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Clean Ears

Weird Al recently released another another album, Alpocalypse. I've always liked his Polka medleys, but not having a TV means I don't hear much of the Top40 Pop that he uses as material for his parodies. (For example, I had never heard "Bieber" before, although I had heard people talk of him as this generation's Hanson). Fortunately, someone put together an audio cheatsheet.

  • Jamie Foxx's 「Blame It」 reminds me of a children's playground chant
  • The Owl City song reminded me of Computorgirl
  • I thought his cover of Lo Rida's 「Right Round」 was just another interpretation of the original song (which was in one of his past polka medleys I think)

Weird Al almost makes me want to listen to popular stuff. Almost.

Idea I've been playing with regarding the role of musical parody. Not sure if I actually believe it in quite this form (although I am some form of an IP Abolitionist); trying it on for size:We need people to sing and make fixtures, but these fixtures must not be shrines. Parody is the hard edge of improvisation, clearing the space for us to remember that the only way to disrespect a work is to exclude it from our memetic pool. Only artists with serious misconceptions about what it means to contribute to culture will object to parody. Once it hits the public, it belongs to the public.

As always, I consider my writings public domain, and grant you permission to do whatever you want with them provided you do not misrepresent authorship. I also grant you permission to do this with the entire corpus of human culture. You don't really need my permission, because culture belongs jointly to all of us, but you should realise that you can and should give yourself permission to it.

Recently I've been thinking a lot about how different notions of what is proper and what self-respect looks like might make someone look like a jerk from some perspectives and not others. In this case, there is a background situation, where I claim for myself, as a lone philosopher with a very loose affiliation with a defined worldview, the same respect for my perspectives/sensitivites/dignity that established large religions/philosophies have. I don't necessarily expect to receive it, but I think it is reasonable/appropriate to ask/push for it, and to consider the edicts that people have accepted in "from-on-high" worldviews equal in weight to those philosophers institute for themselves as engineers of worldviews (not to say that no respect should be granted for personal meanings of life, just that because someone has a confusion as to the universe's preference on their values doesn't mean those same values merit more societal or personal consideration).

I've probably written about this before, but I'm always trying to explain better what it means to be a life/value philosopher. Maybe this explanation is better than those I provided in the past.

Recently I read a position paper on American Baptist philosophy; it explained a perspective on what it means for their branch of Christianity to be noncreedal (at least on a national and likely church level), and applied that to a current dispute. It was well-argued, but the broad principles it outlined leave me thinking about the relationship between American Baptists as a whole, individual congregations, and individual Baptists. Also, I'm not sure I accept the notion that any interpretation of a work necessarily comes between the work and the reader (although this is a complicated question in Islamic Hermeneutics too).