Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Does Humor Belong In Blogging?

An ABQ Ride Prologue: Before I get to the Frankness below, those few interested in matters ABQ Ride might enjoy, if that's the right word, this post about another ABQ bus experience and some resulting aftermath. Now on to Zappa...

There once was a deeply driven man who used sophomoric humor as a tool to sell his profound 20th century musical compositions at a time in which few profound musical compositions were being created.

That man's name was Frank Zappa.

Then the man died, but only after taking on many political and religious folks over whether he and others had a right to use sophomoric humor and naughty words in their music.

If I were one to have idols, false or otherwise, Frank Zappa would be one of them, even though I don't care much for sophomoric humor myself (well, most of the time). One of Zappa's buttload of records is entitled "Does Humor Belong In Music?" Of course Zappa was asking the question rhetorically, as if it one would have to be nuts to think humor doesn't belong in music or any art form. This is perhaps the biggest reason Zappa would be an idol of mine if I had idols, false or otherwise.

Humor is really, really, really important if you ask me, although I'd rather you didn't ask because the only thing worse than not having "a sense of humor" is talking about how important humor is and "what makes something funny".

As you probably already figured out, I bring all this up because Frank Zappa's son, Dweezil, is leading a touring band which is making a stop in 'Burque tonight, and I'm going to the show. It will be the first large venue concert show I've seen in almost five years. It will be the first time I've seen/heard Zappa's music performed live in almost 30 years. I guess those two facts only go to show that I'm getting old, but I prefer to think they illustrate how much Zappa's music (and his "philosophy") mean to me.

Hope to see you at the show tonight. I'll be the middle-aged guy with a goatee. I should be easy to spot, as only about 98% of the crowd will be male, middle-aged and have goatees. What musical, philosophical rebels we are.

P.S.: Today's Tribune should have one of my periodic "opinion columns" (they run every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, in case you're wondering). I apologize in advance for the column's lack of humor, but ABQ Ride is one of those organizations that doesn't kickstart much in the way of funny ha-has from me. Perhaps those who have ridden the city bus in 'Burque understand why, while I strongly suggest those who have never taken the city bus here to give it a whirl. I think you'll find it fascinating, if not necessarily funny.


michelle meaders said...

Frank was a very smart guy. I heard him speaking on the radio once (he died in 1993). He said the reason the US didn't have National Health insurance like other countries is that whenever someone suggested it, they called them a Communist and got rid of them.

By the way, it's a hundred years this year that National Health has been introduced in our Congress, and we still don't have it, except for people over 65. That's not funny.

Anonymous said...

Transit is funded by the city and what grants they are able to get. A ton of money was spent on the Rail Runner. If you want a first class bus system, somebody has to pay for it. Did you report the time, location of the two gentlemen left behind to 243-RIDE so that the incident could be investigated? Have you gone to the city council and spoken for increases so that Transit could replace all buses that are ancient and the ancient fare systems on the buses. Next time take action, then write about it and the results.

frannyzoo said...

Anon: I think there's more than one correct way to skin the ABQ Ride cat. There's nothing wrong with following the path you suggest, but also nothing wrong, imho, with bypassing the middleman a bit and penning a little "call to action".

Maybe if you follow your path while I rant on in mine we might stand a slightly better chance of getting things changed around here. I dunno, it could happen.

For those interested (and no, this doesn't have much to do with Frank Zappa....or does it? Great show last night btw), I'll put a link to another little ABQ Ride saga from days past atop this blogpost. Thanks for reading/posting anon.

Kelsey Atherton said...

I once saw a fantastic interview with Zappa (on the internet, maybe two years ago) where he was debating someone (John Lofton?) about profanity and music, and frank completely and utterly defeated the guy's every arguments. It was fantastic, beautiful thing to watch.

Also, you're probably willing to appreciate this - a comic where Zappa makes a few appearances, but is mostly about Captain Beefheart. It;s only five pages, don't worry -

coco said...

You know you've made it when you have your very own troll.

Anonymous said...

On a personal level, Freaking Out is a process whereby an
individual casts off outmoded and restricting standars of
thinking, dress, and social etiquette in order to express
CREATIVELY his relationship to his immediate environment and
the social structure as a whole.

Anonymous said...

On the influence of music, speaking to censorship proponenets--

There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another.

Anonymous said...

FZ, did you know your blog site come up in German for me? Of course, your writing and the comments do not, but everything else is. Wacky.

Anonymous said...

And my favorite Zappaism--

A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it not open.