Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best And Worst Comments

Twenty years ago today, one of my favorite bands Air released 10 000 Hz Legend, the album with the song that goes “If you need some fun/ Some good stereo gum/ Radio number one.” Seven months later that’s where I got the name for my blog. The rest, as they say, is my own prison. Have a nice holiday weekend!

THIS WEEK’S 10 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#10  DanceFever
Score:31 | May 26th

I’ve been looking forward to this song for awhile yet also dreading this day. So many memories, both happy and sad, tied to Mr. McFerrin.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Born Under a Bad Sign” many times but how many people have we met where it’s true.
My stepdaughter, D, was one of those people.
Within a year of her birth, her father left her and her mother, never to heard or seen from again. D’s mom got by doing odd jobs until she met L, who seemed like a nice person and was very protective towards D. They moved to Ohio, where D’s mom got a job waitressing for a very posh country club. Life was fine for several years until D’s mom found out what L’s occupation in life was- a drug dealer. D and her mom moved back to our fair city and found employment taking care of an elderly couple that lived next to their apartment.
I’ve told the story of how D’s mom and I met, fell in love and got married. D seemed happy with the arrangement
but politely declined the offer of adoption. She wanted to see her own name.
The bank I worked for at the time had access to suites at various entertainment venues around town (the basketball arena, the opera, the ballet etc.) and would offer tickets to concerts and games on a first come/first serve basis. I had seen Mr. McFerrin several years earlier at the piano bar Tom mentioned and I got three tickets for his appearance in 1988 T Abravenel Hall where they normally held classical music concerts.
My wife had the aisle seat then D and then myself, two seats in. The concert was a very pleasant experience for the target audience-families with children. At one point, McFerrin left the stage and walked through the crowd singing acapella to whatever song came to mind. When he reached our row, he came to stop and stared at my wife and D. “Stop the show!” he yelled. “Please turn up the house lights!” The audience was stunned and my wife and I looked at each other in confusion. Looking at my wife and D, he said in a voice everyone could hear “Excuse me, but are you two sisters?” My wife laughed and said “No, we’re mother and daughter.” He asked D “How old are you, dear ?” “Fifteen” D replied shyly. “Would you please stand up?” McFerrrin inquired. Blushing a deep red, D stood up. “Ladies and gentlemen, this young woman has the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. Don’t you agree?” The crowd clapped enthusiastically. “This next song is for you” he told her and as she sat down he sang “Don’t Worry Be Happy” but he changed the lyrics to “Don’t Worry Miss Blue Eyes”.
For weeks after whenever D was having trouble, her mom and I would say “Don’t Worry Miss Blue Eyes” and she would smile and calm down.
Things would change after that year. The high school she was attending and doing well closed and her class was moved to a bigger high school several miles away. As is often the case, the new surroundings were very jarring and she fell in with a bad crowd and drugs and drinking soon followed. We tried all the usual things, grounding, rigid hours, counseling but nothing seemed to work. There was a bright light when she met a young man she really liked and he had her on good path but his family stepped in and said enough of that and they moved away.The spiral continued until I got her a steady job and would take her to A A meetings. Things went well for six or seven months until the her employer went belly up and she stopped going to meetings.
She hooked with a young man who had the same problems and things really went downhill. She had my first grandson in ’95 and we thought that would turn her around but she would just leave him with us while she went on two or three week benders. The capper came when we found she and thew baby were staying in a meth house.
One night I pulled up to the place and there were a dozen or so motorcycles parked outside, lights shining, music blaring. I strode in. to the house like I belonged there, found the baby lying on a filthy mattress, picked him up and started to leave. A massive man stood in the doorway and in a deep voice asked “What do you think you’re doing?” “I’m his grandfather and I’m taking him home” I replied as calmly as I could. “Good for you, man” he said “He doesn’t belong in a place like this” and held the door open for me.
Things went on like this for several years until she again was pregnant with our second grandson only this time she was hooked on crack cocaine. We asked Child Services what we could do but were told they couldn’t do anything until the child was born and if he tested positive for drugs, they would intervene. As soon as H was born, the nurses tested him and he, indeed , had drugs in his tiny system. We applied for adoption and within a year, he and his brother were in our care. This didn’t deter D from her reckless behavior and we finally forbid her from being anywhere near our house or family.
Despite all this, D still was beautiful young woman, the drugs were destroying her inward but having no affect on her outwardly. She moved several hundred miles away in 2010 and we didn’t here much from her until 2012 when her then boyfriend called us frantically one night, saying D was dying and what should he do? We had her life flighted to the University Hospital and put under the care of a doctor who was a family friend. It was touch and go but she pulled through. The doctor told her how lucky she was but if she didn’t stop the drugs and drinking, she would be dead in five years. She shrugged, went back to her home and continued to use. My wife was heartbroken but there was nothing we could do. Her life was in her own hands.
On a frigid February night in 2017, at 2 a.m., we received the phone call we had been fearing. D had died in her sleep, body ravaged by drugs and drink. We had her cremated (per her wishes) the priest here at school held a quiet service for her as did the LDS church behind our house. He rashes sit in our front room with a picture of her taken not long before the McFerrin concert. Hopefully, she’s at peace.
So, yes go ahead and make fun of the song, deride the lyrics, giggle at the nuttiness, drop the F-bombs.
For me, when I hear this song, I will always see a young lady with the most beautiful eyes shyly standing and smiling as people applaud and hum “Don’t Worry Miss Blue Eyes”.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
#9  Lee Chesnut
Score:31 | May 24th

Peaking at #6 behind Guns N’ Roses was Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, which has to be among the 10 saddest songs of all time. It also propelled Chapman to a Grammy for Best New Artist that year. https://youtu.be/AIOAlaACuv4

Posted in: The Number Ones: Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
#8  jackunderscore
Score:32 | May 24th

who would have thought an independent publication would be angling to bring in new readers

Posted in: 7 Bands Olivia Rodrigo Fans Should Check Out Next
#6  Guy K
Score:33 | May 26th

Well, we’re here. We have now arrived at the beginning of what I consider to be the most miserable stretch of #1 songs of the entire decade. We best strap ourselves in and brace ourselves. There’s plenty to worry about, and precious little to make me happy at the top of the charts for the rest of 1988.
The uniqueness of the A Capella presentation of “Don’t Worry (Be Happy)” is more than offset by how unlistenable it is. The song has no musical value whatsoever. Is it supposed to be funny? I guess that’s its intent, since they got Robin Williams to appear in the video. But THAT doesn’t make the song funny, or any less infuriating.
What makes a line like “Landlord says your rent is late, he might have to litigate” funny? Is it because it’s sung in a faux Jamaican accent? That doesn’t make it funny.
I find the intended irony of “Don’t Worry (Be Happy)” to be smug, condescending and insulting. I hate the damn thing as much as I have any #1 in the last couple of years, and I really just want to push it off a cliff and watch it incinerate in a mass of unrecognizable wreckage. Damn right it’s a 1/10 … but it might not be the worst #1 of 1988. And that, right there, is a cautionary statement about the crap to come.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
#4  dustrock
Score:41 | May 26th

Young dustrock was extremely impressed with Bobby doing all the cool vocal tricks, just like he was with Michael Winslow in Police Academy and Spaceballs.

Young dustrock had dreams of becoming a cartoon voice actor.

Sadly, dustrock became a lawyer, where you always worry and are never happy.

7/10 for Don’t Worry Be Happy, 1/10 for dustrock career choice.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
#3  juneyards
Score:42 | May 23rd

Growing up in Ireland it took me a long time to realise how fortunate I was to live in a country where support for and solidarity with Palestine is the default, mainstream position, and to have escaped the relentless propaganda employed by the state of Israel and its backers. I have so much respect and admiration for Dua, I hope her brave and principled actions lead others to condemn and boycott the Israeli apartheid state. Ni saoirse go saoirse na Palaistíne.

Posted in: Dua Lipa Responds To Full-Page NYT Ad Accusing Her Of Antisemitism
#2  rollerboogie
Score:44 | May 26th

I know this song has been ripped apart over the years countless times, but I still feel the need to get this off my chest, so here we go.  As someone who struggles with anxiety on a daily basis, and who has a parent who was hospitalized for it a number of times, I am quite familiar with the destructiveness of worrisome thoughts.  Going down that rabbit hole of irrational, anxious thoughts and worst-case scenarios does not tend to solve my problems, particularly things beyond my control, and as the song says, it basically just compounds them.  It is understandable that someone with the best of intentions would give the advice to avoid worry.  I know for myself that it is vital for me that I find ways to combat my default setting of dark thinking.  Unfortunately, the song has a very strident expectation that anyone at any time under any circumstances can and should apply this platitude and choose to be happy, which is oversimplifying a far more complex topic to about the highest degree possible.  It ends up being a very reckless thing to say, and in my mind renders infinitely more harm than good.
I will take it further.  The narrator of the song is speaking to someone who is broke and about to be homeless, so telling them “don’t worry, be happy” is unconscionably cold-hearted and flippant. If that’s not bad enough, the narrator goes on to say “when you worry your face will frown, and that will bring everybody down.” So now the broke and about to be homeless person has to just grin and bear it, so as not to make everyone around them feel bad. This is not just useless advice in the face of real problems.  This is cruel and beyond awful.  As much respect as I have for Bobby McFerrin as a musician and feel badly that his whole career is unfairly judged and misrepresented by “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, I have to say that when I look at these lyrics as a whole, coupled with the overall tone, this song is not only incredibly misguided; it’s egregiously offensive.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
#1  Shocker
Score:47 | May 21st

So…

We’re all close and open here, so I got a life story to share with y’all:

This weekend I graduated from high school. The ceremony was held on Saturday, the weather was good, all warm and sunny. It was a lovely affair, held at our city’s baseball park. We, the graduating class, all walked in 2 by 2, then waited in the stands while the staff all said some stuff about our class and how we all worked through this whole mess.

We were then treated to a video of (one of) our school choirs doing a lovely rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water (a 10), and then we all slowly cycled through to receive our diplomas, even though we didn’t actually receive them, just a little leather plaque as a placeholder. All the while I waited in my seat, and occasionally chatted up my soon to be ex classmates. I did this some more at the end, and received a warm congratulations from my parents, and grandfather, and cousin.

Then, that evening, the school held a special outdoor dinner as a reward for the senior class. I came all dressed up in my tailored blue suit, clean white dress shirt, green bow-tie with matching pocket square, and my dad’s old brown fedora. Safe to say I was one of if not the most dressed-up person there, and I got many compliments on my outfit. Dinner consisted of: a tomato bruschetta appetizer, an entrée of bowtie pasta in creamy pesto sauce with vegetables (including sun dried tomatoes) and a side of sourdough bread, and a dessert of a chocolate brownie cake with chocolate icing, fruit purée drizzle, and a raspberry on top. Oh, and we were treated to a magic show. Really.

I finished this one last project on Tuesday (a GarageBand cover of At The Hop), and now I am officially done with high school. Don’t ask me what’s next, I have no clue. And on a completely unrelated note I came up with this cool guitar riff the other day. That too.

Posted in: The Number Ones: George Michael’s “Monkey”

THIS WEEK’S 5 LOWEST RATED COMMENTS

#5  Legal Eagle
Score:-21 | May 23rd

1) I didn’t say they were the same. 2) equating Israel with the Klan is pretty outrageous. 3) I’m Jewish and know a fair bit on the topic, actually.

Posted in: Dua Lipa Responds To Full-Page NYT Ad Accusing Her Of Antisemitism
#4  Legal Eagle
Score:-22 | May 23rd

I’ll preface my response by saying I’m Jewish.
1) I don’t really get how suggesting that Irish media and people are free of “Israeli propaganda” doesn’t suggest that “other countries” and people live their lives blinded by Israeli propaganda and can’t see the truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict. If you don’t see how that plays into anti Semitic tropes, then either you or I are missing something.
2) Zionism was a “political movement” prior to the existence of the state of Israel. To be an anti Zionist now is to be in favour of an end to Israel, which is somehow not an issue with any other country. Anyone with any understanding of the region understands what kind of bloodshed (of Jews) the destruction of Israel would bring.
3) You seriously think that Israel is the only side in the Arab-Israeli conflict that employs propaganda?

Posted in: Dua Lipa Responds To Full-Page NYT Ad Accusing Her Of Antisemitism
#3  Legal Eagle
Score:-25 | May 23rd

Yeah, I know. I grew up in two countries and neither of them are America.

Posted in: Dua Lipa Responds To Full-Page NYT Ad Accusing Her Of Antisemitism
#2  Legal Eagle
Score:-29 | May 23rd

I’m the same way that the cocaine / crack sentencing disparity in the US was anti Black racism but was not the “same thing” as anti black racism. It’s a manifestation of anti Black racism.

Anti Zionism is a manifestation of antisemitism. Advocating for a result that would bring death and displacement of Jews is a form of antisemitism.

Posted in: Dua Lipa Responds To Full-Page NYT Ad Accusing Her Of Antisemitism
#1  Legal Eagle
Score:-51 | May 23rd

What you’re saying reads suspiciously like “Jews run the American media”. Having not grown up in Ireland, I like to think I’ve still managed to sift through the Israeli and Arab propaganda.

Anti-Zionism is antisemitism, by the way.

Posted in: Dua Lipa Responds To Full-Page NYT Ad Accusing Her Of Antisemitism

THIS WEEK’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S CHOICE

  a famous toronto painter shot me down.
Score:24 | May 26th

I don’t consider this the true Sleater-Kinney if Laura Macfarlane isn’t playing drums.

Posted in: Sleater-Kinney – “High In The Grass”

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