Sunday, June 25, 2006

An Apple For The Peach

(Drawer-Cleaning Week, Part I)
This has been sitting unfinished on my hard drive for well over a year now: It began as a simple pointer to the Ross piece (which is quite old now, but which I thought would amuse xtop, whose Kubrick fixation is well-known), then quickly disappeared up its own fundament. xtop’s site appears to be down (again!) at the moment, which made me think of it again. Get well soon,!
Our nomenclature pool is not as restricted as that of Huxley’s Brave New World, but still, in a world of six billion people, there are only so many names to go around—no matter how famous you are, no matter how much you may own a tag, there will always be (as with white meat) another.

And when two or more prominent figures share a name, then what? When the fame of one party far overshadows that of the other, that’s one thing.

Mini-celebrities are another matter—when you’ve got two folks who are luminaries in their respective fields. The potential for confusion is there only inasmuch as their niche audiences overlap.

One is perhaps the finest—and certainly the most eclectic—music critic working today; the other might amount to something if he ever moved out of his parents’ basement. One, best-known for his insightful New Yorker writing and his Radiohead fixation; the other, the most overrated superhero artist ever.

To the best of my knowledge, Alex Ross the Critic (unlike Alex Ross the Artist) does not own a fat-accentuating Phantom costume; what he does have, however, is a working sense of humor.

A few years ago, at about two in the morning, the phone rang, and a voice said, “Will you accept a collect call from Stanley Kubrick?” Stanley always was a cheap bastard. “No,” I said, irritated at the lateness of the call. I soon regretted my refusal, however, and I dialed *69. I found myself on the line with the auteur of “2001” and “Full Metal Jacket.” We often laughed afterwards at the fact that I had penetrated the defenses of so famously reclusive a man with so simple a device as *69. It was a loophole that his security specialists had somehow overlooked. The problem was quickly addressed, and the next person who tried to *69 him was electrocuted.

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