10 things that make me laugh

  1. Incredibly boring, critically acclaimed movies
  2. The Thing from Fantastic Four movie that looks more like "The Pleather Thing".
  3. Joanna Newsom
  4. bad puns
  5. Large hoop earrings
  6. Parents who continuelly tell their kids to be quiet.
  7. huge nipples
  8. Grumpy civil servants
  9. City people's fear of ice
  10. Hair flips
  11. Past Things:

  12. Comedies about communism
  13. Big toes
  14. Monkeys
  15. Tenacious D
  16. "Shaun Of The Dead"
  17. "Gonad" Slang/word
  18. Pimples
  19. McDonalds new "hip" commercials
  20. "Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show"
  21. Bertie's far out sense of humour
  22. "Butt-monkey" (slang/word)
  23. The story in Stand By Me about the pie eating contest.
  24. Tina Turner's hair.
  25. "bonking" (slang/word)
  26. "Teletubbies"
  27. Billy Joel's music.
  28. "Young Frankenstein"
  29. Winston attempting to escape.
  30. Small dogs/glorified rats
  31. Poodle haircuts.

Will you remind me what 'Winston attempting to escape' is?

Winston is my Bassett Hound, and as a fine example of his breed he tries to escape (to go smelling around the neighborhood) on a regular basis. We've taken to calling him Steve McQueen and we're the gestappo.


I hope this isn't a ranked list. If it is, I resent being less laughable than pimples.

Pimples are really funny though...but maybe I'm rating them out of a reverse ranking, ie. 10-1. Makes ya wonder don't it. "?)

Pimples are funny. Pizza-face is not. Or is it the other way around?

Pizza-face is the result of a scary hormonal imbalance called "puberty". And that's not fun for anyone. ;?)



OK, Teletubbies rather makes me scream and cry. But why does Billy Joel's music make you laugh?

Billy Joel has to be the most overrated song-writer in music, like a poor man's Cole Porter or the idiot savante Duke Ellington, his music is constantly cheesy, stupefyingly banal and a-sexually smarmy all at the same time. I can't imagine any of his music being more self-conscious and stylistically derogatory, but I suppose a cheese ball artist can always plumb new depths. :)

I love prime Joel.

But then, I also love me a good cheeseball, especially if it is sprinkled with chili powder...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs


Love is a strange and quixotic thing LB.

Cheeseballs are good. mmmmmmmmmmmm.

I need to learn to play guitar and duel B.J. for rock supremecy, of course I'd win and he'd have to slink off into the "Piano Man" sunset.


I confess I find it odd to read he is over-rated, but that's simply because I grew up in a time when he was critically thrashed and definitely considered uncool by those in the know. Then again, so was I.

Did I use the past tense there?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Dear stooky,

I hope that you realize the high opinion that I have of your intelligence, your taste and your thoughts. Hopefully I have shown you respect through the amount and the quality of our interaction. I have enjoyed it and have tried pay my compliments to you both explicitly and implicitly.

You are completely wrong when you apply the label "idiot savante" [sic] to Duke Ellington. I cannot be absolutist enough about this. To say something like that demeans you. And it therefore fills me with sorrow.

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington is the greatest composer in the history of the greatest art form humankind has ever produced. There is no question about his position in jazz. And, while I understand that it may not be a widely held belief, the position of jazz in the world of art is unassailable.

He kept a big band together and working for almost half a century. That is from before the Great Depression until after Watergate. The Duke Ellington Orchestra toured and recorded through two World Wars, from the WPA to the EPA, from two decades before Jackie Robinson and more than a decade after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.

In his travels and through his recordings he carried jazz throughout the world with his unrivaled band. And he played in that band. Pianists from Abdullah Ibrahim to Thelonious Monk have Ellington as a seminal influence. Arrangers from Stan Kenton to Gil Evans have imitated Ellington's work. Band leaders from Charlie Barnet to Wynton Marsalis have dedicated themselves to capturing a part of Ellington's greatness. Songwriters from Raymond Scott to Stevie Wonder have written songs about Ellington's career. Instrumentalists from Django Reinhardt to John Coltrane have played with Ellington's orchestra. Vocalists from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald have been accompanied by Ellington's musicians. Players from Jimmy Blanton to Johnny Hodges have been members of the Ellington band. And composers from Gunther Schuller to Billy Strayhorn have used Ellington's compositions as a source of inspiration.

Those compositions, those creations, those songs, number in the thousands. Hundreds have become standards of the repertoire. Billy Strayhorn said of Edward Kennedy Ellington, "Duke plays piano. But his real instrument is the orchestra." Throughout it all he kept recording that orchestra, often at his own expense. Through Jim Crow to the Cold War, from clubs to concert halls, from one-nighters to church services he wrote songs explicitly and exquisitely tailored to both the singular voices of the players in his band and the unique single voice of the band.

André Previn once said that, "Stan Kenton can stand in front of a thousand fiddles and a thousand brass and make a dramatic gesture and every studio arranger can nod his head and say, yes, yes, that's done like this.' But Duke merely lifts a finger, three horns make a sound, and I don't know what it is."

Duke Ellington kept those horns, that band, those voices, that voice together for forty-seven years all the while supplying it with new and innovative material to play which advanced not just jazz but all of music. Harry Carney, the greatest baritone saxophonist in the history of jazz, spent forty-four years playing for Ellington. Johnny Hodges spent four decades playing alto saxophone in the band even after accounting for a five year absence. Jimmy Blanton revolutionized bass playing from the time he joined Ellington at the age of twenty-one until his death from tuberculosis three years later. Billy Strayhorn revolutionized jazz composition from the time he joined Ellington at the age of twenty-four until his death from cancer twenty-eight years later.

In 1965 the Pulitzer Music Jury, composed of "highly respected members of the so-called serious music community", unanimously recommended giving a Pulitzer to Ellington, "who has made many notable contributions to American music over a period of 30 years or more with compositions of high artistic quality couched mainly in the idiom of jazz." When the Pulitzer commitee rejected this recommendation two thirds of the Music Jury immediately resigned.

Ellington, sixty-six years old at the time, had this response, "Fate is being kind to me, Fate doesn’t want me to be famous too young."

That is the response of a great genius. I do not require nor even expect that everyone enjoy the music of Duke Ellington. I admit to being disappointed when others do not at least admire the artistic acheivements of his life but I do not insist that people hold him in the proper esteem. To say that Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an "idiot savante" [sic] is more than a lie, it is wrong. Those words will be taken down.

With respect (truly, and that is why I am adamant), 0dysseus

I think he meant that Billy Joel is like an idiot savante version of Duke Ellington, not that Ellington himself was an idiot savante. But I could be wrong.

whoah! I think you could be right.

And so what I wrote above is a horrific over-reaction.

If that is the case they I am embarassed and I truly apologize.

stooky, I am very sorry.

...and now I have no standing to make the case that nobody, least of all Mr. Billy Joel née Brinkley, can idiot their way to Ellingtonian savantness. But at least now I may be able to relax and get some sleep.

I never knew that you could actually see red... and now my face is.

Please don't shoot me, I'm only a little guy. lol. :)

Wow, I guess I couldn't disagree more with you on this. But contrary opinions are for me another proof for his genius.

I love his music, but even more his great lyrics. Piano Man and We Didn't Start the Fire are IMO two examples for excellent lyrics. But as I said it's my opinion, and I respect yours.

fyi, we didn't start the fire was listed as one of the worst songs of the 20th century in a poll by People (or was it Time magazine). The rockage of B.J. seems complete. :)

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray,
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio,

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television,
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe,

Rosenbergs, H Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, The King and I, and The Catcher in the Rye,

Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen
Maciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye,

We didn't start the fire
it was always burning
since the world's been turning
we didn't start the fire
no we didn't light it
but we tried to fight it.

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Block

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev,
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez


Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge on the River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather homicide, children of Thalidomide

Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, space monkey, mafia
hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo


Hemingway, Eichman, Stranger in Strange Land,
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania,
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician Sex,
JFK blown away, what else do I have to say


Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again,
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, Punkrock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, Heavy Metal, Suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz,
hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore


C'mon, these lyrics are fantastic as is the entire song (as are most of Joel's songs). What were they thinking/smoking when they chose it among the worst songs of the 20th century? :-)

"JFK blown away, what else do I have to say"?

I may be cynical but Don McLean said it so much better with American Pie:

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

But february made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

So bye-bye, miss american pie.
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes.
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues.

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.

I started singin’,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
But that’s not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the king and queen,
In a coat he borrowed from james dean
And a voice that came from you and me,

Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.
And while lennon read a book of marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

We were singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Helter skelter in a summer swelter.
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter,
Eight miles high and falling fast.
It landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass,
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast.

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
Oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
The marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again.
So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

And they were singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."

They were singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die."

Which I think definately trumps the name-dropping BJ joint.


Or better yet REM's It's the end of the world as we know it which has great lyrics, and whose melodic ideas BJ...(clears throat)...shall we say showed some interest in:

That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane -
Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn -
world serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs. Feed it up a knock,
speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,
down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for
hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the furies
breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered
crop. Look at that low plane! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population,
common group, but it'll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its
own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the
reverent in the right - right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright
light, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,
return, listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning,
blood letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,
light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,
this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament,
a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and I decline.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide. Mount St. Edelite.
Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic,
slam, but neck, right? Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...

(It's time I had some time alone)

Great song. yee haw.


It’s nine o’clock on a saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Makin’ love to his tonic and gin

He says, son, can you play me a memory?
I’m not really sure how it goes
But it’s sad and it’s sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man’s clothes

La la la, de de da
La la, de de da da da

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feelin’ alright

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he’s quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there’s someplace that he’d rather be
He says, Bill, I believe this is killing me.
As the smile ran away from his face
Well I’m sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place

Oh, la la la, de de da
La la, de de da da da

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he’s talkin’ with Davy who’s still in the navy
And probably will be for life

And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes, they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it’s better than drinkin’ alone


It’s a pretty good crowd for a saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
’cause he knows that it’s me they’ve been comin’ to see
To forget about life for a while
And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say, man, what are you doin’ here?

Oh, la la la, de de da
La la, de de da da da


Now, top that! :)

"Which I think definately trumps the name-dropping BJ joint."

Yeah, I feel like the long list of We Didn't Start the Fire might not be the best song to showcase Billy Joel's lyrics, even though I do like that song. I think he's come up with some better lyrics elsewhere though.

Yeah, probably. Piano Man, This Is the Time or Captain Jack or Leningrad...