I heard this song on Kids Corner and I am frankly shocked that it didn’t make the top ten songs of the year (kids have no taste). Why is dad so mad? Because of what George Lucas has done to the Star Wars movies! “Why does dad get so mad about Star Wars. Mr Lucas what have you done?”
The lyrics are so good I didn’t even really notice the music at first (check out: “and I wonder why it’s so bad that Greedo shoots first at Han.” “He’s always excited when those yellow words come on, but by the end he’s mad about that new Ewok song.”
But the music is great too. It has a kind of Ben Folds vibe (in the slow piano section) mixed with a little Ralph’s World, but the whole package is a wee bit heavier–the guitars are a little distorted (but not very) and the pace is brisk and fun.
The song is also full of cool spacey sound effects (and a nice nod to the soundtrack). The chorus is catchy and poppy. A wonderful song. I’m going to investigate The Board of Education a bit more. In the meantime, check out Why is Dad So Mad?.
[READ: January 19, 2013] Cigars of the Pharoah
This second (technically fourth) Tintin book was a lot more focused than In America, which, although excellent, tended to ramble all over the country.
This book sees Tintin in the Mediterranean Sea on a cruise. The action starts right away when a bumbling man named Dr Sarcophagus, an Egyptologist, crashes into Tintin saying that he lost his valuable papyrus. The papyrus blows out to sea, but the Dr says, that indeed it wasn’t the valuable papyrus at all, which is safely in his coat. It’s a weird moment, but we slowly learn that the Dr is more than a little absent minded. Nevertheless, the papyrus has a map on it that he believes will lead to the undiscovered tomb of the Pharaoh Kih-Oskh (nice joke there).
I said that the last Tintin book wasn’t quite for kids and the same is true here. Two men, Thompson and Thompson (more on them) accuse Tintin of smuggling opium and cocaine (again, did kids read this in the 30s?). Thompson and Thompson are funny in that they look alike and when one says something the other twists the words slightly to radically alter their meaning while using most of the same words. Anyhow, they “arrest” Tintin, but as in America, he escapes in an unlikely way and meets up with Dr Sarcophagus.
Tintin, Snowy and Sr Sarcophagus escape some violent deaths in a number of funny ways (like when the sheik who hates Westerners recognizes Tintin from his adventures (he even has a book–although in this later edition it is actually a book that came out after this one.
In another scene, Tintin rescues a woman who is being beaten, only to find out that he is actually on a film set. Later, he winds up on a ship of smugglers, is forced to enlist in the Arabian army and is eventually made to face a firing squad.
There is a plot in all of this–Tintin keeps finding cigars with the mark of Kih-Oskh (the wavy line and circle with dots in the word Pharaoh on the cover). He finds these cigars throughout the journey and suspects that something fishy is going on. But his curious nature is what has gotten him in trouble and hunted by bad guys, like the local Fakir who has hypnotized Dr Sarcophagus and the drug smugglers who want him dead.
The cigars prove to be part of a smuggling ring (which again, not for kids, contain heroin!). But it’s really the details of the capture that are so wonderful. What’s also interesting about these stories is that some of the bad guys are captured but others seem to be dead but are never seen dead–did they escape?
I’m really enjoying this series quite a lot. The stories are wild and creative and a lot of fun. The drawings are also great–simple and elegant with clear lines that, while clearly cartoons are very expressive. This book was also translated by Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner.
For ease of searching, I include: Herge.