46 thoughts on “Also, I Woke Up With A Sudden Desire to Collect Tom of Finland Postcards

  1. A couple of times in usenet groups, when someone said they had a song stuck in their heads I sent the Brady Bunch theme song as a cure. The last time, the response I got was “you bastard!” So I won’t send you that help.

  2. I always wondered why Jeff Lynne and ELO weren’t also roller skating around…

    Geeky footnote: the backlit special effects in this movie led pretty directly to the making of TRON.

  3. ZOMFG!!!

    My daughter loves this movie.

    I secretly love this song. Does that make me gay? Or the fact that I imagine me and the pangolins sitting in George Clooney’s lap while he sings this to me?

    This doesn’t bring Tom of Finland to mind. Any solo material by Freddie Mercury does, though. Oh, and all Judas Priest.

  4. Chang:

    I’ll come out about loving the soundtrack ever since it came out… it feels good to admit that… the movie, eh, not so much.

    I worked at a local, indie record store for a few years in college, and all of the cooler-than-thou types who worked there all secretly adored the music. Several ordered the soundtrack on CD when it was only available on import for lots of $$$. I know one of them had it on laser-disc.

  5. Does it make a closet lesbian if I would bed Olivia Newton John in a heartbeat?

    Just don’t tell anyone, k?

    Oddly enough, the song doesn’t stick with me as much as I thought it…

    Dammit. I hate you.

  6. That movie is one of my guilty pleasures. If I find it on TBS I’m compelled to watch. It’s so bad it completes the circle and comes back around to watchable.

  7. Not too surprising – Xanadu has been in the news recently, with the Broadway musical and the DVD release. Some great songs in there, including Magic and I’m Alive.

  8. I LOVE THIS!!!!

    So glad I’m not the only one. I had fears about coming clean about it.

    Would it help to know that when I was 8 I really wanted to be a Solid Gold Dancer?

  9. JJS @1 & mimbles @7 – just so you know, ‘Biography – The Brady Bunch’ was on last night. I would have watched it if I hadn’t been so tired.

    And I love ELO. They are effing awesome! Didja see the Doctor Who which featured ELO as the soundtrack? The Doctor and Rose were back-up players on this one. The show’s awesomeness was augmented by the ELO soundtrack.

  10. I actually owned this DVD up until four years ago, when some bastards broke into my house and took it (along with the rest of my collection).

    I figure if they watched it even once, I will have had my revenge.

    My parents took me to see this in theaters, and I spent my early formative years trying to figure out how I could become a modern-day rollerskating Muse.

  11. Thank you. No, seriously, thank you. It has cured my latest pernicious earworm, Ben Folds’ cover of “Bitches Ain’t Shit.” So, now you can see why Xanadu is something I welcome.

  12. Ah, yes. ONJ, the preadolescent precursor to my Stevie love. (As in Nicks, not Wonder. Which makes more sense. Leg-warmers and ‘kerchief skirts and all.)

    Xanadu (along with Abba, of course) got me through many a early morning figure skating practice session.

    But, yes. Damn you! Da-amn Yoo-oo-oou! Now that you’re here, now that you’re near, it’s (a day full of) Xaaaaan-a-du.

  13. John, do you often wake up with music in your head? I almost always do, and my family thinks it’s freaky. For a month I kept a notebook and wrote down what song I had in my head when I woke up. I couldn’t find any correlation to my previous day’s activity, so I finally just called it random neural firing.

    This morning, I woke up to Queen’s “Bicycle” in my head. I don’t know why.

    Strangely, I have never awakened to a mental Olivia Newton-John concert.

  14. I recognized the song from the blurry preview frame of the acrobats on the tightrope.

    Remember the Outfoxed documentary from a few years ago – the one that exposed how Fox News distorts facts? It’s directed by Robert Greenwald, the same guy that made Xanadu. When friends threw an Outfoxed party, I brought my Xanadu DVD along so that they could see some of Greenwald’s earlier work. And I cued up the ending without warning them.

    I recommend getting some friends and some drinks, watching with the sound off (fast-forward doesn’t hurt), and making up your own dialogue. Turn the sound on for the last scene and sing along. Roller-skates are optional.

  15. Given my feelings at this exact moment, I have to wonder how much workplace violence can be tracked back to this song.

    Horrible, horrible, horrible, cheesy goodness that will now be stuck in my head. I picked the wrong week to stop drinking.

  16. Umm, ignoring the music cues for a moment – John, what and how do you know of Tom of Finland?

    Unless you hang at an all-gay after hours club there in Ohio.

    Just saying.

  17. Scalzi: Well, doesn’t everybody know of Tom of Finland?

    Apparently not. I was going to come in and ask if you were trying to tell us something.

    Just saying.

  18. I had this album when I was a kid (the soundtrack to Xanadu. Yes, seriously). I remember seeing the movie when I was quite young but I have no recollection what it was about.

  19. That was in the dollar theater near our house one summer; I think it’s still the movie I’ve seen the most times. I saw it again a few years ago; it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

    I ended up with a bizarre combination of that song and this one stuck in my head, though.

  20. Welcome to the fold, John! First it’s Olivia Newton-John.

    Then it’s the Tom of Finland postcards.

    After that, an addiction to Project Runway and a very small dog with a fabulous wardrobe.

    Don’t fight it. Krissy might miss the sex, but she’ll love the decorating tips.

  21. Around 1980 I worked nights as a relief driver delivering Chicago Tribunes in Evanston IL. During the summer, I’d take an tape recorder and play Olivia Newton-John tapes, including the soundtrack to Xanadu, for hours at a time. Xanadu was great for that 5am pre-dawn pick-up the pace.

    Years ago on NPR someone commented that to get rid of an earworm, run the song (but not the words) to The Girl From Ipanema. Amazingly, in the middle of the night when something annoying is buzzing around in your head, it usually works. Just don’t think about the song you got rid of or you’ll have to rinse and repeat the process.

    You’re welcome.

    Dr. Phil

  22. C’mon now. What’s not to love? Suh-mokin’ Olivia Newton-John + ELO= awesome. Perhaps a >bit< heavy on the cheese, but hey, it perfectly captures the spirit of the times.

  23. I was a summer camp counselor. We sang while we served meals, all of those camp songs that you can imagine, the Brady Bunch theme, Gilligan’s Island, The Cat Came Back, even Found a Peanut if we experienced a lull.

    Ever since then, earworms don’t bother me. I can not only outlast them, I can blast them any time I like. And I can do it almost subconsciously. Seriously, there comes a point when you can sing a song and not even hear yourself.

    It’s also good for cowing teenagers who are trying to be annoying. “I can outlast you. In fact, I can do it louder, too.” Heh.

  24. Scalzi “Well, doesn’t everybody know of Tom of Finland?”

    I’m fairly certain if you did a poll in any mid-western city you would probably find about 10% (or less) of the population knows who Tom of Finland is. This would probably be the same crowd who purchases Cher albums and uses the word “Fabulous.”

    Even in more “Metropolitan” cities, you might have a slightly larger population who know the name of the artist and a decent group who recognize it by sight but not by name, like my wife.

    And before you ask, I have many, many gay friends, some of whom have books of Tom of Finland’s art.

  25. Well, I must say, I am learning. I didn’t click on that video. I didn’t even feel tempted. I gotta tell you, John, unless you explicitly say, “it’s Journey,” I’m takin’ a pass. I’ve clicked on enough of your ‘perfect pop songs’ to know that our musical tastes just don’t overlap that much.

    And seriously, the next time you say, “it’s Journey,” I’m not clicking on that either. I’m not too stupid to know I’ve just set myself up for a rickrolling.

  26. Thanks, John… that jumpstarted an hour long Youtube! orgy that meandered through 80’s pop songs to Rice Marching Band videos, on over to TSU Ocean of Soul performances and ended up with some Rocky Horror Picture Show clips.

    Hot Patooty bless my soul,
    I really love that rock-n-roll.

  27. Xanadu – because the damned Baby Boomers couldn’t let Gene Kelly die with dignity.

    One more thing to curse them for.

  28. 113 Electric Light Orchestra songs in my iPod folder DEDICATED to that which is Jeff Lynne INCLUDING the version her re-did in 2001, so yer only punishing yourself, John….

  29. Corby@35:

    It was a joke.

    My own acquaintance with Tom of Finland began in the early 90s, when as the film critic of the Fresno Bee, I saw a documentary on him as part of the local gay/lesbian film festival.

  30. If you plot “movie quality” on the x axis and “soundtrack quality” on the y axis, you get a couple of outliers way, way out in the negative x, positive y direction.

    Xanadu is one. Heavy Metal is the other.

  31. Sorry, John. I come off as humorless when I am trying to be “dry”.

    Just because I type with a sardonic expression doesn’t mean it comes out that way.

    I knew you were joking. ;)

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