Sunday, December 31, 2006

Reader's Diary #212- Kathy Shaidle: Lobotomy Magnificat (FINISHED)

As another year dies, so it seems must the famous and infamous. James Brown, Gerald Ford, Saddam Hussein. An odd trio for sure. Fitting that I'd finish Kathy Shaidle's Lobotomy Magnificat now, at this time of year.

While the three of these characters might be a little too mainstream for Shaidle, I'm sure she could pull off a few masterpieces with these respective lives. Sinners and saints all found immortality in Shaidle's poems and while a blurb on the back implies that she is preoccupied with death, I think the opposite. In fact, her message seems to be that every life is a poem. Not all are poems about roses, mind you, but poems nonetheless.

And the party was going just fine until Frida Kahlo showed up. She's quickly becoming the Samuel L. Jackson of these shindigs. Of course everyone gathered around asking about her accident, leaving me with just my brandy-soaked cocktail weenie as company. As if they hadn't heard her story before.

Don't get me wrong, I've nothing personally against the unibrowed lady, but after the onslaught of movies and poems, I'm just about Frida'd out. When Lobotomy Magnifcat was published in 1998, maybe there was more of a danger of her being lost to history, but since then Hollywood, Fate, or someone or other decided to make her the artiste-du-jour again. Shaidle couldn't have foreseen this of course (or maybe she could, maybe she was partly responsible for the sudden fascination) and so, it's just a minor problem.

Regardless, Shaidle has a masterful and often unique way of reflecting on lives of the past. I bet when she sings "Auld Lang Syne" she does it loudest. Good for her.


Malnurtured Snay said...

A friend observed that Ford probably died because he couldn't bear to live in a world without James Brown. I've really got nothing for Saddam except, y'know, good riddance.

John Mutford said...

Ford didn't strike me as someone having all that much soul, but who knows? You don't get much whiter than I, and I dug Brown.

As for Saddam, I hear you. It's interesting. A few months ago I would have predicted that his execution would have been shown on pay-per-view. Then when they cancelled the OJ book, I got a sudden new faith in humanity.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I never really noticed that Frida Kahlo hs been all over the place recently, but you are so right.

I'm sure Shaidle had no intention of causing any Frida-mania.

John Mutford said...

Kathy, You're welcome. Thanks for writing it!