Hello, sports fans, and welcome to another Dr Frank Weakly Reader, wherein I compile, annotate, expand, and illustrate the week’s hijinks in the Dr Frank web-o-sphere. This is mainly so I can have a place to search if I ever need to find something in future, but I also try to make it pretty and fun in case anyone else wants to read along. Feel free, if so.
So, if I have this right, the Dallas soccer team has announced a sponsorship deal with a Texas tech company called MTX, with the result that their corporate logo is now incorporated into the team’s various jerseys. And with the result that the web has seen a barrage of “kit” images that are fairly hilarious to those of us who inhabit this little sliver of punk rock culture, where MTX stands for the Mr T Experience, nothing less, and certainly nothing more. I mean, just watch the video:
If you’re not snickering, you’re just not one of us.
This sort of thing comes up fairly regularly when your subculture is, as it must be, built up around a collection of nested inside jokes. The obscurity is most of the point. It’s not inherently funny, or remarkable in any way, in itself. (In fact, a corporate logo is perhaps the least funny thing in the world, per se.) The humor is incomprehensible to those not in the club because the irony and the specialized “meaning” is entirely contingent on something, to them, unexplained and maybe even beyond explaining. This, of course, just makes it funnier and stranger to us in the bubble. And it’s, basically, why we do it in the first place, I guess. (And by “it,” I mean, just about anything we do.)
But of course, in any given such situation, there are always more of them than there are of us, meaning, we’re the funny ones, really. I explored this situation in an essay about why it was funny, weird, and worthy of note that an apparently quite popular electropop band called Chvrches had released an album with the same title as one of our albums: The Love Is Dead Club. Snip:
As I’ve explained, people in our tiny world tend to find such things funny and will often note the occasion with ironic posts, e.g., posting our album cover in threads about the Chvrches’ release. I’m sure this mystifies them, the Chvrches people, if they ever notice it, even moreso if any of them ever were to hear any of it. We’re from different worlds and I doubt we make much sense to each other.
But I imagine some of these soccer guys, having acclimated themselves to being the MTX team (and, apparently, working rather hard to promote their newfound MTX-ness) might find it similarly absurd and out of left field, so to speak, were they ever to encounter the Mr T Experience or to run across images like this:
I mean, I’m sure it is hot on MTX Island, from either perspective.
I know there are a great many atheletes and sports fans who are part of the MTX nation (in our sense), who have stuck with us for all these years through the good times and the bad.
We sincerely and proudly salute our athletic supporters.
But for my part I can’t say I’ve ever paid much attention to soccer, still less to American soccer.
Now, however, suddenly, I have a favorite soccer team. I mean obviously. And I will root for them to achieve their goals and strike their matches. I hope they win the Ashes every year. FC Dallas rules OK.
At least, I want one of those jerseys. Nobody would appreciate it more. I did, in fact, try to pre-order one — pre-ordering a shirt, and failing, another very punk rock experience inadvertently replicated in the corporate-sponsored sports world. Who knew? It failed because, unfortunately, it appears they don’t do mail order. You have to schedule a pick-up at their headquarters in Frisco, Texas — I know that sounds like a gag, but it’s a real place, I checked. Road trip? Maybe when the pandemic clears. Till then, I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say: MTX forever.
Wikipedia disambiguates the term “MTX” thus: a Czech racing car company, a Ford Motor Company transmission, the well-known audio company, a Norwegian home computer from the early ’80s, an extremely potent toxin produced by the Gambierdiscus toxicus dinoflagellate species, a chemotherapy and immune system suppressing drug, microtransaction monetization, and, last but not necessarily least, The Mr T Experience, a punk rock band.
FC Dallas and its Texas tech company sponsor are not (yet) on the list, but it seems they’re well on their way, and of course we wish them well.
So welcome aboard, guys. We’re all Team MTX, even the toxin.
— Lookout Zoomout #2: The thing happened and it was good, I think. Everyone was great, and thanks to all who “showed up.”
In case you missed it, or me, I did a couple of requests and otherwise dug kinda deep.
Set list: Swallow Everything, History of the Concept of the Soul, Tomorrow Is a Harsh Mistress, Here She Comes, Thank You (for Not Being One of Them)… first time ever doing “Here She Comes” acoustic, I think. I said in my post that I thought it was the only time “Tomorrow Is a Harsh Mistress” was ever done live, but longtime comrade Johannes Schult found it on at least one set list from ’99 so I stand corrected there. I remember regretting that we couldn’t manage to play it live, but I guess we did attempt it at least once. Anyway, it was a risk to try but I think it came off pretty well solo.
So now we move on to….
— Lookout Zoomout #3: the third (and mostly like final) installment is happening next month, March 28, noon Pacific. I’ll be returning as the sort of “house band,” and Grant will host once again, and joining in will be Ted Leo, Penelope Houston, Mass Giorgini, and John & Judy Denery plus Virgil Shaw. Now we’re cookin.
Sign up here:
LOOKOUT ZOOMOUT #3: a Lookout Records virtual show | Shows | Side Door
In the spirit of unity, togetherness, community, friendship, and good times, we present the third LOOKOUT ZOOMOUT, a…
— Finally: we will have some Sounds Rad announcements coming up soon, so stay tuned for that.
MTX ON YOUR SHOULDER
— It ain’t real till it’s on discogs, and Sounds Rad is on there.
—That time we played at the Berkeley Square with firehose: Another of Anthony Lew’s old fliers, this from April 1992.
Aaron Rubin: ‘The other thing I remember is Watt saying to us, “So you guys Berkeley? We’re Pedro,” which struck me as about the most Mike Watt thing that he could have said.’
— No one understood your comments — just keeping tabs on Naomi, God love her:
— Don’t tell me your secret lies in London: the line “your secret lies in London” (in the song “London”) is from a Sherlock Holmes story “The Five Orange Pips.” I just happened to be reading it while the rudimentary tune was in my head, and I was struck by the sentences out-of-context ambiguity, and the two things wound up fusing. This is the way many songs come about, a little here, a little there, a sort of directed collage. Other than that, the song has nothing at all to do with the story. And of course, it’s not something anyone would spot unless he happened to read the story after hearing the song and noticed it. To my knowledge this has only happened twice — that is to say, only two people who noticed contacted me about it. But it’s amazing that it happened at all.
— Adventures in mislabelling: (1) Julie Andrews, Henrietta Hippo, and more adventures in tape mis-labelling. It’s even bad if you’ve done it on purpose, as it turns out. (2) Mass confusion in the Alcatraz archive. (These were “memories” re-posted.)
— Almost perfectly sane: Song for Odin was “Fucked Up on Life” this week (in the form of a solo rendition from Aachen Germany, 2012):
— Roman calendar: Gregory of Narek, in a recently dedicated sculpture in the Vatican gardens; The Transfiguration, illuminated; “bore da, dydd dewi sant hapus i chi” — Saint David of Wales; a portrait of Saint Agnes of Bohemia; Cunigunde of Luxembourg in stained glass; Saint Casimir from a recent Kaziukas Fair in Vilnius; St. Piran’s Cross, Cornwall…
— Behold: and after she gets her nails done, she will pick out a head; Cary Grant with harp, from The Bishop’s Wife; Miller time never looked so good; that crack didn’t make me feel any better; Astro Fighter advertisement; Ingrid Boulting photographed by Barry Lategan, 1970; the monument on the Burrano family tomb at the Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Italy, sculpted by Piero da Verona…
— …and finally:
IN THE NEWS
And that’ll wrap it up for the weak that was. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s Lynda Carter, Miss World-USA 1972:
See you next week.