WEIRD STUFF :: What's Up, Doc?

Welcome to WEIRD STUFF: repressed memories, living nightmares, true Hollywood stories, coincidence and chance.
These phenomena don't fit in with any other series on the site, as they don't always fit in with the natural world. 
Over the course of these columns, we'll confront ghosts, toys, hoaxes, bizarre happenstance, and other perversions. Some of these tales are personal, others infected the whole world.
We're the biggest skeptics of all, and like you, we may think, "Well, if that was on the internet, I wouldn't believe it." So we will provide proof when it's available. In all other scenarios, you'll have to take our word for it.

Everyone already seems pretty well aware of the subliminal eroticism and suggestive smut that's wired into Disney's animated features (if you're not, Google that sentence), and it always gave the company a very minuscule edge. Provocative? Sure. Innovative? Eh...
Even when they're partnered with Pixar, Disney never had or will have the sarcasm and swagger of even the mildest Looney Tunes shorts. Nor were they ever as uninhibited.
Consider this...

When I was about 9 or 10, my mother and I discovered an anatomical anomaly while watching some rink-a-dink videotape of three or four "Classic Cartoons" featuring Bugs Bunny and "Friends" (though he always came across as more of a loner to me). In one of the shorts, titled The Wabbit Who Came to Supper, a deeper, raspier-voiced Bugs continually and predictably runs rings around a much younger, fatter Fudd. At one point, Bugs uses the hapless hunter's shower, and as he gets out, he lets his towel fall just enough to give Elmer (and the rest of us) a glimpse of his 'hare down there.'

We became aware shortly thereafter that these few frames of animation had already been kinda well-known by some folks (perhaps by some of you, dear readers) and was part of the growing subliminal cartoon cult - up there with the Little Mermaid dick and whatever Jessica Rabbit supposedly revealed.

Because this was an accidental discovery - well-known or not - Bugs Bunny's penis always felt like an inside joke between my mother & I -- even if the world was already in on it.

- Paul



We'd plum forgot about this one for a while - with the changing of the seasons our interests drift into other areas, so this may be the last set for a bit (barring some rare-as-of-late instance that someone aces this hand).

The answers to the previous set are written in its comments section to quash the hassle of clicking & scrolling back & forth & back & forth (which is how we shoulda done it all along).
Looking at it again, there may've been a few curves as far as not-so-mainstream choices (or it grew out of bitterness over the lack of Vibes fans -- you deserve to lose).
But don't worry: moving forward, we can guarantee that our bitterness will continue to get the better of us, and nothing will change.
And tomorrow, we come back and we cut off your Johnson.






Spring is a time of impatience and fatigue; in New England, everything is still cold and colorless, the threat of snow still echoes in the clouds, and all that died continues to be dead.
Diet Winter.
Though there is mild anticipation while I'm intellectually aware that change will occur - I just can't see it, feel it, smell it, and God knows I can't listen to it.
It's troubling, because like most of the movies I wanna watch, the music I wanna listen to burns better with seasonal warmth.
No matter. After however many years I've been alive, I've managed to compile a mixtape to help me cross that finish line into the picnic days.

- Paul

Exile On Main St. The Rolling Stones (1972)
The thing about the Stones is that their entire catalogue works in any season - and I can't think of any other band or artist of which this is so. But I like Exile in the springtime, because it's dark and dreary at times ("Ventilator Blues," "Stop Breaking Down") for those dark and dreary days, and it's also sweet & sour ("Let It Loose," "Shine a Light") for when the clouds decide to part at the mercy of the Good Lord.
No season is safe from the blues.

New Morning Bob Dylan (1970)
The album's title is already synonymous with rejuvenation/rebirth/all that crap, and the title track itself conjures up sweeping aerial shots of sunny farmland and green trees - for me, at least. And when the weather doesn't cooperate, "Sign on the Window" is a bit of misery to keep you company. But nothing says 'cold rain' like "Three Angels" - the standout track of the album, and Top 3 Dylan for me.

Kid A Radiohead (2000)
The thing with Radiohead is that they're not explicit with the moods they put out, so wherever and whenever it catches you, their abstraction cemented as your reality. This album was in the air while I was a senior in high school - the year after Columbine went down - so stuff like "Everything In Its Right Place" and "Idioteque" were the perfect, nonsensical, ironic soundtrack for the disorienting fear and loathing that had been gripping my academic career ever since my classmates and I became known nationwide as Idiots and Criminals in the Making. Better put: "Morning Bell" makes me think of automatic lawn sprinklers in front of white suburban homes, watering grass in the middle of an April rainstorm.

The Last of the Mohicans (Soundtrack) Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman (1992)
Massachusetts is rich with American history - any given moment of any given day is the anniversary of something - but April is a big one, as the 19th marked the start of the Revolution in 1775. And even still there has yet to be a more-than-adequate movie depicting the events of that day. And so, as a kid, I'd listen to this score and imagine my own Revolutionary War film. Even though Mohicans takes place roughly 20 years prior (and during an entirely different conflict), Trevor Jones' bombastic overture is so effectively moving and just feels indicative of the of the 18th century, while "Promentory" is so fucking sinister that you just thirst for violence of any kind in any era.

Magical Mystery Tour The Beatles (1967)
The film is on my Easter movie list and so its unofficial soundtrack is understandably on this list - really for all the same reasons.

Additionally, if you've ever listened to "Flying" or "Blue Jay Way" while driving through country backroads at 3am in April, you'd never really hear this band the same way again...

The Singles: 1969-1981 The Carpenters (2000)
"Rainy Days and Mondays," sure. "Top of the World," maybe.
Inconsistently consistent. Approachable warmth with a cold shoulder. Politely abrasive. Am I describing Springtime or the AM gold of Karen and Richard Carpenter? You don't even know.
I try to lay off "greatest hits" albums (on these lists, and in life) but this tracklist packs a polite wallop of easy listening punch.

Elephant The White Stripes (2003)
This is an easy one - it was released at the beginning of April in '03, and at the front-end of my own brief but bitter affair with this band, so I purchased it day-of.
This is one of those all killer/no filler-type albums, but "Black Math" and "Ball and Biscuit" will forever be a Pavlovian signal to roll down the windows and bring in the fresh air.

Post Card Mary Hopkin (1969)
If your vision of Spring is green fields and warm sun and tulips and bunnies and birds singing while bees are tryin' to have sex with them, then this is your seasonal soundtrack album right here: calendar photography and Easter decor come to life via some gentle Welsh folk rock. Tracks like "Happiness Runs" and "The Puppy Song" bring in these idealistic visions like a breeze through your hair - and not always just with lyrics; Ms. Hopkin's falsettos and the bright melodies could result in the urge to frolic in the dewey meadows.
Though keep an ear out for her surprisingly ominous cover of "There's No Business Like Show Business" - oozing with enough irony that it should be featured in one of these celebrity biopics y'all love so much.

Crowded House Crowded House (1986)
One of the sweetest and most welcome Springs in my life came at the end of my college internship (which, all job-related hardships aside, also put the cap on a biblically brutal winter). iTunes 80s radio station accompanied me throughout that four-month mental and physical endurance test, and plenty of choice cuts from this record often dulled (and sometimes punctuated) my strife. A thing like "Don't Dream It's Over" is a good shoulder to cry on, but I still remember when the clouds of self pity lifted on the first warm day of the season - set to the tune of "Something So Strong," pouring out of the freshly rolled-down windows of the company's Beamer and echoing throughout Boylston St., Boston.

Mellow Gold Beck (1994)
The music video for "Loser" was set on 'repeat' on MTV in the Spring of '94, and in my mind that spell coincided with the Leominster Men's Softball teams having Spring Training in Bennett Field, behind my house.
Good enough, but then many Springs later I bought the album, and favorites like "Soul Suckin' Jerk" and "Pay No Mind" officially became like giant dildos crashing that warm, springtide sun.
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