August 16, 2000

There are Times When You Just Don't NEED Blue Hair


I say he's compromising his artistic integrity.

He says I think too much about these things.

This started when Younger Son informed me that his band had decided to change the lyrics to one of their songs, "Forget It". Actually they've dumped or rearranged most of the songs and have written some new ones. They're also changing the band name - again - but they haven't been able to agree on a new one. (My favourite of all the suggestions so far: "Mom Said No".)

The lyric in question was the term "jacking off". When I first heard it I rolled my eyes. Parents are supposed to roll their eyes. Parents rolled their eyes at the Rolling Stones; the Beatles; Elvis of course; and even the Strauss waltzes were scandalous in their day, as I understand.

The lyrics are written primarily by the singer, who is a smart, talented, charismatic, driven sixteen year old who has been expelled out of at least three schools so far. I've known him since he was a baby. He will end up either famous or in jail. (Or both.) YS said several days ago that Singer agreed to change the lyric to "slacking off". My first reaction was "phew" but then I began to think about it.

I thought about the Rolling Stones having to change their lyrics on the Ed Sullivan Show. They sang "Let's spend some time together". Yawn.

I thought about Jim Morrison, who refused to change anything for Ed. I think the offending word for the Doors was "higher" - somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.

None of those lyrics are seen as shocking anymore, at least not by the mainstream, at least not in my experience. Maybe thirty years from now "jacking off" will elicit yawns too.

YS is the first to criticize bands for what he calls "selling out": changing their style in order to become more popular and sell more records.

So while we were stuck in traffic yesterday on the way to Dad's (just YS and me) I asked him about it. He maintains that using words gratuitously, to shock, is immature. I don't know that it was gratuitous. It was tasteless and crude but maybe that was the point. He said they've decided it's better to use more subtle terms, so listeners will have to infer the meaning for themselves. Well OK but why clean up your old songs? They reflect a certain stage in your evolution.

I told him they were too young to be selling out - to be changing themselves to fit society's standards - which are constantly changing, anyway. He says, producing a product that's marketable isn't selling out. (He didn't use those words but that was the drift.) He explained that any successful artist has sold out to some extent, because once you get a contract, editors change things the way they see fit. People who do exactly as they please remain unknown and unheard. I said, at least establish some artistic integrity before you sell it out! He sighed and told me not to worry.

Oh, the blue hair in the title? Another one of those sentences that when I hear them, a big neon sign starts flashing "JOURNAL ENTRY TITLE!" It had to do with his plans to try wash-out hair colours as opposed to permanent. It also kind of metaphorically fits in with the entry - sort of - in a stretch.

Search Me

The search engines have been rather quiet lately. I suppose they'll pick up steam when school starts. A couple of recent referrals were intriguing, not so much for the subject matter but for what the people who were doing the search might have been thinking.

colon+inertia
Colons have inertia? How about semi-colons?

jobs English Montreal
Surely there must be a better way to job hunt than a google search?

Linque Du Jour:   OLJ - The State of the Art

OLJ stands for OnLine Journal. This is a brand-new monthly "'zine" for and about us journallers. In the first issue, currently online, there are articles, links, tutorials, and my personal favourite section, OLJ Today, which just happens to feature this journal for August 16. (I'm assured there'll be an archive link, if you miss it.) It's cool seeing your words on the computer screen, but it's even cooler seeing them in a layout that's not of your creation.

The editor, Jenna Varnell, seems to have put a lot of work into this, and it's well worth a bookmark.

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