Friday, February 22, 2008


Yesterday, Jonathan Coulton linked to Darin Strauss' "Living With Music" playlist in the Times book blog, "Paper Cuts" (all the Times blogs have dumb names) (not awesome ones like "Recursive Bee", duh), where Strauss includes the sweetandheartbreakingbutmaybeonlyifyouhavekids Coulton song, You Ruined Everything, adding that he (Strauss) played guitar on Coulton's debut CD, Smoking Monkey, on the song De-Evolving, and that it was hard for him not to list that one instead. (Sorry for all the links; I'm practicing to see if I would enjoy having a metafilter account.)

That at the "Smoking Monkey" CD release party in something like 1993, Coulton said his friend (Adam Sachs?) insisted that he end the song De-Evolving with the non-sequitur "I’m a coal miner’s daughter" and Coulton was not sure why.

Halfhearted Googling has revealed no stabs in the dark, so as a public service, allow me to cut this Gordian knot with Occam's razor into four (because Occam's razor is a Schick Quattro, apparently) possible answers to the riddle of the last line of De-Evolving, in order of decreasing likelihood:
In "What Makes Me Tick", Loretta Lynn says "Gonna have my head examined 'cause my mind's in bad shape / The way that you've been actin' I think that you've gone ape" and then later in the song "Tonight I saw you kiss her, you said 'Can't you take a joke' / Now I won't be your monkey, you'd better change in quick" and then at one point there is a guitar solo, which it is well known that monkeys are fond of (source: MonkeyFancy).

Loretta Lynn's husband was Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn, and the word "Mooney" looks like the word "Monkey" to people who are just learning to speed-read and haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. Is Adam Sachs a speed-reader? Signs point to yes.

Two of director Michael Apted's most celebrated films? None other than Coal Miner's Daughter and Gorillas in the Mist (N.B. which features monkeys)
(Gorillas are technically apes, but to a speed-reader? MONKEYS).

Koko the Gorilla's secretary "Loretta" warned him not to get a kitten. Loretta Lynn's secretary "Koko the Gorilla" once signed to her, "KOKO ASK DIRTY BECAUSE PINK/SHAME SORRY PINK/SHAME HELP OUT OUT FREE HELP."

(I know I make that Lincoln/Kennedy joke all the time; it's because it secretly still scares the crap out of me.)

OK but now I just remembered Monkey Abraham Lincoln from the Planet of the Apes remake (and wasn't Lincoln always drawn as a monkey by his opponents?) (and didn't Kennedy engage in "monkey business"?) (And get THIS: during the Kennedy Administration, TWO MONKEYS DIED IN SPACE: a squirrel monkey named Goliath on November 10, 1961 when his rocket exploded, and a rhesus monkey named Scatback who was lost at sea after his sub-orbital flight was completed on December 20 of that year.

OK, guys? This is seriously freaking me out, actually.

Quick, NYTimes, make a new blog called "UNSETTLED" or something to tell me what to do.

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