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Friday, December 20, 2013

Richard Bak: As a movie, “Cobb” struck out

Ken Wuhl/Wahl would stink as Newbomb Turk!

Casual fans, then and now, might consider Cobb entertaining. It has all the old standbys: sex, violence, even the obligatory car chase. However, anyone hoping to catch an insight into Cobb’s genius as a player will be disappointed. For a baseball movie, there is precious little playing action. During his playing days, Cobb’s off-field altercations regularly put him in the news, but it was his on-field brilliance that made him so fascinating to watch and made him the first man named to the Hall of Fame.

The audacious base running, the offensive cunning, the raw physical courage – Shelton chose to overlook all that. Instead of seeing Cobb gracefully perform one of his patented fadeaway or hook slides, grabbing a corner of the base as the infielder swipes at thin air, he had Jones clumsily bowling over opponents. If Cobb had motored around the bases as Jones portrayed him, he would have broken an ankle or been shipped back to the minors. The viewer is left wondering exactly what it was that made Cobb a genuine hero during the game’s silver age.

Having spent a good deal of time researching and writing about Cobb’s life over the years, I’m convinced most people don’t know, or care to know, the whole story. Anecdotes about Cobb quietly taking care of the affairs of some down-on-his-luck player don’t advance the popular image. No one wants to hear about Cobb avoiding a collision on the base paths. The hospital he built and the educational fund he established, both still going strong, don’t stir the blood.

I’m no apologist for Cobb, whose warts are well-documented. But in the rush by Shelton and Jones to present a portrait of what is generally considered an unbalanced personality (I’m convinced Cobb suffered from bipolar disorder), the view itself became unbalanced. While director and actor both nobly proclaimed their intention to attack America’s propensity for hero worship, they chose to make their case by presenting a litany of myths, distortions, exaggerations, and outright lies. Tearing down heroes is one thing. Building a wholly irredeemable cretin out of a troubled genius is quite another.

In the final scene of the movie, Ken Wuhl, the actor who portrays Al Stump, is asked by his barfly friends: “What was Cobb like?”

“You want the truth?” Wuhl/Stump responds.

“Yes!” I wanted to yell. “Please!” But in Cobb, as in most biopics, the truth has been obliterated by pyrotechnics.

I did that.

 

 

Repoz Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:36 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, tigers

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   1. Wahoo Sam Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4621571)
Wuhl/Wahl, either way it's a trashy movie! So many lies. Ron Shelton is the Oliver Stone of B movies. (Oh, wait, maybe Stone is the Stone of B movies).
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4621573)
It's a forgettable movie in nearly all respects, but Tommy Lee Jones was sublime.
   3. Greg K Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4621574)
Damn, I was hoping this was a new movie about Cobb.

I once referenced this movie in a talk I gave at a pop culture conference...which is strange because I've never seen it.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4621576)
I once referenced this movie in a talk I gave at a pop culture conference...which is strange because I've never seen it.

Damn it Greg, you're an academic. You're supposed to talk about BOOKS you haven't read...
   5. BDC Posted: December 20, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4621580)
You're supposed to talk about BOOKS you haven't read

Funny, I just assigned this one to a graduate class.

I hated Cobb, but I probably came to it in the wrong state of mind. It's completely absurd, but perhaps it was intended to be farce. As Bak very sharply points out, if it's intended as realism, the filmmakers have a poor grasp of reality.
   6. Greg K Posted: December 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4621598)

Damn it Greg, you're an academic. You're supposed to talk about BOOKS you haven't read...

A friend of mine scrounged up a list from somewhere of "great" books, and is blazing through them chronologically at the moment. When he started out I think I must have recommended he give Tristram Shandy a go. I really enjoyed the bits of it I read, but only ever got about a third of the way in. However, I must not have properly relayed that information because he's reading it now and is under the distinct impression that I have read it. It's making for some interesting conversations, and I really hope that the Steve Coogan/Rob Bryden movie version hasn't steered me wrong so far.

Though I think as far as books go, Tristram Shandy is one you can probably get away with pretending you've read because any false step you make, the other person may just assume they weren't following what was going on at that point.
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4621627)
A friend of mine scrounged up a list from somewhere of "great" books, and is blazing through them chronologically at the moment.

I did that as an undergraduate with a list of books by Harold Bloom Esquire published. I made it through most of them! Tristram Shandy is not one, though the Penguin copy I bought is waiting for me on my bookshelf, mocking me...
   8. rudygamble Posted: December 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4621634)
Cobb wasn't very good but Jones made it at least watchable.

Shelton's "For The Love Of The Game" was on MLB Network the other day. Wow, did that stink. Kevin Costner was fine (he had practice - this was like the 5th time he played this role) but the dialogue and Kelly Preston were awful. Couldn't get through 10 minutes.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: December 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4621639)
Though I think as far as books go, Tristram Shandy is one you can probably get away with pretending you've read because any false step you make, the other person may just assume they weren't following what was going on at that point.

There are also books which, clearly, almost nobody has read. Tristram Shandy is definitely one of them. In my time as a literature major I remember hearing about Proust's madeleine about a thousand times, but no other episode from that book was ever discussed.

I enjoy literature about twice as much as I did when I studied it, because in college I felt more or less like I was being trained to read books in a very weird and phony way, hunting for passages or themes that would let me can score points. I got my first straight A on a paper in high school (from a demanding teacher) on a book that I had not actually read - I think it was Their Eyes Were Watching God, and I think I just skimmed the whole damn thing looking for sun/moon/horizon metaphors, or some #### - that was a heck of a lesson that served me well all the way through the highest undergraduate seminars.

Funny, I just assigned this one to a graduate class.

Double funny, I skimmed this book in a Barnes and Noble, and I thought it was brilliant, and I talk about it to people all the time.
   10. BDC Posted: December 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4621642)
the Steve Coogan/Rob Bryden movie version

It is utterly faithful to the book, because it has nothing to do with the book :)
   11. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4621650)
Tristram Shandy is a truly great and enjoyable novel, and not that hard to read once you realize that you don't need to pay really close attention to the details of plot and character and so forth. It's easier to read (IMHO) than someone like Dostoevsky, who gets read all of the time. Tristram Shandy is also very valuable -- if you read it, Don Quixote, and Rabelais then you've seen every weird trick that people think were invented in the 20th century. You've also probably injured yourself from laughing.

In my time as a literature major I remember hearing about Proust's madeleine about a thousand times, but no other episode from that book was ever discussed.

In Alejandro Zambra's Bonsai (which I have actually read -- it's very short) there are two lovers who have both claimed to have read Proust, though neither has. They then spend a chapter or two "re-reading" Swann's Way and loving it while trying to pretend to each other that they know exactly what's going on. It's a perfectly observed little vignette.
   12. McCoy Posted: December 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4621653)
I once faked my way through a conversation about the movie Universal Soldier.
   13. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4621676)
I once faked my way through a conversation about the movie Universal Soldier.

I think most of the actors faked their way through that movie too.
   14. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: December 20, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4621695)
Damn it Greg, you're an academic. You're supposed to talk about BOOKS you haven't read...

So true. I was talking with a Ph.D. student at our research centre's Christmas party last night and told him he was fortunate to still have enough time to read. I don't have time to read. I'm way too busy writing stuff others won't have time to read.
   15. spike Posted: December 20, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4621704)
My brother was the manager/curator of Rickwood Field in Birmingham when Cobb was filmed there. The movie may not have been all that but the preservation and restoration dollars spent on the facility was a great benefit.
   16. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: December 20, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4621722)
For Love of the Game was a Sam Raimi movie (of Evil Dead fame). It's a chick flick disquised as a baseball movie. As a plus, it has Scully as the announcer. And Augie Garido was the Yankees manager. Plus, Bob Sheppard was the stadium announcer. The extras were actual ball players and the guys that filmed the baseball scenes were from Fox Sports.

There are lots of things wrong with the movie (Mrs. Travolta is a meh actress), but putting Vinny in a movie is all sorts of right.
   17. BDC Posted: December 20, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4621736)
For Love of the Game is based on a pretty bad novel by Michael Shaara, author of the very good Killer Angels. For Love of the Game was not published in his lifetime.
   18. rudygamble Posted: December 20, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4621755)
#16 - I just assumed Shelton wrote/directed it. I stand corrected. Shelton should sue for copyright infringement for 'sports rom-com movies with Kevin Costner'. Didn't even watch enough to see Austin-area legend Augie Garrido - nice.
   19. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 20, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4621766)
My biggest issue in "For Love of the Game" was the final few outs are all dramatic plays. I understand building drama but do the final five outs have to spectacular? The final out in particular is a slow dribbler that the slowest Molina would have beaten out.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4621809)
Who is the worst baseball player to appear as himself in a cameo in a movie?
   21. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4621818)
I think Coover's novel awaits a movie being made of it. Especially with the computer technology we now have. It would be easier to portray that imaginary baseball universe and the protagonists relationship to it in a movie.

In a transport back in time hypothetical, I think I would prefer going back to see Cobb and the deadball era playing than any other player and period. We essentially live the game of Ruth and Williams now, but we are really divorced from Cobb's game. And, no, seeing Rickey Henderson or Brock or Maury Wills is not nearly the same. Everyone back then was a Cobb player. He was just the exemplar of the prototype. And because of the scarcity of runs, those players back then took chances stealing and running the bases that is almost unimaginable. The game was much much faster. Imagine playing a--what?--20-inning game in something over just three hours.
   22. Greg K Posted: December 20, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4621844)
I'd also love to see as simple a thing as Cobb's batting style. I can't imagine taking a batter seriously with his hands apart on the bat...but I also imagine Cobb would quite quickly make me a believer. I think it would be fun to see a Cobb v. Joe Jackson game from 1912 or so.
   23. G.W.O. Posted: December 20, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4621928)
All this discussion of ""Cobb", and no mention of the acting debut of one Roger Clemens as "opposing pitcher".
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 20, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4621970)
I'd also love to see as simple a thing as Cobb's batting style. I can't imagine taking a batter seriously with his hands apart on the bat...but I also imagine Cobb would quite quickly make me a believer. I think it would be fun to see a Cobb v. Joe Jackson game from 1912 or so.

I led my high school and college freshman teams in hitting with my hands about 2" apart and choked up about 1" above the knob with a 36" Jackie Robinson model bat. You get a lot more bat control that way. Any player without serious home run power should at least be taught how to do it.
   25. Greg K Posted: December 20, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4621975)
I led my high school and college freshman teams in hitting with my hands about 2" apart and choked up about 1" above the knob with a 36" Jackie Robinson model bat. You get a lot more bat control that way. Any player without serious home run power should at least be taught how to do it.

That actually might help me. I have (at best) doubles power. Though I did lead Britain (at my level) in fewest strikeouts two years running! Contact is about the only skill I have, so I really should develop that ability. Unfortunately I absolutely no clue how to hit the other way. All my hits consist of either hitting it over the shortstops head, or lining it off the third baseman's shins.
   26. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4621994)
The way shitty (right-handed) hitters like me hit the other way is by setting up in the box with our feet lined up toward first. Left foot close to the plate and right foot further away, in other words. Proper hitters just keep their hands back longer.
   27. Sunday silence Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:43 PM (#4621999)
I dont understand why the writer expected to see how Cobb played the game when the movie is clearly about a very aged Cobb. That seems like the stupidest criticism in the world. The character seemed quite realistic to me as he seemed to have the mannerisms like the few former sports guys I have known. T.L.Jones seemed spot on as that goes. The plot was kinda of going nowhere I grant you.
   28. AndrewJ Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4622000)
Cobb was based on the work of Al Stump, who's been revealed as a liar and hustler.
   29. villainx Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4622002)
A similar thread to this a couple of years back led me to order Tristram Shandy. Must have been pre iPad, since I haven't bought any physical books since e-books became more accessible.

Um, I haven't gotten to Tristram yet.
   30. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4622007)
I'd also love to see as simple a thing as Cobb's batting style. I can't imagine taking a batter seriously with his hands apart on the bat...but I also imagine Cobb would quite quickly make me a believer. I think it would be fun to see a Cobb v. Joe Jackson game from 1912 or so.


From what I understand, Joe Jackson was the progenitor of the modern swing in that he put his hands together down near the end of the bat and swung with a uppercut. Babe Ruth supposedly modeled his swing on Jackson.
   31. villainx Posted: December 21, 2013 at 01:01 AM (#4622036)
I also have been meaning to read Don Quixote. Any particular translation to look for?
   32. bjhanke Posted: December 21, 2013 at 04:15 AM (#4622059)
Tristram Shandy is every bit as hilarious as Fernigal makes it out to be (I've read it several times because I haven't stopped laughing yet), but also one of the very hardest books to pretend you've read when you haven't finished it. About 2/3 of the way through, it completely changes, becoming the story of Tristram's Uncle Toby, who is building, in his back yard, a scale model of a castle battle at the exact moment that a musket ball penetrated Toby's pants and destroyed his reproductive organs. This is funny, but not as funny as the first 2/3, because it gets played for sentiment. In fact, in English literary history, the last 2/3 of Shandy are the very beginning of the "sentimental" movement. Sterne's next work was, if I remember right, actually called "A Sentimental Journey." I don't recommend it. Sentimental literature is, as a collection, really bad. The only pieces worth reading are the last third of Shandy and Sheridan's play The Rivals (which is also the very first piece of "goth" literature that I have ever encountered). If you don't know about Uncle Toby, it's clear you didn't finish Shandy. - Brock Hanke
   33. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 21, 2013 at 04:36 AM (#4622062)
I also have been meaning to read Don Quixote. Any particular translation to look for?

I am no kind of Quixote expert (I've only ever read the fat Signet edition) but one style to look for is paragraphing. No, seriously. Apparently in Cervantes' day, paragraphing was less of a Thing, and so in some editions you'll get these horrible blocks of texts that go on for pages and pages. No bueno.
   34. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 21, 2013 at 05:50 AM (#4622063)
Damn, I was hoping this was a new movie about Cobb.


I too was hoping for a sequel to Inception.
   35. BDC Posted: December 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4622092)
Don Quixote. Any particular translation

Samuel Putnam's is over 60 years old now, but still featured in anthologies and still very good.
   36. Greg K Posted: December 21, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4622099)
If you don't know about Uncle Toby, it's clear you didn't finish Shandy.

Luckily Toby features prominently in the movie (complete with copious misunderstandings of the question "where were you wounded?", so I was able to bring that into my fake discussion.
   37. Morty Causa Posted: December 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4622100)
The Rivals, now that's a play I've re-read a few times (but not recently). I much prefer it to The School for Scandal, although it does have a split personality, and the second personality embodied in Julia and Faulkland is horrible (I don't know, maybe it plays better than it reads). But the main part of the play that has to do with Captain Absolute, Lydia Languish, Mrs. Malaprop, Bob Acres, and Sir Lucius O'Trigger is great comedy.

I know what Gothic literature is, but what's "Goth" literature?
   38. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 21, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4622104)
I also have been meaning to read Don Quixote. Any particular translation to look for?

I haven't read it, but Edith Grossman's translation is generally considered the current standard.
   39. bjhanke Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4622418)
Morty - I've always considered Julia and Faulkland to be the "way too sentimental" part of The Rivals, meaning that I agree it's horrible. By "goth" literature, I mean literature that modern goths like. On the very off chance you don't know what goth is, it's essentially the art form of clinical depression. Lydia Languish is, without any question, a "goth girl", although the play is far too early to know the term. The goth movement is considered, by goths, to have started with the rock song "Bela Lugosi is Dead" in 1979. The place where it's easiest to find is in any comic book written by Neil Gaiman, who is pretty much considered a god by goths. In non-comics literature, goths love the poems of Sylvia Platt, and vampire fantasy novels, as long as they're brooding and filled with sex. The movie "Interview with the Vampire" is a goth movie. So, although a children's movie, is "Coraline", which I think was actually written by Gaiman. If you live in a city of any size, there is probably a nightclub in the city that has a "goth night." These are great to go to. You get to see a LOT of inventive and sexy clothing, almost all of which is done in black, with white and hot pink as side colors, and blood red is allowed anywhere, including makeup. What's more, club owners absolutely LOVE goths. Two reasons: 1) Goths drink, and 2) goths NEVER fight. The only reason the club needs a bouncer is in case someone who is not a goth shows up and, seeing all the hot girls, starts to try to pick them up with hopeless pickup lines, and then gets mad when none of them want to go home with him. Just in case you ever go to a goth night, it's a good idea to befriend a girl who doesn't attract you, and then ask her to point out which other girls are already taken, and which ones are either lesbians or (VERY often in goth girls) bisexual.

I need to add that goth taste in music is unexpected; music critics actually call the genre "goth/industrial." You have the dreamy, depressed love songs that you'd expect (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "Do Ya Love Me" and "Red Right Hand" are great goth songs). And then you have industrial, which is more up tempo stuff using goth tropes. Rob Zombie is a goth/industrial musician, and very very good. Depeche Mode. Siouxie (sp?) and the Banshees, but no other punk bands. Stabbing Westward is an archetypical industrial band. Gravity Kills. The Sisters of Mercy. And two club-level bands that tour regularly - Voltaire, who is absolutely hilarious and you REALLY should go see him if he shows up in your town, and Rasputina, which is two girls dressed in Victorian underwear playing cellos electrified like they are trying to imitate Jimi Hendrix, and a drummer. Highly recommended, if you go to club band shows. Goths also tend to like Nine Inch Nails and Tool, where the music is clearly industrial, but the lyrics are often pure goth. Try whichever of these sounds most appealing, and you'll have the basic idea. - Brock
   40. Morty Causa Posted: December 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4622443)
That's a pretty wonderful tutorial, Brock. Thanks.

I of course knew something about Goth in a general, vague way, but had never taken it seriously as anything with a strict meaning. I didn't realize it could be characterized and defined as a code or "way" with such exquisite precision. And I didn't know it had made it to being a bona fide genre of conventional lit--especially to the extent that it had historical prototypes and precursors in the literary canon.

But that is a well-written and finely delineated little piece there, Brock,
   41. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 22, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4622516)
I need to add that goth taste in music is unexpected; music critics actually call the genre "goth/industrial." You have the dreamy, depressed love songs that you'd expect (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "Do Ya Love Me" and "Red Right Hand" are great goth songs). And then you have industrial, which is more up tempo stuff using goth tropes. Rob Zombie is a goth/industrial musician, and very very good. Depeche Mode. Siouxie (sp?) and the Banshees, but no other punk bands. Stabbing Westward is an archetypical industrial band. Gravity Kills. The Sisters of Mercy. And two club-level bands that tour regularly - Voltaire, who is absolutely hilarious and you REALLY should go see him if he shows up in your town, and Rasputina, which is two girls dressed in Victorian underwear playing cellos electrified like they are trying to imitate Jimi Hendrix, and a drummer. Highly recommended, if you go to club band shows. Goths also tend to like Nine Inch Nails and Tool, where the music is clearly industrial, but the lyrics are often pure goth. Try whichever of these sounds most appealing, and you'll have the basic idea. - Brock


Plus The Cure - not in all of their phases (and they're adamant that they're not a goth band per se), but certainly in the Pornography and Disintegration eras. When I saw the band in 2004, I was absolutely gobsmacked by the quantity and beauty of the goth women I found myself in line with.

The four CD box set A Life Less Lived is a good introduction.
   42. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 22, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4622537)
Two great things you avoid entirely with goth women: "woo girls," and people obsessed with tanning (part of the reason they look good is that they never go outside in the daytime if they can help it).

It does take a certain tolerance for the smell of clove cigarettes, though.

Anything on the 4AD record label is properly Goth, I think, or at least it used to be.
   43. spike Posted: December 22, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4622545)
what's "Goth" literature?

Twilight, duh.
   44. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4622555)
Not to be confused with Gothic literature, which is an actual thing.
   45. bjhanke Posted: December 22, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4622579)
vortex is right about The Cure. Early Cure is considered right down the middle of the goth alley. Even after Robert Smith (who runs the band) decided to break out of the genre, they are, in reality, still a goth band. Goths will argue over Echo and the Bunnymen, but not The Cure or The Sisters of Mercy (Andrew Eldritch and whoever he's working with now), even though both Smith and Eldritch claim not to be goth musicians. If you want an album full of goth/industrial and nothing else, The Sisters of Mercy's Greatest Hits album has just that. Adult goths do NOT appreciate Twilight; tween-age goth girls often do. Goths take their art seriously. Twilight is not, to an adult, serious. In literature (or pop fiction), the big names, aside from Gaiman and Plath, are Anne Rice and Laurel K. Hamilton. Slave Labor Graphics is a publisher that produces almost nothing besides goth comic books. Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Emily the Strange. Many others. Voltaire, several years ago, wrote and drew a comic called Shi-Shian (sp?), which he also made into a TV series (Voltaire's day job is art director or director of TV and maybe a couple of films. Some of the music from Billy and Mandy has soundtracks by Voltaire).

I only know about this because, about a dozen years ago, I met a truly hot girl, 20 years younger than me. She started asking me to take her to Fetish night at a local club (I would never have asked a girl out who was that young). This turned out to be goth/fetish night. Fetishers don't care that much about the music as long as they get to see the BDSM shows. Goths think the BDSM shows are great, and care very passionately what music their club plays on their night. Both groups wear a lot of black with silver accents. And festishers don't fight any more than goths do. It took about 3 years, but the girl finally gave in to the pressure from her mother to not date me, so that's depressing. But goth/industrial music was a real find for the rest of my life. It sounds like acid rock with better production values. Fits right in to my collection of acid rock. In fact, there's a song from 1968, "Hip Death Goddess" by a A-/B+ band called Ultimate Spinach, which goths love and thanked me for showing them this ancient prize they'd never heard of. Get the Greatest Hits album. Spinach only put out 3 albums plus the Best of, so you can get all the best Spinach in one place. On the other hand, if Nick Cave sounds interesting do NOT get the Greatest Hits. For some reason I don't understand, the producer of that album cut one of the four verses from each of the two songs I mentioned. You can get those two songs, in full length, by getting the album Let Love In. Oh, and don't look under "Bad Seeds" in your store. That's an American band. "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds" was created to avoid trademark problems. So look under "Cave, Nick". - Brock
   46. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 05:50 PM (#4622610)
Two great things you avoid entirely with goth women: "woo girls," and people obsessed with tanning (part of the reason they look good is that they never go outside in the daytime if they can help it).


The whole "pale skin on women is beautiful" comes out of a culture that both extols wealth (you need a certain amount of money to be able to afford the luxury of having your women stay at home instead of working in the fields) and demeans women (since a "good woman" is a homemaker and wouldn't be seen outside, particularly without male company), neither of which I find attractive.
   47. AndrewJ Posted: December 22, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4622612)
My cousin's wedding was performed to a Cure soundtrack. Nine years later, they're still very much together.
   48. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 22, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4622662)
The whole "pale skin on women is beautiful" comes out of a culture that both extols wealth (you need a certain amount of money to be able to afford the luxury of having your women stay at home instead of working in the fields) and demeans women (since a "good woman" is a homemaker and wouldn't be seen outside, particularly without male company), neither of which I find attractive.


Likewise, the whole "tan skin on women is beautiful" comes out of a culture that both extols wealth (you need a certain amount of money to be able to afford the luxury of having your women sit around outside instead of working at a job) and demeans women (since a "good woman" doesn't have interests beyond altering her appearance for the Male Gaze), neither of which I find attractive.
   49. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4622663)
Slave Labor Graphics is a publisher that produces almost nothing besides goth comic books


That's just not true.

They publish many goth comic books, but they publish a lot of other things, too. Milk and Cheese isn't remotely goth, and neither is Dr. Radium. And speaking of Milk and Cheese, what about Hectic Planet/Pirate Corp$? And Sarah Dyer's "Action Girl" comics! And nobody but me bought it, but there was this one amazing thing called "Longshot Comics" that lasted two issues...

[a couple hundred words about the history of Slave Labor Graphics deleted]
   50. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4622665)
Likewise, the whole "tan skin on women is beautiful" comes out of a culture that both extols wealth (you need a certain amount of money to be able to afford the luxury of having your women sit around outside instead of working at a job) and demeans women (since a "good woman" doesn't have interests beyond altering her appearance for the Male Gaze), neither of which I find attractive.


Doesn't the culture praise tan skin for both men and women?
   51. PreservedFish Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:00 PM (#4622666)
I'm not exactly an expert on goths, but my impression is that it's a subculture that's mostly full of intelligent and artsy people that very frequently have emotional and/or social issues. It's teens and adults that have been marginalized, but they are aware of that fact and they celebrate it. They take great pride in rejecting, and being rejected by, the mainstream. It's nice that there are people that can organize their lives around 19th century Romantic ideals. But I don't get the aesthetic, and the bitter and depressive aspect of the culture has absolutely no attraction to me.
   52. PreservedFish Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:08 PM (#4622668)
Doesn't the culture praise tan skin for both men and women?


I think #48 is mostly just good snark. But actually I think both #46 and #48 are right. Nowadays, because people work in offices, tan = wealth & leisure. But the goths take their cues from the ages of Baudelaire and Dracula, when most people still worked in the sun, and tan skin had the opposite connotation.
   53. Flynn Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:13 PM (#4622669)
The whole "pale skin on women is beautiful" comes out of a culture that both extols wealth (you need a certain amount of money to be able to afford the luxury of having your women stay at home instead of working in the fields) and demeans women (since a "good woman" is a homemaker and wouldn't be seen outside, particularly without male company), neither of which I find attractive.


Sure, if you've never been to the UK, where Goth culture was born, where people are naturally pale yet millions spend disposable income on trying to look like a frucking oompa-loopa.

Goth culture is about rejecting such laughably self-involved, materialistic things like that.
   54. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4622670)
Goth culture is about rejecting such laughably self-involved, materialistic things like that.


Incidentally, one of my favorite things in the world is that the Sisters of Mercy song "This Corrosion," which might as well be the offical goth anthem, or at least co-anthem with "Bela Lugosi's Dead," was written and produced by Jim Steinman. You know, the guy who wrote and produced everything on Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell" album?
   55. PreservedFish Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:22 PM (#4622683)
That seems totally believable. Isn't Meatloaf like perpetually draped in velvet, playing grand pianos under the light of a candelabras in cob-webbed mansions? He's the original Goth!

Goth culture is about rejecting such laughably self-involved, materialistic things like that.


This seems ... wrong. You make it sound like they are Buddhist monks. Goths can be just as self-involved and materialistic as anyone else, and more so. They are just as obsessed with appearances as the cheerleader or spring break set. Probably far more so, in fact. They (often) spend huge amounts of time, money and effort on their clothing, and part of it is to dress such that any passerby will know that this person defines him or herself as an outsider. They try to cultivate an aura of exoticism, mystery or transgressive danger. They have romantic notions about how important love and feelings are. They can be preposterously self-involved!

And materialistic? It seems like they are just as covetous of material things as we all are. I mean, it's Victorian lace instead of big screen TVs and monster trucks, but it's still stuff.
   56. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4622684)
I think #48 is mostly just good snark.

Correct!

[lights incense, drinks absinthe, stares moodily out the window]
   57. Greg K Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4622685)

This seems ... wrong. You make it sound like they are Buddhist monks. Goths can be just as self-involved and materialistic as anyone else, and more so.

I was about to say, the Goth friends that I have are indeed laughably self-involved. Good friends, nice people, but so, so pre-occupied with self-image, status, and owning particular objects.
   58. Good cripple hitter Posted: December 22, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4622687)
Incidentally, one of my favorite things in the world is that the Sisters of Mercy song "This Corrosion," which might as well be the offical goth anthem, or at least co-anthem with "Bela Lugosi's Dead," was written and produced by Jim Steinman. You know, the guy who wrote and produced everything on Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell" album?


That's as good or better than one of my favourite things in the world, the fact that Belinda Carlisle was supposed to be the drummer for the Germs.
   59. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 23, 2013 at 01:45 AM (#4622748)
Incidentally, one of my favorite things in the world is that the Sisters of Mercy song "This Corrosion," which might as well be the offical goth anthem, or at least co-anthem with "Bela Lugosi's Dead," was written and produced by Jim Steinman. You know, the guy who wrote and produced everything on Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell" album?


That's half-right. It is indeed produced by Steinman, but it was written by Andrew Eldritch.
   60. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:03 AM (#4622751)
That's half-right. It is indeed produced by Steinman, but it was written by Andrew Eldritch.


Huh. I stand corrected.
   61. PreservedFish Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:18 AM (#4622755)
Eldritch - so Lovecraftian.
   62. bjhanke Posted: December 23, 2013 at 05:25 AM (#4622766)
My belief about The Sisters of Mercy is this: When Eldritch's ego got out of control (he started out as the band's drummer, but became their front man/singer when his songs got all the requests), and the band found out that the songs he wrote were the only ones people liked, they left Andrew and became what is now "The Mission U. K." They're called The Mission because Eldritch threatened to sue them if they tried "The Sisters" or something. The "U.K." is the same as Nick Cave. There is an American band called The Mission, so the non-Eldritch band calls themselves "U. K." in America.

Essentially, The Sisters of Mercy, as we know them now, consist of Andrew Eldritch, Jim Steinman (who produced a LOT more than just This Corrosion; I prefer "More", but that's just taste), and whoever Eldritch wants to work with. Several of his songs have a woman singing on them. The woman in question was in a different band (The Gun Club), but she and Andrew were having a thing, and so Andrew wrote her into his songs at the time. Andrew writes all the songs. If you spend as much time listening to goth songs as I do, you'll notice it. His lyrics have many fewer cliches than other goth songs and are just plain better written as well as being much more original. Listen to a piece of Sisters, and then a piece by The Mission. Listen for the lyrics. You'll pick up the difference right away, and you'll quickly figure out why Eldritch and the band had to split up. The rest of the band could not keep up with Andrew. Jim Steinman can.

Preserved - Your experiences are completely typical. I said that goth was "the art form of clinical depression." This is completely true. Well over half of the handbags at a goth night have a bottle of Paxil or something in them. The negative side of goth is just that - everyone's clinically depressed all the time. The goth art forms exist to allow lifetime neurological depressives to express themselves. This is also probably the main reason that they don't fight. They are too depressed to get violent.

Fred Lynn (#56) -Your quip "[lights incense, drinks absinthe, stares moodily out the window]" is dead on. It was true of goth before absinthe became legal in the U. S. I, personally, love absinthe, but I wish it would ditch the alcohol. I'm into it for the thujones, which are like magic mushrooms. But, then, I'm the rare goth who does not drink alcohol. Just don't like the taste of it. And besides, your quip is also a complete description of Janis Joplin's "Ball and Chain." And goths worship Jim Morrison and The Doors. Like I said, goth/industrial music strikes me as acid rock with better production values. - Brock
   63. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4622991)
Jim Steinman (who produced a LOT more than just This Corrosion; I prefer "More", but that's just taste)


I've got this one version of "More" that I enjoy a lot. But if someone else hears it, I have to explain that it's from the Steinman-produced "MTV's Wuthering Heights," which was a musical, and he just reused a few of his pre-existing songs, and it turns into a whole ordeal.
   64. bjhanke Posted: December 24, 2013 at 06:20 AM (#4623332)
Monty - If this thread hasn't disappeared into the backlog, I should mention that the versions of Corrosion and More that I've heard are from the Greatest Hits CD. I didn't even know that there were other versions, nor do I know the original source of the Greatest Hits versions. Nick Cave is different. Both Do Ya Love Me and Red Right Hand get unaccountably short-sheeted in the Greatest Hits CD. They are 4-verse songs, but the Greatest Hits producer actually dropped verse #3 from both. No idea why. The original versions are both in Let Love In, so that's the Cave/Seeds album that I have. - Brock
   65. dlf Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4623355)
My brother was the manager/curator of Rickwood Field in Birmingham when Cobb was filmed there. The movie may not have been all that but the preservation and restoration dollars spent on the facility was a great benefit.


Lovely old stadium.

I'm one of the many uncredited extras - was there the day they filmed, among other things, Cobb beating up the one-armed man in the stands. The victim was played by Jimmy Buffett. One of the ways they got folks to come out for filming was to have a short, free concert by Buffett after the filming. Not that his beach-hedonism fits very well into a thread about goth, but I've never been one to fit into music discussions on this board anyway.
   66. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 24, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4623614)
Monty - If this thread hasn't disappeared into the backlog, I should mention that the versions of Corrosion and More that I've heard are from the Greatest Hits CD. I didn't even know that there were other versions, nor do I know the original source of the Greatest Hits versions.


Let me be clear: this version of More that I'm talking about does not involve the Sisters of Mercy. It's sung by Erika Christensen and Mike Vogel, who are midrange actors. Steinman couldn't be bothered to come up with new songs. I may be overselling its quality, but I really do enjoy it.
   67. bjhanke Posted: December 25, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4623833)
Monty - On the Slave Labor Graphics thing. The company has two imprints: SLG and Amaze Ink. I thought all the non-Goth stuff was published under the AI imprint. However, since I never read anything from them except the goth stuff, I could be very wrong about that. If so, thanks for the heads up. - Brock

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