Stupid Tuesday questions, Dave Coulier edition

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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146 Responses

  1. Burt Likko says:

    I shall consider my actual answer shortly.

    My first reaction to the post is, “My favorite line from that formerly-ubiquitous song was ‘Every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back I hope you feel it.'” The line and delivery was pure, raw spite.Report

  2. Mike Schilling says:

    Consider Jackie Robinson’s career, from 1947 to 1956. I knew about most of those seasons individually, but I only recently put it together that for six of those ten years, the World Series was the Dodgers against the Yankees. That’s just nuts. (Yankees 5-1, by the way.)Report

  3. Brandon Berg says:

    That was one of my sister’s first CDs ever.

    I hate it so much.Report

    • Then I shall dig it out of my archives and listen to it on my way to court this morning. See if it holds up.Report

      • I think it holds up pretty well, but then I still hear it filtered through the emotions of my younger self. And I still unreservedly hate “Head Over Feet.”

        The “Are you thinking of me when you give her the business?” (if you will) line makes we wince a bit now, though. But that’s probably just Millicent talking.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

        If you mean “holds up” in the sense that you have been using it to level out an uneven table leg…

        Count me with BB. “Oughta” was a ubiquitous song that made me want to floss my brain through my earholes, using superheated piano wire.

        The overly-mannered “rockin” (which wikipedia informed me just now was provided by Flea and Dave Navarro – gentlemen, hand in your rock cards); the weird emphasis she places on the ‘-ers’ (theater; mother; dinner) – GAHReport

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Objectively, I’d have to admit that it’s really not that bad, but Morissette’s singing style really grates on me, and it got played way too much at my house.Report

      • dhex in reply to Burt Likko says:

        and now i’ve got “…in ah theahtaaah” stuck in my head. thanks guys.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Ugh. Head Over Feet. If you’re going to build a song around a riff, make sure it’s not unpleasant.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Yeah, I found that it’s still enjoyable enough that I didn’t skip any tracks — “Perfect” seems a bit overwrought but that’s about the worst I can say about it. I’ll listen to that hidden track at the end later — IIRC, it’s enjoyably creepy.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Well, I never owned it, so you oughta know.Report

      • veronica dire in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I was unabashedly crazy-in-love with this one girl about when that album came out, and Head Over Feet really got to me in a big way.

        Anyway, I’ll always love the song a lot, ’cause it is her to me.

        (She said no. A month later I met my wife.)Report

    • Chris in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      “You Oughta Know” and “Ironic” are two of the many songs from the 90s that I only ever heard on MTV, and so listening to them without watching the videos is odd.

      I actually heard “Ironic” just last week while standing in line at a coffee shop, and it actually sparked “Is that real irony or Morissettian irony” conversations… in 2013. That might be ironic.Report

  4. Chris says:

    Every day, at some point in the day, I realize that I am not even close to as smart as I think I am. This may not be random, given that it happens every day, but it’s certainly worthless, given that it has to happen every day. It usually goes something like this:

    Chris: “Dum de dum de dum, doin’ things that I always do, dum de dum de dum. Man, I’m a genius.”
    Someone else: “Did you mean to do/not do/include/omit that?”
    Chris: “OMGWTF! I am an idiot.”

    I actually sing that song while I do things.Report

    • kenB in reply to Chris says:

      I don’t think it’s worthless at all — those are the sharp rocks on the path to wisdom. Which we must walk barefoot, and backwards. With no first aid kit. And it’s a 10% incline. And I won’t even mention the ice and snow.Report

  5. Brandon Berg says:

    The examples you give are examples of rhetorical irony, whereas she was going for situational irony in “Ironic.” The two concepts seem to me to be only very loosely related.Report

    • Kim in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Except she really screwed up what situational irony was. is situational irony (the sender actually sent a gift that got stolen in the mail–also, the card saying “I’m sure you know what to do with this”).Report

    • The debate, it thrives!

      Yes, “You Oughta Know” is unambiguous rhetorical irony, whereas the situational irony of the song was more debatable. The question seemed to hinge on how unusual or surprising a situation has to be in order to be considered truly ironic. A traffic jam when you’re already late is probably just a pain in the ass, unless you’re never late and the one time you are there’s a traffic jam when there never usually is. Rain on your wedding day is probably not really ironic unless your wedding is the only day it rains all month.

      Etc etc.Report

  6. Tod Kelly says:

    This is a little thing, but…

    In one of the last episodes of Breaking Bad, there’s a scene where a broken Walt is trudging through the desert pushing an oil drum. And at one point he passes this dusty pair of abandoned pants out in the middle of nowhere. I remember thinking at that time what an awesomely random and bizarre detail that was for them to have put in, and liked it just for that reason.

    Last week I re-watched the pilot with my son, and there’s this scene where Walt’s pants blow away in the wind toward the open desert. And so I went and found the later episode, and realized: those are Walt’s pants! It blew my fishing mind.

    Then I texted to a friend who is also a BB fan what I had “discovered,” and of course he had figured it out long ago. But he texted back, “NOW GO REREAD THE SHELLEY SONNET.” The sonnet he was talking about is the classic Ozymandias, which is also the title of that particular Breaking Bad episode. And here is that sonnet:

    “I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies
    , whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

    And when I read that, it occurred to me that Breaking Bad might not ever be overtaken as the most intelligent, artistic television accomplishment ever.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Also, the most anal about continuity. In the last episode, Walt stops at a gas station and leaves his Rolex by the pump. Why? Because he wasn’t wearing it in the previous flash-forward with the breakfast at Denny’s, and Vince Gilligan needed to explain why not.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      it occurred to me that Breaking Bad might not ever be overtaken as the most intelligent, artistic television accomplishment ever.

      Spoken like someone who’s never seen Get A Life.Report

    • 1) I totally love that poem.

      2) ARGH!!! FINE, WORLD! FINE!! I WILL WATCH “BREAKING BAD”!! Because that is, legit, a space awesome detail. If our “Downton Abbey” recaps are the straw that finally makes you watch that show, then this may be the last one for my diffidence re: “Breaking Bad.”

      2a) Rest assured, friends, that when Rose lets me know she’s seen it, I will have SO MANY WORDS!!!! to say about this week’s episode.

      3) Someone tell me if I’ve posted a Tuesday question about “The Fugitive” and Jane Lynch along the lines of this week’s? It’s getting to the point that I fear repeating material.Report

      • I plan on watching Breaking Bad within the next year, Russell. Let me know if you want a “watching buddy” to syncronize with.Report

      • North in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        I’m about 4 episodes into season 2 myself. So far I’m interested but not enraptured. That said it’s certainly well done, well acted etc. I’m suffering a minor Dexter phenomena. i’ve seen what crystal meth does to people (ffs it kindof dissolves their faces) and so White has a serious hurdle to clear there for me before I can start connecting with much empathy.Report

      • I’m thinking of starting it, too. But it might be a while.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        It’s not The Wire, but it may well be the second best cable drama ever.Report

      • Imagine: Breaking Bad + Idris Elba.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Playing Walter Jr.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Yeah, Breaking Bad is great, but it’s no Wire. It just doesn’t have the same scope.

        In fact, the more I think about it, Breaking Bad is almost just a (very, very well-done) elaboration on The Shield, with a meth operation substituted for a Money Train, and the bad choices a character makes to “provide for their family” resulting in an ever-escalating series of corners to extricate themselves from. If Walt is Vic, Jesse is Shane.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Spoilers for The Shield:

        Fcbvyref sbe Gur Fuvryq: Gur pyvznk bs gur svefg rcvfbqr jnf njrfbzr naq nyy ol vgfrys perngrq n zhfg-jngpu fubj, ohg vg jnf n fgbel-gryyvat zvfgnxr. Juvyr jr qb frr gur Fgevxr Grnz znxr onq qrpvfvbaf, oernx ncneg, naq riraghnyyl pbzr thaavat sbe rnpu bgure, gung birenepuvat gurzr jbhyq jbex n ybg orggre vs Ivp fgnegrq bhg fbzrjung pbeehcg naq irany, ohg noyr gb engvbanyvmr gung vg’f nyy va n tbbq pnhfr, engure guna nyernql ragveryl jvyyvat gb xvyy n sryybj pbc va pbyq oybbq. Gung jnfa’g rira n onpxhc cyna: vg jnf gur svefg naq orfg jnl gb fbyir gur ceboyrz.Report

      • V gubhtug gurl qvq bxnl jvgu gung. V zrna, vg jbhyq unir orra znqr zber vagrerfgvat vs jr’q tbggra gb frr gur punatr bire gvzr, ohg jr tbg gb frr gung svefg zbzrag bs pbeehcgvba va gur synfuonpx rcvfbqr. Jr pna qenj gur yvar sebz gurer gb Pebjyrl. Vs vg unq tbar gur ybat ebhgr, jr znl abg unir npghnyyl frra vg unccra… gubhtu gurbergvpnyyl gurl pbhyq unir qbar gung bire gur pbhefr bs n frnfba fb gung jr fnj vg va gur frevrf svanyr.

        Vg’f bqq, gubhtu, gur rkgrag gb juvpu gur grnz trgf n cnff ba Pebjyrl rira nzbat gur hfref jub nera’g Znpxrl fhccbegref guebhtubhg gur frevrf. Vg’f bar bs gubfr guvatf jurer V jbhyq whfg xrrc sbetrggvat nobhg hagvy vg jbhyq pbzr hc ntnva. Vg’f yvxr vg unccrarq whfg rneyl rabhtu sbe vg abg gb fgnl prageny. Va cneg orpnhfr jr qvqa’g frr nyy gur ohvyqvat hc gbjneqf vg gur jnl jr qvq yngre fvaf.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        V jbhyq unir npprcgrq vg (nf cybg, abg zbenyyl, bs pbhefr) vs gurl’q gevrq bgure jnlf gb arhgenyvmr uvz svefg, ohg zheqrevat uvz jnf gurve svefg erfbeg. Naq vg’f abg yvxr Ivp’f n pbzcyrgr cflpubcngu; yngre ba jr frr uvz erterg orngvat gung onq thl gb qrngu. V guvax gur jevgref jrer tbvat sbe fubpx inyhr, abg aneengvir be punenpgre pbafvfgrapl. Juvpu lbh pna’g oynzr gurz sbe: vg qbrfa’g znggre ubj terng gurve vqrnf ner vs gur frevrf qbrfa’g trg cvpxrq hc.Report

      • trumwill in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Gung’f pregnvayl n snve cbvag. Gur zheqre bs Pebjyrl qbrf fgnaq bhg va gung ertneq. Pbhyq vg or gung Ivp unf n fcrpvny qvfertneq sbe vasbeznag-pbcf? Gung ur ivrjf gurz nf jbefr guna pevzvanyf naq gurersber yrff jbegul bs erzbefr? Bar bs gur bgure guvatf nobhg vg V erzrzore gung frcnengrq vg sebz n ybg bs jung genafcverq vf gung ur qvq vg pbzcyrgryl nebhaq naq abg jvgu Ebaavr naq Yrz. Pbhyq or gung ur ynpxrq gurve (cnegvphyneyl Yrz’f) zbqrengvat vasyhrapr naq pbafpvrapr orpnhfr ur qvq? Vg frrzf gb zr gung Ivp jnf qrsvavgryl ng uvf jbefg jura Yrz jnfa’g nebhaq be na vasyhrapr ba uvf guvaxvat, gubhtu gung jbhyqa’g rkcynva gur hggre ynpx bs erzbefr nsgrejneqf.

        Gurfr ner whfg gubhtugf. Sebz gur vagrevbe, V zrna. Sebz gur rkgrevbe – jul gur jevgref qvq jung gurl qvq – vg nyzbfg pregnvayl jnf gb tevc ernqref naq nffher gung gur fubj jnf cvpxrq hc.Report

      • Zl vagrecergngvba jnf Jvyy’f. Gurer vf abguvat jbefr guna na vasbeznag pbc, fb xvyyvat uvz jnf n gbgnyyl ernfbanoyr npgvba sebz gurve crefcrpgvir. Na V guvax gurl jbhyq rira pbafvqre vg n cebcbegvbangr chavfuzrag fvapr gurve orvat bhgrq jbhyq chg gurz va cevfba–juvpu gurl creprvirq nf rdhvinyrag gb qrngu.Report

  7. Pinky says:

    If John Kerry changed his hairstyle, he’d be the spitting image of Andrew Jackson. I can think of no piece of information less important than that.Report

  8. Will Truman says:

    My realization is that I have apparently forgotten who my first employer was.

    According to Comcast’s account verification question, anyway.Report

    • ScarletNumbers in reply to Will Truman says:

      As we have discussed previously, I HATE HATE HATE the security questions.

      What’s the point of having a password when it can be circumvented by knowing my high school mascot?Report

  9. Kazzy says:

    First, if you like Alanis, the 90’s, and/or “Ironic”, watch the opening scene of “The Internship”. The movie was largely a bust, but the opening scene features that song in a pretty fantastic way and sucked me into watch the rest of it (which, as I said, was a bust).

    Second, I often don’t realize how things came to be called the things they are until I say it in a particular way. Naturally, all examples escape me at this moment. And then I have, “OHHHH… THAT’S why they call it that” moment. I’ll try to come up with an example.

    Wiki tells me Jagged Little Pill came out when I was 11 on the verge of 12. For some reason, at the time, I remember Alanis and her music being something you weren’t supposed to like… and were kinda supposed to laugh at. At least in my social circles. I don’t know if it was the out-of-nowhere stardom and assumption she was a one-hit-wonder, the “chick rocker” thing, or the Dave Coulier thing… but for some reason, she wasn’t “cool”. Then I heard some of the songs again in college and was like, “This actually sort of rocks.” And a number of friends did, too. We weren’t sure if liking her at that point was itself supposed to be ironic (this was pre-hipster irony days, but the potential for irony still existed), but we said fuck it and rocked out because the music was good.Report

    • morat20 in reply to Kazzy says:

      Part of being a teen — or even approaching it — is learning where your peer group draws the clique lines.

      A friend of mine jokes that, in high school, she was the ‘wrong sort’ of Goth. Apparently her particularly area was infested with punk Goth and she was Romantic Goth (or something. I really never could keep the groups straight).

      I have a vague memory — around eleven or twelve as well — of learning the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to carry a notebook (and a backpack) at school. Didn’t want to be doing it wrong. That’d screw up your whole life.

      In retrospect, those years are hilarious. At the time? Life and death, man.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to morat20 says:

        I actually had someone stop me in the hall… “Dude… one strap. What’re you doing?”

        My school situation might have been different than most with regards to Alanis. As a predominantly black school that skewed rap/hip-hop in terms of the musical zeitgeist, she might have been on the wrong side of “cool”. But I *remember* it being bigger than that. I thought I *remember* her being made fun of on TV and generally not taken seriously as a musician. That could be selective memory, confirmation bias, or just me not accurately remembering.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to morat20 says:

        Ostro vs. Visi?Report

      • Glyph in reply to morat20 says:

        The “carry a backpack with just one strap” thing used to drive me crazy – it’s a backpack, the whole point is to distribute the weight across both shoulders and leave your hands free!

        But thinking about it, it actually makes *some* sense to carry it across one shoulder only, you’re less vulnerable to pranks and bullies that way (you can easily shuck it and/or run if need be).Report

      • @mike-schilling I see what you did there.Report

    • Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy says:

      You are almost a full decade younger than me, and this reminder makes me want to go lie down.Report

      • kenB in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Yeah, we old geezers need lots of rest.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        The other day, Zazzy and I were watching “Admission” with Tina Fey. Or wahtever it was called. It kind of stunk. But the scenes on college campuses made me say: “Remember when going out before 10pm made you a loser? Now it’s 9:30 and I’m dealing with the squirts because I ate too many prunes. We are less than a year into our 30s. WHAT HAPPENED TO US?!?!” Then we heard a cry from the nursery. Zazzy’s response: “That. That happened to us.”

        You seem to enjoy a more lively life than I. You run more often and probably drink more often and might even socialize more often. Perhaps this is a function of where we are vis a vis our children’s development. But, man, I’m pretty sure I’m the oldest dude here at this point. I even complained about the music being too loud at the bar a few weeks ago.Report

      • Chris in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        Ninety percent of the time, unless we’re going to a show, R and I are now the ones who leave at 10. This depresses me every time. It depresses me so much that I frequently suggest that we go to happy hour and then go home and watch a movie because for whatever reason leaving at 7 is much less depressing than leaving at 10. At least it doesn’t remind me that I’m old and have no business being at the bar/club after 10 with all of those 22 year olds as much as leaving at 10 does.

        Just this past Friday we went to a happy hour (we got there just as happy hour was ending, so around 6:45 or 7), met a group of people who’d popped in after work, and ended up enjoying ourselves so much that we hung out with them until 10, at which point we all left like a bunch of octogenarians at the end of the Early Bird Special. At about 9:30, every single one of us (there were 5 in the little group we met, plus R and me) started (furtively at first, and then very demonstrably) looking at our watches or phones and then looking around like, “I need to go home and go to bed, how do I excuse myself politely?” It was a pathetic sight to behold.Report

      • Kim in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        The last time I was in a bar for dinner/drinks was more than two years ago.
        We got there after 10pm, and then drove till about 3am.Report

      • You are SO not the oldest dude here, @kazzy . I’m sure I have at least a decade, if not more, over you. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the oldest dude here, either. With that said, I would appreciate it if you would please get off my lawn already.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        I know I’m not the oldest chronologically, but I’m pretty sure no one else spent their weekend muttering from the bathroom, “TOO MANY PRUNES!”Report

      • WTMI, dude.

        I’m glad everything came out alright, though.


      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:


        Zazzy, Mayo, and I went to a local bar/restaurant last Saturday to have dinner and then I was going to stick around and watch the Eagles game. After we ate, I saddled up to the bar next to a couple of guys in their 50’s or 60’s. They reminded me of my dad and were very friendly (each bought me a drink). Between the games, the bar played music. Top 40 crap. Whatevs. When the Eagles game started, at 8:30 local time, the music went off and the tv sound game on. Excellent. At halftime, they turned the music back on. Fairly typical. But then we got halfway through the 3rd quarter and I realized, “Hey… the music is still on!” But I was deeply engrossed in the game and drinking so I ignored it. Then the game ended and I got up to leave. “Wait… what happened? Three hours ago I was the youngest guy here. Now everyone looks like they’re 14. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!” In the span of one football game, I somehow aged 40 years. I guess a playoff loss can do that to you. I called a cab and got out of there because the smell of hair gel and sight of glittery pants was making me dizzy.Report

      • Chris in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        If you’re in Austin again sometime, we’re going to have to go down to Sixth Street and stay until 2, just to prove that it can be done after 30 (I actually spent a fair amount of time downtown in my early 30s, but mostly on 4th, 5th, or 7th, unless I had one purpose for being there and one purpose only… none of that will make sense to anyone who hasn’t spent time on 6th street, though).Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        When I was there, I was but still 29. And we spent the first night on Sixth Street. And after gorging on Stubbs, I had a food baby and soon slipped into a food coma. “Shots? Kazzy, wanna shot?” “I want a nap.”

        On Saturday, we fell asleep playing Mario Kart after dinner. Bachelor party! In our defense, we did go river tubing all afternoon. And at the one that still enforces the can ban, meaning we were drinking some putrid mix of beer, whiskey, and soda out of thermoses.Report

      • Darwy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        You’re younger than I am :p How do you think that makes ME feel? :pReport

    • Jonathan McLeod in reply to Kazzy says:

      In Canada, she was kind of a joke-seen as a manufactured pop star (she was considered the Debbie Gibson or Tiffany of Canada). This was pre-Jagged Little Pill, when she was just “Alanis”.

      When You Oughtta Know was released, she seemed like a manufactured rock star, and was the subject of scorn and derision. And, really, I don’t think she ever tried to maintain the image she presented in that video, so maybe it was a little put on.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Am I wrong in thinking that JLP did, in fact, rock?Report

      • The Rock Judge in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Am I wrong in thinking that JLP did, in fact, rock?


        Someone has to stand athwart bad art yelling “Stop!”

        Otherwise, in 10 years we’ll be saying things like “You know, that Michael Bay movie wasn’t that bad…it kind of rocked!” And no one wants to see that.

        No one.

        Now get out of my courtroom!

        No appeals possible; all decisions handed down by The Rock Judge are final.Report

      • I call (light-hearted) foul on that. I’m a little bit touchy about musical tastes, as I’ve gotten into arguments with friends whose musical tastes are ostensibly cooler than mine wherein I’ve had to defend my more pedestrian preferences. I generally think the music people enjoy should be treated with deference, and folks oughtn’t be forced to justify liking what they like.

        Except “Sex Dwarf.” Because there’s just no excuse for it.Report

      • Chris in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Russell, you like Hem and Sonnymoon, so you have perfectly good taste.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Russell, you don’t like the Supremes?

        Sex Dwarf!
        Always second best.
        Sex Dwarf!
        Shorter than the rest.

      • Glyph in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Well, I’m pretty sure that The Rock Judge is a bit tongue in cheek (though the landmark case of The People v. The Baha Men may prove instructive to us here).

        Anyway, I’m mostly inclined to agree, people like what they like, but…why should the music people like be treated with deference, or at least any more deference than we’d afford them for liking Roland Emmerich movies, the Twilight books and reality TV?

        (or, for the sports-minded among us, [reviled player/team X]?)

        Having to *defend* your tastes (or at least make a stab at what you find appealing about a piece of art) makes for fun conversation, and fosters critical thinking, no?Report

      • @chris I was once treated to a very condescending conversation with an ex-boyfriend because I was so cliche as to like Pet Shop Boys and he was into Cibo Matto (which, sorry, I just can’t). (FWIW, he is one of two ex-boyfriends I’ve had over the years who are distinguished by the feeling of unalloyed relief I had that the relationship was over, unmarred by even a hint of regret.)

        @mike-schilling You’d better hope Diana Ross doesn’t get wind of your trying to pin that song on her. She’ll choke you out.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        And the Pet Shop Boys rule! (Though there’s nothing wrong with Cibo Matto).

        But…Alanis? Come ON, we gotta draw the line somewhere!Report

      • @glyph I have no doubt that The Rock Judge was being tongue-in-cheek.

        I don’t know quite was the distinction is, but for some reason I think there is more judgment attached to people’s musical tastes as a reflection on them as people than there is for other forms of entertainment. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems that there is more tolerance for people who enjoy cheesy films or books than those whose musical tastes are deemed lame.

        I think it’s fine to ask people why they might like something generally deemed to be less cool by All Right-Thinking People, so long as it doesn’t smack of “you’re gross for liking X… loser.”Report

      • Chris in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        I have a post that’s been sitting in draft status for months because I never got around to writing the final section (it’s a long post) that might help to explain why people are more judgemental about music than other tastes. I suppose I should finish it.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        I mean… was JLP a bad rock album? That is what I’m asking. If it comes on now, I’m ready to rock. Am I alone in that regard? Am I 20 years too late?Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Speaking for myself (and note, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anything other than the inescapable singles) – I’m not sure it’s a “rock” album at all, despite the presence of loud-ish guitars. More of a dance-pop album; it’s too airlessly played and produced to have the requisite swing or looseness (the “and roll” part).

        From a more general point of “does it rock” (since we do say that about dance-pop, and movies, and all kinds of things that aren’t blues-derived), I’d still say “no”, since from my vantage point its emotions seemed trumped-up, or less than fully-committed; like a corporation heard that angry music was popular now, and decided to see if they could sell angry dance-pop too.

        (Which, Nine Inch Nails etc. But run with it for a sec anyway – for whatever reason, the performance of the Reznors of the world seemed more genuine, less calculated. They ring somewhat less false to me.)

        (And note that I say “somewhat”, since I am not a huge NiN fan either, and for some of the same reasons.)

        But, as people have pointed out, Morrissette appeared to be writing from genuine and painful personal experience; and I have no doubt that hearing “Oughta” on the radio rang true for a lot of people; maybe for some people it was even sort of revelatory, the first time they’d heard their own feelings expressed in that context.Report

      • dhex in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:


        “I don’t know quite was the distinction is, but for some reason I think there is more judgment attached to people’s musical tastes as a reflection on them as people than there is for other forms of entertainment. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems that there is more tolerance for people who enjoy cheesy films or books than those whose musical tastes are deemed lame.”

        i would suggest this is because a) people have peak experiences (drugs, sex, intense emotional experiences, ecstatic dancing, blah blah blah*) involving music that isn’t as common with movies and largely uncommon with books. this doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen – of course it does – but with music, that’s nearly universal.

        b) self-identification and music went pretty hand in hand for the past hundo years or so, deeply intensifying in the late 80s/early 90s. i don’t believe it’s as rigid now, but no doubt continues. brosteppers of the world unite and all that.

        * speaking of the 90s! i just flashback’d myself to a bunch of terrible dj-as-shaman essays.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:


        See if you can find the opening scene to “The Internship”. I feel like Vince Vaughn in that scene. “TELL ME YOU DON’T GET PSYCHED UP WHEN THE CHORUS HITS!”Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Dude, the dj-as-shaman* essays were some of the more coherent ones! Everybody was on drugs!

        But yeah, mods and rockers and all that.

        *Speaking of flashbacks, that word gave me one:

      • ScarletNumbers in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        I think the Robin Sparkles, Robin Scherbatsky’s doppleganger on How I Met Your Mother, is an Alanis Morrisette take-off.

        Alanis Morrisette was also on You Can’t Do That on Television, the 80’s Nickleodeon staple. To be fair though, she was only in five episodes. She was no Christine McGlade or Lisa Ruddy.Report

      • dhex in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:


        god the shamen were the worst.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        @dhex – Oh, I don’t know about the WORST; we can’t forget about this abomination (sorry for link, embedding options seem to be gone on YouTube for some reason? Is anyone else having that issue?)

        But the Shamen weren’t great, for sure (“Move Any Mountain”!).

        Like I said, everybody was on drugs, so a lot of questionable music got made and played.

        Though weirdly, I listened to a bunch of KLF recently, some of which was still kind of mind-blowing in a “how did this even HAPPEN?” way.

        Which, see above.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Oh, those tricksy YouTubers.

        If anyone is having the same issue with embed code not showing, it appears they now are not displaying the options under “Share” if you are running AdBlocker.

        Turn that off and they will serve it up.Report

      • dhex in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        i am largely confused by the musical legacy of the klf. prankster legacy is amazing, music is……………ahem.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jonathan McLeod says:

        Granted that their “conceptual” side (which I intended to do a post on at one point, but never got around to) usually far outstripped the “musical” side (though I recall Chill Out being a solid ambient record); but even their “hits” were just so…well, they are somehow majestic, in all their nonsensical excess.




        BEEP BOOP!
        BOOP BEEP!Report

  10. zic says:

    Well, I’m old. Compared to many of you, anyway. The original event was from the 1980’s, the Police, “Every Breath You Take.” Total stalker song. It’s a vile curse.

    My sweetie plays lots of gigs. And if they’re doing a rock gig, inevitably someone will request it as a love song. Most particularly during the ’90’s. I’m here to remind you that the words mean just what they say.

    Feeling often means more than the actual meaning.Report

    • Kim in reply to zic says:

      eee…. yeah, I don’t think i’ve ever read the lyrics before.
      (and I haven’t heard it since Forever.)

      There are far worse songs (like one about a serial killer — thank Falco).
      … but at least people don’t request them as love songs!Report

    • Pinky in reply to zic says:

      I got one. Wichita Lineman. The lyrics make it unclear if the “line” is electrical or telephone, but if you read them one way, the song is about an infatuated telephone line repairman who’s listening in on a woman’s phone calls. Awe-inspiringly beautiful song, though.Report

      • zic in reply to Pinky says:

        I googled it, couldn’t find a transcription of the morse code in the guitar riff; but I’ve got serious migraine, so the search was cursory.

        But I think it’s just a poem that makes use of the different meanings of line. The telephone line. The power line. The telegraph line. The lines in relationships. The lines of communication. The lines we don’t cross. The lines we wait in. The lines waiting for decisions others make.

        It explores one word’s meaning, but it doesn’t twist those meanings into their negative space like wishing someone well when you hate them or cursing them so that others think it a love song.

        It would be interesting to find the meaning; my sweetie’s a radio boy, I’ll ask him what it means when he gets home and gets settled.Report

    • Glyph in reply to zic says:

      Ah, “Every Breath”: along with “Pretty in Pink”, one of the two most-misinterpreted songs of the eighties!

      (Some people argue for “The One I Love” as the third, but I disagree).Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to zic says:

      John Lennon’s Run For Your Life is pretty straightforward.Report

    • ScarletNumbers in reply to zic says:

      However, the reboot “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy is a fantastic song.Report

    • Darwy in reply to zic says:

      My daughter loves that song, which garners her the ‘Spock’ eyebrow from me. I mean.. it’s a complete stalker song.

      She also likes to sing that Backstreet Boys song, “As long as you love me”.

      “I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love me.”

      So I could be some coke jacked out serial murderer that just got out of the pen, butchered my way through fourteen churches and daycares, but it’s A-OK as long as I love you?


    • Glyph in reply to zic says:

      @zic – it’s well-known that “Breath” uses a classic chord progression:

      Whether people are associating “Breath” with the more romantic sentiments of the earlier song, or whether that particular chord progression is just so pretty and predictable (I mean that in a good, comforting way) I can’t say.Report

      • zic in reply to Glyph says:

        Yeah; they didn’t even bother to change up the beat.

        Excellent! I’m sure the experience of music past shapes the content of music future.

        (And I also hear shades of YMCA; not to mention countless other tunes once you do start flipping beats.)Report

  11. Burt Likko says:

    Now, to answer the original question and hopefully redeem my threadjack.

    At Leaguefest 2012 in Las Vegas, @will-truman made a comment that at some point in his life he realized that when he contemplated Republicans, he had been mentally using the pronoun “they” instead of the pronoun “us” for quite some time. And he realized the full implications of this and what it meant about his own politics. Will described a mental journey that I realized I had previously completed as well — a journey I had probably completed at least five years previously, but hadn’t been willing to articulate to myself because of a previous formation of my own identity. Perhaps the feeling was warmed a bit by the gin, but at this moment I was 100% simpatico with him, realizing that we’d had the exact same experience, and grateful that he’d found such a crystalline means of describing it.

    It was a similar feeling as when I articulated my own atheism to myself after having been brought up Roman Catholic. Interestingly, articulating my atheism to myself came earlier in life than articulating my disidentification with the GOP.Report

  12. Jaybird says:

    My realizations are usually of the form “holy cow! Casey Casem was Shaggy!” and lamer so I don’t know that I have any really shareworthy ones…

    But I will say that I looked forward to Alanis’s followup album because I loved JLP so much and when I got to the song “Are You Still Mad“, I had to stop listening to it for a while.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      I had the same kind of thing when I first bought The Who By Numbers. “Wow, it has a song called Squeeze Box, just like that dumb sex song they play on the radio. What a coincidence!”Report

  13. NewDealer says:

    Wait a minute,

    Penguins can’t fly!!!! Penguins can’t fly!!!!!!Report

  14. Kolohe says:

    It wasn’t until a few years ago (and thanks to the internet) that I realized the thing the Scarecrow says at the end of the Wizard of Oz is totally wrong. And part of the ongoing con that is the Wizard and Emerald City.Report

  15. Brandon Berg says:

    Seals look like giant furry grubworms.Report

  16. Mike Dwyer says:

    I recently realized that in Star Wars Episode 3 Obi-Wan doesn’t actually have a beard. He has a goatee and a few days growth on the side. Seriously, check this out:

    I’m not sure what the reason was behind that choice but it’s pretty weird.Report

  17. Kim says:

    Any joke with the punchline “Free Embolisms”
    ought not to be repeated.Report