Thursday, March 4, 2010
SIMPLY THE BEST
We speak in superlatives. We do. 'This is the best pizza,' 'That was the greatest sex,' 'He was the worst president,' 'She is my best friend' (forever, no less) and so on. I do it all the time, but careful: exaggerated speech can make you lazy. You see, simply calling something 'the best' clouds your thinking, which will keep you from knowing-and saying-what you really, really mean.
'She is a very, very good singer,' more than likely means 'She isn't a great singer.'
I am a superlative type guy in entertainment writing, using such words as a way to make an honest point about performers I admire. Please know that when you see me using such words it is a style thing. You see, I am the stylest, ya know?
If you want to see some less-than-honest superlatives, read some of those film critic's quotes at the bottom of movie ads. And the worst? When critics' sentences are divided by "..." in a totally misleading way. Ellipeses usually signal uber- bullshit. In a show review, I once wrote: "If you've got nothing better to do while you're in town, maybe see the show," which was reduced to: "NOTHING BETTER... IN TOWN!" Seriously.
One night, while driving to a Lake Tahoe show with a world famous singer, we passed a handpainted sign proclaiming 'World's Greatest Hot Dog,' and even though nobody was even kinda hungry, we had to stop and try it. (Note: Alexander was Great, a hotdog never will be).
My longtime friend FRANK MARINO is a superlative performer. He holds the record for longest running star at the same venue in Las Vegas, but more than that, he's funny, savvy and a survivor.
Reading the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS makes me feel weird. Who made a balloon animal the fastest? Who cares?
Titles are good for business, and I've used them a time or two. We set the Guinness record several years ago by putting five motorcycle riders inside The Globe of Death. The stunt was part of big Guinness special for FOX and was a great promotion for Splash at the Riviera. A year later, the late great magic producer GARY OUELLET shot the act for an NBC special and now BELA TABAK'S RIDERS OF THE THUNDERDOME is world famous, the best in the world.
I hear-and read-myself using superlatives all the time (there I go again).
My random BEST:
'HOUSE M.D.,' NICK THUNE, TRADER JOE'S, LOUIE ANDERSON, ROASTED SEAWEED, VITAMIN WATER 10, THAT APPLE I JUST ATE, SIMONS@ PALMS PLACE, THE FEELING I HAVE WHEN WRITING AN HONEST COMPLIMENT, JUSTIN KREDIBLE, LATIN , BAMBOO, A GIRL WEARING MY SHIRT THE NEXT MORNING, THE SOUND OF HORSES WALKING, MAX HODGES ON TMZ, THE SMELL OF FRESH CUT GRASS, HUMMUS, NEON, CRACKING A BOOK, FAMILIAL HARMONY, JACK DANIELS, LIPSTICK KISSES FLOATING ON TOILET PAPER, SINATRA & STRINGS, A NEW RAZOR, LAUGHTER, JASON MRAZ, ORGANIC CARROTS, NOW.
ANYTHING DECIDED BY A COMMITTEE, EVERYTHING WRITTEN BY ANDREW LLYOD WEBBER, THE DELAY BETWEEN A NEWSMAN ASKING A QUESTION AND THE OVERSEAS REPORTER FINALLY ANSWERING IT.
I believe in the perfectiblity of man. Making yourself better is the ultimate but always remember:
You're the best you right now.
- ▼ March (8)
- ► 2009 (90)