like me, he takes his small fandom very seriously. (As seriously as a tiny ball of fluff can take anything.)
A snoozing Vern in an Ovo pod.
*As a favor to me, please remember this: I never, ever, want to hear any tragic stories about hamsters, yours or otherwise. Never. I’m asking you nicely.