Sunday, November 14, 2004

Melting In The Dark

Sharon Osbourne is a thick bitch who should stick to Janet and John books if she can't understand a simple metaphor. Last night she said that MacArthur Park belonged on a cookery channel because it's about cakes and baking. The presenter Kate Thornton also deserves to be slapped to within an inch of her life for introducing the song as "Donna Summer's MacArthur Park". It is Jimmy Webb's MacArthur Park and Jimmy Webb was one of the most under-rated songwriters of the last century.
Now, I have no problem with people not liking MacArthur Park. 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' makes me vomit, which used to provoke doubts about my sexuality. But I don't seek to rationalise my dislike by saying it's fucking rubbish or I don't fucking understand it. And the same thick bastards who say they don't understand MacArthur Park have no problem with Strawberry Fields or Eleanor Rigby, from roughly the same period, or lie awake at night wondering why Father Mackenzie was darning his fucking socks when no-one was there. And the people who say the lush orchestration is over the top have no problem at all with Phil Spectre's Wall of Fucking Sound.
I concede that there's an element of kitsch about some of Jimmy Webb's work, even perhaps the slightest hint of camp. But there's also some of the most arrestingly original and poetic lyrics in popular music. The picture of MacArthur Park (in L.A.) on this post looks, to the literal-minded, the least meltable of parks. But as Jimmy once explained, the lyrics refer to the character looking at the park through his tears so the park appeared to be melting. If that's not poetry, I'm Ozzy Fucking Osbourne.
Then there's what many of us regard as his greatest work, the little known and difficult to get hold of 'Requiem'. It tackles a similar theme to MacArthur Park and was also originally recorded by Richard Harris.
And I knew the mountainside would be
Ten thousand years of dust and rust
Before I took you up there again
Why could I not die then
Warm behind the curtains of your hair.

(Bit of a sweary post today, but posted more in anger than in sorrow).


At 4:45 PM, Blogger peter said...

I can't make out whether you are pleased or annoyed with Goldacre. I've read both pieces. Not sure either about the vanity publishing bit, or how having print rip off your blog makes blogging more valuable. Or am I simply confused? And is that a Burberry shirt you're wearing? And how come you're so good at this when you've just started? All very mysterious. Great stuff, though.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

It was probably unintentional ambiguity on my part. Instead of mailing the story to Goldacre I put it on my blog and invited him to use it, so I was pleased.
The shirt is not Burberry. It's a catalogue imitation of those check shirts the English county set wear and I hate it. Will have to do a new photo.
Thanks for your kind comments. I've done some freelance journalism in the past but the joy of blogging is the freedom to write what you want, without deadlines or sub-editors.


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