Saturday, June 11, 2011

Preface To Ages: Another Confusing Theme Needs To Be Elucidated

Note to self: stop using the word "elucidate."

This week's Self Help Radio theme, which is "ages," might best have been (if I had been thinking about it) capitalized, as "Ages," which would perhaps have separated it from the many other definitions of the word. The meaning of "ages" (or "Ages") that Self Help Radio will be exploring this week is these, courtesy of the Free Dictionary:

1. A period in the history of humankind marked by a distinctive characteristic or achievement: the Stone Age; the computer age.

2. A period in the history of the earth, usually shorter than an epoch: the Ice Age.

3. A period of time marked by the presence or influence of a dominant figure: the Elizabethan Age.

Some Ages are have a general agreement in terms of time, usually because of an event, such as "the Atomic Age," so-called because it began with the development & explosion of the atom bomb. Some are more arbitrary, like calling a period of time "a golden age" (as some in this country do) when, perhaps, at the same time many of the people around were victims of oppression. They probably will not call that time for them a "golden age."

Of course, like all measurements of time, "Ages" are human-designated. But then so is Self Help Radio. The exploration of "Ages" on the show this week may indeed begin the Age Of Self Help Radio.

Though I doubt it.

Friday, June 10, 2011


"In rhetoric, parachesis is the repetition of the same sound in several words in close succession. Alliteration (initial rhyme) is a special case of parachesis."

So says the Wikipedia. It's disappointing, because if I heard someone say, "I'd like a parachesis," I would imagine they meant a couple of delicious bricks of cheddar.

Alliteration is one of those fingers of speech that one learns right away & uses to annoy everyone except English teachers. I still remember when, in ninth grade, I told my teacher, whose name might have been Mrs. Holder, that a phrase in Poe's "The Raven" was a perfect example of alliteration: "the grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt... bird of yore." She might have given me a gold star. Or boxed my ears.

Alliteration is a form of consonance, which is when you have repeated consonant sounds, except alliteration is simply at the beginning of words. Poe uses a little consonance above with "ungainly." He's a bad-ass.

He's also great (not bad) at assonance, which is repeated vowel sounds in words. All of these are examples of parachesis, which is not a word anyone ever said to me in school. Even now, as I thumb through a fun little book I've had for many moons called "Figures Of Speech: 60 Ways To Turn A Phrase" by Arthur Quinn, I see this author regards all forms of parachesis to be a bit beneath him. He prefers instead metaplasmus, which is misspelling for effect, used often in dialect, although Shakespeare (of course) does it all the time.

Don't tell my wife about it, though - she'll claim all her spelling mistakes are "for effect." Also, she'll beat me at Scrabble with "metaplasmus" over a triple words score.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Show About Wondering Wanders Home

In case you were wondering why it took over a day to get my Self Help Radio show about wondering up, I'll just say that in a twenty-one hour period I found myself doing eight hours of radio with about two hours of sleep. Is it any wonder I put off putting the show about wondering on the web? It is in fact no wonder that I didn't have the time. I only wonder if this increasing sleep deprivation will start making me horticulture ampersand flute room.

Even though I am having to splash water into my face just to keep writing this, I was relatively cogent during my show about wondering, which (as you need not wonder) had plenty of songs about wondering. The show may be wondering but it hasn't wandered from its home at self help radio dot net. The show is divided into two parts, with part one being carefully placed here, & the second part somewhat more recklessly stuck down here. If you're wondering what songs I played about wondering, they're listed below, including which songs are in which part.

I wonder if I'll remember writing this after a few more hours sleep.

(part one)

"I Wonder" Bill Nelson's Orchestra Arcana _Iconography_
"I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder" Martha Tilton _And The Angel Sings_
"I Wonder" The Gants _Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era, Vol. 2_

"Wonder People (I Do Wonder)" Love _Forever Changes_
"I Wonder Why" Dion & The Belmonts _Dion Hits (1958-1963)_
"Runaway" Del Shannon _Greatest Hits_
"I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now?" Banjo Kings _The Good Time Jazz Story_
"I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" Boyce & Hart _I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight_
"I'm Wondering" Stevie Wonder _At The Close Of A Century_

"Things I Wonder" The Shaggs _The Shaggs_
"You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here" The Mothers Of Invention _Freak Out!_
"I Wonder Who We Are" The Clientele _Bonfires On The Heath_
"The Boy Wonders" Aztec Camera _High Land, Hard Rain_

(part two)

"Well I Wonder" The Smiths _Meat Is Murder_

"I Wonder" The Ronettes _Phil Spector: Back To Mono_
"I Wonder" The Squires _Neil Young Archives, Vol. I: Early Years (1963-1968)_
"I Wonder Who" Aguaturbia _Complete Tracks_
"Sometimes I Wonder" The Harbinger Complex _Love Is The Song We Sing (San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970)_
"I Wonder Why" The Pastels _I Wonder Why 7"_
"I've Been Wondering" The Minders _Hooray For Tuesday_
"I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone" The Mountain Goats _Sweden_

"I Wonder" Gaze _Shake The Pounce_
"I Wonder What Went Wrong" Meow Meow! _Meow Meow!_
"I Wonder Why My Favorite Boy Leaves Me In The Rain" Marshmallow Kisses _I Wonder Why My Favorite Boy Leaves Me In The Rain_
"Wonder" The Springfields _Wonder 7"_
"I Wonder If You're Drunk Enough To Sleep With Me Tonight" Ballboy _A Guide For The Daylight Hours_
"I Wonder If I'll Ever See You Again" The Leopards _I Wonder If I'll Ever See You Again_

Monday, June 06, 2011

Wondering About Today's Self Help Radio?

I am going to be subbing another show on WRFL tonight, so I won't have the time today to post this morning's Self Help Radio, about wondering, until tomorrow. Sorry about that.

If you'd like to hear me play very old skool hip hop, I'll be doing that on Tommy's show tonight from 10 pm to midnight Eastern, at the link above or 88.1 fm in old skool radio format. I will be exceptionally sleep deprived. It could be amusing.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Whither The Wondering Show?

Someone was telling me I should do a "wonderful" show since there "must be a lot of songs using the word 'wonderful' shouldn't there?" (Incidentally, I'm not sure those were the person's exact words, but it seemed to be more forceful if not more believable to put the statement in quotes.) It's true, I found approximately four million songs with the title "wonderful" alone. (The Allmusic Guide lists over eight hundred but compared with the amazing set-up we have around here, they're amateurs.) (Amateurs that make more money than we do.) (I shouldn't feel bad about that because Self Help Radio is a labor of love.) (Also a labor of self-loathing.)

I have just received a telegram from Grammar Control that says I have already used up my June allotment of parenthetical expressions. That seems unfair. I am appealing the decision & I have something interesting to add but if I put it in a sentence right next to the interesting statement it wouldn't make any sense but I have no more parentheses left. I also wish I had invested in Emoticons. But I chose not to click that box when I signed up for the blog.

Being a contrary sort - to get back to what I was saying - I decided against a "wonderful" show but was intrigued by the idea of wondering. I wondered what a show about wondering would be like - & I also figured out that if you use dashes instead of parentheses, you can still have grammatical structures that resembled parenthetical expressions but weren't - I guess Emily Dickinson used a lot of dashes - instead of parentheses - & there are some people that have called that genius - so I recall something my mother never said to me, which wasn't, "If you can't be a genius, stand close to a genius & hope for osmosis."

Grammar Central has ordered me to cease & also desist from overuse of the dashes until they can make a formal ruling. Which is a shame because they don't meet for formal rulings until the fall. I wonder if I'll get in trouble if I don't cease & desist? What if I just cease but don't desist? Or vice-versa?

Best not fuck with Grammar Central. They could recall my accent collection.

But there's nothing wrong with wondering.