Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Clash of the Gordons

I was poking around the Web today, looking for the lyrics of a song I could teach my kids and have them serenade my wife when she returned from her trip. At first I was thinking of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

But in the process, I learned something that really bugged me - Gordon Lightfoot isn't bald.*

The two celebrity Gordons I know of (and for some reason, I don't have any actual friends named Gordon) are both cueballs, so in my universe, people named Gordon should be bald.

One of the Gordons is of course, Gordon of Sesame Street.

The other is G. Gordon Liddy.

Good Gordon vs. Evil Gordon

Both burst on the national scene at about the same time - in 1974, when I was a little boy. Gordon joined Sesame Street and Liddy played a crucial role in destroying our nation's innocence by engineering the Watergate break-in. Thus good Gordon and evil Gordon - at least in my mind's eye.

Liddy of course plays into the stereotype of bald men as evil masterminds. (Any chance of getting references to Lex Luther banned as "hate speech?")

It is a stereotype that oppresses me regularly as I join their ranks (at a rate increasing daily...) Fortunately, Gordon of Sesame Street was a shining counter-example, a mastermind, but for good. So good was Gordon, that there is a Gordon Fisher Price person. It is safe to say that there will probably never be a G. Gordon Liddy Fisher Price person (if you really want one, just bite the plastic hair part off of any other Fisher-Price character - the Fisher-Price figures can't resist, they have no arms.)

Come to think of it, a Watergate-themed Fisher-Price set would be kind of cool and might be an important step to addressing the shocking deficit of civic knowledge among America's youth.

*I knew "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was really long and dirge-like - just the ironic mood I was seeking. Of course when I discovered it was the tragic story of an iron ore ship freighter that sunk in a November storm on Lake Superior (killing its 29 crewmen), I decided it would be kind of inappropriate.

I should establish something here. I never really listened to music. When all the other kids in high school were watching MTV or listening to tapes on the Walkmen - I was doing "something else." I am at a loss to describe what it might have been. So my knowledge of music and familiarity with songs and musicians is idiosyncratic - with an emphasis on the idiot. I am particularly prone to songs that when heard for even a few bars get stuck permanently inside the skull and also commercial jingles. I am also incapable of understanding lyrics clearly.

I hope this clarifies something...

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