DJ Earworm 2016

by Belle Waring on January 6, 2017

This year blew hairy goat balls. Like, Mickey Kaus learned lucid dreaming techniques and came up with these balls. I know this, you, The Plain People of Crooked Timber know this. Anyway, did DJ Earworm’s 2016 mix blow perforce? Nah. It’ll grow on you. I know y’all are all going to say “oh Belle Waring there were no good songs this year and this just reminds me how much I hated that “worth it” song which was like some stepped-on B-List Destiny’s Child knockoff bullshit, and also that Drake doesn’t rate and I should get with Rhianna, and stuff.” That’s as may be, Plain People of Crooked Timber, but basically Rhianna needs to date like a Rhianna clone or maybe Cara Delivigne or something, or else we’re all still going to be standing here saying, “this person? Seriously?” but this is a good mashup. It has an EDM-esque enough track in it, which is crucial for a good mix. Zoë thinks 2013 is best while Violet favors 2012. Both very solid choices. I have a lot of love for 2012, in part because I listen to it so much with Violet. This is so even though I find it brings up memories of a year that also blew hairy goat balls, but for me personally rather then the world at large. (John is experiencing the cold robbies as he reads the number 2012.)

If I never go that crazy again it’ll be too soon, I tell you what. And what did my Singaporean psychiatrists do? Prescribe every wrongest worse medication in the world, to where I got ordered an EKG an hour in on my first day here at the Mayo Clinic when they asked “so, they’re monitoring your heart carefully on this right?” Me: wat no. And now I have to titer down off all this scheisse and what does amitriptyline withdrawal give you? MIGRAINES HA HA HOW IRONIC. (Also plain old reg’lar headaches. Also I have 8 more weeks on the taper. Also some people have headaches for 8 weeks following total elimination. Those people are probably pussies who suck at withdrawing from drugs though, am I right?)

I like to listen to music loud on the good headphones when I’m miserable. When Violet pointed out the other day that this might be counter-productive I explained, rather lamely, that when I control the sounds I hear and I know what they will be I don’t find it disturbing in the same way that other loud noises are. Violet, with excessive emphases: “oh my favorite songs could never hurt me. They’re my favorites!!” Mmmmmm. Compelling. Also, the headphones just died lol fine. I’m going to go put my feet in the hot tub and pour icy water on my head which, put that way, makes this seem pretty baller. I mean, some people have real problems. I even have new anti-depressant/mood stabilizers that appear to make me be not depressed! I’m an ungrateful shit, really; I was actually depressed a month ago and had forgotten how vile it is, and also Zoë is doing great and now I’m all “I have a headache”/whine. In some ways 2017 can only be worse generally but for my family in particular I’m certain it’ll be way better (provided my mom is OK.) I’m fervently hoping the same is true for all the Plain People of Crooked Timber and their simple but honest families. OK, I have a soft spot for the complicated dishonest families; y’all stay safe too.



Doctor Memory 01.06.17 at 6:53 pm

basically Rhianna needs to date like a Rhianna clone or maybe Cara Delivigne or something, or else we’re all still going to be standing here saying, “this person? Seriously?”

Janelle Monaé would serve the purpose, I think.


Belle Waring 01.06.17 at 8:15 pm

I’ll be in my bunk.


Sumana Harihareswara 01.06.17 at 8:34 pm

When you call us Plain People it reminds me of plain dress which reminds me that there is this exoticizing of the Amish and of Mennonites and Shakers and of “pioneer”-style objects that I find uncomfortable but I’m sure I’m also complicit in it and then this reminds me that I just watched the episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman that guest stars Mister Rogers and the story conflict is basically resolved by a jerk suddenly being in Mister Rogers’s vicinity and deciding to back off of his heartlessness. As though simply being looked at, or being near someone who is being looked at, by Mister Rogers, all by itself, makes us ashamed enough of our lower impulses to do the right thing.

Regardless of the level of complexity in your family, and even if sometimes they are not inhabited by the pure golden light of truth, I wish you and yours a good 2017.


Lee A. Arnold 01.06.17 at 9:58 pm

Sleigh Bells, “I Can’t Stand You Anymore” (2016)


oldster 01.06.17 at 11:54 pm

Doctor Memory is right about Janelle Monaé, and Sumana Harihareswara is right about Mr. Rogers.

Belle, I wish you and your family the best year ever.


ZM 01.07.17 at 2:42 am

It’s good to read your blogging again Belle :-)

“but basically Rhianna needs to date like a Rhianna clone or maybe Cara Delivigne or something”

Jennifer Herrema from Royal Trux and Black Bananas posted this year on social media that Rhianna was stealing her steaze, I can kinda imagine them doing something together that could be ace.


ZM 01.07.17 at 2:43 am

Best wishes to everyone for 2017!!


Doug K 01.07.17 at 3:14 am

we are complicated, poor but honest.. “remember, as far as anyone knows, we are a perfectly normal family”

yes, my children are fiercely satirically logical, much like Violet. It’s good for my disputational skills.

amitriptyline gave me 20lbs of weight increase and no relief from the headaches, though I slept soundly. My sympathies, I too found out better living through chemistry isn’t easy. Indomethacin works on mine, but need to take it every day which I don’t care for.. so only take it on bad days and live with it otherwise. I’m glad I was already on medication when this election hit, might not have made it otherwise..


J— 01.07.17 at 4:00 am

2017 gave us “Panda,” a beat that can go on and on, and more The Weeknd, which is a Good Thing, though perhaps not as good as the Good Things he gave us in 2015. I’m a sucker for Bruno Mars’ 80s retro. Plus also, “La bicicleta” by Shakira and Carlos Vives. Flo Rida’s recent work, including “My House,” makes me miss “Low.”


absurdbeats 01.07.17 at 4:20 am

I once scaled up too quickly on Wellbutrin and woke up smashing the cockroaches in my ear. Also could see shadow people out of the corner of my eye. The replacement doc (regular doc on vacation) suggested that I might want to stop with the Wellbutrin.

Amitriptyline, on the other hand, just gave me cotton mouth.

Depression is a nasty dragon; glad you found some suitable armor.


Belle Waring 01.07.17 at 6:07 am

I had to come off the max dose of Wellbutrin in November first before I started ditching the amitriptyline. I was chewing my fingertips raw like hamburger. Stupid better living through stupid chemistry. I hope you’re feeling better, absurdbeats.


JakeB 01.07.17 at 6:11 am

It seems the last several months I’ve mostly listened to Muse, a new Quebecois metal band called Vindland, and the Cars, for some odd reason. I was shocked (shocked!) to learn some 35 or more years after dancing to it at junior high school dances, that “Just What I Needed” was not sung by Ric Ocasek, but Ben Orr! My world was reconfigured in at least a small way. But mentioning Ric Ocasek reminds me of Mark Ronson, which reminds me that as does J- above, I love Bruno Mars. He reminds me of Michael Jackson in the Off the Wall period, when he was still beautiful and hadn’t gone all crazy and sad. Like Michael without all the horrible baggage.

Also, since none of my colleagues or friends around here are Ayn Rand survivors, can I just share that a severe head cold led me to multiple fever dreams this week, including one in which I visited Galt’s Gulch with an old college friend, but we discovered that it was entirely filled with bros! (and whatever the female equivalent of bros were). No doubt my subconscious interpreting recent political events in its own way.

Speaking of which, here’s hoping we all survive 2017 in a recognisable form.


absurdbeats 01.07.17 at 6:47 am

Your words are a kindness, Miss Belle.

Here’s a line from an old John Ashbery poem (lacking his formatting): No matter/ how you twist it/life stays frozen in the headlights./Funny, none of us heard the roar.

Apropos of nothing, I suppose, except: it’s mostly gone, now, tho’ I do sometimes still hear the roar.


Maria 01.07.17 at 1:37 pm

Better living through chemistry is the worst. Except for everything else. I’m celebrating a one-year anniversary(ish) of finally dropping the 20lb my last spell of brain enhancement piled on. Oh and the migraines… lol. Good luck, Belle. And absurd, and everyone else here who knows whereof they speak on that front. xx


Belle Waring 01.07.17 at 1:48 pm

I love Bruno Mars (particularly at the moment) and Ronson, whom I have been listening to on the long ride to this one doctor. Right now my mind is too blown by Ric Ocasek not having sung “Just What I Needed” that it’s like everything is spinning around in slo-mo. Despite loving music and knowing a fair bit about some kinds of things I am terrible at recognizing voices. This is true for actors in animated things as well.


J— 01.07.17 at 2:16 pm

Whoa, I knew about Orr on “Let’s Go” and “Drive” (the music video made that one clear), but not “Just What I Needed.” I always assumed it was Ocasek singing a bit lower.


Anderson 01.07.17 at 4:07 pm

Best of luck, Belle. You are a treasure.


Dave Maier 01.07.17 at 10:49 pm

This year blew hairy goat balls.

You say that like it’s a bad th- … wait, never mind.

I appreciate your reference to the “cold robbies” (no, autocorrect, I did not mean “robes”), and I hope that you and John do not suffer from them or any other maladies in the new year. And buy yourself some good ‘phones – I did this year and it’s worth it.


CDT 01.08.17 at 12:50 am

Get well. Try some Alejandro Escovedo for medicinal purposes. Five Hearts Breaking, Sister Lost Soul for starters.


JPL 01.08.17 at 5:27 am

Hi Belle —

All last year I was waiting for a chance to post this song (and the colouristic video (and I do love colour in the stationary visual arts too)), so I guess I’ll put it in here in the year-end retrospective. I hope you like it! (Also, I needn’t remind you to turn it up loud as usual, and it goes much better if you’re on your feet!)


ZM 01.08.17 at 11:35 am

This isn’t technically about music, but in the New Year I worked out part of what Shakespeare’s Sonnets were about one day when I was sitting around doing nothing.

It looks like the young man in the Sonnets is Christopher Marlowe, he gets stabbed like Christopher Marlowe did, and at the start the older man narrator is telling the young man to have children for about a dozen sonnets in a row. This is because an older man must have asked Christopher Marlowe to get Mary Sidney pregnant — she was the third wife of an older noble Henry Herbert 2nd Earl of Pembroke who was infertile and wanted an heir really badly. So they arranged for Christopher Marlowe to get Mary Sydney pregnant. That is probably why the older man teachers the younger man to write, since they owed Christopher Marlowe a favour for getting Mary pregnant with an heir for her husband and helped him with his writing. It might have been Philip Sidney who asked the favour, he was a bit older by about 7 years, where Mary and Christopher Marlowe were about the same age, and Shakespeare was the same age as Marlowe so those 3 were all contemporaries.

The young man goes a bit bad in the Sonnets probably because Marlowe was a spy and they say he is like a rose with a canker, I think there is something to do with A Lover’s Complaint at the end, maybe as part of his spy work Christopher Marlowe tricked a young woman that he loved her or something, leaving her to be upset.

That is why the Sonnets are dedicated to Mr WH — since WH is William Herbert the 3rd Earl of Pembroke — and he is a noble apart from actually he isn’t nobility by blood since his father was Christopher Marlow who wasn’t nobility, so Shakespeare has his little joke and also remembers his friend Christopher Marlowe, by calling William Herbert the 3rd Earl of Pembroke Mister.

If you look at pictures of Christopher Marlowe and William Herbert they are the spitting image of each other.

Here are the images to compare:

Look at how they resemble each other so much!

Shakespeare must have written the Sonnets partly so WH would know more about his father I think. Shakespeare refers to Marlowe in his work elsewhere saying that it kills a man more for people not to understand his work, than a reckoning in a little room kills him, the reckoning being what they called the fight where Christopher Marlowe died.

Shakespeare’s First Folio was dedicated to William Herbert and his brother Philip who doesn’t look like Christopher Marlowe so probably had a different father I would guess, which might be why the Folio calls them “incomparable pair of brethren” since you can’t compare them as they have different fathers.

I haven’t worked out everything. I was thinking the Dark Lady sounded like Anne Hathaway, like she was annoyed at Shakespeare for having affairs or something when he was working away from home. But that would mean the narrator changes at some point from the older man to Shakespeare who was the same age as Marlowe. I will have to read them more to see if I think the narrator changes at some point from the older man trying to get Christopher Marlowe to father a child at the start, to Shakespeare who went home to Anne Hathaway and she was cross at him having affairs.

I think I am the first person to work this out, at least to put it in writing, maybe someone else worked it out in the past but only talked to their friends about it and didn’t write it down anywhere, but I am not studying Shakespeare so I have nowhere to write it, so I may as well write it here on the New Year thread, since I worked it out in the New Year this year.

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