Quiz! California: Great Song Topic Or Greatest Song Topic?

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image in the public domain

Why are all the songs about California?  Sure, there’s the occasional Sweet Home Alabama or Midnight Train to Georgia, and plenty of people are in an Empire State of Mind, but in the final analysis of pop songs about places, California tops the topic.  I got a demonstration of this the other day when I put my iPod on shuffle and, in the space of 90 minutes, it played five songs about California and not a single track about Michigan, South Dakota, or Maine.

To be fair, Michigan and South Dakota are hard to rhyme.  Maine is really, really easy to rhyme, though, and when was the last time anyone whipped or nae naed to a song about Maine?  (Nae nae’d?  Naed nae?  Do you nae nae with your bae?)  Here’s a quiz to help you figure out if you think California truly deserves to win the little gold statue for Best Song Topic By A Location or whether you think it just gets all the songs because it’s pretty:

1.  So what is it about California girls, anyway?

A.  They’re undeniable!  Daisy dukes, bikinis on top…
B.  I wish they all could be California girls.
C.  Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz.
D.  Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearing hoochies screaming.
E.  Spray tans and Photoshop.  Nailed it!

2.  How is it that, every time California is in a magazine or a movie, it looks like paradise?  Isn’t there a massive drought there?  And, like, a major earthquake fault line?

A.  You could travel the world, but nothing comes close to the golden coast.
B.  From Oakland to Sactown, the Bay Area and back down, Cali is where they put they mack down.
C.  I was thinking to myself, ‘This could be Heaven or this could be Hell’
D.  All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray.
E.  I never thought paradise would have this many Kardashians.

3.  The official state motto of California is “Eureka.”  The unofficial state motto is:

A.  The state where ya never find a dance floor empty.
B.  You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
C. Space may be the final frontier, but it’s made in a Hollywood basement.
D.  We’ll melt your popsicle.
E.  Sorry about all the Kardashians.

4.  I’ve heard that all the nuts roll to California.  Is that true?

A.  Let me welcome everybody to the Wild, Wild West!
B.  It’s the edge of the world and all of Western civilization.
C.  Warm, wet, and wild; there must be something in the water.
D.  And still those voices are calling from far away…
E.  No.  They roll to D.C. and stay there until it’s time to run for re-election.

5.  All right, I’m sold.  I’m going to California!  Who’s with me?

A.  Once you party with us, you’ll be falling in love.
B.  Pack a vest for your Jimmy in the city of sex.
C.  If I didn’t tell her, I could leave today.
D.  What a nice surprise!  Bring your alibis.
E.  I would, but I have narcissophobia (fear of Kardashians)

Mostly A’s, B’s, C’s, or D’s:  Party on, California girl!  You know when to whip and when to nae nae, and you always make time to lay underneath the palm trees sipping gin and juice.  Keep on living it up at the Hotel California!  Just try to limit the money and alcohol fiendin’, and remember to practice safe Californication.

Mostly E’s:  Congratulations!  You hate politicians, Kardashians, and the culture of celebrity as much as I do.  You win the quiz.  You lose the internet, though; California won that a long time ago.  Second place went to catz.  Sorry.

Modern Dueling, Or: How To Use Up That Spray Cheese

retro-1310390_640 7I recently got into a debate over whether dueling could be considered ethical.  It was the kind of debate you only get into when you start discussing philosophy late at night with people you just met, which is one reason I like philosophy so much.  What else will get you in a no-holds-barred fight about the epistemological implications of reality television (translation:  are the Kardashians making us stupider, or do we just feel stupider for having watched them?).  But, really, dueling?  Surely we can all agree on that, right?

And then I got to thinking, which is an unfortunate side effect of philosophy, and I wondered–could there be a place for dueling in modern society?  And then I got hungry, which is another side effect of philosophy,  especially when done at 2 AM, and I sought revelation in that temple of modern worship, the refrigerator.  Even the knottiest metaphysical conundrum becomes easier to unravel when you’ve had a nice sandwich.  Left-over chicken breast with mustard, maybe, or a nice peanut butter and jelly…

Oh, no.  New and much more pressing conundrum:  all I had was spray cheese and whipped cream.  Oh, I also had all sorts of healthy ingredients with which I could have cooked any number of dishes, but that’s not what you want at two in the morning, is it?  You want something easy, preferably unhealthy, possibly something past its expiration date.  Or chips.  No self-respecting philosopher cooks at two in the morning!  What could I do with spray cheese and a can of whipped cream?

That’s when it hit me, an idea so big it answered both my questions at once.  Question 1:  Is there a place for dueling in modern society?  Question 2:  What could I do with spray cheese and a can of whipped cream?  Answer to both:  it’s obvious!  This is how we can fight modern-day duels:  with aerosolized edibles!  It resolves questions of honor while simultaneously helping you clean out your pantry.  So much quicker and less expensive than lawsuits, plus you’ve got a tasty snack for after.  Well, you do if you pick the whipped cream.

The entire code duello fell into place after that epiphany.  The person challenged has choice of foodstuffs, but the challenger can reject the choice if the challenger presents medical documentation of an allergy to the selection.  Seconds will ensure that the weapons have not expired (it is recommended, but not required, that all duel-related edibles be purchased no more than three days before the date of the duel and still retain all tabs and plastic rings).  Cooking spray may be used in the event of a post-holiday spray food shortage, and it is acceptable to use well-shaken cans of soda if both parties agree, but no person of honor should ever profane beer in this manner.  Unless it’s PBR, in which case, spray away.

When aiming the chosen comestible, one must avoid the face and neck.  The best practice is to wear about one’s person a set of appropriate agreed-upon targets, such as strawberries or crackers, the choice of targets being dependent upon what food will be aimed at them.  It is recommended against using ice cream for this purpose as the target items will tend to become difficult to distinguish upon melting.  The first participant to hit each of his opponent’s targets with the spray food wins the duel.  Either participant may forfeit at any time by eating his remaining targets.  It is considered bad form to continue firing while your opponent is still chewing.

I think this could revolutionize modern society.  Who wouldn’t want to watch a couple of supposed adults attacking each other with spray cheese?  We could televise the duels, have commentators discuss the relative merits of name-brand vs. store-brand and the strategic placement of crackers.  Then we could have late-night philosophy debates over what’s making us dumber:  dueling with spray food or keeping up with the Kardashians.  Any resulting quarrels could be resolved by dueling or, in the alternative, attempting to keep up with the Kardashians.

But if the Kardashians decide to duel each other with edible spray paint (in gold, of course, while naked), I’m not responsible for the resulting global collapse of meaning, logic, and reason.  In fairness to me, I’m pretty sure that’s already happened.