Posts Tagged ‘time’

On Coping with Temporal and Spatial Imprecision in Early American Folk Songs

 

No issue too trivial, no remedy too irrelevant in structuring my universe.

She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes 
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She’ll be coming round the mountain, she’ll be coming round the mountain,
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes

She’ll be riding six white horses when she comes (Hee Haw) 
She’ll be riding six white horses when she comes (Hee Haw)
She’ll be riding six white horses, she’ll be riding six white horses,
She’ll be riding six white horses when she comes (Hee Haw)
 

Most of us feel a mystic kinship to Early American folk songs: case in point, the jaunty call and response song She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain. Traditional ditties like these from the Early American songbook convey a sense of unbridled optimism stretching out over a robust country ripe with opportunity. And yet for all its nationalist fervor and manifest destiny the song fairly bristles with an inexcusable lack of time-space coordinates. More specifically, once the listener realizes an unnamed and otherwise phantom “she” will be coming ‘round the mountain, our first reaction is to wonder when she’ll arrive – when will “she” be coming ‘round the mountain? Our reptilian logic centers are primed for processing the precise locus of this event. And despite our anticipatory curiosity, all we are told is that she’ll be coming ‘round that mountain, “When she comes.” I’m afraid this simply will not do. Although I loathe words that have a “b” followed by an “h”, I nonetheless abhor songs whose feel good, sunny lyrics betray an appalling lack of time and place. Read the rest of this entry »

Railroad Time Zones: A Case Study in the Greater Good?

Early depiction of Time Zones or Belts as they were called in 1883. Better for you than Toaster Streudel and less confusing that a Thursday Night edition of Monday Night Football. Early depiction of Time Zones or “Time Belts” as they were called upon their introduction in 1883. Eventually citizens found them less confusing than a Thursday Night edition of Monday Night Football.

Ogg returned to the cave and proudly presented his proto-wife with the spoils for the day – a scrawny pterodactyl. She cast one withering glance at his meager bounty and huffed, “You call that hunting and gathering? You’re all hunt and no gather. Would it kill you to gather some berries once in a while?”

In a similar way I return from my writing desk and hope to present you with more than a scrawny bird-brained essay to chew on, lest you cast one withering glance at my meager typing and huff, “You call that hunting and pecking? You’re all hunt and no pecker. Would it kill you to gather your thoughts once in a while?”

My speculation here is extravagant. Not only in assuming prehistoric man spoke English, but in assuming readers are interested in an essay that tries to bypass the usual clichés of “Life being about the journey” and instead suggests an even less appealing theme: “If everyone behaved more like me, the world would be a better place.” Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Always Now

Finally! A watch that always tells the correct time.

Be it ever so humble there’s no place like Now. In fact, it’s the only place there is. Time wise you can’t be any other place else. Forget Greenwich Mean Time or Daylight Savings Time or even Hammer Time. There is only one time you can actually be at and that time is Now. Of course there’s a future known as “Soon” and a past known as “Then”, but you can only refer to those times. You can’t actually be there because of the inescapability of Now. Now is everywhere, forever yoking us to its immediacy. It never stops. Now is both obsolete and reborn every instant. It repopulates as soon as it’s able to like fruit flies or Mormons. Read the rest of this entry »

Teenager’s First Time Reconfigures Brain

  • Calls experience “Hecka Rad, Way Cool and Profoundly Filthy”
  • Vows to repeat act to the exclusion of all else
  • College likely to be a six year plan
  • Tells parents,”Mom, Dad – I’m all about bullet points now” 
  • Parents to Kyle: “Get over it already.”

    Steubenville, OH

    Hyperventilation and a stopwatch marked the first sexual congress between Kyle Galvin (age unimportant) and Sara Chambers (age very unimportant). The premeditated act went off as planned last Sunday morning while Mr. & Mrs. Galvin were attending services at St. John the Baptist Church. “I’m just beside myself,” an excited Kyle gushed after gushing. “I’m like completely a convert to reproduction now. I mean I’d heard all about it and I’d spent a lot of time practicing alone, but I never thought it’d be like this. All the time you hear about the fraying of society and the loss of community and all this disintegration stuff, but this…this is like interstellar Superglue and will bind a society together faster than American Idol or any Groupon ever could. Boy Howdy, this thing looms large in my future and will naturally cause me to straighten up and fly…well straighten up anyway. Man, I’ve got to tell everybody how good this is, although I’m probably just preaching to the choir.”  Read the rest of this entry »