Dw. Dunphy on…
… names. Or, to be more precise, this is about the importance of names and why it’s so difficult to pull a really good one out of the air and claim it as your own.From the beginning, I knew my little e-mail blog had an awful name: the Free-Bees List. I was sending out an obscure MP3 with a detailed commentary about said file and I was doing so for free, hence freebie or free-bee. I’m persistent, but not necessarily clever. At any rate, when Senor Jefito informed your esteemed writers (and me, oddly) of the nascent Popdose and was actively pulling together columns and features, I smelled opportunity in the air. Think about it! In one spot, you now have all those many blog features you have loved elsewhere: the insight of Basement Songs, the Popdose Guides deluxe, Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold and … me. And Free-Bees.
It’s like looking for peanut butter in your chocolate and finding okra.
I expressed my reservations to Jefito and he quickly dispatched me with “good luck with that.” It was hardly the golden ticket I was hoping for, but then again, asking for a proper name for anything is one of the hardest tasks there is. You think coming up with a first sentence in a novel is tough? At least you have a hundred or so pages remaining to redeem yourself. When you’re trying to suss out that which will be your billboard for now and as long as you’re able, that, my friends, is the real pressure.
It takes a little bit of inspiration, a little spiritual grace or, if you’re feeling sinister, enough blood to sign on the line to really wrestle a good moniker to the ground and claim it. Remember the old clichÃ© about former hippie / baby boomers naming their kids idiotic things in order to bring about peace through beauty and passive engagement in their world. Remember how said kids would have killed in order to have been named “Bob” or “Lorraine.” Oil companies have not actually changed their administrative ways and yet have re-dubbed their process the “Clear Skies Initiative.” Tolstoy wrote War And Peace, not You Suck And I Rock. Music would be a much stranger place had Dark Side Of The Moon wound up being called Who The Hell Turned Off The Lava Lamp? And add to that the probability that, somewhere out there, there is a CD entitled Jesus Jones’ Greatest Hits and you start to realize that names can go terribly, terribly wrong.
So here I am, praying a little, shaking the Magic 8 Ball a little and smashing my head against the desk a lot. What’s a proper name to describe what I’m going to provide you, dear reader? If this column intends to give you an obscure, off-track, offbeat song and then attempt to tell you why you ought to embrace that song and explain how unknown artists has been robbed of the accolades due them, how can that be summed up? If I go on a tangent why Bernard Herrmann is the greatest composer of film scores, even greater than the beloved John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith, what best illustrates such blatant bum-kissing? If I go on about how I’d totally donate my pinky toe to spend an evening with Neko Case, how can I title my column so you’re not sent screaming before you’ve heard my creepy reasoning? What can I say to keep you from seeing this is like any other freaking blog only that this one is written by a bald, maladjusted lunatic with a fetish for redheads?
So the column is called Dw. Dunphy On… Deal with it.