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Internet Billed The Radio Star

Posted on 21 Mar 12 MISC | 5 Comments
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First off.

Fojo nomita junulo Errett skribis artikolon. Li devigis granda nombro da homoj por traduki parton de la artikolo. La plimulto de tiuj homoj sukcesis fari ĝin. Ĝi ne prenis ilin tre longe. Fakte, ĝi prenis ilin malpli da tempo por traduki la paragrafo ol ĝi farus por elekti kiun Super Valoro manĝo ili volis de Mcdonald’s Drive-Thru menuo. La lingvo li elektis nomiĝis esperanto, kaj multaj homoj ne scias ke ekzistas. Visit Vikipedio legi mallongan sumado de esperanto. Eble iun tagon vi gajnos Fino Jeopardy pro tiu malgranda vanta momento en via vivo. Aŭ vi povus trovi manierojn spico vian seksa vivo kaj malpura paroladon. Ho la homaro …

Consider how long it took you to translate this. I was born in 1987 and it is even hard for me to remember back to a day when this translation would have taken all day and an inordinate amount of motivation. The fact is, many people will Copy and Paste the entire paragraph into a Google Translator and then will suddenly start to think about the delicious selections that McDonalds Drive-Thru Menu provides.  A rule of thumb is to choose something that has a ton of ingredients, but also to choose one particular ingredient that you can live without. This creates the theoretical necessity for the restaurant worker to actually build a new sandwich or burrito from scratch rather than grab a pre-made one from the theoretical pile. Nine times out of ten your sandwich will be super hot and super fresh if you follow  this protocol.

That being said, try to consider the sense of entitlement we have with drive-through fast food restaurants and apply it to the Google translator generation. Trillions of tiny Ones and Zeroes are flying through the cosmos at any given millisecond, instantly clarifying and classifying data our brains couldn’t do with a sheet of paper and a pencil in one year. Did we create the need for the technology? Or did the technology create our need for it? Now imagine what this new-fangled reality has done to our popular musical mentality? Could it be the major driving force behind how we complete every task we undertake? Could it even dictate our musical tastes? Could it be narrowed down to three very specific  and possibly contrived points?  Let us take a look…

1. Vikipedio

I love Of Montreal. Especially their song  Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse. But wait a minute.  What in the holy hell is that? Perhaps I shall ask Wikipedia!

Within twenty four seconds I knew everything about this song; where Heimdalsgate is, the story of Promethius, the classification of Ketamine as a controlled drug, a rundown of Norse gods and rainbow bridges, as well as several links to Of Montreal lead singer Kevin Barnes in lingerie. (Kevin Barnes, if you are reading this, I took my girlfriend to your concert last week and promised her she would see some of your delicious upper thigh. Loved the hell out of the  show, but very disappointed in your none-too-revealing outfit. Do you refer to your man-bits as a Grendel-satch? After seeing Of Montreal in 2007,  I refer to your man-bits as a Grendel-satch. Till we meet again Kevin Barnes.)

OK, anwyay.

Back in the olden-timey days, only poetry majors and drug dealers and drug dealing poetry majors or perhaps the roommates of the aforementioned  really GOT the tiny details of lyrics in popular music. Some people had mythology and psychology books, and other people had The Doors records. You basically had to have both kinds of friends to decipher what the holy hell Jim Morrison was singing about half the time. Now we can Wikipedia that shit in astronomical time and know ALL ABOUT Oedipus complexes and Spanish conquistadors tossing their horses into the ocean to lighten their cargo, and other such things that worried poor Jim. (The End, and Horse Latitudes, respectively) If not for the sweet sweet Wiki, I’d be forced to follow my own misguided archaic pursuit of their meaning and probably spend half a day in a library with actual books and would most likely take a week to gain a closer understanding and respect of each song. Plus I’d actually have to want to do this. Back in the sixties people were way too busy painting their houses with lead based paint and making sandwich platters for their husbands  or fighting the good fight against communism! You would have to be unemployed and have enough money to buy The Doors records, which doesn’t make much sense in this theoretical arena.

Comparatively, this generation allows the musician and lyricist a seemingly wide berth when it comes to confusing the heck out of listeners. But  that pond is full of landmines.  Anything even remotely antiquated or metaphoric in nature is immediately open-game to the published scrutiny of three or four thousand people worldwide who will post a well researched argument about the deeper meaning and historical metaphorical and motivational ambience regarding the song you just released this morning. And that’s just Rebecca Black! Your deeper meanings have to have new structure and extra layers of interpretation to become a poetic classic. Cos we got this here supercomputer with lots of whirling levers and flashing lights and possibly a cat inside a box that may or may not be alive that can analyse and interpret your latest hit single seventy one different ways before you’ve re-tuned your key-tar.

So before you spew out:

Serpent rays in prism tail rainbows escape

They sent in the necrophiliacs Carcinogen tar

Turns to smoldering asp

Of this I ate Communion shaped

…assume we’re all prepped and poised, wands at the ready, to dissect the living shit out of you and post our findings publicly within the hour. And probably bitch about you making us wonder what the hell you’re talking about, even though we stole the track in the first place. When we roast and assail you in bloggy diatribe, be sure to Like us on Facebook! Ta!

2. Spell Czech

Here’s something that will blow your mind, and most of you haven’t even noticed. Unless you have a smart phone or a Mac, Facebook has no spell check apparatus. It is a bastion of technical superiority and as necessary to modern life as oxygen or penicillin. Here is a caffeinated conspiracy theory as to why that is. Facebook started off as an elite Harvard singles bar and then got so popular that it spilled out into the streets and assimilated with an exponentially growing number of people from all universities, and then high schools, and then street corners and then caves and underwater grottoes, expanding its influence to everyone everywhere quicker than a lovechild of Chlamydia and Rebecca Black.  Or, depending on your perspective, it underwent a forced bastardization and dilution of its supreme elite essences and was forced to spread its Facebookyness among the undeserving, quivering and huddled masses. As it expanded, and widened its gaze, it sharpened its talents. The “Like” button was born, as was the “Post Photo” and other such beasts of personalized networking. Many, many other new nouns and verbs were added to the lexicon due to Facebook becoming a household name/appliance.  But, in a quirky inside joke among the Ivy League, Facebook declined to have a fuzzy red or orange line appear beneath a word you spelled wrong.  (Now, due to selective upgrades,  today this is only applied to the analog and decrepit “PC” users and non-smart phone wielding populace, but the damage was done)  Apparently, the wider Facebook spread, the more America forgot how to use the word YOUR. And YOURE. And THERE, THEYRE, and THEIR.  And somewhere…somewhere someone is laughing…

Thanks to Facebook you can instantly tell so much about someone’s upbringing and potential socio-economic status by their ability to successfully process homonyms into their everyday correspondence. I don’t actually have any hard data to support that statement, but I assume it’s out there somewhere.  However, to  smack that theory in the Grendel-satch,  about twice to thrice a day I see perfect examples of my hipster scarf-clad educated bold intellectual-type acquaintances screwing up what I thought to be basic structural rules of grammar. And you can’t smack a puppy for pooping on your grammar-nazi uniform. You just have to roll with it.

Musically speaking, it can ruin the taste of a good song when all of the song’s Youtube comments look like they were written by fifth graders. Many, many times a day, I wince when I see a mildly rational and well intended piece of web literature with a “your” instead of a “you’re”.  Seriously, it hurts me inside. I saw a music video of Paul Mccartney of the song Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five, which is my favorite song of his and consider to be one of the most brilliant and under-sung radically different songs from his album Band On The Run. I wanted to write about it recently, and then decided I would need a music video if it if I were to post a Macca puff piece. I found one music video which was a very well constructed, nigh professional montage of the band in the studio recording the song and travelling on tour. Someone had added in the lyrics as they were sung in cheesy bubbly text that would pop up on the screen. OK, not too bad- people will still dig the song if I post it. Then all of a sudden there was a “YOUR” in place of a “YOURE”. I wanted to scream. Like an obsessive compulsive throwing away his whole meal because of one pea touching the potatoes,  I scrapped the whole article on that alone.

That being said, this song is the jam

3. Textual Healing

Now I have been a fast typer ever since my first “IM Convo” back in the sixth grade. Instant Messaging, which predated cell phone texting for all you youngsters out there, trained a generation to type as fast as they possibly could to more completely imitate the speed and rythim of an actual verbal conversation on a computer screen. To do this, society developed some basic shorthand. “ASL. JK. LOL. LMAO. LMFAO. LMFAOAROFLPTADDSPACUA  (Pray The Anthropods Don’t Develop Special Powers And Conquer Us All)”   to name a few.  It spread with the speed of eagles, channeling the same cultural rage of Pet Rocks and Furbies and Pocket Monsters and such, but unlike a tangible fad that can be forgotten or set on fire  and thrown away, the acronyms instead ingrained themselves into the lexicon and dialects of all walks of life. Anyone who has read 1984 or A Clockwork Orange can appreciate the irony here. As society became more technically proficient and advanced, their grasp of language degraded into  pidgin dialects. The very same prophetic phenomenon is boiling in the veins of our common tongue. What was once crass and demeaning to the echelons of learned minds in this country hath becometh necessary to sell records (and T-shirts).

I give you:  LMFAO. A band that played at the Super Bowl. A band that my future mother in law has as a ringtone for her husband. A band that quite obviously includes the F-word in their band name. How much did they fine Bono for describing his drunken Grammy win as “fohkin brillyint” ? Was it $500,000? I think it was.

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle!

Just as this topic (The Man gettin’ down on some poor file-sharer)  has been covered more times than anthrax in the mail, it becomes evident that  we are living in a post-punk/ post-napster/ post-modern time. SOPA aside, how people get their music is really no longer a cultural concern. People would rather bitch about personhood and birth certificates. But how people digest and sift through and talk about and understand and   revisit their tunes is more of a concern to me. Mainly because at some point, although I have no musical talent whatsoever, deep down I would like to live in a time when I can make lots and lots of money because of other people that do; joyfully dissecting and talking about them in the same fashions that  I just  criticized the rest of the huddled masses for. The world calls me to join the sea of wiki-minions and I graciously accept. Just the world we live in. Too truthful for ya? Then check this out.

It is worth noting that I did not make it all the way through this video, so I cannot comment as to whether or not it is NSFW or not. I don’t suppose it has any horrid bits or people torturing animals or anything, but I don’t think I can force myself to find out.  It captures exactly what I am saying here. It’s not exactly horrendous, but the effect of web technology on musical taste and the musical industry itself is sort of like having a month long extended orgasm while every twenty minutes or so getting punched in the nose. Its fantastic and all that, but Jesus…

  • Juice Box

    I dont know this author, but if I did I’d nickname him The Ferret…

    • The Ferret’s Fury

      I dislike you with the fury and passion of a thousand burning suns. Errett is a beautiful name and I hope something bad happens to you. That being said, thanks for reading!

  • Cunning Linguist

    I must admit I take secret delight in the lack of spell check on fb.  I can immediately discern if you live up to my own fabricated, delusional standards of intelligence.  I’m sure somewhere it has been proven that the genius is far too busy driving the research which will ultimately win their first Nobel Prize to be concerned with the drudgery of correcting their own grammar.  The genius will one day pay people to do such menial tasks for him.  Said genius is also most likely not mindlessly tossing hours of their finite time on Earth on the pyre of Facebook. 
    I must also admit that the delight I took in being able to tell someone the meaning behind “Horse Latitiudes” has been dashed upon the rocks of Google and Wikipedia.  The Buddhist in me loves the deluge of information available in an instant, the elitist froths at the mouth and curses the heavens.  The inner Buddhist delights in his agony, proving he is no Buddhist at all.

    • Colonel Angus

      Back in the day I used to write for my high school newspaper. I would make these mix-CDs of all new music I liked and would review in the arts and culture section. Every month there was a trivia question, usually film or music related, where the first few people to get the question right would get copies of said new music CDs. I had to go extremely deep to find old school info that wouldn’t be readily available for high schoolers to know. Questions that would have people asking their parents to go scour through their old record collections in order to produce an answer. This got more and more difficult as time went on.  In the end I would check my email and have sixty or seventy emails the very day the newspaper was published. Takes the fun out of it all really.  

      • Joe

        I love, love that Macca song.