Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
"Hang Down Your Head" is, for instance, about hanging-down-your-head. Whatever exactly that entails or why one would want to do it.
I should point out that I never really understood the full meaning of the phrase "turn the other cheek" until reading the bible verse it came from, courtesty of Norman Malcom's book on Wittgenstein and religion. That's probably, what, around 20 years of ignorance, at least?
(I never got that the injunction isn't merely one to pacifism as a response to violence, but one to - whether this is literal or not - sort of bend over and give them another shot. Which makes like all the difference in the world. Hmph.)
Listening to that record again at the moment, it occurs to me that when the songs are about Uncle Murray or Chinese midgets or prostitutes with three arms, I tend to just sort of pay not much attention to what's going on in the lyrics. In my typical way of paying-attention-not-paying-attention, I mean. Actually, it might only be the ballads that I get much sense of (and they're not exactly rocket science as far as thematic complexity goes, so I can at least work together one or two ideas to knock together in my head like billiard balls - yeah yeah yeah, time time time, and uh love or something).
We heard Rain Dogs at Hard Times today, only it was skipping all over the fucking place. I promise it is not just my affection for new things that made me think Markus Popp remixing Waits would be an excellent idea. It really did sound like it fit in, especially on the carnival-midget-falling-on-a-marimba songs.
I've been waiting for this for a while - also at Jordan's recommendation.
(Why yes, I was in band in high school.)
There's something disarming about Lil' Kim's face in the video for "The Jump Off" - like a naive, innocent teenager playing with makeup. There are lots of closeups of it, too. So the juxtapositions of her face with her porn star body are extra jarring.
Yet the beat is fucking hot. What's a guy to do?
("Yet"? "And". "Also:".)
Mark Sinker once claimed the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song (performed by Nerf Herder!) as his favorite song. Or was it the best song? Either way, some illuminating details:
When I saw a Buffy marathon on TV last year, and the theme song came on every hour on the hour, it got more exciting every time I heard it.
I bought the Angel first season DVDs a few months ago and watched them all in a big rush. It was as if I had made a profound advancement in the state of science when I discovered that the ok-but-well-meh theme song was its own chapter and thus could be skipped.
Theme songs / credits I refuse to watch even if I'm the only one in the room: Gilmore Girls (but mostly there because of the voiceover, way to win me over Amy whatsername Palladino).
Wittgenstein passing by Deleuze's concept of the image of thought (yes, I know that's historically backwards, think Borges or something):
466. What does man think for? What use is it? -- Why does he make boilers according to calculations and not leave the thickness of their walls to chance? After all it is only a fact of experience that boilers do not explode so often if made according to these calculations. But just as having once been burnt he would do anything rather than put his hand into a fire, so he would do anything rather than not calculate for a boiler. -- But as we are not interested in causes, -- we shall say: human beings do in fact think: this, for instance, is how they proceed when they make a boiler. -- Now, may not a boiler produced in this way explode? Oh, yes.
467. Does man think, then, because he has found that thinking pays? -- Because he thinks it is advantageous to think?
(Does he bring his children up because he has found it pays?)
I think I may have only listened to the Orchestra Baobab album once since buying it. And it started out so well - sort of artlessly breezy-sounding, with clear, chiming guitar. It made me want to run off and write about how wonderful life was, or more specifically, how wonderful it was to sit on the couch and listen to records. (Remember, my life is somewhat limited.) But as the record went on I started feeling slightly uneasy, as if an NPR pledge agent would call me up any moment and remind me that unless I mailed in my check I couldn't get the lovely complimentary gift, a tasteful selection of real music from Ecuador or Ireland or Ethiopia or some other fucking country you can't be educated and feel culturally enlightened about by listening to those plebian commercial radio stations. And I know there's some important aspect of lots of African music that involves pan-African and pan-continental fusion of styles (like, check out that culturally undespoiled Cuban beat in the rhythm section there, dear! where's my "Car Talk" mug?), I think it just acted as a catalyst for my unease. The more I started feeling as if I were hearing a (self-consciously attained or "natural") mixture of styles, the more I started suspecting that the music was actually written at the request of Ira Glass or some other fucker, he's just the first one I could think of with a name.
P.S. Yo Ira, if you like Biggie then nevermind.
I find Invisible Adjunct depressing but I read it anyway.
The articles linked to in the sidebar are all well worth reading, particularly if you're in academia yourself.