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Gha Na Na

Based on a novel by a man named Lear – McCartney

Cheap is small, and not too steep
But best of all, cheap is cheap
– Davies

Now that America has bowed somewhat gracefully out of the World Cup, we can all move on to more pressing matters at hand. It’s difficult to hold a grudge against a Ghanaian. The life expectancy for males is only 59 years, so they’re due every international victory that they have coming . If soccer and the occasional Bob Geldoff visit were all that America had to hang on to, we’d likely struggle to keep our proverbial chins held high. And I’ve certainly done enough dead horse beating with my poorly-constructed anti-soccer rants. Although this phenomenon of loss-recovery and why we hate certain opponents more than others might be worth a few more lines. How is it that some Giants fans would suffer a crisis of identity in the absence of their long-despised So Cal rivals? What inspires packs of shorn, shit-faced English lads to descend upon a neighboring village in Third Reich fashion even when the inciting football match is of little consequence? My uneducated guess is that it is due, in large part, to the suffocating and life-numbing lack of motivation that persists in the absence of somebody’s ass to kick. Sure, we’ll sacrifice ourselves beyond all measure in the name of love, but if you really want to get something done you’d better have somebody to hate. And make no mistake – this instinct is not reserved exclusively for the male half of the species. As Elaine Benes remarked on ‘Seinfeld’, commenting on the female version of getting even, “we just tease someone until they develop an eating disorder.” Ask any woman and they’ll likely tell you a broken pint glass to the face is a preferred alternative.

Maybe this explains why I’ve never been a Beatles fan. I don’t typically go public with this admission, because it generally draws a lot of criticism and the response that I’m just trying to be different. But I genuinely don’t care for the group, and despite having listened to a plethora of music in my increasingly long-toothed existence, I’ve never owned a CD, LP, cassette, or even eight-track by the Fab Four. Sure, there’s a select song or two among their vast catalog that I favor – I always dug Paperback Writer, for instance, and felt that it had as good a riff as Day Tripper with better lyrics. Maybe it was McCartney’s somewhat inane but catchy influence on that song that attracted me, and Lennon’s more pervasive but generally toothless All You Need Is Love vibe that pushed me away. I do understand that John was the thinking man’s member of the group, and that it was his cynicism and sardonic “it couldn’t get much worse” contribution to Paul’s “it’s getting better all the time” that kept things in check. But try as I might, I couldn’t get Dear Prudence or I Am The Walrus to fly for me. I much prefer most anything by the Stones, Who, or most consummate of English acts, The Kinks. It’s a shame that some Catcher In The Rye-obsessed kook had to take Lennon out prematurely, but give me Ray Davies lamenting a big, fat mama trying to break him any day. Then again, who asked me?

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