How my mind works…

I have a FaceBook account. Although I’m interested in what my friends have to say about what’s going on in their lives, for the most part, that’s not how I use it for when I want to write something. The overwhelming majority of entries on my timeline (or wall if you’re talking about the way it used to be) are silly, punny, and/or glib one-liners.

Sure, I don’t hide the fact that I’m married with two boys. It’s just that my posts are more intended to get people at least chuckling if nothing else.

(Although my kids can be a source of entertainment just the same. After all, I couldn’t resist posting on facebook not long after I stood up to set the table, leaving my two boys on the couch watching TV one time the fact that I had said “I’m going to go set the table. Can the two of you not kill each other while I’m doing that?” and then my older son responded by saying “Do you mean literally or metaphorically?”)

I love playing with words and double entendres. Sometimes, my facebook posts can get a bit on the risqué side. Past entries have included statements like “I don’t believe in blowjobs. I guess you can call me a fellatheist.”, “I’ve always wanted to be in charge of sales in marketing just so my business card could read “Director of S&M.”, and “When I learned that there’s more than one Olympic event for the women’s breast stroke, my first thought was, “who wants to help me practice?”

It was a recent post that I made, that motivated me to write this blog entry. Two people made comments on it, wondering about how my brain works and how I came to write what I had written. Well, this blog entry is dedicated to the thought process that goes into all of my posts, as well as how I specifically ended up writing what I had for that post.

First off, each and every one of my one-liner posts like that, are original and are my own work. If you like what I have written, then I thank you. If you don’t, then I take full responsibility all the same. They are written in the vein of “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy” or, more recently, TopFive’s Ruminations. (I even have a few ruminations buried in their archives…)

Somewhere in my day-to-day life, I think of a common word or phrase that could be twisted in one way or another, and I try to come up with some short way of doing the twisting. Sometimes it comes quickly, like the time I wrote “I completely support all quality control measures. We can’t have quality running amok without anything holding it back.” And sometimes it takes me forever (or so it seems) to come up with the right turn of the phrase, like the time I wrote “Does this giant zen statue make my Buddha look big?”

The post that inspired this entry, falls squraely in the latter camp. It was “Which do you suppose would be more traumatic? Killing someone ‘doggie style’ or having sex ‘execution style’?”

So how did I come up with this line? It started when I thought of a one-liner by George Carlin where he said something to the effect of wondering what other styles of murder there are, every time he reads about someone being murdered “execution style”.

Taking George Carlin’s thoughts to heart, my first thoughts hung solely on the “execution style” of murder. Early versions of this line, in my head, involved the image of the police finding someone strapped to a makeshift electric chair and declaring him murdered “execution style”, and having newspapers reporting that a death row inmate, after having had the sentence carried out, had been killed “execution style”.

The problem with both of these images, is that they would undoubtedly move quite quickly from something intended to be little more than funny or cute, into people going on a massive anti-death-penalty diatribe. Nothing against such political opinions, but if the intent of such a post was to be completely lighthearted, those kinds of lines would not allow the conversation to remain lighthearted.

(And on that, it doesn’t matter whether you support or oppose the death penalty. I think we can all agree that a line like that would quickly cease to be funny…)

That’s when I thought about killing someone “doggy style”. (It answers George Carlin’s question, you’ve got to admit, even if I’m not entirely sure of the mechanics of doing so…)

And so I did actually think of writing the post as an acknowledgment of the Carlin line with an answer. But that’s not really all that glib.

I already had killing someone doggy style, so why not see if I could work in having sex “execution style” in the same line? (Yes, I know, a lot of animals do that already. Black widows and lots of other bugs and crawly critters basically mate, and then the female kills the male.) So then I went through three or four different ways of expressing the juxtaposition and I finally landed on what I ultimately said.

It’s a fun process, no matter how long it takes.


Greatest Rock Songs

Ask any historian or average guy-on-the-street, about what the most important historical events of the 20th century were, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who won’t mention the two so-called “World Wars.” They were the two bloodiest, most violent, most traumatizing wars in world history. Huge numbers of warriors and civilians were killed in these two wars. The survivors who came back from these wars were rightly disillusioned by everyone involved in sending them off to fight in the first place.

But one thing people kind of overlook about these wars is the fact that the two of them, collectively, spanned approximately a decade (1914 – 1918 and then 1939 – 1945).

Just as fascinating about the wars themselves is their respective aftermaths. Politically, the wars saw the effective end of monarchies and empires, replaced with an increasingly secular society. Just as fascinating, though, is the impact of the wars on culture.

Two of the three major musical revolutions occurred, not surprisingly, in the aftermath of the two world wars. In the 1920’s, it was jazz music; in the 50’s, it was rock and roll.

Both of these musical styles built dramatically on existing styles, but they definitely made things new and different. (And, not coincidentally, both of these musical styles come from urban slang for sex. The third musical revolution of the 20th century — hip hop music — also is slang for sex…)

Jazz probably would have progressed to rock music sooner, had it not been interrupted by the Great Depression and the second World War.

My local radio station, WXPN, has had a running countdown for the past nine years, where they solicit their listeners for their input into the topic at hand (usually single songs but there’ve been a few that were more than just single songs) and compile the results into the 885 top examples of that topic.

I last wrote about this process two years ago, after their Road Trip Songs. (Last year’s topic was the 885 greatest World Cafe guests. I vaguely remember voting for Fisher but I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the results.)

So this year, they’re asking for votes for the greatest rock songs of all time. While I was trying to decide on the ten songs I’d be using, I thought of the origins of rock. If jazz got stifled by the events of the 1930’s, rock was allowed to flourish thanks to the events of the 1960’s.

Rock music essentially says, “We’re here and you can’t ignore us. We’ll do what we want to do, fuck who we want to fuck, and be what we want to be.” It’s with those thoughts in mind, I present to you the ten songs I voted for:

1. “Love Reign O’er Me,” by The Who

2. “Filthy Mind,” by Amanda Ghost

3. “Holiday,” by Green Day

4. “Coma White,” by Marilyn Manson

5. “Change (In the House of Flies)” by the Deftones

6. “Breathing,” by Kate Bush

7. “Piece of My Heart,” by Big Brother and Holding Company

8. “Instant Karma!” by John Lennon

9. “Crazy on You,” by Heart

10. “No One Like You,” by the Scorpions