For your information, in all known dialects of English, the phrase ‘snowman’ refers to a figure of a man which is made from snow (something like a statue, sculpture or perhaps golem), rather than a man who delivers snow.
I understand there is room for confusion here, when considering examples such as ‘milkman’, ‘postman’ and pizza boy’. However, ‘snowman’ is very much in the style of ‘wicker man’ (which is not a term for a gentleman who delivers baskets) or ‘iron man’ (which is not a term for either a gentleman who delivers ferrous metals, or a gentleman who works in a laundry).
Before seeking to write a song that seeks to summarise the Anglophone world’s Christmas traditions, one might have thought you would have done the most basic research into what these traditions actually were. I can promise you that none of them involve a snow delivery gentleman “bringing the snow”.
I look forward to this error being corrected in future releases of your popular chart hit.
I’m sure you remember Canadian freak-show queen Celine Dion, and her domination of the 1990s power ballad world. And you most likely remember her utterly ridiculous, pomp-musical-rock-tastic career pinnacle, It’s All Coming Back To Me Now:
It’s only just occurred to me, however, that a couple of lines from this song suggest deeply disturbing things about Ms Dion’s past [*]:
There were nights of endless pleasure
It was more than any laws allow
At the time the song came out, heterosexual anal sex had only just been legalised in the UK, so there was much ‘fnarr’-ing among the teenage boy community at this information.
On reflection, our speculations were altogether too tame. Ms Dion isn’t simply claiming that there were nights of endless pleasure that were banned by the laws of any specific jurisdiction – she’s claiming that whatever activities she engaged in were considered illegal by every single code of laws in force in the world at the time she first performed the song.
The only laws regulating sexual conduct that exist universally across all societies with codes of laws (much as they may not be applied consistently) are those prohibiting non-consensual sexual activity [**], sex with minors [**], and the consensual infliction of death or severe life-threatening injury.
So therefore, Ms Dion is admitting that the sexual ecstasy she found with her departed-and-possibly-returning partner was either rapey, paedophilic or murderous. Is this really the sort of behaviour we want celebrated in song?
[*] the song, of course, is written by Jim Steinman. I’m assuming in the absence of evidence to the contrary that it’s ghost-written for Ms Dion. Even if not, Ms Dion clearly identifies with and makes no attempt to criticise or distance herself from the character Mr Steinman has created.
[**] at least outside of marriage and subject to certain definitions.
Whilst I’m not quite willing to go to dsquared’s levels of defence of unpopular bands, I can’t quite believe that in my last, trolly, incoherent post the only thing I’ve so far been picked up on is suggesting that Paul McCartney’s solo output is better than John Lennon’s. That wasn’t part of the trolly incoherence – it’s just an obvious truth. Even if you’re a Lennon-ist, you have to base that on the conjecture that he contributed more than Paul to the Beatles, because nobody could possibly class any solo track by John Lennon as anything other than “disappointment”.
Paul McCartney recorded this:
…and this, which is also an alternative theme song for this blog:
“I own a sofa. I can arrange the cushions on it in any pattern I like; if I couldn’t it would reduce my rights to my property. I also own a hard disk, and I can arrange the magnetic alignments on it in any pattern I like; if I couldn’t it would reduce my rights to my property. So to the extent that you believe in rights to real property, you cannot also believe in rights to imaginary property.”
The concept of IP-as-property (and hence, of copyright infringement as theft) is a ridiculous fiction: copyright is nothing more than a monopoly on the production of a particular product or service granted by the government to a particular individual or business, in theory because the government believes that the incentivising effect of granting the monopoly outweighs the loss of freedom and utility caused by granting the monopoly.
In other words, it’s as far from libertarianism as you can get: if you support IP laws [*], that shows that you think a) that there are areas where deliberate government planning produces better results than the free market; b) where this is the case, it’s right to reduce people’s freedom for the greater good; and c) the production of plans, inventions, blueprints and artworks is a situation where this is the case.
[*] As a believer in a mixed economy, I do support IP laws and have no intellectual difficulty with the argument above, although I’d prefer penalties for infringement to be smaller and solely civil, and for all copyrights and patents to expire 5-20 years after creation (depending on content type). Curiously though, many of the people who argue for tough IP laws generally argue against government interference in business.
NRG got 1.5 and neither was the obvious Kinks example, so he wins a Babylon Zoo album. Email details and I’ll post it. Meanwhile, Anton gets the cash alternative to two Babylon Zoo albums, which is being hit round the head with a stick and having all his cash stolen. Email details and I’ll arrange.
15) “How many people, I can see the sense of shame” is “How can you show your face, when you’re a disgrace to the human race?” – Madness, Embarrassment
[*] this one will appeal to fans of jokes about Asian pronunciations of English. There are reasons why it works to do with foreign-imported words being rendered in phonetic alphabets, which Edmund could probably explain in more detail.
Someone’s built a website that translates phrases repeatedly into Japanese and back until the phrase stays the same in both languages. So, for a Crazy Friday Competition, I fed in a bunch of lyrics – pretty much all indie/rock stuff from the 1960s through to the 2000s, if that helps – and you have to work out the original, the song and the artist.
Whoever gets the most wins a Babylon Zoo album; whoever gets the second-most wins two Babylon Zoo albums. I’ll post the right answers on Sunday. Post your answers in the comments, along with sarcastic jibes about how the blog has gone downhill.
1) Do you love to love you?
2) At the foot of the toy, he is like a mixture of stuttering children
3) World, died at the western end of the city
4) I turn off the hazard lamps.
5) Also, all girls, to take gold
6) If the nitric acid, he knows the hearts of animals
7) Above, some other girl
8) In this case, if you have difficulty walking
9) Honey, get a lock to lock, it will take time
10) We need to maintain the greenery of the village community
11) I love his shows
12) Line of credit for the toes
13) This is a special fashion show is the result of his recent research on her head
14) Courage, hard core, a little fun
15) How many people, I can see the sense of shame
If anyone gets number 11, I’ll be so in awe that I’ll do pretty much anything they ask of me. If anyone doesn’t get number 10, then the opposite (but I like the way it sounds, very Japanised…)
Still mblogging, so can’t face messing about with links. If anything intrigues and confuses you, google is your friend.
1) Stephen Frears’s High Fidelity. Best geeky boy film ever, one of best love stories ever, terrifyingly accurate insight into my past relationships ever, etc. I know Nick Hornby also relevant but I’ve boycotted praising him after the embarrassing nonsense that was How To Be Good.
2) Man skills. The power went off. I made it come back on. Woo!
3) My excellent flatmate. For being impressed by both 1 and 2, for making me move to the official Best Part Of World Ever, for general aceness, etc.
4) Getting messages from my 80something grandparents written in txtspeak. U R BTH DOIN IT RITE. I hope in 55 years time I’m equally able to use Direct Mindreading 4D Lasers as well as the average 15-year-old.
5) Being right about #amazonfail being nonsense. Come on people, corporations aren’t just evil for fun, and society has thankfully reached the point where hating t3h gayz is pretty much as mainstream-unacceptable as hating the Jews. If a big, mainstream, plc-not-fanatic-owned company appears to be banning all gay books of course it’s because they’ve been hacked/trolled/troll-hacked rather than because they’ve decided Do Be Evil is their new maxim.
(in a rare example of positivity, I’m not compiling a detailed ‘things that have made me unhappy’ list. This was made easier by the fact that #amazonfail, emailgate and the worst of my Holiday Weekend Hangover all happened yesterday.
Although grumpy new neighbour whose idea of a greeting was to say “all of this (apparently shared) terrace is mine, only the door and doorway is yours, go away” and slam terrace door is today’s main fail. What the hell need is there to be such a tool? Even if the estate agent lied and the neighbour is actually right, anyone who isn’t a ‘needs electric drill in head’ tosswit would surely go for something more like “Nice to meet you too. I’m sorry, this area is part of our flat and that’s in the deeds, but welcome to the building and would you like a cup of tea?”. Fuckmonkey.
Not to come over all Mark Steyn or anything, but does anyone know if either of the UK performances of The Last Five Years are available in any kind of video bootleg format? Everything I can find on YouTube is either cameraphone footage of the mediocre off-Broadway version, or really really awful am-dram productions…