Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You, Me, Steely Dan and Dupree

It sure seems like a big joke, but I still scratched my head when I read the following headline:

STEELY DAN ACCUSES OWEN WILSON OF PLAGIARISM

I scratched my head for three reasons:

1. I didn't know Steely Dan was still around.
2. I couldn't imagine what Owen Wilson could steal from them.
3. My scalp is just itchy. Perhaps I need to try a new shampoo.

Here is the whole story:

Owen Wilson stars in and possibly produces the new film You, Me and Dupree. I say possibly since I am too lazy to check the IMDB, but I am pretty sure I saw his name more than twice.

I would like to state for the record that I often feel like I am in a hypnotic trance when I watch Owen Wilson. I think his nose some unearthly powers.

The film tells the story of a married couple (Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson) who have an unwelcome house guest. The guest is a lovable loser with a bizarre hypnotic nose (Owen Wilson.)

Steely Dan claims the concept of the film is a rip off their song, "Cousin Dupree."

Rather than sue, Steely Dan chose to pen a letter- to Owen's actor brother Luke Wilson.

The letter reads (in part):
They write: "Your brother has gotten himself mixed up with some pretty bad Hollywood schlockmeisters."

They then go on to say:
"What we suspect may have happened is this: some hack writer or producer or whatever they call themselves in Malibu or Los Feliz apparently heard our Grammy winning song "Cousin Dupree" on the radio and though, hey, man, this is a cool idea for a character in a movie or something..."

They offer to settle the entire matter by having Owen come to their concert and make a public apology. They even offer to give him a bunch of free T-Shirts and key chains.

On the negative side, they threaten to have one of their buddies beat Owen if he doesn't show.

The entire, expletive laden, open letter can be seen here.

It seems from the tone of the letter that they are joking... or that they're crazy. I am not really that familiar with them to be able to tell.

I can take a stab at analyzing the 2001 song "Cousin Dupree."


COUSIN DUPREE

Well I've kicked around a lot since high school
I've worked a lot of nowhere gigs
From keyboard man in a rock'n ska band
To haulin' boss crude in the big rigs

Boss Crude? Wasn't that the villain in the Sewer Shark Sega CD game?

Now I've come back home to plan my next move
From the comfort of my Aunt Faye's couch
When I see my little cousin Janine walk in
All I could say was ow ow ouch

I know, at first it sounds like something vaguely sexual, but I hear that cousin Janine had Endometriosis, which is a very painful disease. Believe me, you would say ow ow ouch if you saw her.

Honey how you've grown
Like a rose
Well we used to play
When we were three
How about a kiss for your cousin Dupree

Ooops, never mind. Dupree is a pervert.


She turned my life into a living hell
In those little tops and tight capris
I pretended to be readin' the National Probe
As I was watchin' her wax her skis

The National Probe? That's gotta be as painful as Endometriosis! Maybe I should move to Canada.

On Saturday night she walked in with her date
And backs him up against the wall
I tumbled off the couch and heard myself sing
In a voice I never knew I had before

I'll teach you everything I know
If you teach me how to do that dance
Life is short and quid pro quo
And what's so strange about a down-home family romance?

Wait, now I remember, Quid Pro Quo was the villain in Sewer Shark! God I loved that game.

One night we're playin' gin by a cracklin' fire
And I figured I'd make my play
I said babe with my boyish charm and good looks
How can you stand it for one more day

She said maybe its the skeevy look in your eyes
Or that your mind has turned to applesauce
The dreary architecture of your soul
I said - but what is it exactly turns you off?

If only he had hypnotized her with his nose, Steely Dan would have had a better case.

7 comments:

  1. Anyone else see Dupree? Or hear Dupree? Or play Sewer Shark?

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  2. I have not seen or heard Dupree, but you have given me a great idea for a new cartoon; Squid Pro Quo: the Under Sea Lawyer. It's gonna be great.

    I spent my movie money on Clerks 2 instead where I was disturbed by the teenager there with his mother. It wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that she was laughing very loudly.

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  3. Eeek, I cannot imagine watching Clerks II with any mom - that is except for Big Momma from Big Momma's House... she's hot.

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  4. Steely Dan7/25/2006

    Hey! Your idea of Squid Pro Quo is a rip off of our song Uncle Squid. It was about an undersea accountant.

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  5. Steely Dan, now you're just making things up. Everyone knows there's no such thing as an undersea accountant. Their paper would be soggy and the calculator wouldn't work.

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  6. Jim Shorts7/26/2006

    Foul! Foul! I know you are all upset about the war, but you shouldn't bring Luke Wilson into this! Foul!

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  7. I love this movie and since no one here has seen it I will take the time to review it for you…

    This is one of the great ones. I cry every time I see this film. I think the entire cast is excellent. Owen Wilson is wonderful. Matt Dillon is marvelous. I think Kate Hudson should have won an Oscar for this film. I am a diabetic and she played the part of a diabetic perfectly. This film is worth watching for two reasons. First, it is based on a tragic, real Steely Dan song. As such, an enhanced credibility sustains the film's underlying premise, and thus renders a much greater potential for viewer impact and depth of meaning, as opposed to a work of fiction. Second, quite aside from its autobiographical roots, the film has entertainment value, expressed mostly as snappy, funny dialogue, delivered competently by an ensemble cast of likable actresses. Attention to detail in costumes and production design, and adroit film editing, further amplify the film's overall technical quality. I liked the movie. I like superhero movies, and this was one of the first to introduce a little known character. It was ambitious. I liked certain sentimental moments in the film.

    I also like Shaq. I think he has made another positive icon for the youth to inspire to be like and emulate. Black kids are in need of heroes they can relate to. I think the movie and all those involved made a noble effort to teach kids not to kill, and that they, too can build and create new technology.

    You, Me and Dupree is a story about the close knit relationships between six ordinary Southern people, living in a together after their wedding. OK, only 3 of them live together. See two of them (Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon) got married and Owen Wilson is the uninvited houseguest, aka Kato character. The other three people are Lance Armstrong, Michael Douglass and Summer Altice (Blond Woman #1). The film has a homespun, unpretentious feel to it, rather like "Fried Green Tomatoes". I'm a layman and I don't know good acting from bad acting. All I know is I was thoroughly entertained by this movie. And I recommend it as a family movie. Something kids and adults will enjoy, especially kids.

    Lords of the freaks they are. Their music is superb, and the twisted humor they manage is not far behind, which also is shown in here. This is one of the finest music documentaries this pair could've release. It's Steely Dan magnificent sound plus vision; what else can anyone ask for? They rule.

    There's no doubt about it; if you're reading this, that can only means that you're as a die-hard fan of their music as anybody whom has listened to them 'cause it's all so natural. They have one of the most loyal groups of people supporting an art made under the moniker of Steely Dan (beside the Deadheads, of course). Once you've heard'em, you can't fight the spell they put on you through music. A must for any fan. This edition has no special features but, who cares? It's all about music, and this couple sure knows how to create it in order to reach the sky; and take us with them up with every chord, with every line Fagen sings and every string Becker hits. They seduce your ears like anyone else can or ever could, and now they do the same with your sight. Go buy it!

    The plot alternates between humorous, small, everyday events and good-natured quips, on the one hand ... and on the other hand, the seriousness and heartache attendant to life's unexpected crises. Through the laughs and tears, the six women learn to endure hard times, and thus emerge from their struggles with grace and dignity.

    Finding something to criticize here is not easy. I can think of several changes that I would have made, to satisfy my own personal preferences. But the film is solid and substantial, as is. I suppose one could zero in on the acting. A couple of the cast members overact their parts, at some point or another in the film.

    Overall, this movie is technically well made. And the content engages our interest, as a result of its true-to-life theme, its all star cast, and some very clever dialogue.

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