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Listening too long to one song

October 31, 2005

That subject line’s a line from the new New Pornographers album, called Twin Cinema. Great stuff. Also, is there any word for when, in writing, you say something like “the new New” or “that line’s a line”? I’m curious. I learned a new word from Wikipedia the other day: snowclone. First of all it’s just a great word, right up there with “pogonip,” which is

a type of fog consisting of ice crystals suspended in the air. The name “pogonip” is an American Indian word meaning “white death”. Pogonip only forms under the right conditions, the humidity has to be near 100% as the air temperature drops to below zero degrees Celsius, allowing ice crystals to form in the air. The ice crystals will then settle onto surfaces. Chiefly occuring in the American Southwest.

Anyway, though, “snowclone” means a phrase that recurs in various forms, like a template of sorts, but with the specific parts changed in each iteration. Wikipedia has it defined as “a cliche which can be used to generate variant phrases.”

Now I just found the word was deleted from Wikipedia. But not from here!

Okay, moving on: Halloween. Anyone else think it’s stupid? Perhaps I’m just a curmudgeon or too-serious or whatever, but the idea of dressing up in costumes and yadda-yadda has always (well, not when I was a kid, but c’mon) struck me as a little dumb. Plus maybe the thing that bugs me the most is that mostly Halloween just turns out to be an excuse for girls to wear, like, nothing, or come as a “Sexy [blank]” which is just sort of sad and dumb, I think. What, you can’t be sexy the rest of the year? I dunno.

Another idea that strikes me as dumb: There was a big article in the Times about it this past Sunday and it just rings so hollow; it’s the final Entertainment Tonight-ification of what should be a vibrant, meaningful underground culture (that’s a cliche, I know). Also it’s like the ultimate manifestation of Warhol’s whole “in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” thing, which is totally vacuous and meaningless, like Friends or Will & Grace. (Sidenote: the photographer who does lastnightsparty, Merlin Bronques, always wears a wig and sunglasses, a la Warhol, so maybe he’s more clued in to what’s going on than he lets on.)

Hmm. Now for a street dog and some work.

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