Monday, January 08, 2007


Happy Birthday, Elvis

Today is Elvis Presley's birthday. Somewhere, Mark Finn is preparing to eat some truly horrific foods in honor of his hero. Me, I'm just pausing a moment to reflect on the King.

I've been to Graceland three times -- the first time as a kid with my family, the second time ironically as a recent college grad laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, and the third time as a thirty year old who'd moved past irony into something like respect. I've listened to countless hours of Elvis music (personal favorite, "Viva Las Vegas"), read a bunch of books about the dude (I recommend Greil Marcus's Dead Elvis highly), and seen loads of Elvis flicks (though not as many, or with as much insight, as Todd Alcott has). I even wrote an as-yet-unpublished mystery novel all about Elvis impersonators (entitled, appropriately enough, The King is Dead), and have a pair of Elvis sunglasses in the glove compartment of my care (you know, just in case...).

Elvis was sheer ridiculousness and pure awesomeness rolled up into one. A prodigious talent consumed by his own banality and then somehow elevated to godhood out the other side. There are times when I think that's something to aspire towards....

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