I was watching Much Music (the Canadian equivalent to MTV) today, and almost fell out of my chair as I was blown away by sheer stupidity and ignorance.

There was a VJ standing on a street in Toronto somewhere talking to a girl and her friend, both of whom looked to be in their mid teen years. Loosely transcribed (just enough to get the point across, really), here is the conversation that unfolded:

"We're about to play Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.. what do you think it's about?"

"Umm.. California Vacation!!"

"Um. Do you like video games and stuff?"


"Well you'll probably like this video then, it looks like a video game.."

I think the guy kind of gave up on trying to get anything meaningful out of the conversation shortly after he asked her why she was wearing a pacifier tied to a string around her neck, and all she could say was, "I dunno, it's coooool."

The music video for this song is actually really awesome, incidentally, not as dreamy as the one for "Otherside", but it's good, quite good.

Sometimes it's so painful when people completely miss what a song is about. I mean, it's so obvious that this song is about oranges and how some people so cruelly pick them before they're ready, you know?

Not only is this the name of the great cd by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (and the name of the title song), but it is also a term from Edward Abbey about making the whole world like California. Thus is why the title of the Chili Pepper song is what it is.

Californication is probably my favorite show on television right now. You haven't heard of it, you say? Perhaps that's because it is a cable TV show; it is by the same very fine people who brought you my former favorite show (Dexter): Showtime. I'll be the first to say that I think that Showtime and HBO are golden premium channels from the heavens. Who would've thought, channels that defy the conventions of standard television and radio? Instead of advertising dollars driving the business model (and hence shows being those pesky, filler in-betweens to rake in viewers), their lifeblood is people who actually care about high quality programming (and are willing to pay extra for it).

Anyway, the protagonist is Hank Moody, poignantly (and hilariously) portrayed by David Duchovny. Moody is a renowned writer, but not without the all-important fatal flaw—his own self-absorption, which leads his wife (technically domestic partner) to leave him for an architect shortly after they move to Los Angeles. Estranged from his beloved New York City and wife, Moody spirals into depression (and bitterness over his magnum opus being turned into a crappy Tom Cruise movie)—his writing output ceases, and he turns to heavy boozing and screwing (along with a deliciously funny sense of humor). By all accounts, Moody is Charles Bukowski reincarnated.

Moody, lost in a maelstrom of alcohol and women, is trying to get back on his feet personally and professionally, but for the life of him cannot get over his domestic partner; he has enough clarity of thought left in him to see that he is about to lose his wife and daughter to the "safe" rich guy, and he, usually obtrusively, attempts to win back her affections.

The show is excellent on so many levels. David Duchovny (a writer himself) channels the flawed, adolescent-like 30-something, kindhearted yet lost in his life. The show also smacks of classic literature itself (Moody is a dead ringer for Bukowski, a novella Moody writes and the events he bases it on are lifted straight out of Nabokov, Kafka, etc). It's also wildly hilarious, and irreverent (horny nuns? vomiting after sex in your ex-wife's husband's bed? fistfight over tampons?).

Californication (with emphasis on the fornication in the case of Moody) is also a portmanteau coined long before the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Showtime came into existence. So no, Anthony Kiedis and company, you didn't register it as a trademark, just drop it already.

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