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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

I can’t breathe.  –  Marvin Scott III, probably

Most of these “songs in old languages” things aren’t very good, but this one was too appropriate to pass up!  It was provided by Emma Evans, and the links above it by Yasmin Nair, Dan Savage, Mistress Matisse, Kevin Wilson, Cop Crisis, Mike Riggs, and Dan Savage again, in that order.

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Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.  Usually the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.  –  Eric Hoffer

To paraphrase Baudelaire, the loveliest trick of religion is to convince people that the Devil exists.  Humans have never been fond of admitting blame for anything, but when someone is caught red-handed committing some evil and therefore cannot blame any other human, the truly devout buck-passer blames an invisible, intangible, supernatural force.  Authoritarians, too, love their devils; what better way to convince the Great Unwashed to render their obedience and surrender their liberty than to convince them of the existence of super-powerful evil spirits who cannot be stopped except by whatever snake oil those authoritarians are selling?  Over the past couple of centuries, belief in actual anthropomorphic deities of evil has slowly been replaced by belief in more tangible devils such as “criminals”, “terrorists”, “pimps”, and “people who vote differently than I do”, but as we head into a new dark age belief in a literal red guy with horns, hooves, a tail and a pitchfork has once again become popular in the Underdeveloped States of America.  The occult boom of the early ’70s (heralded by movies like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby) paved the way for the Satanic panic of the ’80s and early ’90s, which after an implosion around 1994 soon returned as the “sex trafficking” hysteria; its roots in the older, more openly-religious hysteria are clearly visible in its QAnon branch and in persistent nonsense about the supposed magical powers of “pimps”.  And every so often, people whose entire understanding of how the universe works could be crammed into a chicken’s brain pan and still leave room for a politician’s moral compass, shit all over themselves because some musician employs “Satanic” imagery comparable in sophistication to that in a US television show from the 1950s.  Every society has throwbacks like this; the difference is that in America, we pretend they’re adults and let them decide who’s going to run things.

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You’re doing this to yourself.  –  “officer” Scott LaPierre, to his victim

Here’s another unusual cover of my favorite Beatles song, because I felt like it.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko, Lucy Steigerwald, Tim Cushing, Ally Fogg, Rick Horowitz, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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Get on your knees or I will shoot you in the fucking face. – Michael Thalken

Since the beginning of the year I’ve featured a “video of the day” on Twitter, and recently I featured this cover of “Sweet Child O’Mine”; reader Miss Tickle responded with another unusual cover of the song.  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis (“incident”, “lie”, and “believe”); Radley Balko (“y’all”); President Dawg (“fascism”); and Walter Olson (“dead”).

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Eleanor Northington

Grace got some new glasses this week, which means I’ve heard her singing this all week.  And I’m therefore going to share it with you!  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko, Elizabeth N. Brown, Desiree Alliance, Cop Crisis, Jesse Walker, and Clarissa, in that order.

From the Archives

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Spelling Optional

Have schools just completely given up teaching kids to spell?  Because it seems that nowadays, people coining neologisms just spell them any way they feel like without any regard for pronounciation whatsoever.  It might make sense (it’d still be wrong, but at least understandable) if these dolts only interacted with each other via text and never, ever pronounced any of these words out loud, but that isn’t the case; if anything, many of them prefer to watch videos rather than learn via the written word.  Intentional misspellings have long been common in branding, but at least the brand spelling could usually still be pronounced correctly; “Kool-Aid” is pronounced the same as “Cool-ade” would be.  But one of the brands of cannabis edibles I often find in our house is called “Flav”, apparently prounced “Flave”; there was a ’90s rapper whose stage name contained the same linguistic abortion.

Silent E is not an optional rule, as Tom Lehrer reminds us; he even warns against adding an “x”, advice apparently unfamiliar to the halfwits who coined the wokism “Latinx”, a construction which manages to be an offense to two languages.  This may come as a shock to those who believe the name “Xavier” is pronounced “ecks-ayvier”, but the letter “x” is only pronounced “ecks” if set apart by a space or hyphen, as in “x-ray” or “X factor”.  “Xylophone” is not pronounced “ecks-why-low-fone”, and “box” doesn’t rhyme with “Bowflex”; why then do the rather dim imagine “Latinx” should be pronounced any way but “laa-tinks”?  And how the devil do its adherents imagine “womxn” should be pronounced?  I can’t even think of a wrong way to vocalize that.  But the idea that adjacent letters can be prounounced as though there were some kind of punctuation between them isn’t limited to “x”, oh no;  I regularly see people pronouncing the neologism “cishet” (a contraction for “cisgender heterosexual”) as “siss het”, which it cannot be because “sh” is a digraph, a pairing of two letters that make one sound.  “Washing” is not pronounced “waass hing”, and if you want the coinage to be pronounced the way it commonly is, it should be spelled “cis-het” at the very least.  Suffering Sappho, people, I have no aversion to neologisms; I use plenty of them myself.  But doesn’t English have enough exceptions to rules of spelling and pronounciation already without y’all adding new ones totally unmoored from either tradition or logic?  Words mean things, and so do spellings.

POSTSCRIPT:  A reader has pointed out that “mishap” is pronounced in the same way as “cishet”, so it’s an unusual but not-unheard-of pronounciation of that combo.  I therefore rescind my criticism of that one, though I personally still think it sounds awkward.

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I think someone stole my chicken.  –  Thomas Ramsey

This week’s video is probably the best-known composition by jazz great Chick Corea, who died late last week.  The links above it were provided by Tracy Quan, Radley Balko, Dan Savage, Mike Siegel, Radley again, Amy Alkon, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Rilee Peet

Mary Wilson of the Supremes died last week; I’ve selected this TV video from 1969 because it begins with a solo by her.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko, The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, Elizabeth N. Brown, Nun Ya, Mike Siegel, and Jesse Walker, in that order.

From the Archives

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I fear for my life.  –  unnamed witness to police violence

Here’s another Luna video, because she’s awesome.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Radley Balko, Franklin Harris, Cathy Reisenwitz, Radley again, Tim Cushing, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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You don’t find out what it’s all about, but you have a lot of fun being extremely confused.  –  Douglas Adams

Here’s a really unusual cover of a familiar tune, played on a most unusual instrument.  The video was provided by Inspireland, and the links above it by Lenore Skenazy, Boatfloating, Gustavo Turner (“Cardin”), Lucy Steigerwald, Jesse Walker, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

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