As we mentioned, before– It’s “Lydia’s Trunk of the Strange & Unusual” hosted by our favorite death-urchin, herself– going on t.v. or free local-cable access “and living the dream” as your bright,mordant guide TO “THE WEIRD” like bubblegum punk-rock and youthful abandon. I see her, as much “a character of this place”, and what else could I be talking about, but St. Louis’ distinctive character? Variously described as “a Catholic ghetto” or “sink of the Midwest”, it’s a hard kernel of “set-in-its-ways” religiosity and runny, rotten liberal youth culture of bug-eyed skaters and suspenders, doing a “mosh-pit” shimmy that’s part Irish dance and hockey rink, hopping in the audience over clouds of pot-smoke.
Between “sin” and “decadence”, it sits like a sunken haze of river-silt like a one-stop river-town where residents poke around the garbage and old, run-down furniture of their lives as there’s always, the collective memory of gog-eyed nuns brandishing rulers, rapping knuckles, in the hopeless slouch down into rock n’ roll culture– and incidentally, we’re one of the biggest “Van Halen” cities, around for the hard feld-spar of “meat n’ potatoes” rocking– crude, yet conservative and always DRUNK if you like charity golf-tournaments.
Think of all “the loose pieces”, as it’s self-indulgent, hippie-like, “New Age” sometimes, and work-a-day zany as some of the feeling would remind you of The Coen Brothers’ “The Great Lebowski” for taverns, children’s art, and “Punch & Judy” shows beneath the gray, granite shadow of Catholicism, with a touch for international food-stores, like an Asian grocery of strange, exotic smells as it’s absolutely “Medieval”, and salvation a question of whether “The Cardinals” make it to “The World Series”, as we’re “a real baseball town”.
And don’t forget midnight-showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture-Show” as folks like to dress-up, “A Carnival of Sins” and shared, collective memories unto ritual and show-biz glitz. It’s “discount”, it’s cult-madness, it’s a part of St. Louis’ languishing soul, there in the Mississippi river-valley of tawny grass and cow-town quietude, where perhaps “no one is paying attention” and Lydia’s show is like the background hum of a washing-machine, folks standing over their sinks and doing the dishes in squalor.
Will she keep her town from “getting razed-down, and turned into a parking-lot”? A waste-dump site? The intrigue continues, “or else you don’t have a movie”. Thanks for watching, and we’ll be back, tomorrow.