Friday, October 20, 2006

Slate Overthinks Weird Al



If you're like me, you love Weird Al and you read Slate. So yesterday, you were happy when you found the article "Troubadork: 25 Years of Weird Al Yankovic." Unfortunately it was marred by what will now be known as the Smartypants Treatment (AKA the Whatever, Dude! Treatment). Let's take a look at a passage:

"The only 'weird' thing about Weird Al Yankovic (and it's not weird in the way he seems to want it to be weird) is that he insists on calling himself weird. The tag, at this point in his career, is like an appendix or a vestigial tail—a remnant of an earlier evolutionary phase, now a little misleading. It's a spray-on, pseudo-zany veneer that manifests itself mainly as an unshakeable faith in the hilarity of Hawaiian shirts and hamsters; it's incidental to the rigorous logic of his actual comedy. (My 2-year-old daughter calls him 'Funny Al,' which seems better.) Unlike Salvador DalĂ­ or Mel Gibson, Yankovic isn't essentially weird—i.e., a figure with whom we have nothing in common. In fact, the opposite is true. Weird Al's essential service is to point out that, from the perspective of the middle-class suburban lifeworld, pop culture itself is weird. This is the paradox of Weird Al's weirdness: He's actually Normal Al, a common-sensical, conservative force. He's Everyman trapped on Neverland Ranch, exposing as many stylistic excesses and false profundities as he can."

Whatever, dude! I guess you know weird better than Weird Al! Just forget all that stuff and watch this amazing video. (I know I've linked to it before, but it's just so awesome.)

2 comments:

Mike said...

Thank you and thank you. A little Weird Al in the morning is always good for the soul. White and Nerdy took the edge off of the shock of discovering Microsoft had invaded my computer last night and installed IE7 - which in the spirit of Advancement, I will do my best to embrace. And as for Sam Anderson's piece - definitely a sign of overthinking when one uses 20 parenthetical asides in a 1000 word piece (not that I'm counting). Happy Friday!

Passion of the Weiss said...

Personally,I think Weird Al is still pretty weird. Clearly, they haven't seen UHF, still one of the classics in my opinion. The man is a legend in his own time. Definitely advanced