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Archive for November, 2007

Language Pet Peeves

In general, I try to be understanding of people. I know that not everyone is like me. It’s what makes the world cool. It’s what makes wacky sitcoms possible. But it’s also what makes me want to bite through a friggin plank of wood almost every darn day.

I’m not a grammar freak. I know as well as the next person that most of the rules of grammar are just arbitrary demands based on old forgotten language roots and concepts nobody cares about, and that change happens and happens necessarily. The English language changes every day, for better and worse. Everyone butchers the language; the Americans, even the British. But I’ve noticed in the past few months a few trends that the world can go without, and should go without, or I may be forced to just tear every last loving hair from my head in frustration.

Language Peeve number 1: Americans using the word “bloody” in any sense that isn’t describing their horribly gory broadcast media.

Example: An American person is assigned a piece of homework and exclaims, “not another bloody essay!”

Most likely to commit this in my experience: pretentious jerks.

srsly
British: a bloody stupid movie. – – – – American: a stupid, bloody movie.

Seriously, Americans. It’s not our slang. You don’t hear the British wandering around talking about how delicious their cookies are, do you? Biscuits are flaky golden gravy vehicles, stepping out to smoke a fag means committing a hate crime, and bloody means covered in blood. I know it’s cool when Harry Potter says it, but it just makes you sound mentally stunted: not cool, not smart, and assuredly not British.

Language Pet Peeve number 2: Drop the Extra Word

Example: “Where are you at?” or “You have got to be kidding!”

And everyone does it. Come on. It’s an entire extra word! What happened to the modern society I love? The one that will cut every corner, spare themselves every bit of extra work? And a whole extra word? At? Where are you at? I hear this almost every day! It’s not necessary! “Where are you” means the same thing and sounds better!

“You have got to be kidding”? You must be joking! Not to mention “got” is like the vestigial tail of the English language anyway: completely worthless in almost every situation. Think about it.

“I got a new bike,” or “I bought a new bike.” Check that out. It even sounds the same.
“I gotta go now,” or instead, “I must go.” Cheaper, quicker, easier!

I don’t know if finals week is getting me down, if stress at work is frazzling me out, but the next time I hear my professor from New York mention another bloody event in her life, I’m going to eat my notebook.

Worst Hunter, Dumbest Deer

It’s sort of like the “what if an unstoppable force hit an immovable object” thing, except much, much more ridiculous.

I have more wordy posts coming up, so don’t worry about slipping back into video world. I just can’t get over this. I love the whispered “gosh” at the end…that hunter has more restrain than I do.

Breakin’ it Down, vol. 3

Alright, I’ve been thinking about not posting this one. I think this might be another one of those cans of worms. But let me preface this by saying: I heard this on mainstream radio.

I heard this song playing loudly and proudly on mainstream radio, and thought to myself, “this is a terrible song. I should break it down for my most excellent readers. Also it’s mainstream, and they’ve mentioned they want me to do mainstream music.”

A quick Google revealed that the song is called “Stand in the Rain” by a band named Superchick.

A quick Wikipedia revealed that Superchick is a…Christian band. And I thought, poo. I’ve already made and regretted this decision in the past. But then I realized something: this song completely sucks, and if I don’t say something, somebody else will but it won’t be me. And that’s not acceptable. So let’s get started.

superchick.jpg
This is Superchick. Everyone in this image looks so awkward it makes me feel uncomfortable. What’s with the guy in the middle? Legs way out, leaning way over, hand half in pocket…everyone’s off balance, it’s like they’re trying to look at something happening behind the camera.

“Stand in the Rain” by Superchick.

Now, I’m hating this song a little bit going into this because the band’s name is “Superchick,” and also because the band’s name used to be “Superchic[k],” but I’m going to try and stay objective. First verse:

She never slows down
She doesn’t know why
But she knows that when she’s all alone
It feels like it’s all coming down

She won’t turn around
The shadows are long
And she fears if she cries that first tear
The tears will not stop raining down

Okay, you know what? Those lyrics aren’t that bad. I mean, I do respect her less for trying to rhyme “down” with “around” and also “down” with “down,” but worse crimes against rhymes have been committed. These are a little on the crybaby pitiful side, but that’s the way music goes sometimes. I cannot honestly complain about these lyrics. The music is…horrifying, but if you dig that kind of contemporary-blandish style, it’s completely stomachable. I can’t blame a band for having a different style than I like, that’s how the world goes around.

And I know what you’re thinking, Hey, Karen, you attractive genius, if the lyrics aren’t bad and the music is okay for it’s genre, then why do you hate the song? Surely there’s no point in breaking this down?

Oh but there is. But I won’t touch it yet. Second verse:

She won’t make a sound
Alone in this fight with herself
And the fear’s whispering
If she stands, she’ll fall down

She wants to be found
The only way out is through everything
She’s running from
Wants to give up and lie down

Again, “sound” with “down” and “found” with “down” makes Karen a little twitchy. I could be generous and say maybe the rhyme scheme’s just more complex and she’s actually rhyming “sound” with “found,” which is cool actually, but it doesn’t excuse another “down” with “down” rhyme. Again, the music. Again the ear-bleedingly piercing voice of the vocalist for Superchick (is she…the Superchick, I wonder?). Nothing I’d like, but nothing that would send me on a breakin’ it down tirade.

Because the real gem here is the Chorus (and by “gem” I mean “completely stupid.” Yeah. Put that in the previous sentence.)

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day what’s lost can be found
You stand in the rain

rain.jpg
stand in this.

Alright I have to exercise self-restraint now. A lot of it, a whole ton of restraint. I’m going to let the real joke slide for a moment and pick on some smaller things lest they be lost. Also, I’m going to refer to the band as “her” now.

Again, “drown” with “found,” “ground” with “down,” and that infamous, cliche horrible “rain” with “pain.” But even this, I can overlook.

Who is she talking to? Is she talking to the girl in the two verses? I mean, that’s the obvious answer, but then why is the girl spoken about in third person except during the chorus? Is she talking to me? The listener? What does my standing in the rain have anything to do with this sad girl?

Or, is the sad girls supposed to represent everyone in crisis, and the chorus is a word of wisdom to the world for when times get rough?

sad.jpg
“everyone”

But here’s why this song bugs me, here’s why it sucks: no matter how you look at it, no matter who she’s talking to, this song gives the most horrible advice in the universe, the most ridiculous, garbage filler “inspirational advice,” ever, and does so with a straight face!

Stand in the rain? Why the heck would that solve anything? How is that going to make me feel better? And if it’s “all crashing down,” wouldn’t I seek shelter before standing in the rain?

rain2.jpg
As evidence: this table has no problems.

What’s lost can be found if I…ask my friends to help me look? Sleep on it and try looking again later? Re-trace my steps? No! If I Stand in the rain! Did I lose it in the rain? What is it? Shouldn’t I wait til the rain stops before I go looking?

I don’t care how deep a metaphor it’s supposed to be, it’s brain-meltingly stupid. Stand in the rain? Stand in the rain. You know what? Before you tell me how much you love this song, take it’s advice. Go on. Next time you’re sad, go stand in the rain til you feel better. When the whole world sucks the most, wait for rain and then go stand in it.

This morning I couldn’t find my car keys, so I thought, you know what? I’ll give that crazy Superchick a chance. I stood in the rain for nine hours and not only did I not locate my keys, I caught pneumonia and died! So there!

Superchick, your name is stupid and your song is stupid. Listening to this song, I have no idea what on earth you’re talking about.

Maybe I should stand in the rain until I get it. Stupid.


post-script: Before you go into your anti-my-anti-religious-review attack modes, I’d like you to know I don’t consider this a religious song. Religion is not mentioned in it once, and like I said, it’s on mainstream. That being said, feel free to continue bashing heedlessly.

The Batter Blaster

In 1899, Charles H. Duell, the head of the U.S. Patent Office, supposedly said “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Too bad he isn’t still alive – if he was I’d be one of the first to line up at his door to give him a nice gooey shot of this:

Batter Blaster

Mmmmm … pancake batter from a can. College kids rejoice, your dream breakfast has been invented! Somehow, it’s even certified organic … not quite sure how that happens, next thing you know they’ll start selling Organic Cheez Whiz and Fruity Pebbles.

Find your own local store via the Batter Blaster Product Page.

I take it back.

That one creepy guy smiling into the camera creepily? That thing? That’s not the creepiest thing on the internet. I take it back.

Because of this. O sweet heavens, what is this.

I just…I just……I just….It’s like….I think I’m never going to be able to sleep again. I gotta lay off the videos for a while I think.

This was e-mailed to me

And I thought it was really funny. It starts out as if it were a new take on an old situation, and its overall comedy value was so/so…but then…well, watch for yourself.

Thanks, Ephraim, Al, and Dailymotion!

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