First I'd like to thank Brian and those who suggested keeping Rip's memory alive in a forum like this. It hit the web almost 3 years to the day of the last Penetrators gig Rip played. I don't know that that means anything significant - but maybe...
With folks talking about the original "Shallow Ends," I dug this up and thought I'd post it for the uninitiated to get a taste. This pretty well encapsulates what they were all about - and of course Rip.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: The Shallow End
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 16:13:30 -0500
From: Rip thrillby@p...
To: Shallow End list
Wow. Last week's lark of an email detailing my boredom-developed
thoughts elicited such positive response (except from one Cowabunga
subscriber who emailed me to tell me I was "trying too hard to
appear hip" -- it was worth writing it just to get his email) I've
decided what the hell, why not do it on a weekly basis. Apologies to
the inconvenienced. Everyone else, hope it gives fodder for
conversations over the weekend if you don't have anything else to
talk about. Forward it to anyone you want, or tell me if you want
off the list.
But anyway, welcome to The Shallow End -- dive on in.
There is one group of people that it's still perfectly okay to
discriminate against: stupid people. Stupid people are denied
employment and opportunities of all sorts every day, just for being
stupid. It begs the question: when will stupid people organize and
protest? Imagine thousands of self-proclaimed, out-of-the-closet
morons marching on the Capitol, brandishing misspelled signs
and screaming slogans full of faulty logic, demanding their rights
as memburs of sesyiety.
One of the hallmarks which separates great work from the mediocre is
Attention To Detail. Take, for instance, The Road Runner & Coyote
cartoons. In your mind's eye (you've seen this happen at LEAST a
hundred times before), watch the way Wile E. Coyote falls off the
cliff -- face down, limbs spread, growing smaller and smaller,
drifting a little to the left, then a little to the right as the
whistling sound-effect diminishes. Then, he disappears for a full
second, with no sound. Then, a distant sound effect that sounds like
a cross between a SLAP! and a POOF! as we see a puff of dust rise
when he hits the desert floor. THAT is attention to detail. The
cartoon still would have been funny without that three or four
seconds, but that just takes it over the top. How about another
desert-themed work -- the scenes in "Raising Arizona" when the
Snopes brothers ask Ed about breast feeding as they eat cereal, or
when H.I. says Ed's insides were "a rocky place" where his "seed
could find no purchase," as the camera shows him spraying a garden
hose over the dirt? Attention to detail.
I've noticed when I get nostalgic about different periods from my
past, I only remember the good stuff. And I'm not talking about
major events -- just everyday stuff. It gives me pause to consider
what aspects of my life right now I'll be nostalgic about years down
the road, and to try to appreciate them more in the present. You
Chuck Yeager is a badass.
The right to bear arms, despite what the anti-gun lobby will tell
you, isn't based upon an outmoded model of society in which everyone
hunted for their food. It was put in the Constitution because the
framers knew that a government which knew the citizenry was armed to
the teeth would think twice about what it did with its power, power
which is granted to them as a necessary evil by those same well-
armed citizens. And how is government different than any other social
institution? Well, it can take things from you -- possessions,
freedom and your very life -- by FORCE if it wants. No other
institution can do that, and the framers understood this very well.
Why I don't have cable TV: every minute you spend in front of the TV
is a minute lost forever in which you could have done something
productive. That's not a particularly stunning insight, but it's a
good one to remind yourself of now and again.
Thanks to Spanky, I'm now hooked on Big Ed's Super Saucer chocolate-
chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, which I really don't need. I've
seen Spanky eat a whole bag of nacho-flavored Doritos while dipping
them in a jar of peanut butter -- no danger of me picking up that
habit, I'm glad to say.
I do enjoy looking at naked women, but strip joints have to be one
of the most depressing places on earth when you notice all the
lonely but prosperous-looking middle-aged fat guys who look like the
boss on "News Radio," many wearing wedding bands, leering and
lusting at women they could never get without money. Neither casinos
nor strip joints bring out the best in the human spirit.
Speaking of "News Radio"... man, is Phil Hartman severely missed.
His death is yet another reason to watch less TV.
I'm not an actor, but I'm convinced what acting really is is just
deciding which words in a sentence get the emphasis. Take, for
instance, this conversation-opener which you might find useful in
restaurants. Say this line out loud:
How can you eat that shit?
Okay, now say each of the following variations out loud, and behold
the subtle nuances created by emphasizing one particular word or
How can you EAT that shit?
How can you eat that SHIT?
How CAN you eat that shit?
How can you eat THAT shit?
And for you aspiring DeNiros:
HOW can you EAT that shit?
How... can you... eat... that SHIT?
How can YOU... eat THAT... shit?
See? It's all in the emphasis. Remember to thank me in your Oscar
I think one reason The Andy Griffith Show seems so natural is
because of the way they filmed the scenes in Andy's office. In any
scene, you'll see the office from every side of the desk and every
angle, so that it doesn't seem like a set, or that there could be a
camera crew there. This was quite innovative for its time. Still is,
Speaking of 60s television, while talking with a buddy last weekend,
he pointed out that Robby Douglas' band on "My Three Sons" was named
The Griefs. We both agreed that's a damn cool name.
When I see hipsters wearing nose rings, the first image that always
comes to my mind is one of livestock -- pigs and cows, both
literally and metaphorically -- then I wonder if they pick their
noses with the rings in, or do they wait until night and pick a
day's worth of boogers at once? Or do they take booger breaks
throughout the day? I doubt this is the imagery nose ring-wearers
intend to project.
Am I really expected to believe that Michael Jordan would wait until
Sundays to take advantage of MCI's 5Â¢ a minute rate to keep up
with his "Space Jam buddies"? And no, the fact that he would call
cartoon characters is not the part that stretches my credulity.
The Shallow End
Â©1999 Southern Surf Syndicate Productions