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Monday, February 23, 2004
A brief, probably unfocused response to watching The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas last night:
God, I just want to hang out with Dolly Parton for, like, two years. I can't seem to find the link right now, but there was a surprisingly great article about her in the Rolling Stone "Women in Rock" issue a while back. Among other things, it noted that she has written over 3,000 songs, which makes me want to kiss her, that she has been married to her publicity-shy husband for almost 40 years, and that Velveeta was one of her favorite foods. Upon hearing this, the interviewer said something to the effect of, "C'mon, that can't be true." Dolly then took him into her private quarters and showed him a kitchen stocked with boxes of Velveeta, cans of Spam, loaves of Wonder Bread--just piles and piles of white trash food that she doesn't have to eat anymore, but does anyway, because it's fucking good.
And seriously, how good is "I Will Always Love You" in that context? It just breaks your heart, doesn't it? What a fucking song. Goddamn. I want to MARRY IT. It's one of those songs that you just can't fuck up. Doesn't matter what the arrangement is: just lay that chorus melody over it and it's all you need in life.
But it's all Dolly: when she's trading verses with the hookers and they all have these sort of straightforward musical-theater voices and she comes in and it's just this totally different, unique phrasing and delivery, wow! She really does do that, and it doesn't sound affected in the slightest.
Other than that, the scene with the gaily dancing Governor (played by Charles Durning, a wonderful character actor who was also in a few Coen brothers movies and played Doc Hopper in The Muppet Movie) is some sort of perfect comic thing: aside from seemingly inspiring the Crazy Evil Texan character on the Simpsons, and quite possibly Bill Clinton, it somehow nails exactly what I had in my head of what politicians do when they've just hoodwinked the press. Can't you sort of see Ari Fleischer going backstage from the press room in the White House and just sort of doing a Texas shuffle into the wings? I sure can.
 Memo to Ryan Adams: when you've written over 3,000 songs, and when one of them's been covered by Puff Daddy and one by Whitney Houston, then you get to call yourself prolific.