Anony-Something

Like I’ve said before, our house is bugged, so this shouldn’t surprise us. We were having breakfast and “The House” was on, and they had a clip of Trump butchering the word “anonymous”.

Immediately, Steve said that somebody should set that butchery to the tune of that muppets song, you know, this one.

I thought it was a great idea and was going to make it. Then Steve wondered if somebody already had, and…

Yup! So, thanks, YouTube person, for saving me a ton of work. But you probably won’t remain…anomma…nomomma…amo…you know the word I’m going for…

The Ballad Of Billy John

One night, we were sitting out on the balcony enjoying a Spotify daily mix. It was a pretty good mix and we were having fun. Then, this song came along.

Boom! All conversation stopped cold and the music wasn’t just the background, it was the focus. I don’t think either of us said much through the next song while we thought about it.

Billy John was a simple man, worked in the fields most his life
He provided for his wife and kids and left his dreams on the side
One day when the kids left home billy picked up his guitar
It had been awhile but his fingers still knew how to reach the heart
Played a song about life and love, his hopes and regrets
Then with a little proddin’ from the Mrs. he put it on the internet
When the views started pouring in, tears of joy started to fall
Then they scrolled to the comment section and this is what they saw
Eat a bag of shit cuntface
Go blow your fucking dad
This shit just raped my ears never heard nothin so bad
I hope you fucking die
And I hope you get aids
You should just kill yourself
You’re a fag
Lol gay
Billy John’s wife watched her husband as he shrugged and tried to smile
He put his guitar away and stopped and stared at it for awhile
She knew he felt like a fool and he’d never play again
So she turned on her webcam and let her message begin
She said
The man you’ve hurt tonight, I’ve watched for 35 years
He’s got a kind and gentle soul and thanks to you
That soul is in tears
And the people said
Shut the fuck up fatty
Show us your tits
One out of ten I wouldn’t bang
I bet she’d try to eat your dick
You should go get sterilized
So that you cant have kids
Then they photoshopped a bunch of pictures of her covered in jizz
Well the video went viral
Fifty-seven million hits
Billy John’s wife became a meme on the internet
They played the clip on cnn and read tweets about her weight
Cause I guess that’s the sorta thing that the news does nowadays
Billy John and his wife did nothing wrong, and they weren’t dumb
They just hadn’t paid attention to what we’d all become
But a couple weeks later, after avoiding it for some time
A broken down and changed Billy John finally went back online
He found a page of a blogger, still makin’ fun of his wife
He signed up, made an account and this is what he typed
Eat a bag of shit cuntface
Go blow your fucking dad
Your shit just raped my eyes, never read nothin’ so bad
I hope you fucking die
And I hope you get aids
And the world lost a Billy John and it gained more of the same.

Are you having the same experience we had?

I had to ask Steve if he thought he was being more funny than serious, and we decided he was being funny to make a point, and what a sad point it is.

I only have one question. Why haven’t I heard of Trevor Moore? We listened to his whole album “High in Church” and there is some serious gold on there. Come to think of it, I think I might have seen him doing “Drunk Texts To Myself” on the comedy network once, but it’s a very hazy memory. Give him a listen.

Ya Fix Sixteen Faults, And What do Ya Get, One Eye Implant And A Life Full Of Debt…

I had a really weird dream Tuesday night and felt it needed a place in the totally out there dream archive. I think my brain decided it was time to brew up a thought soup, and this was the result.

It started off with me watching a TV show about this girl who was graduating high school and was getting ready to go to university. She found out about this app that had some kind of implant that she had to put in her eye. Once it was in, she could interface more directly with her phone and do more multi-tasking. I think she could just place items in her calendar by thinking about them. Notes would appear in the air in front of her and she could read them out of the air. She could do wicked multitasking and she felt like a superhuman.

Then, suddenly I wasn’t watching the show anymore. I had become the main character in the show. Notes would appear in front of me in the air, but they were Braille. The implant had become a blind person helping app, transcribing images of restaurant menus before I got there, doing GPS maps in front of my face, that sort of thing.

Sometimes, unnerving things would happen, like I would think about someone and then my phone would pop up a dialog asking if I would like to call, text, Facebook message or WhatsApp the person I was thinking about. I would think about going somewhere and my phone would ask if I would like an Uber right now to get there. It felt a little bit out of control.

One morning, I was at home and my mom noticed that there appeared to be a giant wading pool outside and wondered where it came from. I said I must have wished for one and my crazy new app must have built it. My parents were blown away, and everybody decided to go check it out. The next day, my brother commented that there was a cool-looking drone fluttering around outside near the pool, and he suggested that we go play with it. Everybody headed out to play outside except me for some reason. It was then that the app decided to pop up unbidden with a dialog that freaked me out. It simply said “You have some defects.” Against my better judgment, I clicked the button to learn more. It said something like “A diagnostic test has been performed and several defects have been detected in your body. Would you like me to fix them?” There was a list of defects, most of which I knew about and a few I didn’t. There was also a question of how I wanted them changed. There was an option to make them worse. I stared at the dialog, and then got that prickly feeling and hit cancel.

After the rest of the family came in from the pool, I told mom about it and said I was uncomfortable with what the app had asked. I thought maybe the developers of the app would make me feel like I owed them something, and it was all a setup where somewhere down the road, all the users of the app who had been healed could be asked to do some job and would feel obliged to say yes because they would feel indebted to them. Mom thought maybe this was the case and said I was smart to refuse.

A few days later, I was walking somewhere. I might have been at work, I might have been in a school, but all at once I felt like I was being followed, and inside my head, clear as a bell, I heard the strains of “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

It got louder and louder as I ran up the stairs, tried to skip around corners and evade whoever this person was, but eventually, he caught up to me. For some reason, he would only speak in whispers.

“I am from the app,” he whispered. We have been watching you, and we are perplexed. You have been offered the chance to see, to no longer require your medications, to be free of any imperfections and you have turned it down. We would like to know why. We would like to encourage you to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. We do this out of love.”

I told him that the app was very handy, but sometimes it was doing a little too much guessing at what I wanted, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to fix me. I don’t remember the whispering fellow doing much reasoning with me. He just kept urging me to hit the “Fix all defects” button, and telling me that he would stay with me until the process was complete and I would love the result. I eventually got frustrated and asked if I could have the implant removed because I had decided I had had enough. He obliged, and the device was sucked out of my eye.

The dream fast-forwarded and I was sitting with some other friends and we were all talking about the year ahead. One of them said that she knew someone who was going to this super high tech university, and everybody who went was encouraged to get this new app that would help them take notes with their mind and multitask and be this ninja student, at which point I started screaming, sure that I was correct that the developers were trying to amass an army of willing participants for some job down the line…and the dream ended.

What in the actual hell was that?

Strangely enough, I think I know where most of that stuff came from, but boy, did I ever create a masterpiece.
The implant in the head that talks to smartphones comes from so many Black Mirror episodes. It really reminded me of “Nosedive” when he sucked the device out of my eye.

That splorching sound at the beginning of the clip is exactly what you think it is. If you want DVS, it’s probably not on YouTube.

The idea of the app proactively offering me things kind of reminds me of things Groupon or Spotify does at creepily opportune times. Sometimes Groupon will offer me a deal on hot air balloon rides after we have simply talked about getting a ride for someone as a present, for example. Or, I will worry about my weight or my teeth, and Groupon will offer me teeth-whitening or weight loss-related deals. Spotify has a tendancy to play a song we’re thinking about. Steve and I often joke that our house is bugged…and before someone says it, this came before the Google Mini came along.

I definitely think Aira wormed its way into my dream, especially at the part where the device was reading menus and stuff. But where it definitely influenced the dream was when the whispering man showed up and was offering to help me understand the opportunities the app could provide for me. It was a very twisted version of a program that Aira is trying to create where avid users help people who haven’t used as much of their minutes have more success with it. There was a time where I wasn’t sure how these pairings were happening, and I think it got a little bit misrepresented and sounded like people who weren’t using as much time were being paired with people without their asking to be paired. I think it’s more that the offer is there if people are feeling like they’re not getting the full potential out of an expensive service, but my mind decided to put a nightmarish spin on it.

I think the idea of my family playing with a pool constructed from nothing, and thinking the drone buzzing around said pool was a great toy represents the ability of technology to sneak into our lives and many of us being more accepting of it than we should be until we smash into some unintended consequence.

As for the thing about curing all my imperfections, I think it comes from reading a weird and kind of disappointing book called the gift by Dave Donovan, in which some representatives from an alien race can cure people of their physical limitations. I thought the book was kind of meh, but I guess it went into the soup. But the idea that you could make your imperfections worse comes from that Body Integrity Dysphoria that some people have, and actually give themselves a disability.

As for the “Sixteen tons” song, it’s been playing on that wacky radio station we like to listen to in the mornings. When the station started playing it, it made me think about being in Grade 4 and learning the ukulele and how cool my teacher was, because he taught us that song. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was definitely a fun, cool guy. Just imagine listening to a bunch of 9-year-olds belting out “St. Peter, dontcha call me, ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store,” and you get the picture.

And the last bit, the bit about a whole university getting implants reminded me of The “Outer Limits” episode called “Straight and Narrow”. I haven’t watched that episode in years, but my brain coughed it up anyway.

I don’t know why my brain decided to process all those thoughts, but there it is. Hopefully your dreams were much more pleasant that night.

Those Were The Good Old Days

It seems crazy to think of things like the George W. Bush era as the good old days, but in a sense, Randy Rainbow is absolutely correct. There has never been a news cycle quite like the one that we’re living through now, and as god awful fucking terrible as those years were, if nothing else at least the outrage of the day really was the outrage of the *day*. Remember when you could be mad about the same thing when you went to bed that you were mad about when you woke up? Those were some good, long gone times. I miss them.

And of course, here’s the original for reference.

And Weird Al, because it’s near impossible to hear anything about good old days without thinking about him.

Very Stable Genius

Randy Rainbow strikes again. This is seriously amazing.

Original song here, just in case.

(tiny Trump voice: As you know, I’m meeting with President Putin on Monday and we will of course ask your favourite question about meddling, and I will be asking it again and you know, what am I gonna do? I mean…he may deny it. It’s one of those things. All I can do is say “Did you?” and “Don’t do it again.” He may deny it. You’ll be the first to know. I’m very consistent, I’m a very stable genius…)

He is the very model of a very stable genius
Of all the U.S. Presidents, he is the Mussoliniest
He’s learned a lot of things according to his Wikipedia
and demonstrates his ample intellect on social media.
(pause)
When people are in need, he is the best at making fun of them.
He knows eleven words although he can’t spell even one of them.
An overly flamboyant, orange autocratic scuzzy man
Who’s undermining everything Obama did because he can.
He’s undermining everything Obama did because he can.
He’s undermining everything Obama did because he can.
He’s overly flamboyant and an autocratic scuzzy orange man.
(tiny Trump voice: “I’m a very stable genius…

He’s firmly resolute but what he thinks and feels and talks depends
on any of the crap he may have heard that day on Fox and Friends
and though his brain is smaller than his tiny little penius,
he is the very model of a very stable genius.
Although his brain is smaller than his tiny little penius,
he is the very model of a very stable genius.
(tiny Trump voice: I am doing a great job, that I can tell you.)

He’s really good at pushing all the bullshit that he’s peddling
but won’t concern himself with matters such as Russian meddling.
His campaign manager’s in jail on charges that are felony
And no one cares about him less than his wife Melanie…sorry. Mel¯anie.

He’s really good with children when it comes to immigration
He thinks he’s making progress with denuclearization
He’s only hated from Seattle to the carolineas
and likes to greet his lady friends by grabbing their vagineas.
He likes to greet his lady friends by grabbing their vagineas
He likes to greet his lady friends by grabbing their vagineas
He likes to greet his lady friends by grabbing their va-ja-ja-gineas
Queen Elizabeth did not see that coming.

He’s certainly proficient at hijacking an election.
At NATO he is not afraid of not taking direction.
Aside from all his ignorance, the chaos and subpoenias,
he is the very model of a very stable genius?
Aside from all his ignorance, the chaos and subpoenias,
he is the very model of a very stable genius.
(Tiny Trump voice: I would say the highest level of special.)

He’s always been a pro at violating things like protocols
and reproducing other egotistical neanderthals.
To all our greatest allies, he decides to say “Get outa here”
while doing all he can to satisfy his daddy Vladimir.

There’s no one as accomplished in the art of the distraction.
Of anything that’s factual, he orders a retraction.
When greeting foreign leaders, he prefers the pomp and circumstance
then vomits verbal diarrhea to satisfy his sycophants

There never was a military draft he couldn’t dodge and he
is exxcelent at advocating racist and misogyny
He likes to make up stories with convenient exclusion
of topics that he finds make him feel threatened like collusion.

He expertly persuades his base that Mueller’s hunting for a witch
Instead of their own president who’s obviously Putin’s bitch
He calls reporters fake and says that democrats are sour grapes,
then lies awake at night and thinks about those Russian peepee tapes.
He lies awake at night and thinks about those Russian peepee tapes.
He lies awake at night and thinks about those Russian peepee tapes.
He lies awake at night and thinks about those Russian peepee peepee tapes-s-s-s-s.

Oh never has there been a stable genius as smart as he,
And if you don’t believe me you can just ask Sarah Huckabee.
And though his brain is smaller than his tiny little penius,
he is the very model of a very stable genius.
And though his brain is smaller than his tiny little penius,
he is the very model of a very stable …
(tiny trump voice: I am a very stable genius)
Whatever, girl.

Not So Kid Friendly

Gill returns to look at a topic we’ve covered before. This seems like a good example.

Have you ever been curious about the origins of those stories and rhymes we read, sang and chanted as children? They may leave you with nightmares. So from sleeping beauty being violated to some very racist songs, here are some childhood ruining things.

  1. The Sun, Moon, and Talia – Sleeping beauty in it’s more toned down form sees the prince kissing her awake after 100 years, but the original has a king who, taken by her beauty, violates her in her sleep. She only learns of the violation when one of her newborn twins sucks on her finger, breaking the curse.

  2. See Saw Margery Daw – I honestly don’t know much of this one, other than it basically details an impoverished family having to put their children into child labor and seems to be generally insulting to the poor, especially in the later verses.
  3. Pop goes the weasel – There are many different theories about where this song came from and what it means, one of which is that it tells the story of someone drinking away a family’s meager funds and having to sell his jacket.
  4. Turkey In The Straw – This one seems like a fun little ditty bluegrass bands would play to encourage square or round dancing at a barn dance and for the most part it is, but a version in 1916 was insulting to people of color stating “N word likes watermellon ha ha ha!” I know I will never look at this one the same way again.
  5. Ring Around The Rosie – If you went to nursery school or your parents had a book of nursery rhymes, that was probably a favorite. The truth is much darker and far less fun. It talks of the plague and a lack of germ knowledge, and at the end the death rights by a Catholic Priest.

    Note from Steve: I’ve heard this for years and had no reason not to believe it, but there are reasons to believe that it’s probably wrong.

  6. Here we go round the mulberry bush – Sounds like the recipe for good parents giving their youngsters instructions about how to do things. No such luck, it was actually a song prisoners in a British women’s prison sang to their children while in the exercise yard.

    Note from Steve: Or maybe it wasn’t. Nobody quite seems to know. Tracing things this old is hard sometimes, you guys.


  7. Jack And Jill – I don’t mean the one where they go up the hill with a buck and a quarter. I mean the mother goose version. Here are two possible versions of how it came to be. One involved two untrue spouses in early 17th century England who conceived an illegitimate child, while another later version talks about the French Revolution and the deaths of Louis the 16th and his wife.
  8. Peter Peter pumpkin eater- I thought little of this one as a child, but now in researching this it smacks more of Dateline or one of those crime scene shows. A theory is that Peter was fed up with his wife’s cheating ways and murdered her putting her remains in a pumpkin shell.

  9. The Blue Tale Fly – I, not fully understanding the meaning of it, had this particular ditty on a record when I was small. You know “Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care?” Well, let’s just fast forward the clock thirty-five years when a grown me finds out the meaning. This is actually a mockery song performed by some white dudes in blackface pretending to be slaves in the pre-civil war southern US. In essence what it’s trying to convey is that sadistic master would have slave slap flies from him as he rode his horse, and one day master was knocked off his spooked horse and met his end. Oops.
  10. Peter Pan – Written by J. M. Barrie around the dawn of the 20th century, it talks of a boy who doesn’t age or grow up. My mother saw an incarnation on TV at her grandmother’s home in 1954, but what the Mary Martin classic left out was the fact that Peter saw Wendy as a mother figure, but Wendy had developed romantic feelings for him.
  11. Snow White – The 1937 Disney movie is a far cry from the original. In that version, the wicked queen successfully kills Snow by poisoning, and rather than a kiss the passing enchanted prince bargains with the dwarfs to let him take her body home. As the prince’s servants carry her coffin made of glass, they drop it, dislodging the apple from her throat and bringing her back to life. She then goes off to marry the prince and live happily ever after without even considering how weird it is that he tried to buy a dead body.
  12. Mary Mary quite contrary – It seems innocent enough. A poem filled with pretty things. But wait, I am about to ruin this for you. Mary is thought to be the devoutly Catholic queen of England, the garden talked about smacks more of a killing field, and the bells, shells, and maidens are all torture devices. A thumb screw, genital mutilator, and early beheading device.
  13. London Bridge – You probably played this with some friends or in a group with linked arms trying to trap people, but you may not want any youngster playing it now. One theory is that the song and actions refer to the tradition of sacrificing children by encasing them in structures to ensure their safety and stability. Yes, when you dropped your arms you didn’t know that you were symbolizing that, did you?
  14. Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your long hair – Where do I begin with this? Well, a witch kidnaps a young girl, locks her in a tower, a prince rides by, knocks her up, and she is banished. The prince is pushed from the tower, blinded, and forced to wander the desert. When he finds his beloved, her tears restore his sight.

  15. Goosey Goosey Gander – I was never read this one as a child, but in researching this it did come up. About 450 years ago in England there was a push to convert everyone from Catholicism to Protestantism, and Catholics were forced to take desperate measures to practice their faith. This meant hiding priests in priest holes. Catholics were referred to as Left Footers, but that’s not what it meant when it said “I grabbed him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.” The punishment was a gruesome form of death.

  16. Never Laugh when the hearse goes by – Often a little rhyme spoken at Halloween, this actually hearkens back to WW I and possibly even earlier. Its purpose is to remind children albeit in a gruesome way to respect the dead.

Questions

Do you know much of the dark or sordid origins of your favorite childhood song or rhyme? What was your favorite book as a child? Are there any cartoons, books, or movies from when you were a kid that probably would at the very least be frowned upon now?

They Should Have Sett It Up To Play Hit The Road Jack


Hey guys, what if we built rumble strips into this here road so that whenever somebody drives on it their tires will make it play a song?

It should have taken 20, maybe 30 seconds of thought tops after the chuckles and the I wonder how easy it would bes died down to figure out that even though it might sound kind of fun on paper, long term, a singing road is a terrible, terrible idea. But apparently people just don’t have time for that kind of brain investment. There are, after all, roads to build.

Created by strategically laid “rumble strips” as a way of livening up journeys across the flat landscape, the novelty has worn thin for locals who say the constant droning melody is driving them mad.
The tune is created when car tyres drive over the strips — which are usually deployed at the side of major roads to warn drivers they are straying off course.
If hit at the correct speed — the 60kph limit — the road will sing out the anthem of the Friesland region, a northern part of the Netherlands that has a distinct language and culture.

“Last Saturday night the taxis were driving from Leeuwarden to Stiens, and on the way back they tried to go across the lines as quickly as possible and we had the anthem played all night at high speed,” local resident Ria Jansma said.

Thankfully somebody did finally have an ah ha moment after the almost immediate backlash, and the strips, which are reported to have cost nearly $100,000, have since been removed.

Now That’s What I Call Songs Sung To The Tune Of “Two Princes” By The Spin Doctors 5

Matt, without whom none of us would be here and whose podcast you should listen to and maybe even Patronize if you haven’t already, threw this at me while we were talking on Twitter. Don’t ask me to explain it, just enjoy it in all of its wonderful stupidity.

Do you like all kinds of songs, but wish they all sounded like “Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors? This is the compilation album for you!

This video was made in a day for the Sketch Cram show at UCB East in New York, a monthly show where New York’s best sketch writers and performers create a show in a day and perform it that night.

Written by Jason Saenz, directed and edited by Benjamin Apple, vocals by Zack Poitras, voiceover by Benjamin Apple.

I Want To Eat AT Wendy’s Right Now In Spite Of The Fact That This Is How They Train People

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this load of Wendy’s employee training videos I’m about to drop on you, but I do have to ask: Do restaurants still make these things? If yes, how does anyone ever learn to do anything correctly?

Oh. Right. Never mind.

Yes, that was partly a shot at some of the terrible service I’ve been on the wrong end of in my day, but also a genuine question. I’m sure on some level they’re instructional and that eventually you’ll find yourself singing about where to put your lemon, but how long does that take? How many times do you have to watch one of these before it stops being ridiculous and starts being helpful? And how long does it take to go from helpful to haunting your thoughts whether you’re sleeping or awake?

Alright, let’s learn how to make and serve some stuff!

First up, cold drinks in what sounds like the style of a rapped Paula Abdul tune.

It’s just good sense to follow that up with hot drinks. I can’t pick out who specifically they had in mind stylistically here, because for a while in the 80s this is what everything sounded like.

We need to give those drinks something to wash down, so why not some chili or maybe a kids’ meal? I didn’t realize Wendy’s had chili way back in whatever decade this song is meant to represent. I don’t remember having a chili at Wendy’s until the late 90s, but Google is giving me the sense that they’ve always had it.

And of course nothing is more important than your grill skills. So important are they that this one’s a 2-parter. And my god, what a 2-parter it is. There’s a bad Robert Palmer impression, Dave Thomas showing up to repeatedly pronounce the word fashioned in a distracting way that he either coached out of his voice later or that I’ve totally forgotten, some acting straight out of every educational film you’ve ever seen and the obligatory rappin’ and weird ass music video.

And in case you’re overwhelmed by all of that like our hero Bill here, let’s talk through the rap song before…oh, just watch.

I want to go to Wendy’s now. Anybody else? I haven’t had a Frosty in ages.