If there’s anything all of us amateur critics and standup comics on the interwebs like to do, it’s pick stuff apart for a quick laugh.
In the past month or so, I’ve randomly happened to see two people — one on a blog, the other on Twitter — call out Bruce Springsteen for a daft lyrical moment in one of his obscure early songs.
(The song, “Incident on 57th Street,” includes the lyric, “Puerto Rican Jane / Oh, won’t you tell me, what’s your name?” To which the Internet responds as one: “Dude. Her name’s Jane. You just said so.”)
In another example, I recently saw someone or other on Twitter play off the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” by observing: “What fun is it being a woman’s man if you have no time to talk?”
And then there are those Twitter trending topics in which people come up with silly, not-quite-right variations on familiar pop culture themes — like #lessimpressivesongtitles or something like that. (Example: “Slim Majority of Americans Were Kung Fu Fighting.”)
You get the idea — and I’ve done it as often as anyone else has. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes, when every single person on the ‘Net goes picking through well-trodden pop culture for a gag line, it gets a little old.
That makes it refreshing on those rare occasions when you run into something that’s truly bloggerproof.
I heard Creedence’s “Fortunate Son” the other day in some public place or other, and was struck by the following verse, transcribed from memory and thus more or less accurately:
“Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves
But when the taxman come to the door
Lord, the house look-a like a rummage sale, yes.”
If those lines had appeared in some current pop song, the million voices of blogland would rise up as one to point out:
- The proverbial silver birth-spoon is found in the mouth, not in the hand.
- The taxman doesn’t come to the door. That’s the census guy. (Or maybe the postman. He rings twice.)
- “Themselves” and “rummage sale” don’t rhyme, not even in John Fogerty’s self-created East-Bay-meets-Gulf-Coast drawl.
But nobody gets all catty-picky about “Fortunate Son.”
Why? Because it’s a tour de force. It roars like a hurricane, and is equally as impervious to correction or redirection. It blows the trivial and the picayune into the ditch.
It is, in short, bloggerproof.
The world needs more of that, I think.