. . . Bobbettes

. . .

Ba-lue Mun-deii Ba-lues-Are: Answer Song

Art is short; regret is long. More than a decade afterwards, when I hear the Bobbettes, I relive all (well, four) of the regrets I felt while watching David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch.

  1. That Cronenberg didn't have Burroughs dub all the characters' voices. Better yet, do it George Pal Puppetoon style, like the best of 1991's overabundant crop of hallucinating-writer movies did. Or at least cast Dr. Benway with someone capable of conveying the exuberance! the whimsy!

  2. That Cronenberg didn't use a more honest title, like "The Introduction to Queer."
    (Not that it would necessarily have guaranteed a better experience. Some years later, I was an appalled witness to Queer! The Opera, which set the novel's text [slightly edited: insults to "transvestite lizzies" and "Californian brandy" were deemed too shocking for Bay Area sensibilities] to de-tuned Andrew Lloyd Webber with summer-stock-Fosse choreography. All through the first act, I kept telling myself, "At least they aren't going to shoot Judy Davis, at least they aren't going to shoot Judy Davis...." Just before intermission, the characters fell silent, the lighting turned grim, and a previously unseen woman made up as Judy Davis walked out and got shot. I missed the second act.)

  3. That Judy Davis wasn't allowed to interpolate a lip-synched music video of "I Shot Mr. Lee".

    Cronenberg must be the only reader to open Naked Lunch and find a novel about wife-killing and writer's block (although it would certainly explain Norman Mailer's enthusiasm). The Bobbettes could've supplied a little balance:

    One - Two - Three
    I shot Mr. Lee.
    Uh oh!
    Three - Four - Five
    I got tired of his jive.
    Uh oh!
    Woh oh oh, he should've never
    Uh oh!
    Woh oh oh, he should've never

  4. That I've never been able to find an appropriate "I Buried Paul" song for Judy Davis to lip-synch in the movie's other great imaginary music video opportunity.
Well, regret is long, but art is reproducible. All together now:

Shot him in the head boom boom.
Uh oh!
Shot him in the head boom boom.

. . .


To complete today's survey of infectious American enthusiasms, a request.

If you followed that Bobbettes link the other day, you may have noticed this:

In 1964, the group recorded "Love That Bomb" for the motion picture Dr. Strangelove while continuing to record unsuccessfully for Diamond....
Unfortunately, record companies have been too distracted by more pressing issues to be able to keep the Bobbettes in print and I haven't found a used collection. So you keep your eyes peeled for one, and I'll do the same with mine, and we'll let each other know who finds it first, deal?

. . .

Twenty Years of Hot One-on-One Action cum grano salis

The first photograph showed a naked ameba, fat and replete with food vacuoles, splashing lazily and formlessly at the bottom of a metal tank in the completely relaxed state that precedes reproducing.

The second was like the first, except that a trickle of salt water had begun down one side of the tank and a few pseudopods had lifted toward it inquiringly. To leave nothing to the imagination, a sketch of the sodium chloride molecule had been superimposed on the upper right corner of the photograph.

In the third picture, the Gtetan was ecstatically awash in the saline solution, its body distended to maximum, dozens of pseudopods thrust out, throbbing. Most of the chromatin had become concentrated in chromosomes about the equator of the nucleus. To an ameba, this was easily the most exciting photograph in the collection.

- from "Party of the Two Parts" by William Tenn (AKA Philip Klass)

* * *

Gosh, I like the Internet: Mr. Waggish surveys the past twenty years from a different vantage point (and incidentally alerts us to two new translations of the Musil work I reread most often). Jessie Ferguson shares lovingly bitter gleanings from a twenty-year gaze into Ingeborg Bachmann's Malina. Two Dutch translators present a convincingly anti-scholarly argument for a revised Finnegans Wake (which was published eight years later, very affordably, by Oxford). My favorite institutionally-funded "blogs" (nasty jargon for "weblogs," which one would have thought nasty-jargon enough as is) compare swallows and strangles among Ibsen translators. At the Public Domain Review, Jé Wilson relates the long history of French male delight in female decapitation and skull-hammering. Justin E. H. Smith considers the beaver. The Neurocritic triggers a bloom of cognitive sparks. Matt Cheney knocks around one of those west/burst years. Michael Peverett hits the road and British rails with Paul Simon and Terrance Hayes. ("America" is one of the three Paul Simon songs I like, but it always embarrasses me too. Puerility well-conveyed remains puerile. [PULL IN YOUR HEAD - WE'RE COMING TO A MISE EN ABYME])

* * *

Big business monkeys: Hoping to get lucrative stock options from a computer science degree is like hoping to get rich parents from an M.B.A.

* * *

A Valediction of his carbon footprint

Since thou and I sigh one another’s breath,
Whoe’er sighs most is cruellest, and hastes the other’s death.

* * *

Our Motto: If you build it, they will route the highway around it.

* * *

In production: Leopold & Loeb: The Birth of Modernist Epic from the Classicism of Amateurs

* * *

She's only a bird in a feathered cage.

* * *

Theme from The Vanishing

He was a grave digger
One way passage, oh
It took me so long
To find out
But I found out

(The best story in the anthology which published my first story was a "don't believe in Beatles" affair. I guess that's not very interesting but at least the story was.)

* * *



Your link to "I buried Paul" on on your "Bobbettes" page of 2003/04/28 must be changed to the official site for Paul and Jane Bowles as the site is NOT accurate and does not have the endorsement of the official site, which also serves as the official Jane Bowles site. The site is but one of numerous domains bought up by an English couple who never even wanted to meet Bowles during the 20 years they have visited Morocco. No one who knew the Bowleses personally, nor any other authoritative site, links to

Thank you for changing this to, which was established by the literary and musical heirs of the estate of Paul Bowles.

Best wishes,
administrator and webmaster for

We regret any inconvenience.

* * *

Ba-lue Mun-deii Ur-rah-tah: Reggie Hall says Perry Mason sold shoelaces. But that's not so. He sold Sweetheart Soap.

* * *

I've at least ensured that my wasted life was no great loss. If 'tweren't done, 'tweren't best done cheaply.

* * *

Critics rave

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"Pleasure is no fun."


Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
Public domain work remains in the public domain.
All other material: Copyright 2015 Ray Davis.