The Dead Plagiarists’ Society

Or, why certain ideas that appeared in TC2 & 3 might be a little familiar. Firstly, just before TC3 appeared, Time Out came up with THEIR choice of the top 100 films of all time, chosen by a panel of directors, critics & writers. Precisely FOUR of their choices appeared in my list of favourites, given last issue: the other 96 films listed didn’t rate a mention for me, though since I’d seen just THIRTEEN of these, this may not be surprising.

When it comes to high-brow cinema, my education has clearly been lacking, though if a film like ‘The Green Ray’, which I found totally soporific, can get in their list, I can feel no great sense of loss… They followed this up with their reader’s selections. While showing a distressing tendency to follow the critics, sheep-fashion, my four films above all rated higher in Joe Public’s list, and two more were also in. I’d seen rather more of the plebs choices, which proves something, though I’m not sure what. Below are details of the more interesting entries:

Blade Runner727
Blue Velvet1611
The Blues Brothers51
A Clockwork Orange27
Dangerous Liaisons100
The Exorcist6384=
Jean De Florette3937=
The Life of Brian67
Paris, Texas45
Rocky Horror Picture Show95=
Some Like It Hot42
2001: A Space Odyssey719
Dawn of the Dead67
This is Spinal Tap83

Meanwhile, following the selection of rock lyrics of awesome awfulness that we had in TC2, Steve Moss told me that NME had been doing something similar, unbeknownst to me, since about June. Great minds thinking alike, or fools seldom differing? In either case, here’s a selection of some of the best from their pages, as well as a few other unsung (and unsingable) classics :

Early attempts at song-writing can prove embarrassing to famous artists in later life. As an example of ‘It’s my first single, so I haven’t quite got the hang of this lyrics lark but what does it matter since this is the B-side anyway’ syndrome, look at Kate Bush, and “Kite”:
“Beelzebub is aching in my belly-o / My feet are heavy & I’m rooted in my wellios”

With certain people, it’s difficult to tell if they have their tongues in their cheeks or not. Are The Pet Shop Boys cleverly pointing out the tedium of modern life, or just demonstrating total lyrical ineptitude, in “I Want A Dog”:
“I want a dog, to walk in the park / When it gets dark, my dog will bark”

Winners of the ‘Incredibly Inappropriate Simile’ trophy have to be The Cult, for “Peace Dog”. Psychologists could have hours of fun analysing the writer of:
“B-52 baby, way up in the sky / Drop your love on me tonight”

Further proof, as if any were needed, that Charles Manson is TOTALLY insane:
“Garbage dump, my garbage dump / That sums it up in one big lump”
from the imaginatively titled “Garbage Dump”. Don’t give up the day job, Chuck.

Showing that if you ain’t got soul, you ain’t got, er, breakfast, is Bobby Womack:
“I’m looking for a love (someone to fix my breakfast) I’m looking for a love (bring it to me in my bed)”

Speaking of Europe, perhaps we should leave out groups whose first language isn’t English – it’s not really their fault we are so insular we don’t buy records in French (except the rotten “Joe le Taxi”). A few examples will suffice:
“One person calls someone to pour the water / Because it takes two to pour the water / To plough takes two as well”
(“Delicious Demon” – the Sugarcubes)

“Bang a boomer boomerang / Dummy dum dum te dummy dum dum / Bang a boomer boomerang / Love is a tune you hum”
(“Bang a Boomerang” – Abba)

Rod Stewart, in “Italian Girls”, shows even us Celts can have our off days :
“She was tall thin and tarty / And she drove a Maserati / …I must have looked so silly / When I stepped in some Caerphilly”

And that will do. I think perhaps next time we’ll concentrate on heavy metal lyrics, always a great source of totally laughable, over-blown, ridiculous ‘concepts’ and, at the other end of the scale, tediously sexist junk. As an example of the latter, here’s the chorus from Iron Maiden’s “Women In Uniform”:
“Women in uniform, Woo-ooh, they feel so warm”.
Any other offerings gratefully received.

**** 5. “No tears, please – it’s a waste of good suffering”.