music and words

For those of you who haven't sampled Jonathan Coulton's charming brand of geek folk pop, allow me to make a few recommendations, because lately I keep listening to his stuff on repeat and I thought I'd share the love:

Skullcrusher Mountain (mp3) (lyrics)

A tender ballad of an evil genius struggling to gain the affection of the fair maiden he has had brought to his titular lair.

You know it isn’t easy living here on Skullcrusher Mountain
Maybe you could cut me just a little slack
Would it kill you to be civil?
I’ve been patient, I’ve been gracious
And this mountain is covered with wolves
Hear them howling, my hungry children
Maybe you should stay and have another drink and think about me and you

Someone is Crazy (lyrics) (mp3)

A catchy little tune about those incurable drama whores. Unofficial theme song of one of my NaNo characters.

The world’s against you, so you think or maybe wish it was
At least that way someone would care but baby no one does, not even you
Baby someone is crazy and it’s you

I Feel Fantastic (lyrics) (mp3)

From the soundtrack to the September 2005 issue of Popular Science, this song examines the increasing dependence on prescription drugs in our culture.

Work is over but I can’t stay to work late
Got to leave and get ready for my second date
With a pretty girl that I met at the pharmacy
Right in the prescription line
I take a pill for my social anxiety
I get a table and a nice bottle of chablis
Now it’s getting late and there’s still no sign of her
I have another glass of wine

All I know is the wine lasts longer when you don’t gotta share it with someone
All I know is my steak tastes better when I take my steak tastes better pill

Baby Got Back (lyrics) (mp3)

The (in)famous folk cover of the (in)famous) rap song.

More of Jonathan's stuff can be found here.

Also, courtesy of a bout of insomnia last night, a spot of NaNoNonsense:

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  • Current Mood: creative creative
  • Current Music: Todd the T1000 - Jonathan Coulton - Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms
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this song examines the increasing dependence on prescription drugs in our culture.

...I should ignore this. I really should--but sometimes I can't:

To Jonathan Coulton, Popular Science magazine, Adbusters magazine, most other magazines, and really all of pretentious pop culture:

You are unfailingly cruel and unfair to those of us who have to take medications--yes, sometimes many of them--to survive. These new drugs you healthy people regard as frivolous were developed for a reason and have legitimate uses. They help people: they help people who are sick. It's not a placebo effect, it's not an illusion, it's not just good marketing. Strip away the hype and counter-hype, and find the science, find the people and their stories. Find the truth, and stop berating me for doing what I need to do to stay alive and functioning.

To mayhap:

Sorry to clutter up your journal. :| I just get to feeling queasy whenever I see something like this.
Don't worry, you can say whatever you want in my journal and besides, I totally agree with what you're saying, but ...

I totally don't agree that that particular song or that particular article (which I hadn't read before because I figured it was subscription only, which in retrospect was kind of dumb because why would they let people download the music for free in that case, but never mind my stupidity) are even about that at all. It is about the hypothetical development and usage of enhancement drugs that go beyond what we do now, where the FDA is only supposed to approve drugs that treat a problem and then doctors are only supposed to supply those drugs to people who have that problem. I don't think the idea that we should do less than what we do now is really entertained in the article (which does mention the hysteria that arose when SSRIs hit the public radar and points out that they have potentially serious side effects which severely limits their appeal to the enhancement crowd so that no one is taking them who doesn't think that they need them) and I may be projecting here, but I don't think most readers of Popular Science, whoever they are, would advocate that position anyway. I hope. Because then I might have to kick their asses, if I met them.

But anyway. Not to say that you have to like the song or the article or anything else, for that matter.
...Yes, I do see what you mean. (I've now read the article--didn't know it was available for reading!) I guess it just doesn't usually occur to me that people who don't need drugs would want to take them anyway--but of course that's what goes on every day already, with illegal drugs like ecstasy and, as they say, misappropriated prescription drugs like Ritalin. Can't but hope these people get what's coming to them in terms of negative and/or unanticipated side effects. Mess with your biochemistry at your peril, overambitious social climbers!; the human animal is more delicate than you imagine. The whole thing reeks of hubris.

I feel like many people--not necessarily the readers of Popular Science, but still--do connect psychiatric drugs with unnecessary 'brain enhancement'. Witness Thomas Szasz, whose books I keep running into at the library where I work. *sigh*
It's a rum business, all of it, but thank you for putting up with my nattering. :I