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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Guest Contributor: "Poker Face" By Rutherford Toady (aka rtoady)

Poker Face
March 27, 2010 By R. Toady

First thing you should know is we don't refer to ourselves as demons any longer. PR prefers that we use the term "alternative angels." Anyways, it takes nineteen of us alt-angels to control this particular subject. I'm an eye movement expert; though in these cases the eyes don't actually see anything, proper eye movement is essential when it comes to preserving the illusion that the suit is moving of its own volition. Things have changed a lot in the possession business since the old days when one would just take a lift to the surface and just leap into the body in question and, you know, go to town. I miss those days sometimes. In the digital age, possession is a strictly wireless operation, performed via remote control by a team of specialists. We all work at programming our particular bodily function- legs, head, heart, digestive system- and the commands go through a central processor which checks them for accuracy before beaming them via wireless signals to the subject, or suit. It's kind of like a marionette with nineteen different puppeteers pulling the strings. If this sounds complicated, you're right, it is, but remember we've been at this for thousands of years.

So as you know, recently I've been working with this subject we call Lady Gaga. Hey, don't blame me for the name; that's all Marketing's doing. It's not bad work, though I'd prefer a more established vocalist such as Streisand or Liza. I'm not so much into this dance music crap, but it's a job, and it could be a hell of a lot worse. Take for instance my former associate Horkheimer. Both of us started work on the Gaga woman at the same time, right before her second single came out. Poker Face, that's right. Gaga -or Steffi, as we called her- was what you call a cooperative subject, or coop, rather than a hostile takeover. Seems like more and more musicians are seeking out our services these days; I don't mean to brag but business is booming. Those guys and gals down in PR know what they're doing. The internet helps, of course.

Anyways, Horkheimer was a hand man. You probably don't think about how important the hands are when it comes to singing. Horkheimer had been controlling the hand gestures of female performers for a couple thousand years; his big breakthrough was a little chippy name of Salome, maybe you've heard of her. More recently, he's worked with such luminaries as Marlene Dietrich and Jane Avril. So we felt fortunate to have him on board. It's funny what years in the industry can do to a man though. Horkheimer had a wicked sense of humor that had a real sense of bitterness behind it. Plus he was a little bit full of himself, and I think he felt that by working with a young, relatively unknown singer, that he was slumming it. "Look," I'd tell him, "We're starting with nothing with this one. This is our chance to build whatever we want, to shape her into our image!"

He wasn't having any of it though. "She doesn't have any class," he'd kvetch. "That's something we can't fake. It's either there or it ain't, and with this Gaga bitch, it ain't." Now like I said, I prefer the more traditional vocalist myself, but I wasn't going to kick. I always believe in trying to make the best of things. Besides, my last couple of gigs had been the pits; working with strictly nowhere acts, boy bands mostly. The stories I could tell. But I digress.

So anyways this one time, Gaga's got this big concert to put on at some stadium in England, and we've got everything all programmed and ready to go, and she gets out there, and the first thing she does, before Goldsmith can get her to sing a single note, she raises her left hand, extends her left index finger, and shoves it as far as it will go up her left nostril and starts digging for gold, so to speak. Well, the crowd went nuts, screaming and booing and throwing half-empty cans of Boddingtons. It was a real clusterfuck, believe you me. We had to detain the entire audience, wipe their memories of the evening clean. What's that? Well, to you it may seem like an extreme reaction for such a minor incident. And I know what you're thinking: in the grand scheme of things, what harm can a little nose picking do? It's different in this business though, where careers can hinge on a single wardrobe malfunction, a single inappropriate gesture. It's all about keeping the client happy.

I haven't seen Horkheimer since; no one in our circle has, though rumor has it he's been stuck supervising bowel maintenance for some young act name of Justin Bieber or something. Poor son of a bitch. Me, I play it safe. No crossing or rolling of the eyes, no inappropriate winking. Keep your eyes on the prize, I always say, and keep your nose clean. I plan on being at this job for as long as I can, at least until the inevitable overdose.

We're giving her about five years.


Copyright Rutherford Toady, All Rights Reserved

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1 comment:

osonegro said...

Very refreshing, Toady! Only one flow suggestion: in the para about Horkheimer, 'sense of humor that had a real sense of bitterness behind it' - maybe try 'edge of bitterness' to avoid the repetition. Or not. As is, this is a gem.