PAgent’s Progress

Words Are My Favorite Toys

May 16th, 2006

Pop Music is Crap. Literally.

Have you ever listened to Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl”?

It’s got a catchy beat, and you can dance to it, as they used to say on American Bandstand. I’ve heard it more than I maybe have wanted to on various radio stations. I always thought Toni Basil did the faux cheerleader thing better with “Hey Mickey” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go ask your parents).

Out of curiousity, I pulled up the lyrics for Hollaback Girl the other day, and found out why it always sounded a bit disjointed to me when I heard it on the radio. You see, in order to play that song on the airwaves, they have to edit, cover-up, or otherwise bleep the word ’shit’ an astonishing thirty-eight times.

Don’t believe me? Here are the lyrics:

Uh huh, this my shit
All the girls stomp your feet like this

A few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl

A few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl

Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit

I heard that you were talking shit
And you didn’t think that I would hear it
People hear you talking like that, getting everybody fired up
So I’m ready to attack, gonna lead the pack
Gonna get a touchdown, gonna take you out
That’s right, put your pom-poms down, getting everybody fired up

A few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl

A few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl

Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit

So that’s right dude, meet me at the bleachers
No principals, no student-teachers
Both of us want to be the winner, but there can only be one
So I’m gonna fight, gonna give it my all
Gonna make you fall, gonna sock it to you
That’s right, I’m the last one standing, another one bites the dust

A few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl

A few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl

Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit

Let me hear you say, this shit is bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
this shit is bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
Again, this shit is bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
This shit is bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S

A few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl

A few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain’t no hollaback girl
I ain’t no hollaback girl

Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit
Oooh, this my Shit, this my Shit

What the hell?? Why would you even play a song on the radio when you have to delete thirty-eight words in order to avoid the FCC hammer? More importantly, why would you WRITE such a song? Is this an example where Ms. Stefani needed to demonstrate her ’street cred’?

My ten-year-old girl LOVES this song. She wants me to turn it up everytime it comes on the car radio. Thank God she doesn’t run out and buy her own disks yet. I guess I will have to prescreen CDs for her for a couple of years. I guess that makes me old-fashioned. I don’t want her bouncing around singing that kind of shit (ha! Get it?).

And the gap between me and what is popular continues to widen at an ever-increasing pace.

Gah! I’m getting too old, too fast.

May 16th, 2006

Portland’s Living Lunch Room

The weather is wonderful today. Sunny blue sky with a strong breeze, and a temperature of about 80. I decided to eat lunch outside for a change.

I ducked into Elephant’s Deli for something to drink, and noticed that they had Coke Blak. I have been meaning to try it, so I grabbed a little 8 oz. bottle of the stuff. Then I got a Big Bowl with everything from The Whole Bowl. (Do you think my body is craving brown rice and beans after all the ribs I’ve been eating? It’s possible.)

I sat on the steps in Pioneer Courthouse Square, in the sun, and ate my lunch. The sun was hot on the back of my neck, and soon I could feel little trickles of sweat running past my ears, down my ribs, and at the backs of my knees. If I stayed there long enough, I would be soaked.

I finished lunch and opened the Coke Blak. Meh. It tastes like Coke with coffee syrup added. Not spectacular and a bit too sweet. If you want to try a close approximation, I think you could mix a regular Coke with a bottle of Bibicaffe┬┤, and it would be close. Although probably not as sweet.

The fountain in the square generated enough white noise to drown out everything but the Trimet buses that roared by periodically. Unfortunately, it couldn’t drown out the smells around me. Between the hot grease smell coming from the hamburger cart and the cigarette smoke coming from everywhere, I got a bit queasy. Bleagh.

But I stayed there a while, and scribbled in my Moleskine. I’m trying to find the discipline to write in it more often. I don’t think that what I write is that important, necessarily. I just want to know that I’m putting pen to paper.

Once I was feeling good and hot, I decided to head back to the office. Of course, getting back to the office meant I had to dodge Mercy Corps volunteers and Petition Signature Gatherers, in addition to the usual panhandlers on every corner. Which is one of the reasons I don’t eat outside more often.