Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Daddy, He's on My Side Again!"

“Daddy, he’s on my side again!” my sister would say as I inched my finger closer to the back seat stitching that designated the line that we were not to cross.

“No I’m not,” I would say teasingly, wiggling my finger to within a millimeter of the line.

My dad would groan and grip the steering wheel a little tighter. “If you two don’t stop fighting, I’m turning this car around and going home, and we’ll never go to Disney World again!”
"I'm not fighting, she started it!" I would say. It's a wonder my dad didn't turn the car around. We didn't deserve those Mickey Mouse ears. Later, I think Dad pacified us with buying us each one of those Yes & No Invisible Ink Game books he probably picked up at a gas station.

This morning I read the headlines that fighting broke out between North and South Korea on an island near their disputed border. Though I am by no means making light of this situation, as casualties on both sides were suffered, I can’t help but be reminded of how two siblings taunt and fight with each other when they aren’t getting along.

Pyongyang, a high military commander of the North, warned the South to stop their military drills on the island of Yeonpyeong. This island sits on the edge of disputed waters. “Don’t taunt us!” he seemed to be saying.

What does South Korea do? “You can’t tell us what to do!” Not only did they disregard the North’s commandment, but they fired artillery into disputed waters. Though far from the shores of North Korea, the South basically stuck their thumbs in their ears, wiggled their hands, and gave the North a raspberry. “Nyeh, nyeh, nyeh-nyeh-nyeh!”

Well, that infuriated the North, so they decided to wipe the smart-alecky smirk off South Korea’s face by throwing a sucker punch. The South got back on their feet and the fight ensued – for an hour! There hasn’t been fighting like this since the end of the Korean War.

When it was all over, the news reported casualties on both sides, though it sounds like the North got roughed up a little more. They’re still running their mouth, though, saying they’ll do it again if the South comes even within 0.001 millimeter of their border. “Yeah, try it again, I dare you!”

The problem is, if the North and South are squabbling siblings, who’s going to turn the car around and not take them to Disney World? “Daddy, he’s touching me again!” I sure hope they don’t come running to Uncle Sam for help. We’ve been Daddy to enough countries who haven’t been playing fair lately (Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran) that I don’t think there are enough corners in the world to set some of these red-headed step children in “Time Out.” And there are only so many times you can “warm” a child’s rear end before they get used to the spanking.

from “North, South Korea exchange fire; 2 marines killed” by HYUNG-JIN KIM and KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press, November 23, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Bone To Pick With Blake Shelton

It's not an uncommon topic in Country music. Heck, you could say Country music helped perpetuate the image. Marty Stuart sang "Hillbilly Rock." Dwight Yokum sang about "guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music." Go back to the early days of American music in the 1920s and 1930s and you will see that Country music was originally called Hillbilly music. Carrying on the tradition, Blake Shelton's "Hillbilly Bone," brings the old tropes back to life.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Blake Shelton. This song, however, has more to do in my opinion with just being an all-aroung good ol' redneck than being a hillbilly. Perhaps the term "redneck" has been overused in country music lately. Trucks and mud, hollerin' Yeehaw!, grits, and firearms -- check. But is this an original song? Hardly. It starts out with a contrast of "I got a friend in New York City/ He's never heard of Conway Twitty." Hank Williams, Jr. used that already in "A Country Boy Can Survive" -- "I got a friend in New York City/ He never calls me by my name, just Hillbilly."

You might think I'm not a fan of country music, but Blake Shelton's song is an example of everything that's wrong with country music these days. Trace Adkins, who brought us such "gems" as "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," joins Shelton in the chorus of his song, "Hillbilly bone -da-bone-da-bone -bone." Now, Trace Adkins could kick my ass for sure and not raise his boot very high, but I don't think Trace Adkins has put out anything worthy to be called country music since his debut album "Dreamin' Out Loud."

Maybe I'm thinking too much about the poetics of a country song, when most folks want something to raise hell to or crank up on their radio on the way to work. But if I could play the guitar, I think I could write me some Country songs, and maybe do Hillbilly right for a change. But that's just me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

More Emily Dickinson Parodies

It's that time of year again, as my American Lit. students study Emily Dickinson. Here is another round of imitation and parodies of the great poet recluse. There are the usual, but great, standbys of fart humor, but also some newly-delved topics of gaming "noobs" and the Youtube sensation Ray William Johnson. Enjoy (or not)!

My life sucks, and here's why
I sit in my room
and make myself cry.

My poems are sad and full of despair
It's too bad
No one cares.

I live by myself
with my 40 cats
and we all indulge
in their tuna packs.

I live alone
I have no friends
and this is how
my story ends.

--Caitlin, Logan, and Jhamil

Heart! We will destroy him!
You and I -- tonight!
You will bring the shovel for the grave --
We will be free by morning light!

When we are done, we need to flee --
Or else on a noose we will be.
Haste! Time is running short.
We will soon forget him.

-- Kasey, Angel, and Caleb

I heard a guy Fart When I Died
The smell in the room
was like the smell in the air
between the passes of gasses.

The noses around -- had pinched them closed
And breaths, were being held
for that last rip -- when the big one
was smelled -- in the room --

I willed my nostrils -- closed them up --
How powerful that smell be
Fresh air -- how I longed for --
and I loathed that darn guy.

And shoo -- loud and rumbling fast --
between the stench and me
And then I breathed my last breath --
--as I cried sweet liberty!

-- Garrett, Brandon, and Mary

This is my letter to the Noobs
Who don't play MLG --
Those worthless noobs and scrubs--
Those not as good as me.

My skills, they are the greatest
You will ever see--
For my skills in Halo--
They come from MLG!

--Matt W.

Tribute to Ray William Johnson

The creepy guy-- stares back at us --
with a look that wants too much --
And a deer that's never felt the run
of a nice -- failure -- Drunk

He speaks with lips that make us laugh
But never have ended squaids
And talks with careful seriousness
that has never been dissed

The Youtube man is straight and forward
Great enough to feel
But who is to say, on the other side,
He's not the one who's trollin'?

Ray William is a wonderful thing
That sometimes shows Fatty Spins
But while we try not to crack
The two camels is what breaks us

-- Andrea and Aimee