14 April 2011

Post 244

So, I don't visit A Motley Vision nearly as often as Theric would probably like me to. I wander over there occasionally when he links to it or says something cool is going on, but I've never gotten involved with them mostly just because I really have no idea what AMV is.

But so far, the only person to comment on my previous post was Wm Morris of AMV fame. Of course, my initial thought was, "Who the heck is Wm Morris?" and then I clicked on his name and ended up at AMV and learned about this little writing contest they're having over there that I found really exciting. (Check it out)

Now, because I really know nothing about AMV, I don't have a clue what Monsters & Mormons is, so I don't know what I'm missing out on, so I don't really feel bad about potentially disqualifying myself by telling the whole world (or at least the two judges of the contest, both of whom apparently read my blog sometimes) why my entry is the best. [NOTE: I don't recall the rules saying anything about not being able to publish a submission elsewhere, so perhaps I won't DQ myself, but this is just a disclaimer to say that, regardless of the consequences, I'd rather toot my own horn than sit and wait for someone else to toot it for me.]

I wrote a passage from the Book of Lehi. But the awesome thing about it is that I composed this bit of false scripture by piecemealing various other scriptural passages. I changed a few names, and I added one word ("for"), but the rest of this is a scriptural hodgepodge. Check it out [note, I submitted it without the references; I'm writing this blogpost to show how awesome I am in case neither Wm or Th notice]:

Lehi 16:5-9

5 "And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel" [1 Nephi 16:20, 1 Nephi 18:11] "took of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and" [1 Nephi 16:7] "they had many children who did grow up and began to wax strong in years, that they became for themselves" [3 Nephi 1:29] "lewd fellows of the baser sort" [Acts 17:5].
6 "And now [Laman] had a son who was called [Bedlam]" [Ether 7:22]; for "when [Laman] went in to his wife, she conceived, and bare a son, and he called his name" [1 Chronicles 7:23] "Laman, being called after the name of his father" [Mosiah 24:3]. "Then said they unto him, Say now [Laman]: and he said [Bedlam]: for he could not frame to pronounce it right" [Judges 12:6] "; and therefore he was called [Bedlam]." [Mosiah 24:3]
7 "Now this [Bedlam] had, by his cunning, drawn away much people after him; even so much that they began to be very powerful; and they began to endeavor to establish [Bedlam] to be a king over the people" [Alma 2:2] "; and they did rise up in rebellion against us." [Alma 57:32]
8 "And [I] did exhort them then with all the feeling of a tender parent, that they would hearken to [my] words, that perhaps the Lord would be merciful to them, and not cast them off;" [1 Nephi 8:37] "[b]ut behold, [Bedlam] hearkened not, saying: Who is the Lord that I should know him?" [Moses 5:16]
9 "Wherefore, they went up into the wilderness. And [Bedlam] being a strong and mighty man, and a stiffnecked man, wherefore he caused a contention among them; and they were all slain [..] in the wilderness" (Omni 1:28) ": and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." [Isaiah 37:36] "And thus endeth the days of [Bedlam]." [Alma 51:37]

So that's my scripture-wresting tour de force. Hope you like it. My only regret is that I failed to use my all-time favorite scriptural phrase: "Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness and [you ready for this?] superfluity of naughtiness" [James 1:21]. Oh well. I should be studying for my final finals anyhow.

12 April 2011

Post 243

I heard the joke countless times in my childhood:

Q: What's the difference between a piano and a fish?
A: You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish.

It occurred to me recently that, either this is a mistelling of the joke, or the joke's creator really fell short of the full potential here. I propose the following revision:

Q: How is a piano like a fish?
A: You can tune a piano, and you can tuna fish.

It's harder to grasp, I think. That's why I imagine that the joke originally ran this way but the six-year-olds who spread it around couldn't get it right. Or maybe we should just blame it all on REO Speedwagon.

Can is the pivotal word here. Replacing it with synonyms, we get "You are able to tune a piano, and you place tuna fish into cans."

You can tune a piano, and you can tuna fish. It's a lot more interesting grammatically, and it makes the pun work better because the sentence actually makes sense (because, really, what does "you can't tuna fish" mean? Would you say "you can't sardine"? I can't think of a reason such an utterance would be made).

In a week and a half, I'll graduate from BYU. I've spent 3 years studying the English language, and I've spent 2 years trying my hand at stand-up comedy. The result? I am now fully qualified to be a children's joke critic. Fantastic.

24 January 2011

Post 242

And now a very subtle joke:

To error is human.


(Sorry. I just barely learned that error is a noun and err is a verb, so to "to error" is an error.)

20 January 2011

Post 241

This is an outrage!

So. That song "We Built This City" by Starship? It's kinda become my song in the last month or so for various reasons. I just really, really like it. "Marconi plays the mamba / Listen to the radio!" is pretty much one of the best things to happen to the 80s--and I like the 80s!

Anyway, I looked the song up on Wikipedia to see what I could learn about it. I know that Starship came into being as the result of a lawsuit, and so I thought maybe it was their first hit because the whole thrust of the song is, "Hey, remember us? Yeah, we're awesome. You know that; we know that. Corporations do their silly things, but we're still here, and we're ready to rock." Wikipedia said nothing about this, but it did say this:

In April 2004, the song was listed as "the #1 Worst Song Ever" by Blender magazine. [...] The Blender ranking of the song as the worst song ever was in conjunction with a VH1 Special of The 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever. In order to qualify for the distinction, the songs on the list had to be a popular hit at some point, thus disqualifying many songs that would by general consensus be considered much worse.

Really, guys? Really? The #1 worst song ever? Really? I recognize that most people probably don't like it as much as I do and that I once had to tell a roommate that my musical selections "are not hampered by things like taste," but the worst song ever? Seems a bit harsh....

So I looked up VH1's little list, and that's when I got really upset.

To be fair, it might be a very good list (it has a lot of songs I don't know, so it's hard for me to judge fairly), and I have to give it credit for getting two of my least favorite songs ever ("Barbie Girl" by Aqua and "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" by Toby Keith). They also identified several songs that probably don't deserve the honorific part of this dubious honor but really are pretty terrible ("I would do anything for love (but I won't do that)" by Meatloaf, "I'm too sexy" by Right Said Fred, "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus, "Ice, Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, "From a distance" by Bette Midler). There are songs I like that I'm not surprised to see on a list like this ("Broken wings" by Mr. Mister, for instance), but that's to be expected, I guess. So, really, most of the list is probably pretty reasonable.

But the parts that aren't reasonable are so unreasonable!

First the songs that, regardless of how you feel about them, don't seem hate worthy: "Never gonna give you up" by Rick Astley, "You're the inspiration" by Chicago, "Cotton eye Joe" by Rednex (not a song I thought I'd ever defend!), and "Don't worry, be happy" by Bobby McFerrin.

If those were my biggest complaints for this list, it wouldn't deserve a blogpost, but here are the real kickers:

"Two princes" by Spin Doctors comes in at #46; "We didn't start the fire" by Billy Joel is #44; "Heart of Rock-n-Roll" by Huey Lewis & the News is #10; and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something is #6!

Still not persuaded? I can almost imagine a person (not much of a person, but a person nonetheless) who didn't like any of those songs, but I cannot conjure an image in my mind of the sort of person who would hate all of those songs PLUS a song that I think has one of the greatest keyboard riffs of all time yet somehow lands itself a place on this ridiculous list at #16: "The Final Countdown" by Europe.

Who hates "The Final Countdown"?? Who even has a mild distaste for that song? Who of all the people who have ever heard that song as heard it without at least having a passing thought of, "Man, this song is pretty great"? What sort of terrible people wrote this list?

Furthermore, where is Eminem on this list? Where is Uncle Kracker (that song "Follow Me" is horrible!)? Where is Britney Spears? How did "Hey Mickey," "Material Girl," and "Tubthumping" all avoid this list? (I actually like all three of those songs, but they are pretty "awesomely bad.") No Twisted Sister? No Air Supply? No Aaron Carter? How is there not a single 90s boys band on this list? Also strangely absent: "All by myself" by Eric Carmen. (I would bring up Lady Gaga and Jusin Beiber, but they weren't around in 2004.)

Anyway. I think it's terrible. Here's the list, for anyone who's interested. Tell me, friends, what injustices you can find:

50. Corey Hart - I Wear My Sunglasses at Night
49. Puff Daddy f/ Faith Evans & 112 - "I'll Be Missing You'
48. Michael Bolton - 'Can I Touch You There'
47. Bobby Brown w/Whitney Houston, 'Something in Common'
46. Spin Doctors - Two Princes
45. Ruben Studdard, 'I'm Sorry'
44. Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire
43. Master P feat. Silkk, Fiend, Mia-x & Mystikal - 'Make Em Say Uhh'
42. Rednex - Cotton Eye Joe
41. JC Chasez - 'Some Girls (Dance with Women)'
40. 4 Non Blondes, 'What's Up'
39. Snow - 'Informer'
38. Ja Rule - Mesmerize
37. Bette Midler, "From a Distance"
36. Color Me Badd - I Wanna Sex You Up
35. Don Johnson - Heartbeat
34. Crazytown - 'Butterfly'
33. Jennifer Lopez - 'Jenny from the Block'
32. Mr. Mister - Broken Wings
31. R. Kelly, 'You Remind Me of Something'
30. Nelly - Pimp Juice
29. Meatloaf - 'I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't do That)
28. Rick Astley - 'Never Gonna Give You Up'
27. Wreckx-N-Effect - 'Rump Shaker'
26. Bryan Adams - The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You
25. Michael Jackson, 'You Rock My World'
24. Phil Collins, "Sussudio"
23. Sisqo - 'The Thong Song'
22. Lionel Richie - Dancing on the Ceiling
21. Rembrandts, "I'll Be There For You"
20. Toby Keith, 'Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue'
19. Chicago - You're the Inspiration
18. Hammer - 'Pumps and a Bump'
17. Right Said Fred, "I'm Too Sexy"
16. Europe, "The Final Countdown"
15. Crash Test Dummies - Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm
14. Will Smith, "Will2K"
13. Aqua - 'Barbie Girl'
12. New Kids on the block - Hangin' Tough
11. Gerardo - Rico Suave
10. Huey Lewis & the News - Heart of Rock-n-Roll
9. Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy
8. Ricky Martin - She Bangs
7. Eddie Murphy, "Party All the Time"
6. Deep Blue Something, "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
5. Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby"
4. Limp Bizkit, "Rollin'"
3. Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight
2. Billy Ray Cyrus, "Achy Breaky Heart"
1. Starship, "We Built This City"