October 25th, 2004


Extraordinary rendition

A coworker of mine wrote this piece and emailed it around. I'm reposting it here with his permission. There are a zillion articles written every 12 seconds about why Bush is bad and wrong and evil, but all those don't seem to go as far with the undecided as a single article that explains in an understandable and trustworthy voice, why Kerry is not just better than Bush, but really is a good choice for America.

Please read (it's hella long) and forward if you'd like.

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Soul lessons: part two

Here's some more important information about soul music for you.

1. All soul music fits in to one of three genres:
- "My significant other and I have parted ways, and I feel either really bad or really good about this change."
- "I'm courting a new significant other (who is better than my previous one)."
- "I'd like to tell you about a new dance my group and I have made up."

2. In the 60's, there were seven hundred and ninety soul record labels. They were all managed by the same four people.

3. The same seven musicians play on every single soul song every recorded, ever. Regardless of what a band is called or the names given for the musicians, they are all the Bar-Kays.

4. Suggested plot devices for soul songs: Your woman (see #1), dancing, great personal hardship. Less appropriate plot devices: antiquing trips, yacht maintenance, golf

5. Instruments to be used in recording soul songs: guitar, drums, funky-ass bass, Hammond B-3 organ, saxophone. Not appropriate: viola, steel drum, maracas.

6. Things to do while you listen to soul music: Dance, fix your car, take a bath, make sweet love. Activities which do nothing to enhance the experience of listening to soul music: Doing your taxes, getting a bikini wax, attending a Star Trek convention, having surgery of any kind.

7. Possible alternate careers for soul singers as speculated by me:
- James Brown - Bingo caller
- Aretha Franklin - Clerk, Department of Motor Vehicles
- Edwin Starr - Treadmill tester
- Rufus Thomas - Veterinarian

8. Vocations most likely to product soul singers: garbage collector, mechanic, machinist, unemployed dock worker. Unlikely to produce any soul singers: CFO, Supreme Court Justice, securities broker, Wal-Mart greeter

9. The average number of charted records per soul singer in the 60's was one. The average number of dollars earned by soul singers for each of those charted records was also one. The average current annual salary of those soul singers still alive is $3,000. The average ebay sale price of an original pressing of any of those soul records is $1.4 million.

10. Drugs that would kill soul music, if it was still being produced today*:
- Paxil - wipes out depression
- Viagra - Horny old guys got no time to record soul songs
- Celebrex - No joint pain = no accidental invention of funky dance moves
- Lithium - No bipolar disorders = no people who "don't make no sense" to sing about

*Don't try to tell me that the crap on the R&B station is soul music. It ain't.