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Monday, July 18, 2005

Junk Science

Warning: Junk Science here in, but not as good as the "junk science" the White House refuses to acknowledge.

Last post I wrote of my attempt to observe relationships. How couples project or radiate their relationship to others. It's comparatively easy to spot those who are pissed off, perpetually pissed off or the opposite. That is, deeply in love. I'm trying hard to keep this PG13.

Long term couples grow to look like each other. Here in Florida, I get to see this a lot. But I see it in middle aged couples as well. To a lesser degree, certainly, but you can see the mutations beginning in the attitude and facial expressions. That's where it starts. Attitudes overpowering genetics. Not surprising when you consider that a flounder's eye actually migrates to the other side of its body. So a husband and wife cvoming to look like each other isn't nearly as dramatic. I suspect that long term common diets have something to do with it. Aside from manboobs and balding women, there are other more subtle similarities. Briefly put, a couple eating a fat rich diet for 30 years and ingesting the same collection of food additives and household poisons are both gonna start to look like baggies of congealed bacon drippings. I warned you this was junk science.

I regularly see a couple in their fifties who look enough like each other to be brother and sister. Same size, weight, coloring, facial structure and expressions. This may be natural selection. Like when people resemble their dogs. But in the past couple of days I've been trying to focus more on younger couples. There seem to be about an equal number who have similar physical characteristics and those who you wouldn't guess would choose each other. Blind dates? Arranged marriages? Does anybody do that anymore? But this is more about how they all act together. Or put another way, how well they lead me to assume enough about their relationships to write a song.

Yeah, it's always about songwriting. I warned you months ago how obsessive I can be.

Here are some common themes from my observations: Young handsome couple who keep an unnatural distance from each other. They don't look like they've been fighting. He looks clueless and she looks too shy for her astounding good looks but indifferent to his attempts to involve her in anything going on around them.

The nonstop dancers who never make eye contact and never have conversation. She dances well. He has just enough moves to fake it for one dance.

The couple who are starting to look too much like each other AND they are both looking in other directions. Both deep in thought about things that are not them.

Those last three groups could be melded into one couple for lyric purposes. See how songs can reshape reality. Who needs drugs?

Contrasted with those are the couples who look like each other because they have the same smile and gait. They may or may not be talking to each other but they are certainly riding the same blissful wave and they are enjoying each other's company there. In this is a subgroup who are so physically different from each other that observers might have to conclude that love conquered all.

For instance, I saw a hunky athletic guy with a short hunchback. He held on to her lovingly.

A delicate young Asian with a dumpy tall gray psuedo-biker dude. She looked at him wistfully

A very pretty 20 something chick with a fortyish doughboy. He stroked her continuously. They disappeared for a while and came bake smiling and more relaxed.

A handsome, even if a bit smarmy, 20 something guy with a woman well past her prime. She held an invisible leash, I think.

Yet all of these couples shared a smile that told me it was working for them.
I think to write a song with this material I need give less attention to the physical stuff. Maroon 5's "Beauty queen of only 18, She had some trouble with herself" says a lot more than "Hunchback girl with gym rat dude, knows it's love not luck" or"China doll with old biker dude, She has some trouble with her eyesight"

I'm leaning toward writing three contrasting verses. Start with the couple who obviously can't stand the sight of each other because they look too much alike and they don't like what they see.. Then the couple who is teetering between coming back together into one cojoined image or splitting apart to find better matches. And finally to the couple who despite their different appearances glide through life like a benign molecule. And no, benign molecule is not a good phrase to put in a lyric.

The trickiest part is the chorus that has to make the overarching point of this whole exercise. This is the kind of stuff that robs me of sleep. But I won't be mentioning this subject again unless or until I come up with something. The best I could do now is a prody of the afore mentined Maroon 5 song. An earworm if ever there was one.

Thank you for emerging yourself into this sometimes unstable substance that is my imagination.

posted by Bud @ 5:03 AM

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