Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Some mock person called “Self-development” has just signed onto Twitter to follow me.  I blocked them.  It’s obscene in its pretense to be a person, its use of a “social” media to flog an obsolete premise that intimidates people and transparently wants to sign them up for a lot of empty cliches so they'll shine in polite society.

In contrast, on the same social media (Twitter -- I refuse to go near Facebook) I found a crazy columnist who writes about babies.  “Yeah, Baby,” is written by Kool A.D. in a wildly exuberant rap on managing an infant.  One of those pastel, “nice," "self-development" ladies, whose babies never dirty their diapers, was confused.  Was this a joke? she asked.  NOT.  

I love "Yeah, Baby!" for its energy, its truth to a subculture, and its failure to “self-develop” into a shadow.  Brace yourself for a sample:

Sup, fam? It's your boy, Kool A.D., professional rapper, visual artist, astrologer, male model, and now, apparently, parenting columnist. Ten months ago my wife/swag coach/fun-employed Islamo-futurist art swami Cult Days popped a tiny combo version of us out a slit a doctor cut a couple inches below her belly button.

Kool A.D. before swag coach

Kool A.D. after swag coach

The baby is of the female variety and she's a keeper. Real cute lil' monkey—big eyes, the whole nine. It's been a wild ride but I gotta say we're true fuckin' pros at parenting, which is why I landed this sweet columnist gig.

Popped-out product

I'll be here every other week putting you on to all types of priceless parenting game. Nothing but gems and jewels my dudes and dudettes. First rule of parenting is there are no rules. Feel me? Oh, the baby's sad? Slap the lil' fucker onto a titty and let it get some milk. Still grumpy? Maybe the baby shit its pants. That's no prob, just take the shitty diaper off, wipe dat azz, put a new diaper on, and presto. It's still pissed? Try rocking it to sleep going "ssshh" or singing a soft lullaby of some sort. Not tired? OK, just kick it then. Make a weird face and/or noise; babies love that shit. Crinkle up some paper or tinfoil or whatever, give the thing some playing cards, teach it how to play solitaire. Play some sick tunes; babies love sick tunes. A baby's basically like a tiny person on too many shrooms—literally anything can blow its mind.

There’s a thin line between slang and poetry and this writing is right on it, or maybe they overlap.   High energy, metaphorical, experience-based, bad words, slang, using all the “figures of speech” like exaggeration, part-for-the-whole, etc.  

This list is from  I’m going to copy their whole list because I can’t always remember the fancy names for stuff most of us do all the time without noticing.

The Top 20 Figures

AlliterationThe repetition of an initial consonant sound.
AnaphoraThe repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or verses. (Contrast with epiphora and epistrophe.)
AntithesisThe juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced phrases.
ApostropheBreaking off discourse to address some absent person or thing, some abstract quality, an inanimate object, or a nonexistent character.
AssonanceIdentity or similarity in sound between internal vowels in neighboring words.
ChiasmusA verbal pattern in which the second half of an expression is balanced against the first but with the parts reversed.
EuphemismThe substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively explicit.
HyperboleAn extravagant statement; the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect.
IronyThe use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. A statement or situation where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea.
LitotesA figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite.
Metaphor:  An implied comparison between two unlike things that actually have something important in common.
MetonymyA figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it's closely associated; also, the rhetorical strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to things around it.
OnomatopoeiaThe use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.
OxymoronA figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side.
ParadoxA statement that appears to contradict itself.
PersonificationA figure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities.
PunA play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words.
SimileA stated comparison (usually formed with "like" or "as") between two fundamentally dissimilar things that have certain qualities in common.
SynecdocheA figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole (for example, ABCs for alphabet) or the whole for a part ("England won the World Cup in 1966").
UnderstatementA figure of speech in which a writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is.

A lot of what Kool A.D. is doing is playing with the words themselves (a “swag coach”) by using slang and unusual contexts.  “A tiny combo version of us” popped  out of "a slit a doctor cut a couple inches below her belly button” -- meaning the birth was Caesarian, which is also a metaphor.  Or you can spell inventively:  “azz” instead of “ass.”  Use the preposterous.  Teach the baby to play solitaire.  Use “sick” to mean the opposite.

Of course, “shrooms” in this context is a drug reference, but it can also mean innocent people killed in a shooting incident simply because they were there.  Much of this is toying with cultural conventions.  It can be pretty puzzling if you don’t know the culture in question. If you’re Martha Stewart you probably think of mushrooms in a different way.

Mork got a whole series out of taking figures of speech literally.

So writing is on many levels and therefore reading must also be on many levels.  And talking/listening.  I hear so many people spout on one literal, actual monocultural level that I sometimes wonder if it’s a function of chemical contamination from Twinkies and Ding-Dongs.   (Think about THOSE metaphors!)   

It’s the level on which the metaphors of retrograde religion almost always operate. Exaggeration (hyperbole), speaking of a part for a whole (synecdoche), impossibility (paradox), thinking God is your Mom or Dad (personification), believing there is an actual geological hell or a sidereal heaven (misplaced concreteness) -- are used by right-wingers as though they were truth instead of figures of speech.

A startling but hip guy like Kool A.D. is not fooled by all this stuff.  He can handle it, which is why it’s easy for him to handle a baby -- at least as long as his energy level holds up. He’s saying some serious things to get those couch-slouches sponging off employed women by pretending to babysit -- to protect their ‘shroom” instead of getting so frustrated that they shake the baby’s brains into Jello.  This is practical morality -- how to function.  It’s life or death.  And I’m not speaking in hyperbole.  NOT a joke.

Dread to shake!

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