Saturday, December 11, 2010

AIFF 2010: Phone Dating/Kenny G jokes/European Son/Music and Age

[Brock - skip this post]
I just wanted to write a quick post.  It seems I'm no longer capable of that.  One thing leads to another and short is transformed to long - at least in time spent if not in words.

This started as two brief observations:

Phone Dating

As I watched the big Mama tranny [see comments] character  furiously working her iPhone in Ticked Off Trannies with Knives last night, I thought, gee, in 25 or 30 years people will be able to date films (and find errors) by the kind of phones they used.  It used to be automobiles - "Hey look, that's supposed to be 1955, but there's a '57 Chevy in it."

Kenny G Jokes

At AIFF 2008  Distraxtion won the best animated award based on a Kenny G joke.  This year in the short European Son, two men are discussing ways to commit suicide, and one guy offered, and it went by very quickly, something about just listening to Kenny G for a day.

European Son

So, that was all I wanted to say, except that I liked European Son, but couldn't understand the title.  That's where this post got extended.  It didn't take long to track down the Velvet Underground song.  Here are the lyrics courtesy of MetroLyrics:
You killed your European son
You spit on those under twenty-one
But now your blue car's gone
You better say so long
Hey hey, bye bye bye

You made your wallpapers green
You want to make love to the scene
Your European son is gone
You'd better say so long
Your clown's bid you goodbye
The link isn't completely obvious. I think a blue car was mentioned, but it was the red one he drove off in.  He's definitely over twenty-one.  He is saying bye bye bye.  I thought perhaps the last line might have hinted at suicide, which would fit, but couldn't find any confirmation.  Here's what seemed like the most comprehensive succinct explanation of the song (again from Metro Lyrics - where you can get this as your ringtone and you can hear the song.)
"Discrimination against those who are free, young (both literally and in mentality) and aware. A message to parents, to the intellectuals, to the elite and to anyone who tries to control anyone else in any way imaginable. The freedom explored in the noise is just a literal example of this message. "
Music Taste and Age

And all this raises questions about why I didn't know this old song and about what patterns exist in terms of age and keeping current with music.  In my case, before twenty-one, I knew most new pop music, but after that, my new music intake became seriously limited.  In part that had to do with being in Thailand for three years and away from top 40 radio.  And when I came back FM had grown up and I pretty much haven't looked back at AM since.  Is that a common pattern?  After all, there are radio stations stuck in a time warp playing only the great songs of my youth where you never hear any new stuff.


  • So, can anyone out there explain the movie title "European Son"?   
  • Does anyone know of studies of new music awareness as people go from teens to twenties to thirties, etc.?  
[UPDATE - January 14, 2011 - I did get to ask European Son director Tyler Zelinsky about the title at the festival. I'm catching up on tidbits like this as best as I can.   He said that he listened to the song while he was doing the film and was hoping that the type of scam that's done in the film would come to be known as the European Son, sort of like the Spanish Prisoner.  This is a really good little short film.  Great acting, wonderfully bizarre events, funny, and good technical stuff.]

I did find a thread on a military chat forum, but I'm just going to give that link and stop looking.

See how one thing leads to another?  Enough.  There are movies to see.  (I've put my tips - there's a lot going on today I just haven't been able to catch up with - in the Anchorage International Film Festival tab above for today.)


  1. Quick note: much of the LGBTQ and allied community considers "tranny" a pejorative slur. While the film is attempting to embrace that term precisely because it's a pejorative, using it outside of the title without acknowledgment is a little like using "fag" in a similar context.

  2. KDS - Thanks for the note. There was someone there from a local transgender group for discussion after the film, but the movie didn't start until 9:45pm and people didn't seem to be sticking around to talk. This point might have come up in the discussion. This wasn't what I would call an 'educational film', though, of course, every film potentially is.

  3. Thank you for changing this! I'm trying to make my language more accurately reflect my values, which is a long and difficult process, but it does make me really sensitive to terms like this one.

    The bias I really haven't managed to scrub from my speech is the one against mental illness. I appreciate the argument that we tend to dismiss people with mental disabilities as crazy/nuts/insane, and that those terms are therefore not the best to use to describe people who I actually think are wrong/mean/hypocritical, but I still do so with astonishing regularity. But that's another conversation that can wait for Thai Kitchen...



Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.