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a blog by Ann Althouse

Here are 10 TikToks to amuse you for a few precious moments. Some people love them.

1. Painting invisibility.

2. What the hell is the internet?

3. One by one, he's eliminating the least popular state and merging it with a neighboring state.

4. One by one, they're replacing family photos with photos of Danny DeVito until Mom notices.

5. The man deserves a medal for all the years he's patiently listened to his wife tell stories like this.

6. Chef Reactions judges the French grandfather's making of lunch.

7. "Have you ever wondered what items in your place just give men 'ick'?"

8. "We're going to go look at wedding dresses."

9. My favorite music-and-the-child video of all time.

10. Finally, the dolls.

"I think it’s so groovy now that people are finally gettin’ together...."

Sang Jim Post — along with his wife Cathy Conn — known as Friend & Lover, on their one hit which was known on the record label as "Reach Out of the Darkness," though anyone who listens to the song can hear that it's "Reach Out in the Darkness."

Here's the NYT obituary for Post, who died at the age of 82.

Post and Conn urged us to reach out and get together and be so groovy in the summer of 1968. 


And in the interest of getting back to all the things that were groovy, here's another version of the song, from 1970, with Mama Cass and Lulu and Ray Stevens:

"Has anyone ever won an Oscar for showing so little expression?"

"[Nurse Ratched as played by Louise Fletcher ] was not — as Nurse Ratched was in the book — an embodiment of matriarchy and women's repression of men. She was horrible, cold, and controlling, but she also had some humanity. She was in a predicament trying to deal professionally with some very trying individuals. She made all the wrong decisions, but she was recognizably human. The actors who played those patients did a fine job portraying seriously ill men and making them dramatically effective and immensely entertaining. We felt free to laugh at them a lot without getting the nagging guilty feeling that we weren't showing enough respect for the mentally ill. There's bonus entertainment in the fact that two of them are actors we came to love in bigger roles: Danny Devito and Christopher Lloyd. 'If they made this movie today, they'd ruin it with music,' I said halfway through. There was scene after scene with no music, other than the occasional record that a character in the movie played.... There was never any of that sort of movie music that instructs us on how to think and feels our emotions before we get a chance to feel them for ourselves. When Nurse Ratched puts a syrupy, soporific version of 'Charmaine' on the record player for the ritual of dispensing the psychotropic drugs, what we feel is in counterpoint to the music...."

I wrote that on Christmas Day in 2006, the morning after the last time I watched "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." 

I'm reading that old post this morning because I see the news that Louise Fletcher has died. She was 88.

Here's the scene where Nurse Ratched keeps the men from watching the World Series game (and McMurphy is an election denier):

I have 7 TikToks selected for you tonight, and I think they kind of go together. In any event, some people love them!

1. The painted face.

2. Elizabeth Taylor on "What's My Line?"

3. The child is perhaps outraged not to be asked to join in.

4. When you, an audiobook user, order a used David Sedaris book so you'll have something for him to sign, and the book that's sent is one that David Sedaris has already signed.

5. The videos David Wain doesn't remember making but obviously did make, in the middle of a sleeping-pill-induced night's sleep.

6. It's Moby's birthday, and he's playing "Happy Birthday" in 5 genres.

7. Copying runway fashion with materials you find around the house.

"When they looked at the step rate, per minute, of the highest 30 minutes of activity a day, they found that participants whose average highest pace was... between 80 and 100 steps per minute...

"... had better health outcomes compared with those who walked a similar amount each day but at a slower pace...The key is to walk at an intensity that is manageable but also slightly pushes the boundaries of what is a comfortable pace."

Playlists I downloaded after reading that and before heading out for a walk:

Here are 7 TikToks for you this evening. Some people love them!

1. Overused phrases in books.

4. The top 3 tones for voice-over actors.

5. When Rosie O'Donnell visited Martha Stewart in prison.

6. Maybe when the lady seems insecure, it's not what you think.

7. It's the same old song, but with a different melody (and I'm accepting these men in shorts).

"A lot of pop music does sound the same. Literally! In the past five years, the number of new songs on Billboard’s year-end 'Hot 100' chart that interpolate old songs has more than doubled."

"As the streaming money came to overshadow album-sales money, these sonic callbacks have become an increasingly popular way to make a hit song. Olivia Rodrigo, Beyoncé, Maroon 5, and Nicki Minaj — who had a recent No. 1 hit with her remake of Rick James’s 'Super Freak' — have all recently published songs that incorporate interpolations.... Publishers have spent the past few years paying hundreds of millions of dollars for legacy-artist catalogues, and one way to wring more value out of those catalogues is to pitch interpolations. Merck Mercuriadis, founder of the publicly traded music-IP investment firm Hipgnosis Songs Fund... says this strategy works because 'classic songs are already part of the fabric of our lives.... Nicki Minaj and Rick James being No. 1 has just sent 1,000 artists, producers, and songwriters searching for the next holy grail."

Is "interpolation" a technical term in music? Wikipedia says:
In popular music, interpolation (also called a replayed sample) refers to using a melody—or portions of a melody (often with modified lyrics)—from a previously recorded song but re-recording the melody instead of sampling it. 

Here's Wikipedia's list of interpolated songs, where I learn, for example, that Eminem once interpolated the Little Peggy March song "I Will Follow Him." I can't believe I listened to that. I can't hear it. The Little Peggy March song is part of the "fabric of [my] life," but if there's some echo of it somewhere in that evil Eminem song, I missed it.

"I was dead set on centering my life on the patriotic ideal. I was a son of the American revolution..."

"... and there was blood on the tracks. Recent blood, and it was still drying. The whole record seemed like a real effort toward figuring out what Manifest Destiny was all about. We’d come as far as we could, as far as Horace Greeley told us to go. And so we looked back and tried to make sense of that great odyssey."
Said Van Dyke Parks, about the "Smile" album, quoted in Episode 153: “Heroes and Villains” by the Beach Boys, of "A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs."
For Van Dyke Parks it was an attempt to make music about America and American mythology. He was disgusted, as a patriot, with the Anglophilia that had swept the music industry since the arrival of the Beatles in America two and a half years earlier, particularly since that had happened so soon after the deaths both of President Kennedy and of Parks’ own brother who was working for the government at the time he died. So for him, the album was about America, about Plymouth Rock, the Old West, California, and Hawaii. It would be a generally positive version of the country’s myth, though it would of course also acknowledge the bloodshed on which the country had been built....

Brian [Wilson] had some other ideas — he had been studying the I Ching, and Subud, and he wanted to do something about the four classical elements, and something religious — his ideas were generally rather unfocused at the time, and he had far more ideas than he knew what to usefully do with. But he was also happy with the idea of a piece about America, which fit in with his own interest in “Rhapsody in Blue,” a piece that was about America in much the same way....

With the death of the Queen, perhaps it's too somber a time to watch TikToks, so I cautiously offer my selection this evening. There are 8. Some people love them.

1. Two young girls encounter a landline telephone.

2. Experience an oranger orange than actually exists.

3. Is the bird oddly stoical or truly in love with the man and his piano?

4. Is morning beer a deplorable notion or something poignantly sublime?

5. When it comes to questions of politics, I wish more celebrities were like Elvis.

6. The ugliest piece of furniture or the most amusingly beautiful?

7. If this is the definition of a "toxic" person, then I am sure I know who is the most toxic person I have ever met. 

8. The Corn Kid — 25 years later.

"I think it’s so groovy now that people are finally gettin’ together....""Has anyone ever won an Oscar for showing so little expression?"

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