Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We Live in the Best of All Plausibly Deniable Worlds -- Popcorn by The Colonel #88

by Trish Trask and Wendy Pigsfly

❁ Starter: “You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet." -Hal Borland, journalist (1900-1978).

Who says you can't be suspicious of a tree? Didn't Hal Borland ever see The Wizard of Oz? You can be suspicious even of poppies.

❁ The song title is “Daughter,” not “That’s My Daughter in the Water,” and it’s by Peter Blegvad, not Louden Wainwright III, and we prefer Blegvad’s version to Wainwright’s, but there’s no accounting for tastes.

Rising Star: “I’m gonna make like a tree and get outta here.” 
Legacy Guy: “Yeah, put an egg in your shoe and scram.”

❁ How did Erwin Schrödinger die? 

(1) Offed by the SPCA for cruelty to animals.

(2) He didn’t die, he’s still alive. 

(3) Both (1) and (2) until the question was asked. RIP/VIP, as applicable.

❁ Avoid cliches like the plague: 

(1) Tip of the iceberg, 

(2) Best of all worlds, 

(3) Bark up the wrong tree, 

(4) Hit the nail on the head,

(5) State of the art, 

(6) Forest for the trees, 

(7) The whole ball of wax, 

(8) Back to the [old] drawing board, 

(9) Hot enough for ya?

(10) It's not the heat, it's the humidity, 

(11) The whole nine yards,

(12) The whole shooting match.

❁ Actually, it's okay to use "forest for the trees" if you mean it as an Entish war cry "Forest for the trees!" like "Lappland for the Lapps!"

❁ Since it's very hard not to fall into cliche, maybe it's best to focus our effort on the more modest goal of not mixing them. Avoid the following:

(1) The whole nine balls of wax,

(2) Beating my head against a dead horse,

(3) Taking the bull by the horns and letting the chips fall where they may, and especially

(4) Shooting from the seat of my pants.

❁ It’s okay to torture cliches: hit the nail on the thumb, right bark, wrong tree, avoid gum disease like the plaque.

❁ The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair was the last one to turn a profit.

❁ Speaking of deficits, the Olympics just ended may not soon be surpassed. They cost $51 billion. Mitt Romney, who should know, said $3 billion would have sufficed.

❁ Is Vladimir Putin coming more and more to physically resemble the late actor Edward G. Robinson in “Little Caesar”?

❁ The Seattle fair was famous for the Space Needle and the Monorail, both of which are still in use. 

❁ A German predecessor of the Seattle Monorail is the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn (“suspension railway”). It was built between 1897 and 1903, and is still in use today as a normal means of local public transport, moving 25 million passengers annually.

❁ When a song’s hook isn’t its title, it makes the song hard to find. You keep trying to look it up by its hook. For example, the beautiful Lennon-McCartney harmony with the hook “Please don’t wear red tonight” is actually titled “Yes It Is.”

Another example is a wonderful Dave Alvin-Rod Hodges song with the hook “The radio was my toy” but the title is “Plastic Silver 9-Volt Heart.” If you spend the energy to find the Iguanas’ version on YouTube and listen to it, you won’t regret it.

❁ Oh, heck, we don’t do coy very well, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGJ9Z0wOGYk. (If it's not clickable, copy it and paste it into your browser). How can such a great song have fewer than 4,000 hits?

❁ And for song titles that have severed all links to the content of the song, nobody beats Bob Dylan. No examples, because giving just one would be like giving one potato chip, and we don't want to end up like Schrödinger, assassinated for cruelty. (Or not -- don't ask.)

❁ “I’ve always wanted to part my name on the left.” --A. Jean Shirr

❁ Hemingway said, “I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it underwater for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg.”

❁ Try as we might, we cannot tease sense out of that saying. The more you analyze it, the more it melts away like an iceberg towed from an antipode to Saudi Arabia in a crackpot scheme to get the royal family some fresh water. Furthermore, Papa got his numbers wrong; an iceberg is nine-tenths underwater, not seven-eighths. Not to be petty.

❁ What Papa may have been groping toward is something like: “There are two rules of good writing. The first is, 'Don’t tell everything you know.'”


Anonymous said...

The hook brings you back

Anonymous said...

When your back's against the wall, turn around and start slugging.