Archive for June, 2008

Tennessee Waltz

Friday, June 27th, 2008

I spent last weekend (extending halfway into this week) with my family in Tennessee. This surprised some friends of mine, who know that I don’t tend to enjoy hot weather. Or travel. Or… well, I’ll just let you read today’s column. To be fair, there were some advantages of being in Nashville, such as plentiful fried okra. But I’m very glad to be back home.

Although I could be biased because I’m about to go have some tasty, tasty squid for dinner.

I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George…

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I may receive some flak for saying this, but I don’t necessarily think George Carlin was one of the funniest comedians the world has ever seen. I do, however, think that he may have been one of the most important.

The way he delved into words — both vulgar and otherwise — was unmatched. He went beyond mere observational humor and seriously examined the way we use words, what we mean by them, what they mean, and the gap in between. Where many comedians use profanity as filler when they have nothing funny to say, Carlin examined the very nature of profanity, and language itself. If I could put three people in a room with me to discuss the nature of language (presuming resurrection and Babel Fish insta-translation was available), they would probably be Wittgenstein, Carlin, and some other guy*. There’s no denying that more than any other big-name comedian, George Carlin took great pains to unpack the language we use every day.

And he didn’t just do it as shtick, to mock a phrase like “Nothing’s wrong, do whatever you think is right,” when coming from a wife or girlfriend. He really dove into each word in much more depth than anyone who has come before, or since. There are other comedians who have picked a particular word to unpack (Chris Rock with “nigger”, or Jeff Foxworthy with “redneck”), but George Carlin covered a wide range of words while still giving each one its due. And neither Rock nor Foxworthy ever got into the word itself in the way that Carlin did, discussing things like soft sounds of letters like F, and harsh sounds of phonemes like CK. George Carlin wasn’t just a comedian, he was a linguist.

Anyway, I mention him in this week’s limerick on BBspot.

*Hard to choose that third guy. I considered various people from Douglas Adams to Taylor Mali, but couldn’t quite find the right third person. Although really, either of those two would do just fine.

Belated Happy Father’s Day

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Yes, I know Father’s Day already happened, but it’s only today that my column about it appears in the paper. I’ll actually see my father later today. Hopefully he doesn’t find the column. If you have, let me assure you, I mean nothing further, father. Or is that father further? If you ate lots of beans, would you be the farther father farter?

This is why I should not write posts just before running out the door.

My music videos. Let me show you them!

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

So, although this is by now old news to those of you who are friends with the rapping-est hamster on the Myspaces, the rest of you may be interested in seeing my hamster rap music video. It doesn’t feature shots of the actual performers, opting instead for a more “random photographs thrown into flash” aesthetic, but it still pleases me, and I can confidently say that it is the best music video you’ll see this year*

Ham-STAR vs. Mystical Hamsta: Runnin’

As long as we’re talking about videos, the best music video you’ll see last year** is this collaboration with the inimitable Lex Friedman. And when I say “collaboration”, I mean that I we both wrote words and storyboarded, but he did all of the work of actually recording the song and filming himself and putting the video together.

“Just Google”

Finally, at one point, master puppeteer Dan Weissbrodt and I worked together to create a music video for a contest that Turbotax was holding. Since we didn’t win, I think we can safely say that the judges didn’t know much about good rap. Which is odd, given that Vanilla Ice was a judge. Stop, Ninja, Stop, Ninja, Stop. Anyway, if you like puppets, here’s our video for that:

“Save to the Max”

*that is a collaboration between one hamster rapper from Massachusetts and one hamster rapper from Australia.

**seriously, no qualifiers.

We apologize for the error in the opening credits and index page.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Those responsible have been sacked.

No llamas were harmed in the making of this post.

Keeping up with the Joneses

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

So, I just realized that my previous post, which I edited yesterday, seems to imply that I wrote about my book review on June 10th. This is, in fact, not the case. But I’m going to leave that there because I don’t feel like editing it any more. Eddie edited it*.

I feel confident that I will be able to keep up some weekly blogging here. If nothing else, I’ll be able to give you a new link to my most recent column every week. And in this particular case, the most recent one is about Microsoft, John McCain, and the terrible secret of space**. Now that I’m linking to new columns every week in this here blog, I’ll feel less bad about not updating my giant online archive in my column section. Actually, I may take down the archive and just leave up a “Best Of”, so if you’ve been waiting to squander a few hours reading through my entire column archive, June is a good month in which to do it.

Finally, I’ve noticed that I’ve suddenly fallen in the Google rankings. Searching for Seth Brown no longer returns this page in the top ten results, whereas I used to be first. I coulda been a contenda! I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. Sitting on. Anyway, I’m Jonesing*** for a return to the top of the rankings mainly so I can tell people, “I’m online, just google for Seth Brown.” I’d tell them to search for Rising Pun, but I just noted some upstart House of the Rising Pun humor page seems to have sprung into existence. It’s almost as if other people are on the same Internet as I am. Preposterous!

*okay, he didn’t, but it’s a fun tongue-twister.

**where by “space”, I mean “McCain”.

***See post title.

About Seth Brown

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

This is an example of a WordPress page, which Seth could have edited to put information about himself or his site so readers know where he is coming from. Unfortunately, where he is coming from is a place where this WordPress business is all new to him. (Also, he is amused that WordPress seems to think WordPress is a misspelling, even though it has itself in the sample paragraph.) I guess if you want to know about Seth, you should click the bigger “About” link at the top left of the page. Meanwhile, I can probably write whatever I want here, since Seth probably won’t notice it for weeks and weeks.

Here are five facts about Seth:

1) Seth can play the harmonica with his nose.

2) Seth will put anything into a burrito, even foods like haggis that nobody in their right mind would put into a burrito.

3) Seth does not exist until noon.

4) If you invite Seth to a location where humor would be entirely inappropriate and any jokes would be unthinkable, he will think of a joke anyway.

5) Seth has some clothes thrown in a corner of his room which are not organized neatly because he has declared them to be made of a substance called “Nofoldium”.

Hello world!

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Well, thanks to the technological efforts of Lex Friedman, RisingPun.com is back on the air. Now that I can update my blog without having to hand-code four different pages, maybe I’ll update my blog more often. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I’ll tell you that my book review* was in the USA Today. Yesterday.
*(me reviewing someone else’s book, not vice versa.)