Sunday, August 12, 2007

Junk Thief Is an Evil Bastard!

Oh, that Mr. Junk Thief is one cruel man. Here it was a perfect, sunny (but not too hot) day in San Francisco, and little Greggy was hoping that after plowing away on overdue work projects most of Saturday, he could go play in the park today. But noooh, Mr. Junk Thief made poor little Greggy toil away like a singular band of elves, cranking out copies of the two set DVD of the first season of Junk Thief TV to give away to his far flung and local friends. Granted it looks and sounds 100 times better on DVD than with the tinny sound and fuzzy images on YouTube, but it's not like his show is that exciting.

With that project finished, you'd think he'd let our poor boy have a break, but then like an insane combination of Tina Brown and Busby Berkeley, he demanded content and two -- count 'em tw0 -- production numbers for the second season of Junk Thief TV. And then poor Greggy had to edit the thing, first on dinosaur Microsoft Movie editor until it just crashed, and he finally got around to learning to use Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 7.0 that he bought months ago but has never taken the time to learn to use. It's infinitely more complex but also much, much more efficient and produces a gorgeous product. Unfortunately that product is as a few hundred MBs and thus won't load directly onto YouTube. Thus the product posted on YouTube is out of sync, the Vincent Minelli worthy colours are washed out and blurred, and the sound is like a 1971 transistor radio.

After all the work little Greggy had done, Junk Thief gave him no thanks and just went into a profanity laced rage and called our boy an incompetent idiot and was ready to hold him down and strangle him until...oh, yeah, wait, Gregg is Junk Thief.

Okay, folks, enough of the ever confusing mix of third, first and now second person. I'll just step out from the curtain and say that if you're one of my far flung blogger friends and would like the DVD set of Junk Thief TV, just email me at with where you'd like me to send your copy. It's really worth it for music and images on the second season preview.

If the "aesthetic" looks familiar, or obvious, it's no mystery that it heavily borrows from Kiss Me Kate, with the MGM Orchestra's version of "From This Moment On," reaching heights worthy of Charlie Parker or Miles Davis. This song plays heavily in the family memoirs section from which these two photos are borrowed, the first showing my mom, her dad and the infamous sister whom readers seemed intent on trashing in my previous post. She was a complex, conflicted, stylish, controlled, distant, compelling woman whom I simultaneously adored and feared. Our relationship was more about mutual admiration than love, and I have really been struggling to write something of significance about her suicide last December. Her only living heir, her son, has encouraged me to write something but it just won't come.
I truly adore this picture since it speaks volumes about the relationship between these two women and their radically different styles, and I am eternally indebted to both. What's especially telling is that this is not taken at the time of a formal event, but how they dressed for a casual Saturday supper. Though that supper would probably be meat loaf and brussel sprouts. Their high sartorial sense did not translate over to cuisine until the mid-1970s. Not only did this living room in Kansas City (my grandparents home) look like a Douglas Sirk set, the dramas that took place there were the same with everyone speaking in affected, clipped MGM English.
The other shot (just look at those drapes and the continued riot of pink!) features none other than baby Junk Thief and his family. And it was in this living room that Junk Thief was first introduced to "From This Moment On" from the Kiss Me Kate soundtrack. For years he hated that movie and the rest of the tunes that were played repeatedly, the only "pop" music allowed in a household where Chopin, Satie and Debussy were the ruling sounds. The movie itself never held appeal, mainly because it had only been seen on late night TV with drained colors, fuzzy sound and scratches on the print. But "From This Moment On," which is primarily a dance number, always got little Junk Thief leaping around that Douglas Sirk living room, performing balletic leaps as his grandparents looked on in delight, never fearing he'd knock over some priceless vase or tear the rug. (If you've never seen the video "Big Round Up at Lazy Acres," it tells you about how Junk Thief's macho grandfather had no problem with his little grandson being a flaming, dancing nutcase.)

Years later, Junk Thief would have the pleasure of seeing Kiss Me Kate in 3-D on the big screen, and it was as if a hideous building had been sandblasted to reveal a hitherto unknown architectural jewel beneath. Alas, you really can't appreciate the tune on the web.

So, if you're a local, let's plan on a screening soon and I'll give you your DVD. If you're not local, fly out soon or I'll happily mail you your version.

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At 4:57 PM, Blogger Eva the Deadbeat said...

Oh Greggy dear, no wonder we are palsies! We are just so ridiculously similar in our media tastes! NOW GET BACK TO WORK SCURVY DOG! (and we also both talk about ourselves in the third person and work ourselves to DEATH!).

That Sirk living room is TO DIE FOR! it is seriously my dream living room and i am the one wearing that deep blue hoop skirt to a casual dinner and talking in a British accent. That is me. We are related!?

And do I ever LOVE Kiss ME Kate and Cole Porter. Do you like Cary Grant playing Cole? I have a ridiculous 50s musical collection could watch them all day long if life was different.

i am so excited to see Junk Thief off the YouTube! My address is:

Eva Deadbeat
The Deadbeat Club
PO 132
Burlington, VT 05402

I WOULD LOVE LOVE LOVE to see it and can send you soem DBC dics as well!

Keep on doing those mad ballet leaps, they are stunning - LIKE YOU!

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

JunkThief will have that little Greggy get that in the mail A.S.A.P., my dear.

That's my famed Aunty Babs in the the hoop skirt. Liz Taylor in "A Place in the Sun" meets Audrey Hepburn a la "Roman Holiday"/"Breakfast at Tifanny's", don't you think?

Some folks thought she was evil and manipulative, but just look how stunning she is! No wonder as a little gay boy, I grovelled at her feet and leaped when she ordered in her clipped accent "Get me a dry white wine pronto, Greggsy Love."

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Baby JT!!! Too cute!! *pinches JT's cheeks*

Are these on YouTube? Xtube? I'm gonna check your MySpace page.

Toodles noodles.


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