Monday, January 25, 2010

New rules for vampires

We were desperate for some dumb entertainment last night, and the Twilight movie hit the spot. No, it was not nearly as good as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, but who could expect it to be? For the remaining three or four people in the world who have not yet read the books or seen the movie, the plot is easily described: Hot human teenage girl and hot vampire boy fall in love at first sight; love cannot be physically consummated lest boy suck life out of girl; much heaving of bosoms and soulful longing eye-gazing ensue. Girl begs to be bitten so she may live eternally with boy; boy declines, perhaps fearing commitment that could last... like... FOREVERRRR! Bad vampires make things even more complicated than they already are.

Fans of the Buffy series should note the following important changes in vampire etiquette and behavior:
1. Apparently vampires may now enter your home uninvited. This eliminates one of the most sensible ways to avoid being bitten: Don't go out at night!
2. The slaying of vampires has become considerably more difficult. The simple plunge of a wooden stake into the heart, followed by implosion of vampire into a cloud of sooty dust, seems no longer to suffice. Vanquishing now requires that the vampire in question be subdued by other vampires and then set ablaze. With all due respect to Buffy's amazing abilities, this would have made her life a lot more challenging.
3. Exposure to sunlight no longer causes vampires to blister and writhe in pain. Rather, they merely glisten most appealingly. The only reason they avoid the sunlight is to avoid detection by humans... as if they blend right in as it is...
4. Vampire business is serious business: No humor allowed!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Muhal Richard Abrams

Two of my favorite jazz albums are The Hearinga Suite and Blu Blu Blu by Abrams and his big band, both dating back to around 1990. A founder of AACM, he is one of the most important American musicians of the past half century. So it was nice to see him recognized with a Jazz Masters Award by the NEA. Co-recipients Cedar Walton and Kenny Barron highly deserving as well.