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Tomorrow Always Knows

Oct. 21, 2010
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? And how ’bout this chock-packed jam-full “Best of Milwaukee” issue? With so much to look over in these pages, I thought I’d give you a break and lighten up on the blackhole density and longitude of my essay for you this week ’cause there’s only so many hours in a day, what the fock.

But before I go, yeah, I did watch the TV season nightcap of “Mad Men” the other night. And let me tell you’s young people who didn’t have to live through it, the ’60s were a terrible period during which we the living were forced to endure the unexpected shock of the untimely demise of the Jerry Lewis box-office appeal, not to mention that of the American Broadway musical, and not to mention the down-swinging erosion of a certain world that once beat to the meter of cigarette holders, jazz and cocktails. A shame.

By the end of that decimated decade, Elvis, the Packers, the Democrats plus the Ford Motor Co. all blew stunk chunks out their butts. So if you weren’t spinning on the axis of that particular wheel of life in time, consider yourself blessed indeed, I kid you not.

So no more “Mad Men” for a while, but at least there’s still a bunch of episodes of that new show “Boardwalk Empire,” about Prohibition and Atlantic City’s kingpin by the name of Nucky Thompson, which reminds me of a story:

So this Irish guy, he’s stumbling around the street when all of a sudden he finds a lamp. He rubs on the lamp and whammo!—out comes a genie: “Master, you’ve released me from this goddamn lamp. I will grant you three wishes.” Irish guy thinks for a minute, says, “I wish for a nice bottle of Guinness that never gets empty.” Poof! Genie hands him the bottle of Guinness.

The Irish guy’s beside himself with joy. He’s sucking on the Guinness bottle for weeks—never gets empty. Then he remembers he’s still got two more wishes. So he rubs up the ol’ lamp again and out pops the genie: “And your other two wishes, master, what’ll they be?”

Irish guy says, “Remember that magic never-ending bottle of Guinness? Well sir, I’ll take two more.”

Anyways, speaking of the Sixties, I got my own “Best Of” list to close out this issue, what the fock.

Artie’s Choice for the Best Top Ten Decades of the Passed Century

10) ’60s: Hey man, if the ’60s finish at the bottom, just how suck-butt can the decades be that don’t even make the Top Ten? Seems to me today the sad legacy of the Swinging Sixties is political-bullshit correctness, half-baked notions of lifestyle, and the escalation of salary for musicians who can’t read music. Right on? Write off.

9) The Naughts: The beginnings of weird-ass art plus no radio, no TV, no movies. No thank you.

8) ’30s: Too many bums looking for a handout and too many European guys hankering for crisp goose-stepping uniforms to rate better than eighth place.

7) ’70s: Dick Nixon, Arabs with oil, disco, Ron Reagan laying presidential pipe and too many boring-ass movies where people just sat around yakking. A bottom-feeding decade.

6) The Teens: Should rank higher because the Titanic sank during this decade, which made possible the biggest blockbusting movie of all time and rekindled hope for more large-scale action pictures; but a World War is a decided bring-down.

5) ’40s: Yeah, another World War, but how ’bout those big bands, not to mention Rita Hayworth?

4) ’90s: A lot of too much weepy psychotherapy going on, but it did look like Commie butt was finally kicked for focking good.

3): ’80s: Way too heavy on Republicans in the White House, but how you going to beat cable TV?

2): ’20s: Babe Ruth single-handedly transforms a kids’ game into the greatest sport in the world to this day. Buster Keaton. Charlie Chaplin. Louis Armstrong. All genius.

1): ’50s: The coolest-looking cars in the history of the recorded universe plus Marilyn Monroe, to boot. Numero uno all the way, baby.

So there you go. It’s going to be a while before I can whip up a list of my Best Ten Decades of the 21st Century, but I can tell you this right now: If after the next couple, three elections we’ve got the Tea Party coming out of our ears, this decade we’re in right now will go down as one of the worst all-time, with the chances of a decade to follow somewhere between slim and none, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.


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