Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creeped out by Kidz Bop: Notes on Halloween playlists / Cruelty in children's music

Over the weekend we took our infant son to a pumpkin festival. The event was on the grounds outside a museum and was free to attend. Cute pictures in the pumpkin patch, etc. Here's a taste:
Here's all you get, internet.

But that's not our focus for this entry.

There was a stage where children's bands (that is, bands who play songs geared toward children) performed starting in the late morning, but before that and between acts the P.A. played a selection of recorded tracks. Being a "family" event they were of the "Kidz Bop" variety, where children sang cover versions of popular songs. I should interject here that my familiarity with those are still very limited; given our child is only an infant with no agency yet to demand we play particular songs yet I've mostly only heard bits of these types of songs on commercials.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Checking the mailbag: Hanes, their way

Sometimes it seems people have a bit too much time on their hands:

Back in July of 2010 I wrote a post where with my usual light-hearted tone I took to rhetorical task the "lay-flat collar" on Hanes t-shirts, noting grammatically it should be "lie-flat" but I conceded how that didn't play as well from a marketing standpoint. I don't recall that getting any more significant response than any other post.

Then a couple weeks ago I received an email from someone identifying himself as "Ryan" and as a "partner with Hanes." He complimented the content in a single sentence that gave no specifics about what was good—"Great piece of content, by the way!" (Yep, with an exclamation point and everything.).

Then he got to the reason he wrote. He asked if I could add a link to the official Hanes website (and included the hyperlink to Hanes.com) to help my readers access their site. He followed that with some sentences conceding he knew some editors might have issue with that, so it was offered as a request and not a demand.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Gen X parenting: Everything new is old again

Going down the clickhole again...

I saw a piece on the Washington Post site about being a Gen X parent and straddling that divide between the pre-internet/social media era and now in regards to raising children.

As a parent (albeit of an infant) who is technically of that generation, I had a few thoughts (which somehow I found a few moments to compose).

The author started by mentioning when she takes a carpool of adolescents to school each morning she points out a river by the road, trying to get the kids to look at nature, and how they all just look at their phones. She uses that to frame the larger topic of how her generation are pioneers in dealing with child rearing that is so drastically different than how they were raised, before any of this high tech world was ubiquitous.

While I see her point, the piece suffers from a bit of solipsism (although I get the feeling the writer is aware of that), carrying an implication that not having a foundation for dealing with Facebook, etc., is somehow dramatically more difficult than anything parents have faced with previous generations. It somewhat blithely ignores the reality that every generation of parents (at least over the past century) has had something come up that their kids had which they didn't back when they were children.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Claim to fame: Your source for that one 3D Picnic song's lyrics

After a decade of having the blahg the main thing it has had to show for existing is being referenced as an authority for the world's largest corn dog. There are other posts that get a reasonable number of hits as well, certainly, but the corn dog is the star.

However, I've found that something else distinctive I've done with it is when years ago I took the time to transcribe the lyrics to a song. With the many websites that focus on song lyrics you'd think there'd be no way I would need to go to such effort, but with the relatively obscure L.A. band from the late '80s/early '90s called 3D Picnic their catalog didn't appear to garner attention on such sites. But their quirky punk roots rock was right up my alley.

Back in January of 2011 I posted the lyrics to their song "Charles Thinks About It" which is rather blithely optimistic in its tone (unlike much of the music from that era) during a time when I would post snippets of lyrics in a "Lyrics du Jour" segment (which was no daily). With that song, however, I was inspired to include them in their entirety. It just seemed worth doing, even though it involved that old school method of listening to the verses over and over.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Our wacky language: It's enough to give up its meaning

As regular readers know, I was never a linguist but I do find the topic of language development to be of at least passing interest. Not of sufficient interest to do exhaustive research, of course, but enough to ruminate on something for the next few minutes.

I paid attention in life to an extent that allows me to know the difference between possessives (such as its) and contractions (it's). I'm not suggesting that is at all an impressive intellectual feat; I'm merely identifying it as a bit of knowledge that, experience tells me, distinguishes me from some other people (who appear to have difficulty consistently distinguishing which is which).

Lest you start to think this will be a scathing criticism of those who seem to fail to make the effort to learn such things, let's step back a moment and consider what our language requires of us all.