Friday, November 2, 2007

In Which Don Paco Explains to His Friends in Academia the Meaning of Various Pop Songs, In the Language In Which They Are Most Comfortable



Using a simple form of data regression, the data conveyed in a Sir Mix A Lot composition can readily be presented in quantitative graphic form.


As you well know, I, Don Paco, move in rarefied circles. Many of my friends people the upper stories of the proverbial Ivory Tower; they are university presidents, Nobel Laureates, philosophers, and abstract mathematicians. They all enjoy my company because I can communicate on their level, unlike the bulk of the unwashed masses, who basically scare the living hell out of them, mainly because they do not understand them (since the unwashed masses do not, unlike myself, speak in anapestic tetrameter, nor do they do cutting-edge research on the application of string theory to the study of the gravitational effects of dark matter).

Fortunately for my friends, I understand all these lofty matters, and yet I am also a friend of the common man, for I understand what drives him and his female companion.

And so, in order to help these poor pop-culturally-challenged friends of mine, I have decided to help them understand popular culture by translating portions of several hit songs into language which they can understand.


Sir Mix-a-Lot, Baby Got Back

I like big butts and I can not lie/ You other brothers can't deny/
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist And a round thing in your face
You get sprung, wanna pull out your tough/'Cause you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearing/I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh baby, I wanna get wit'cha/And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me/ But with that butt you got [me me me] so horny

Translation: I am of the opinion—which I believe to be widespread among my fellow members of the socio-ethnic agglomeration denominated as “African-Americans”—that a pronounced and pleasantly round, symmetrical posterior is a desirable attribute in a member of the opposite sex, and am drawn to the aforementioned sexual dimorphism. The manifest sum total of your physical attributes, evolved over the generations to produce an optimum female specimen such as yourself, as evidenced by the shapely contours of your hindquarters--which instinctively communicate to me that you would be suitable for childbearing--plus that our offspring would be strong and physically appealing to potential mates, has occasioned in me visible arousal. I desire to couple with you and spread my seed. I would also like to create a photographic image of you so that I can refer to it later for purposes of autoerotic genital manipulation with the goal of attaining sexual release. All of this remains true despite the unspecified warnings of my confreres, ostensibly due to the fact that your derriere inspires in me such intense concupiscence such as to override any and all rational misgivings. Also, in relating the level of my arousal I employ a subtle sonic allusion to the Kubrickian ouvre.

Guns ‘n Roses, Mr. Brownstone

We been dancin' with Mr. Brownstone
He's been knockin'
He won't leave me alone
No, no ,no, he won't leave me alone
I used ta do a little but a little wouldn't do it
So the little got more and more
I just keep tryin' ta get a little better
Said the little better than before


Translation: I have developed a crippling physical dependency on heroin, a powdered opiate derived from the sap of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum, so named because the plant was once commonly referred to as “the sleep-bringing poppy,” somnus, of course, being Latin for ‘sleep’). Currently I am ingesting the opiate in order to stave off the physiological symptoms of withdrawal, which has been occasioned by the upward trend of my dependence on the substance, which, due to incessant and regular use, has superseded and overridden my congenital neurological pleasure circuitry, replacing my glandular production of glutamate, dopamine, and serotonin, thereby making it impossible for me to experience neurological “pleasure” without the intravenous administration of the opiate. As my organism developed a tolerance to the substance, the initial dosage grew to be insufficient, and greater quantities of the substance were required in order to achieve the same baseline level of “pleasure.”

Meredith Brooks, Bitch

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your health, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

Translation: As a modern, fully-empowered woman, I am tasked with filling a variety of societal niches, the epistemological implications of which include the fact that my individuality is often subjected to reductionist, synecdochic labels by other individuals, who fail to appreciate the various multifaceted aspects of the sum total of my womanhood. When I assert myself forcefully I am labeled a bitch. Society’s normative constructs ultimately hold that my overarching archetypal purpose in life is to serve a maternal, procreative role, but that ipso facto does not negate the fact that I have my own sexual and sensual identity. I am not your oversimplified version of my role; I am imperfect and flawed, but my deviations from societal expectations also allow me to experience and provide my mate with sexual gratification. I embrace these varied dichotomies, and I believe that I could quantitatively prove that my sexual/romantic partners, though perhaps not consciously so, embrace them as well.

TLC, No Scrubs

I don't want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can't get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend's ride
Trying to holler at me

Translation: I seek a suitable mate, one whom I judge to have sufficient resources to support me and our offspring in the lavish manner to which I aspire. In selecting a mate with which to pair in order to maximize the evolutionary and reproductive potential of our future offspring, selectionist pressures dictate that I will instinctively reject outright the advances of any suitor whom I perceive does not meet my baseline desired level of evolutionary fitness. Falling immediately into the category of sub-par and thus unsuitable mates are any suitors engaging in courtship behaviors dependent on misleading displays of resources achieved by co-opting the material resources of a companion male. Such courtship advances will be flatly rejected in my search for genetic advancement for my offspring.

4 comments:

john maynard keynes said...

nice graph -- who knew don paco had such excel chops (or is that photoshop)

Don Paco said...

actually, the graph was put together by one of the many graduate students that i mentor here at the Hacienda. it's a very competitive program, many go on to hold very prestigious administrative posts and endowed chairs

Adrian said...

"I Seek a Suitable Mate" could easily be the hook in No Scrubs. I'll never hear that song the same way again.

Adrian said...

Just to let you know, I've actually used two sentences from this post in my writing class on sentence structure. The point of the examples is to show them that not all long sentences are run-ons. None of them got it.