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We’re at 2007 already and we still haven’t remotely gotten close to any kind of beginning of a consensus when it comes to describing the decade that we are currently in. And no one seems to care! Oh sure, no problem, what’s the big deal? We can just call it the new millennium or whatever.

But have you stopped to consider what we’re going to do in three years when it’s 2010 and we want to describe this decade?

Radio stations are a prime example: “We play the best music from the 80’s, 90’s and Today!” The average person doesn’t stop and think about the fact that ‘Today” here is just a convenient and mindlessly comforting euphemism for “This decade that includes music from 2000 to 2009, which we don’t really have a name for.”

In three years, unless something amazing and unexpected happens, they’re going to have to say “We play the best music from the 90’s, the um, well, that last ten year period, and Today!”

And don’t get me started on the fact that we won’t have a good name for the next decade either.

Have I mentioned that all of these places described herein are real and come recommended by me?

Split Rock Beach

The trail in the forest brings the family out
To the rock beach
And immediately the kids
Facing the smaller bay
Rush to the shore

They thirst for a connection to the great lake
And they find it
They can throw rocks in it
So they do. They are satisfied
For the time being
But the Father is not; He is looking out to the island
The small two acre island that is about a minute’s walk away
If one could walk on water
He wants a connection to that. He finds none.
He looks around
To see eight to ten other people near them
Finding their own connection
He wonders
How many people have this week stood on this rock beach?
One hundred?  Two hundred?
And how many people have been out to the island this year?
Five? Ten?
The father wants a connection to the island.

He looks around and notes
with a little dismay
that his kids are no longer around.

They are off to his right
now climbing up a steep rocky slope.
He leaves his wife
Who is herself nursing their youngest
And chases after them
Boys! Be careful!
Maybe you should come down!
But they are lost in their new attempts at connection
He climbs up after them
They might fall
but he sees that they probably will not

As they reach the top of the cliff, the second oldest calls out
Look! The Lighthouse!
And sure enough
Across the water, past the island and above the trees
There stands the yellow national monument.

They look at it for a few minutes and
At the father’s suggestion
Take the path back to Mom.

If it is creatively made,
Perhaps a connection that only 200 people make with the big water weekly is good enough.

Everything I ever need to know I learned from the Princess Bride

(Part 1 of 2)

When I was your age, television was called books. ••• We are men of action, lies do not become us. ••• I’ve hired you to help me start a war. It’s an prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition. ••• You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. ••• I wasn’t nervous. Maybe I was a little bit “concerned” but that’s not the same thing. ••• It’s not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don’t even exercise. •••You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you. ••• There’s not a lot of money in revenge. ••• You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted. ••• She is alive, or was an hour ago. If she is otherwise when I find her I shall be very put out. ••• I just don’t think its right, killing an innocent girl. ••• I find that Thibault cancels out Capa Ferro. Don’t you? ••• But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong, so you could’ve put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you’ve also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me. ••• I’m not left-handed either. ••• We face each other as God intended. Sportsmanlike. No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone. ••• Is this a kissing book? ••• Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something. ••• You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die. ••• You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! ••• Anybody want a peanut? ••• Get used to disappointment. ••• You’re alive. If you want I could fly. ••• No one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley. ••• You’re trying to kidnap what I’ve rightfully stolen. ••• They’re kissing again. Do we have to read the kissing parts? ••• Well, I’m not saying I’d like to build a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely. ••• For now, rest well and dream of large women. ••• We are men of action, lies do not become us.

From last Friday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press:

David Blessing grades St. Paul a “B” on a scale for bicycle commuting. The only thing keeping it from an “A?”

Downtown bike commuting is insane. You take your life in your hands every time,” says Blessing, a longtime local cycling advocate who manages the nonprofit Sibley Bike Depot, a community center/bike shop for enthusiasts located in downtown St. Paul.

As Earth Day approaches this Sunday, Transit for Livable Communities – a St. Paul nonprofit that encourages walking, biking and mass transit – is promoting bicycle commuting and improving conditions.

I am a person who likes biking. We like bringing our whole family out on bike paths, its a good family experience. I wish there were more bike paths and I think that this is something that cities should invest in.

And while Earth day is a bit overblown in the press, I don’t see any harm in focusing on being good stewards of what God has given us for one day.

So what bothers me about this article is not it’s content. No, that’s fine.

What bugs me about it the usage here of an all too common tool used by people who want to look like clever writers. See the question in the second sentence:

The only thing keeping it from an ‘A’?

Doesn’t that bug you? The writer is implying their belief that you, the reader, are so focused on this article and so in tune with the writer that of course you are wondering what St. Paul could do to receive an A from this guy. Uh, no, actually I wasn’t.

Why not “In case you’re curious as to why he gave it an ‘A’” Or just tell us, “. . . what kept it from getting an ‘A’ was . . “

Putting the question in there slightly smarmy, slightly offensive and gives the message: We are way ahead of you.

Annoying Turn-of-Phrase Reporting – another free service from The Responsible Puppet.

The last time I went golfing, if I remember correctly, was perhaps 15 years ago, in beautiful Forest City, IA, during a freinds wedding weekend, sort of a bachelor party sort of thing. I remember two things about it. I got a birdie (that’s one under par, right? – I shot 2 on a three par)  That was the good part. It didn’t make up for the bad part.

The bad part was at the first tee off (again, if I don’t have my terminology right, it’s because I am quite ignorant.)  Right in front of the Club house. All the guys I was with were watching as well as a group behind us.

Put the ball on the tee, get in position, lift up the club, swing hard, become aware that I made contact with something, . . . look up.

The ball landed about fifteen feet in front of me, after a few bounces. The divot went farther. My companions were gracious, and only chuckled slightly.

I was not pleased.

So when anyone asks, “Do you golf?” I say this:

If someone wants to pay me to look stupid and foolish, I might do it. I might even do it for free. But you aren’t often going to find me paying thirty bucks (forty?) to look foolish and stupid. 

To the natural man, a tragedy that is not your fault and doesn’t harm you is merely interesting. And the more tragic it is, the more interesting.

Some times our oft godless media produces something that feels God-inspired.

You know that guy who wrote and directed The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan? His second Bruce Willis movie was “Unbreakable.” It’s a pretty good, but dark supernatural story with a lesser surprise ending and good acting and creative imagery and not a little humor. But one of the subplots deals with the state of the marriage of the main couple.

At the beginning of the movie, they are very close to divorce. Indeed the first scene after the prologue Bruce tries to start a relationship with another woman (hiding his wedding ring) and we soon learn that he is trying to find a job in another city so they can separate. But for different reasons, they (half heartedly at first) begin to make attempts to rebuild their marriage. At one point they try a date. And later they are holding hands. It’s never stated but by the end of the movie an optimistic person would guess that they are going to make it and it is a result of brute-force trying to make it work.

This movie is a gift to the institution of marriage. My thought is that it is likely that it has saved more than one marriage. 

A day late again – This poem describes one of my favorite spots in the entire world. Our family has made this decision once a year of the last six years.

Artist Point Decision

You have parked your car
at the entrance to the point
in the expansive blessedly-free parking
   provided by the wonderful little town of Grand Marais
and you have walked towards the lake
 past the Corps of Engineers building
 and along the short path
  flanked on either side by tall, berry laden bushes
and now you can see it’s churning waves.

You walk up the four or five steps to the cement path
 And look past the rock sculptures
  That creative people have labored to build
   (Karems? caroms?)
And now you have a choice.

You turn right, and see
Close up
flat rock,
(This way is very approachable)

All you need do is get your kids down to them
 The cement path is three or feet above the rock
  And it takes some doing to get down to it
And then they can run, and jump over puddles,
and see if they can climb up the rocky slopes
and make their way along the maze farther away from the decision point
 with dead ends and narrow passes
out towards the lighthouse

You see perhaps twenty people
 In ones, twos, threes and fours
making their way out to that landmark. 
 Risking their life stepping across the Very Narrow Passage way
with a twenty foot drop into the lake on either side 
  and only a single chain fence to keep you from falling.
And some are disappointed to find they can’t climb up the ladder to the light.

That’s one way – and most go there. 

This is because if you turn left you see
 Immediately in front of you
  (perhaps ten feet away)
A 4 foot high small rocky cliff
 Which looks a little imposing
And directly behind that is a wall of trees
 Which doesn’t look very penetrable,
But if you try it,
 If you brave the little cliff and climb it
You will see
 (off to your left again)
A path into the woods.
 And this path is not challenging
  It is well worn
And crisscrosses with many others
 Although you may have to duck under branches once or twice
  Or three times or four times
 And you may need to climb up a ten foot rock slope 
And
 Perhaps after a five minute, pleasant walk through the woods
  Be careful, there is a straight drop 30 feet into the lake
   if you bear left too far
Soon you will emerge out into open flat rock
 If you go at the right time of day or year you might be alone
Where you can stare out in all directions and see nothing
 (or very little)
But open lake, the eastern side of the north shore and the forest you just came from

Here your kids can put their feet in puddles
 (warmer and safer than Lake Superior)
And you can have a snack.

So when you get the chance and you are looking left and right
Which way will you choose?

As for me and my house, we often choose both.

So now we come, finally, to the last LOTR book and it is with some sadness that I submit this last list. I make one note: the first quote here is the only one, in all of these lists of quotes as I have compiled them, where the narrator says it, not one of the characters. I think it is to Tolkien’s credit that he lets his actors speak most of the wisdom.

Everything I ever needed to know I learned from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Book 6

The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command.  ··· The shadow that bred the enemy can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own. ··· Talking won’t mend nothing. ··· Well, one can’t be everywhere at once, seemingly. ··· The world is full enough of hurts and mischances without wars to multiply them. ··· It needs but one foe to breed a war, not two, and those who have not swords can still die upon them. ··· It is not always good to be healed in body, nor is it always evil to die in battle, even in bitter pain. ··· Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart. ··· Many folk like to know before hand what is to be set on the table; but those who have labored to prepare the feast likes to keep their secret; for wonder make the words of praise louder. ··· The tree grows best in the land of its sires. ··· A snake without fangs may crawl where he will. ··· Never is too long a word. ··· Don’t let you heads get too big for your hats. ··· The road goes ever on and on, out from the door where it began. ··· Alas! There are some wounds that cannot be wholly cured. ··· There is no real going back. Though I may come to my home, it will not seem the same, for I shall not be the same. ··· It is useless to meet revenge with revenge. ··· It’s an ill wind as blows as blows nobody no good, as I always say. And All’s well as ends Better. ··· Make the name short and then you won’t have to cut it short before you can use it. ··· Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate; ··· I tried to save our home and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them. ··· Go in peace! I will not say: Do not weep, for not all tears are evil.

I have previously posted about my culinary tastes and how little is required to satisfy me food-wise. To demonstrate this, and to act as yet another public service, here is an original recipe for one of my favorite home made desserts:

 

Jamsco Nutmeg Milk Shake

1. In one large tall glass, add:

 

4 scoops of vanilla ice cream (or 5 or 6 or 7; Bryers is good but Kemps is perfectly fine)

½ Cup whole milk (or cream)

½ Tsp real vanilla (reject all substitutes)

Dash Nutmeg

2 Dashes of Cinnamon.

 

2. With a long spoon, stir the contents, but not too much. It shouldn’t be to smooth, nor the contents too even.

 

3. Enjoy

 

That’s it. No weird stuff, no chili powder, nothing to add texture. Deal with it.

 

There are dining moments in each person’s life where one is suddenly amazed by how much he enjoys what he just tasted. This treat has brought me there more than once.

 

My wife points out that there is as much nutmeg in this one person dessert as she puts in her recipe for set of six apple dumplings. Isn’t that a lot? Won’t it over power the dessert?

 

My response to her and others with this concern is this: If you’re going to dance with the Responsible Puppet, be prepared to get your feet . . . wait, that doesn’t work, let’s see. . . be prepared to . . get a little tired? . . . no, that unmixes the metaphor, but doesn’t get my point across . . . hmmm. . . I tell you what, I’ll work on this and get back to you later.

 

Here’s my main point (stepping away from facetiousness and towards temerity): If this desert is too bland for you, if it doesn’t have enough zing, then you have issues you need to deal with. Your addict-like need for spice is affecting your ability to enjoy life. I recommend seeing a counselor.

. . . but you can’t fool all of them when they get a little older.

So we were shopping at the local Christian bookstore and my wife had the good idea to buy a birthday gift for our second oldest, Daniel, who was soon to be turning eight. She wanted to get him a bible cover to go with the new bible we were buying – Children’s ESV; I recommend it – and as often happens, we were shopping with all of our kids, including the child in question. So I did what I usually did in situations like that, I went into distraction mode. So when Daniel tried to follow Debbie where she was going, I said something like “Hey, Daniel, come here, there’s something interesting I want to show you.”

He followed me reluctantly and when we got to the destination in the store, he patiently said “Daddy, I know.”

“What?” I said innocently.

“My birthdays coming up. I know,” he repeated.

I tried to feign ignorance and change the subject, but he knew that I knew that he knew. Rats. Well, I guess it had to happen sometime. But it was a major reality check.

The next time you hear someone say that a kid should be in sports because it will teach him teamwork, ask yourself this question: “When is the last time I interacted with a person who I considered to be in some way obnoxious and thought – ‘Boy, that guy doesn’t understand teamwork, his parents should have put him in more sports!’?”.*

*Yes, I know that it is quite likely that the punctuation here isn’t exactly perfect. But it’s the way it would be if I made the rules.

They say that new vocabulary words are like vitamins for the brain. They also say that there are, for each culture, concepts that the people don’t understand simply because they don’t have a word for it. Thirdly, my opinion is that there are some ideas that should be brought to people’s attention but aren’t because it takes too long to describe.

 

Welcome to a new topic category here at the Responsible Puppet – JamsCoin – where, as a public service to the great culture that we call American Life, I will provide new and timely concepts coined as a word or phrase. These contributions to the lexicon will be introduced here and then brought to the greater culture at large by you, Jamsco’s readers (Literally dozens have read this blog since it’s conception.)  Join with me, won’t you?

 

I’ll make the first one a simple concept:

 

Askanser –

noun:  Presenter, public speaker, or speech-giver, who, after spending time watching their presentation, you realize never actually looks at the eyes of anyone in the audience.

 

Have you noticed this? You’re listening to a power point presentation and you see that while they look at spots very near (just under, around or (most typically (over)) anyone listening to them.

 

A couple comments:

- I believe that some speech coaches suggest this to avoid stage fright. I don’t think I would.

- Askanser does not equal poor speech ability. I have found that these people often present well. Sometimes good presenters have no need for visual interaction.

- I (as a presenter) am a Anti-Askanser. I used to T.A. at the U of M and I would have hated to not to be able to see the responses of my listeners. But again this is not a sign of being a good presenter. In fact, in my case, it showed insecurity; I wanted to know the exact second that someone looked confused or upset.

 

Closely related to this is the Focuser – Someone who you realize rarely looks away from one person. This person is often a spouse, a fellow presenter, or a person in the audience that they speaker is unintimidated by.

 

Now I hear some of you saying, No, Jamsco, I’ve never experienced a presenter who could be described with these terms. What are you talking about? And sir, my answer:

 

That’s because no one has invented a term to describe the concept! But thanks to the Responsible Puppet, those days are over.

My Post a couple days ago reminded me of a poem I had written after our last visit.

At The Arch

The reader is aware
 I am sure
Of the St. Louis Arch
 Which is actually named the Jefferson Expansion National Monument.

But did you know that your two-year-old can walk up to it and touch it?
This landmark visible on travel advertisements, and quarters and from miles away.
Did you know that all he had to do was walk up the grand steps
 After you park by the mighty river
  At the steeply sloping parking lot that made the Dad nervous
   And glad for good brakes
Make his way up to its base
And lay his hand on it?

Did you know that your family can picnic directly underneath it?
 And still be 50 feet from anyone else?

Sometimes the grandiose is surprisingly reachable.

One of the blessings that God gives us through the creativity of his creatures is this:
Little Fingers can touch Mighty Works

Everything I ever needed to know I learned fromThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Book 5 

(Compiled by Jamsco)

The mightiest man may be slain by one arrow. ··· Once again it is shown that looks may belie the man. ··· Here do I swear fealty and service to the Lord and Steward of the realm, to speak and to be silent, to do and to let be, to come and to go, in need or plenty, in peace or war, in living or dying, from this hour henceforth until my lord release me, or death take me or the world end. ··· And this do I hear, Steward of the King, and I will not forget it, nor fail to reward that which is given: fealty with love, valor with honor, oath-breaking with vengeance. ··· Pride would be folly that disdained help and counsel at need. ··· Generous deeds should not be checked by cold counsel. ··· They say that me who go warring afield look ever to the next hope of food and of drink. ··· At the table small men may do the greater deeds, we say. ··· Strange accents do not mar fair speech. ··· It is over-late to send for aid when you are already besieged. ··· There are still other fastnesses and secret ways of escape into the mountains. Hope and memory shall live still in some hidden valley where the grass is green. ··· Twenty-nine! Why you are quite old. ··· Always my days have seemed to me too short to achieve my desire. ··· The enemy is not so mighty yet that he is above fear; nay, doubt ever gnaws him. ··· The hasty stroke oft goes astray. ··· Few may spend their life as they will with honor ··· Speak not words of omen. ··· Where will wants not, a way opens, so we say. ··· In desperate hours gentleness may be repaid with death. ··· Let us remember that a betrayer might betray himself and do good that he does not intend. ··· Dead men are not friends to living men, and give them no gifts. ··· Good fortune go with you for tidings and for guidance. ··· Need brooks no delay, yet late is better than never. ··· May you live beyond this day in days of blessedness. ··· Too late is worse than never. ··· Great heart will not be denied. ··· Even in the heart of our stronghold the Enemy has power to strike us. ··· Work of the enemy! Such deeds he loves: friends at war with friends; loyalty divided in confusion of hearts. ··· Authority is not given to you to order the hour of your death. ··· It’s not always a misfortune being overlooked. ··· Who would lie idle when the king has returned? ··· Few other griefs among this world have more bitterness and shame for a man’s heart than to behold the love of a lady so fair and brave that cannot be returned. ··· It is best to love first what you are fitted to love, I suppose. You must start somewhere and have some roots. ··· For thus it is spoken: Oft hope is born when all is forlorn. ··· Follow what may, great deeds are not lessened in worth. ··· It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clear earth to till.

To see all of the other Lord Of The Ring lists, click here.

The fastest route from Minnesota to Little Rock in Arkansas, sadly, does not go through St. Louis. St. Louis is on the Eastern side of Missouri and the Mighty Interstate 35 follows down the west side, passing through Kansas City. And while I’m sure that Kansas City has its fine point, it doesn’t have The Arch. Or perhaps I should use its proper title: “The Jefferson Expansion National Monument”

If you want lawn for kids to run, there it is – acres of open grassy space. If you want a free museum about Lewis and Clark, just head down the tunnel below the memorial. And if you want to go up and look down from the top of the inversed catenary, for a few bucks, you can do it. But for those of you who have never visited, there are some things you should know.

I would guess that among the most common fears that people have, two of them are – Fear of Heights and Fear of Closed In Spaces. And here you have them both. To wit:

Closed Spaces – The legs (if I can call them that) of the Arch are not very wide and this yields very little room for the contraptions that the designer devised to move people from the base to the top. They cram you and three or four others in a space less deep and wide (and much less high) than a MacDonalds table booth. And then you listen to the creaks and groans of your little pod as it slides its way up. And when you get to the top it’s not much better. You have a very narrow space to share with a hundred other people who are essentially trapped until the next contraption train goes down.

Heights – When you look out the window, you can actually look straight down at the ground below you. Even the most rational thinker will look down and think, if only for a second, “It will be today. Today the wind will be too strong and we will ride this thing down to be flattened on the parking lot. My name will be listed in the paper tomorrow. The President might speak at our memorial service, but at this point, I’m not considering it much of a consolation.”

Still, for most people, that’s all of the fears that they will experience. Only two. But what about the poor tour guides. Heights, closed spaces and Speaking in Public! That’s enough to shut most people down, but I suppose the head park rangers check out the psychological profile of prospective guides with a fine tooth comb.

But what if they guide does a count and it turns out that the number of people in the group they are leading is 13?

To the Arch General Manager, let me give you some advice: One day you might get in to work to hear your employees saying “We can’t find Tour Guide Jerry. He’s supposed to be giving the tour to the Exotic Pet Owners Club and the tarantulas and large snakes are getting antsy!” If this happens, my suggestion to you is to look in or behind the large Teepee in the Native American section of the historical exhibit. He will probably be in a fetal ball. Perhaps screaming.

. . . and while I was away, my brother in law showed me a book by DA Carson that he thought I might find interesting. He was correct.

I think this DA Carson link (from Chapter 11 “The Mystery of Providence” in the book “How Long O Lord”) is from a different book than the one he showed me, but in it he defines compatibleism in the following way:

      The Bible as a whole, and sometimes in specific texts, presupposes or teaches that both of the following propositions are true: 

1. God is absolutely sovereign, but his sovereignty never functions in such a way that human responsibility is curtailed, minimized, or mitigated.

2. Human beings are morally responsible creatures—they significantly choose, rebel, obey, believe, defy, make decisions, and so forth, and they are rightly held accountable for such actions; but this characteristic never functions so as to make God absolutely contingent. 

And Yes, he gives many Bible References. I like it. And while the Hyper-Compatibleist in me thinks it doesn’t go far enough (see that definition here) I still appreciate seeing the seemingly conflicting double statement posited so precisely.

I hope you had a God-Glorifying Resurrection Sunday.

I’m going to be doing less (perhaps no) blogging for next few days because of an family Easter trip to beautiful Arkansas (It’s the Natural State!), but I thought I’d leave you with a very short holiday-specific story that I wrote a couple years ago.  And yes it is inspired by Lewis and Beale. I hope you like it.

Injustice

Ah, Injustice. A worthy goal.

There were higher goals for the human, of course, thought the Demon, the Head Demon in charge of the situation occurring in front of him as he watched. Pure Hatred. Blasphemy. Ignorance of the Love of God.

But surely Injustice was to be praised alongside those others.

An innocent person being punished. The guilty going free. Certainly the Demon’s Lord gloated and jeered when humans pursued these things. For injustice often came with so many other emotions considered Demon praiseworthy – Deceit, Anger in the unjust offenders, and Pain, the faltering of faith, self-pity in the victims.

The Demon-in-charge looked out at the crowd in front of him. They were restless, angry, calling out for action. This was a result of vocal, sharp-tongued men going through the crowd, spreading their lies and anger. Anger towards the Man the Demon-in-charge knew to be quite innocent.  These vocal men were, of course, being prodded and manipulated by the Head Demon’s servants, also spreading through the crowd.

The Demon-in-charge could hear the whispers of both the corporeal and non-corporeal tempters. They were having great effect on the people. It was working. Injustice was being called for.

So why was he feeling this nagging sense that great evil, from his demonic perspective, was happening?

Read the rest of Injustice

Readers who have been here a month will recall my highlighting a horrific use of an insanity-creatingly* bad song for a radio advertisement.

It’s happening again.

I remember my brother bringing home a friend’s disco album that had a goofy meritless song entitled ‘Boogie shoes’

Again, for you of the more MPR mindset, here was the poetically simple chorus.

I want to put on my my my my my Boogie shoes,
And boogie with you.

And you’re thinking, Jamsco, with a chorus like that how could you not like the song? I don’t know, who can understand taste?

In any case, my hope would have been that this song, like “Brick House” would be left in the dark ages of the late seventies, not to ever be brought up again, except to serve as a warning for future song writers.

Imagine my dismay, then, as I am have recently been hearing this song being used by, yes, a shoe store commercial.

I want to put on my – Schuller shoes!”

Are these guys using the same marketing house?

Note that they used one fifth of the ‘my’ words. They were probably thinking – keep it simple!

And just like with Wicks House, their creativity ended with the first line; they didn’t continue on with the second – which one can only surmise – would have been “And schuller with you!”

This is understandable, because if they had taken this extra step, listeners would have been asking themselves:
“How does one ‘schuller’ and why does one need special shoes to do it?”

Questions better left unasked, in my opinion.

* If someone wants to nominate ‘insanity-creatingly’ as the worst impromptu adverb they have ever heard, please be my guest.

Percussion in pop music is like the crust of a pizza. Most of the time you don’t notice it but a really good rhythm-sound/ crust can make a song/pizza much better and a bad rhythm-sound / crust can make for a frustratingly bad song/pizza.

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