Wednesday, March 15, 2006

there's something in the popcorn

opprobrium: N. Disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy.

For whatever reason have that word in my head, like this crazy itch on the back of my brain that I can't stop scratching. It's a pretty good one, you have to admit, rounded off from beginning to end with all those p's and that b in the middle there. It's suitable for framing. You wouldn't think with a word that looks as sanded down as be quite so unpleasant.

I just re-encountered the word in this fantastic auto review in the L.A. Times written by the reliably fantastic Dan Neil, who for those of you unfamiliar is easily the best writer at that paper, and probably the best automotive writer walking this Earth if his recent Pulitzer carries any weight. And I don't even particularly care about cars, least of all the new Mercedes SUV.

Anyway, I'm not here to contribute to the swelling SUV-burning dogpile (not yet anyway), but between having that little piece of sound--'opprobrium'--jammed in my head all evening and the justifiably acclaimed 'Head On' on the tube, we're smack in the middle of not just an auditory fixation, it's a full-blown word of the day phenomenon (WOTDP).

Thus: 'You Belong to Me,' by The 88

WOTDPs require special measures, and this song qualifies. I have to say upfront I'm not a big fan of the 88. Their songs aren't quite adventurous enough for my tastes, though they've picked up a nice following with some really contagious power pop (though I think they could do better than the mod-fetishizing cover art--c'mon fellas, let's freshen up a bit). But these guys nailed it here with this big slice of self-loathing, which has to be one of the better emotions to pull off within the context of a three minute ballad.

Should you be in the midst of your own personal opprobrium, this is the song for you, preferably paired with stern grip on a half-empty tumbler full of iced brown liquor (your third) in an an empty bar. This song comies on the jukebox and its your only friend, you heartbreaking wretch, you terrible excuse for a human being. And hey, if you just watched your lover go to jail for murdering someone you were committing adultery with, and your family wants you dead, it sounds that much better.


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