Okay, God, let’s have it out. You and me.

I gotta say, you’ve done some pretty weird shit in your life, but there are limits, okay? Katrina, I can’t figure that one out — what was the point of that? And then the Southern California wildfires. And the tsunami. And the droughts.

I get it, I get it — you work in mysterious ways. I’ve been paying attention, I get it.

But, please, give me a clue. Help me understand. Why on Earth, in the course of five billion years of our planet’s existence, would you possibly need to take Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ike Turner and — gasp — Dan Fogelberg all in the same week?

Let me try to parse this latest act of bizarreness. You’re up in Heaven, and you say “Hey, you know what we need up here? Some dense, impenetrable German avant-garde music!” So you call Karlheinz and he shows up and you hear the kind of stuff he does and you say “Okay, okay, it’s good, but you know what it needs? It needs a beat, you can’t dance to this stuff, who really knows how to turn a beat down there?” And so you grab Ike Turner and you put these two sounds together. It sounds like it would be super-ugly to me, but what do I know, maybe the clash of high German weirdness and deep American grooves sounded great, but the only thing I can think is that it sounded a little, you know, heavy, what with the postwar anomie and the wife-beating and all that.

That’s the only justification I can see for adding wimpy folk-rocker Dan Freaking Fogelberg to the mix. Have you even heard this guy before? Can you even begin to imagine the world of pain your ears are in for, trying to weld together Stockhausen, Turner and Fogelberg?

And who’s going to be next? Christ, who’s going to have to show up to this jam session to meld together all these sounds? Bassist from Ratt? Yma Sumac? Ornette Coleman?

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Another long, awkward elevator ride?

Perhaps, but man, dig that crazy sound.

Karlheinz and Ike, two great 20th-century composers, rest in peace.

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Another long, awkward elevator ride


Ingmar Bergman and Michaelangelo Antonioni ride in (what else) silence.

MA. Well.  This is weird.

IB. Mm.

MA. You with the whole “is there a God” thing, me with the whole “existential angst” thing —

IB. Mm.

MA. And here we are.

IB. Here we are.


MA.  What was it finally did it to you?

IB. Mm?

MA. ‘Cos we both got up there, man, you know?  80s, 90s, I mean, that’s a load of years for a couple of guys who made such a big deal out of how miserable life is.

IB. Mm.

MA.  Me?  That Chuck and Larry movie.  I saw that, I just said “forget it, I’ve had enough, I’m out of here.”  Billy Madison was cute, but I drew the line on Sandler with The Waterboy.  What about you?

IB. Me, oh, you know me.  The weight of a Godless world, the the suffocating oppression of memory, the haunting terrors of family.

MA. I gotcha, sure.

IB. And Transformers.

MA.  Ooh, yeah, that one hurt.

IB. I’m like, “what, I expanded the vocabulary of cinema to explore the most important, penetrating questions of the human condition so that monster robots could fight each other?”  Give me a break.

MA. I totally get you.


IB. By the way, I’ve always wanted to tell you —

MA. Yes?

IB.  I hated Zabriskie Point.

MA. Oh yeah?  Well I hated The Serpent’s Egg.

IB. You —


IB. Ah, the hell with it.


MA. Jesus, this is one long elevator ride, isn’t it?

IB. You ain’t kidding.

MA. Did you, when you got on, did you happen to notice which way it was heading?

IB. Well, I assumed —

Pause.  They look at each other.

The elevator dings.  The doors slide open.  Bergman and Antonioni go to step out, but TOM SNYDER steps in.

TS. Hey, Ingmar Bergman!  Michaelangelo Antonioni!  Good to see you!

He slaps them on the back.  They look distinctly uncomfortable.

TS. Boy, this death thing, this is wild, isn’t it?  I tell you, I wasn’t ready for this one.  Reminds me of the time I was taking a train to Bridgeport once, I was in the station, and you know how they’ve got those newsstands, right?  Where they sell all the newspapers and candy and whatnot.  And there’s a shoe-shine guy next to the newsstand, right?  And I’ve always wondered about the shoe-shine guy.  You know?  Who is this guy?  Is this what he wanted to do with his life?  “Shoe-shine guy?”  Has he reached the pinnacle of his career?  “I am a shoe-shine guy?”  And he’s got this hat, it’s kind of like a conductor’s cap, almost like maybe a conductor gave it to him, like you know, maybe this guy’s a little “simple,” you know, and one of the train conductors took pity on him and gave him a hat, you know, to cheer him up, make him feel like he’s part of the team.  Anyway, so I’m there in the train station and this skycap goes by, huge stack of luggage on one of those rolling things, what are those things called, dollies?  Not dollies, but like a dolly, with the handle, you know?  And I’ve always wondered, who decides whether the cart gets a handle or not?  And —

Bergman and Antonioni wither as Snyder chats on and on.  Fade out. hit counter html code


This is going to be one awkward elevator ride.

Almost as bad as the time Richard Nixon and Kurt Cobain died within days of each other. hit counter html code