Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Rebuttal to My Last Blog Post by "Weird Al" Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic has been around at least 35 years—I remember first hearing him on Doctor Demento’s radio show in 1979—and, no shit, he’s hitting harder and funnier than ever. Best of all, he’s embraced the Internet. This is supposedly the last album he’s doing for a major label; he’s gotten the notion to take his act directly to the people. Based on the two videos I’ve seen so far he stands to do very well for himself.

After the Nirvana parody and the usual polka
medley, there wasn’t a lot to work with musically
in 1991. One thing that works against all his albums
is they remind the listener just how bad a lot of pop
music was at their time of release.
Two ironies here (not to be confused with coincidences): first, I figured Weird Al to be on his way out in 1992 with his album Off the Deep End. I wrote a review of it at the time for this zine from which this blog takes its name. To be fair, a lot of the music was so weak it didn’t even work as parody. Also, all he had to work with was his usual go-to themes of food and TV.

Now there’s all kinds of stuff on the Internet to riff on. It turns out the Internet is also where people do the great bulk of their book and music buying these days, so that’s where he’s setting up shop. George Takei is 80-something years old and understands this better than people one-quarter his age. Yankovic is savvy, too, and he’s gotten good people to make videos for him. 

The second irony was this comes on the heels of my recent post against grammar nazis. Okay, so it isn’t an irony, it is a coincidence that a buddy of mine posts this video which manages to slam the proudly illiterate while schooling the rest of us in aspects of language we abuse, the day after I post my “Grammar Nazis, Fuck Off!” rant. [UPDATE: I deleted that post for the space-filling weaksauce it was. Sometimes dead air is better.]

In case you missed it—I was tired and in a foul temper, so I probably wasn’t as clear as I needed to be—my beef isn’t with correcting grammar and punctuation so much as with the attitude that one is superior for knowing such things, to such a degree that the very fact of using superior grammar wins the argument on moral grounds alone.

The hell with all that. Let’s have Weird Al take us to school, where we'll thrill to the mention of those particular abuses of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage that torque our metaphorical goats.

As a bonus for all who read through to the end, here is the original Robin Thicke song Weird Al is parodying, the Number One Song of the Summer of 2013, according to Billboard, “Blurred Lines.”  The video for this is...much different.