Trust the Gene Genie

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just turn your head and think of the Queen

So I've been thinking about rock bands lately. It's not that strange. And it's better than spending my days wondering if Lindsay is keeping her nose clean.

But I was thinking about the pantheon of great classic rock bands -- you know, the groups and artisits that laid the foundation for modern rock bands. I'll place a few of them in convient list form -- it's not meant to be inclusive:

1. The Beatles
2. Led Zeppelin
3. The Who
4. The Rolling Stones
5. Bob Dylan
6. Pink Floyd
7. The Band

You look over that list and something stands out. The majority of these bands are British. I would argue that, while an American invention, rock is simply done better by the Brits. Now, it should be noted, and I think this gives exponetial depth to the arguement, that the great British rock bands from the 60s and early 70s -- with the exception of Pink Floyd -- we're listening to and trying to imitate American blues men like Muddy Water and John Lee Hooker.

The point I'm tryin to make is for some reason the British are simply better at Rock and I don't know why that is. Is it the accent? The Queen? The stiff upper lip? If you've got any answers, don't be afraid to share. But think about it, you're never going to win any debates trying to argue that Lynard Skynard is a better rock band than The Who.

And the same holds true today. From The Police to U2 (Ireland is technically part of the United Kingdom) to Radiohead to the Arctic Monkeys. What have we produced on this side of the pond? Bon Jovi and Creed, that's who. There are exceptions of course. Bob Dylan, probably the greatest songwriter of the last two or three generations. And then there were a handful of bands from Seatle in the early 90s who turned the music world on its head.

But what's interesting is that the Brits never copied the grunge sound. Their response was Oasis and Blur. That's facsintating on a lot of levels. So, that's your food for thought for the day. Chew on it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You're doomed

I'm really terrible at this. But it's good for both us. So, here's to more regular updates. I can do it. You know I can.
And I've got to give a shout to Philby and Ian. Glad you gentlemen have stumbled over here. And now on to the business at hand.

You know what's fun? The English language. And I'm not just saying that because I write for a living. In fact, I'm saying it in spite of that fact. Because English is most fun when it's misused. And no one misuses it better than four-, five- and six-year-olds.

A couple examples: Leigh, my endlessly comedic four-year-old, is the member of the family most eager to express herself. But, given the range and complexity of the emotions she must feel, she never quite seems to have the language skills to do it.

Like after dinner a few nights ago. Leigh ate seconds of most everything on the table but complained about the meal the whole time doing so. We stopped just short of forcing her to eat. Anyway, she left the table and went into the family room. I followed, still eating salad from the serving bowl.

She looked up at me and said something to the effect, "When I see you eating that, it makes me feel like I have to eat it, too." Of course it does.

Becky remided me of the best story. Both Claire and Leigh are useless when it comes to finding anything in the house. And when I say useless I mean completely inable to find anything at any time any where in the house. To this day we send them downstairs to put on their shoes and they call up from the doorway that they can't find them. We walk downstairs only to discover that the shoes are three, maybe four inches from where they're standing. In plain sight.

So, Becky and I have been known, from time to time, to use such phrases as "Open your eyes," "Use your eyes," "You have to use your freakin' eyes," "Freak! They're right here! Are you blind?" and other variations.

Well, some months ago Claire was searching for her shoes, getting frustrated that she couldn't find them and letting us all know that she was frustrated that she couldn't find them. Leigh, ever the dutiful and helpful younger sibling, turns to Claire and says, "Jeez Claire, you have to use your freaky eyes." Classic Leigh.

Claire, now a second grader, is learning how to be catty, jokey and sarcastic. Which can be a lot of fun as she tries to put these skills to use. Becky and I, of course, tease the girls a lot, saying outlandishly untrue things to which we get the response, "Is that for real?"

Claire is starting to pick up on that kind of humor and last week thought it would be funny to write these really mean insults in the window with these little Crayola window markers the girls have. Her first stab at irony.

But, she's only six and so she doesn't really know any really mean insults. So she came up with the three cruelest lines her little six-year-old brain could produce, perfectly acceptable to her:

1. I hate you.
2. You're mean.
3. You're doomed.

She thought she was hilarious. And I've got three new insults to use the next time I get really mad at someone.

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