Friday, January 2, 2009

Things to be frickled

The merry year is born
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.

Hartley Coleridge penned these words; in them, the eldest son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (and who, frankly, I'd never even heard of until around ten minutes ago; I suspect he had his labour swapped for opium numerous times as a child by the old man) spins a simple, comforting rumination on the passing of time. In this spirit, it serves to remind contemporary society to take time and savour the transistory aspect of this annual milestone. Perhaps you spent the first minutes of 2009 surrounded by loved ones and reflecting upon the previous year, be it on triumphs or missed opportunities. It could be that you made silent, solemn pledges for the coming months. Or, if you're like me, you watched daredevil spawn drive his motorcycle over a gigantic motherfucking jump.

That's right, I was at a friend's place yesterday evening when the ball dropped, and FOX's thermo-nuclearly cheesy New Year's Special had the house transfixed. Diversions included performances by has-been (Scott Weiland) and never-will-be (David Cook) musical hacks, plus a bizarre piece on an apparently pantsless Cirque du Soleil revue currently running, but the production was built around the late Evel Knievel's son, Robbie, jumping over a spanking new faux-volcano at The Mirage in Vegas. All I could think about during shots of the burping, flaming edifice was how much fuel was being wasted on such a useless diversion, but the people seemed happy. Who am I to complain, at the end of the day? I guess.

Robbie Knievel jumps 21 Hummers in June 2008. Not pictured: the 21 assholes who own them.

Anyway, the funniest, albeit most macabre, part of the lead-up, which included interviews with Robbie's main stunt co-ordinator and sundry crew members, was a lovingly CGI-ed sequence done by the network that graphically illustrated each potentially deadly unhappy-ending should anything go awry. As such, along with cartoonishly grave narration, we were treated to visual simulations of flaming Robbie, Robbie flying from the bike and landing in a crumpled heap on the ramp, and Robbie dropping directly into the heart of the volcano after failing to attain the required speed. Believe me, I scoured the internet for the better part of a half-hour trying to find this footage, but came up empty; it was just so wrong, yet hugely entertaining. By the way, this was tape-delayed, so we knew nothing gory happened, lest you think our group was a pack of rubbernecking ghouls.

After this warm-up, the jump itself seemed a bit anti-climactic, to be honest.

What's amusing is that, as I scoured YouTube for a clip, there were already heated debates in the comment sections about whether the jump was a 'hoax,' or if it lived up to his father's formidable legacy. My two cents: it's difficult to bring dignity into the argument when the subject is wearing a doo-rag.

Hope you all had a great New Year!


  1. Yeah, a 45 anti-climactic minutes to remember. My fav was the burning Robbie not clearing the landing ramp and the fireball sliding down the face of the retaining wall. good tv. Next year someone must top it with a CGI Space Needle fireworks disaster.

  2. Great Post, and I'm totally with you on the doo-rag thing.