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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #29
Tundra
David Gunn
The date is 1620; the place, Tonsilheim, Sweden, a village of 80,000 ethnically mixed people, all with incomes in the upper 60s. The village is dotted with trendy cafés, massage parlors, travel agencies, meatball factories and insurance firms in lofty office complexes. An environmentally-approved strip mall tastefully rings the central green, on which a sculpture of a giant preening locust stands. There are a few roads, but most of the thoroughfares are canals, in which bison with waterwings pull sledges loaded with pastries. The time is 8:15am. Camera shows townspeople in 17th century business suits, clutching briefcases and almost universally eating halvah, sauntering to work. Camera follows one man down a path and pans ahead to feature a small but tidy chalet in the distance. Cut to close-up of chalet. A banyan tree is in front yard, surrounded by several partially-finished attempts at demonic bonsai topiary. Next to the side of the house are a gutted snowmobile and a Subaru on blocks. (Note to writers: suggest switching to Volvo, or maybe something more endemic to 17th century.) Camera follows bright blue flagstone path to front door, above which hangs a sign that reads "Welcome to le flambeau oriange." Door opens to reveal Henri, the chef, in apron and pantaloons, and Sven in a business suit. Henri is vigorously stirring a bowl of fruit salad while attempting to escort Sven out the door. Sven is waving a catalogue in front of Henri's face, but Henri shakes his head no no, or whatever they say in Swedish, finally gooses Sven with the spoon, and slams the door behind him. Unflapped, Sven walks down the path past camera. Inside, a telephone rings and we hear Henri say, "Allo, is residence of King Gustavus the Second."

Music up. Roll title sequence. Announcer says, "It's the Adventures of King Gustavus Adolf the Second of Sweden, starring his royal but decidedly deceased highness, King Gustav!" (studio audience applause) "Brought to you by Pioneer No-Wash Equestrian Urinals, available in gelding, holstein and new mare models. Pioneer: a name you can trust, not wash. In today's story, the king tries to hang a hammock from the tree, he conquers Livonia, and he and Count Oxenstierna go to the pub to reorganize Swedish male secondary education. Natsume Soseki guest stars. We'll be back with Act 1 in a moment." Music and studio applause up, run "Emmett Kelly, founder of Clown Temps" commercial.

In other words, it's Kalvos & Damian's New Sesqui MusicHour Expansive, today's episode, #29, featuring music from the reign of King Gustavus as interpolated by a handful of today's leading avant craftspeople, whose names will ever remain synonymous with those of other names spelled homophonically dissimilar, yet pointillistically alike. To put it another way, abomasum inviolet avec yeti. Today's New Sesqui MusicHour, which is being brought to you in part under waves of radiophonic duress not atypical for the studio at this time of year, also includes a special feature bumped from previous shows that overstayed their welcome timeslot. The feature, whose name escapes me, will be seamlessly glommed into the program mechanics as soon as opportunity warrants, and, in fact, may have already occurred.

But, the show's theme, along with responsible journalistic practices, digresses. Time to mosey on down the musical path inappropriately dubbed "Counterpoint Counseling Day" to Kalvos.