Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, October 03, 2021

What elevates a mere quotation to the rarified plane of the aphorism? To plug his new book, “Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists”, James Geary sheds some light on NPR:

Geary tells Robert Siegel that he has five laws: “It must be brief. It must be definitive. It must be personal — that’s the difference between an aphorism and a proverb. It must be philosophical — that’s the difference between an aphorism and a platitude, which is not philosophical,” he says. “And the fifth law is it must have a twist. And that can be either a linguistic twist or a psychological twist or even a twist in logic that somehow flips the reader into a totally unexpected place.”

A fair bit of linguistic acrobatics, sounds like. Some definitive examples:

Wieslaw Brudzinski: “The lesser evil usually lasts longer.”

Desmond Tutu: “To be impartial is to have taken sides already with the status quo.”

Karol Bunsch: “Honest conceit is better than false modesty.”

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/03/2021 11:29:40 PM
Category: Publishing, Wordsmithing
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Apparently, the Jewish High Holidays season of September-October is considered prime recruiting time for white supremacists and other hate groups. That explains the rash of anti-Semitic vandalism in the tri-state area of late: Swastikas appearing on synagogues, parked cars, and — most bizarrely — cut into a cornfield in Mercer County, New Jersey.

Now comes the audio assault: A CD filled with music in praise of Adolf Hitler, dropped on front lawns in Yonkers.

It’s not all the predictable speed-metal crud either:

Track 17, called “Hitler’s Dance Mix,” combines dance music with speeches delivered by the Nazi dictator.

Aside from the obvious stunt tactics, I actually find it refreshing that these morons are desperate enough for new members that they have to use such a scattershot approach. What’s next, a Lawrence Welk number?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/03/2021 11:07:36 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Pop Culture, True Crime
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facing the music
It really started this past weekend with the pair of Kings-Ducks games in London. But tonight, with all preseason action finished and a handful of night games on tap, it feels more like the commencement of the 2007-08 National Hockey League season.

With a steady supply of Rangers, Devils and Islanders games pumping in on basic cable, plus the Versus and NBC games, I can (mostly blissfully) kiss my free time goodbye for the next several months.

To get the season started off right, I’d like to propose a rebooting of the musical selection in NHL arenas across North America. Specifically, the choice of tracks for certain on-ice situations needs to be freshened up — badly. Once that situation is addressed, we can move on to eradicating audio transgressions like “Cotton-Eye Joe”…

Here are my modest proposals for proper musical accompaniment at a good ol’ hockey game:

Gotta go with Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. Fire away!

My choice is Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”. A glass pane that’s actually shattered might warrant Annie Lennox’s “Walking On Broken Glass”; but somehow, it seems too light of a song for arena play.

Despite its geeky Trekkie connotations, hearing the “Amok Time” soundtrack, aka “Kirk vs. Spock Fight Theme” (adjust volume accordingly) while watching two skaters face off is just too irresistible. Props go to the music maestro at the Shark Tank in San Jose, which I believe is where this idea originated.

On the flip side, I propose a moratorium on “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)” for this purpose. It’s been done to death, and the corniness is no longer cute.

“I Fought the Law”. I perversely would hope for the twisted Dead Kennedys version, but the original lyrics as performed by The Bobby Fuller Four, The Clash or anyone else would suffice.

Moratorium: Judas Priest’s “Breakin’ the Law”. Overused. Besides, ever since the days of “Beavis and Butt-head”, I haven’t been able to take that song even remotely seriously.

I would love to hear some vintage Public Enemy when the home team is shorthanded! “Fight The Power” goes well here — as in fighting the opposing power play opportunity. Alternatively, “Shut Em Down”.

Rather slim pickings in my mind, surprisingly. But let’s go with Snap’s “The Power”.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “The Waiting”, to match the ripple of tedium and anticipation while the refs chat on the ice-level phone.

Moratorium: The theme from “Jeopardy”. Too hokey for hockey.

Feel free to contribute your own options…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/03/2021 10:23:17 PM
Category: Creative, Hockey, Pop Culture
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