Here’s a common question: Why doesn’t Joss Whedon’s Firefly have any Chinese people?
Life: authenticity, Bonnie Tyler, humor, hurra torpedo, music, Total Eclipse of the Heart, YouTube
American culture has a big hang up for authenticity. Either something is or it isn’t. “Faker” or “wannabe” or “sell-out” are considered strong insults.
Google has hired a bunch of my friends and professional acquaintances, and I’ve met a few more from the growing Chicago office, and a number of them are zombies. Conversations run like this:
In a nice coincidence (though I’ve been reading Robert Anton Wilson lately and am tempted to yell synchronicity), my music player gave me Flower by Liz Phair (the better version, from Girlysounds) and followed it up with Marigold by Nirvana. They’re both slow, quiet songs (and Flower has the added bonus of being delicously obscene).
It got me wondering — how many flower-related songs do I have that are slow and quiet? The answer, surprisingly, is all but one of them. If this were the 80s I’d have to make a mix tape of them, but apparently blog posts are the modern version of the mix tape.
- Ben Harper – Roses From My Friends
- Johnny Cash – The One Rose
- Cranberries – Daffodil Lament
- Eels – Daisy of the Galaxy
- Eels – Daisy Through Concrete (not upbeat, but noticeably livelier than the rest of this list)
- Garbage – So Like a Rose
- Meiko Kaji – The Flower of Carnage
- Nirvana – Marigold
- Phair – Flower
- Smashing Pumpkins – Lily (My One And Only)
- Queen – Lily of the Valley
- Tom Waits – Flower’s Grave
- Tom Waits – The Briar and the Rose
- Tom Waits – The Last Rose of Summer
- Tom Waits – Trampled Rose
That’s a decently-large run of songs, and Tom Waits is apparently a big fan of the sub-sub-genre. It’s pretty damn funny that so many artists thought “Hm, flowers are beautiful, pretty, and uplifting, so I’ll be outré by writing a morose song about them. My soul is so dark!” I’ll have to give the last words of this post over to the Rolling Stone, who recognized this for what it is:
For another [pitfall], there’s the inevitable song about the serial killer who dresses up as a clown, which symbolizes nothing about American life except the existence of creative-writing workshops.
I managed to iron twelve shirts without once burning myself on the iron, go me!
But I set off the smoke detector while frying bacon.
This 37signals blog post is missing one thing.
It’s not talent. It’s not ideas. It’s not money. It’s not marketing. It’s not technology.
The excellent humorist Jay Pinkerton just wrote about Men’s Health magazine. It’s a lighthearted but wholly accurate look at a common magazine formula.
I’ve always loved English’s hyper-specific words like defenstrate (to throw something out of a window) and borborygm (a rumbling noise caused by shifting air in the bowels). Something about them is deeply and indelibly funny.