Announcements and Reminders and Prompts


1. My day today is packed — in addition to my public event here at Lehigh University (at 4pm! In the Linderman Library! Open to the public! Come on down!) I am also speaking to classes and doing other things of a busifying nature — so you should probably expect today’s installment of the Thanksgiving Advent Calendar to be coming later in the day than earlier, and possibly rather later, say, in the evening. Don’t worry, I know what I’m going to write about. It’s just a matter of getting some time in to do it. Oh, the life of a performing monkey writer!

2. If you live in Ohio, or anywhere else in the US where they are having votes on initiatives and/or elected officials, remember to vote today. It’s voting that separates us from the animals, you know; you don’t see chimps and dolphins creating and participating in republic, now do you? And before one of you says “I just read a study that says some species of crows actually vote on representatives,” I am on to you, you paid stooge of the corvidae lobby.

3. To keep you busy whilst I am away, a topic for you to think about for the comments: You are plotting your revenge against your nemesis (for what? Does it matter? They’re your nemesis! You must have your revenge!). Note a song (or two, or more) that will get you in the mood for your revengination. Why do I ask? Oh, no reason. No reason at all.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

123 replies on “Announcements and Reminders and Prompts”

Any of Seanan McGuire’s songs about Mad Science (or ‘Evil Laugh’). Possibly the Portal end song, ‘Still Alive’. I mean, if I’m going to have a nemesis, I want to have fun with it, rather than doing the angry ‘how dare you defy me’ thing.

And before one of you says “I just read a study that says some species of crows actually vote on representatives,” I am on to you, you paid stooge of the corvidae lobby.

…wait, is that actually a thing? I used to joke that the dust bunnies in my house are so numerous that they’re on the verge of forming political parties…

Nemeses by Jonathan Coulton is probably a little too on-the-nose, although it’s really good.
Idiot Wind by Dylan is a good insulting song.
For funny angry songs, I recommend Kick in the Ass by Moxy Fruvous and/or I Hate You, I Love You by the Dead Milkmen.
For revenge-setting, I think that virtually any song by Nine Inch Nails would do nicely, but I think the best choice would have to be Head Like a Hole (“you’re gonna get what you deserve…”).

Good luck with the plotting and scheming! Many times, that’s more fun than the execution, aftermath, and inevitable tears (not that *I* would know…)

“Eye of the Tiger” is just a good motivational tool in general.
“Oklahoma!” is so darned peppy, you feel like going out and conquering the world when you’re done singing along.

Now, the soundtrack of my actual revenge will sound much cooler, with bits of opera, “Mars” by Gustav Holst, and probably some AC/DC thrown in during the particularly chaotic, fast sequences, but the actual psyching up for revenge can be done in private, and I like to start the day by chirping, enthusiastically and off key, along with show tunes.

I’m never going to get revenge on a nemesis, am I?

Clannad’s “I Will Find You,” which was written to be a love song, but which I have always found to be very stalker-ish. “No matter where you go… I WILL find you!”

And in the same vein, The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”

Clearly, Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. Followed by Monty Puthon’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”

You can just see the sinister ooze from these songs can’t you?

I don’t think of a song so much as a poem by Poe, “The Bells”; it’s gotta be that “tintinabulation” of them that really makes me think of slashing, hacking, rending of flesh….oops, sorry, started drooling there…

If my revengination is gonna be full of flying bullets and blood splatters, my election is ‘Let the bodies it the floor’ by Drowning pool.

But… if I’m going to avenge the killing of my family. Then I’ll remember everything, in slow motion and black & white, while ‘Perfect Day’ by Lou Reed is playing and the click-clack of my gun or the fwooosh of my light sabre would end the music.

the Foo Fighters’ “Monkey Wrench”. I had a couple options for my second selection, but I think I’ll instead upvote the Ben Folds suggession offerred by Cory towards the top of the discussion.

“Punk Soul Brother” drives me out of my mind. I HATE that song. But if it plays when I’m playing an FPS, my score always doubles. Makes me furious…

Plus “The Future Soon” and “Skull Crusher Mountain” and I’m all set!

I’m pretty bad at the whole revenge thing.. so I’m gonna go with Depeche Mode’s “People are People”.

As to voting, I’m with the chimps and dolphins. They’re smarter than the average bear, ya know.

“No One Knows My Plan” by They Might Be Giants was my first thought–hey, if you’re revengifying, why not do it to a snappy Latin beat? And then I remembered “Reprehensible” and “My Evil Twin” and “I Palindrome I” and, of course, “Prevenge”. So basically, it’s The Two Johns for all my antisocial behavioral music needs.

Oh, yeah, I suppose playing “Bastard Wants To Hit Me” when you actually go after your target might be of some psychological advantage, as well.

For me it depends on who the nemesis is. Given the nemeses I’ve written for my heroes, I’m likely to assign them something along the lines of OOMPH or Eisbrecher or, in the case of some particular nastinesses, Otep. (Buried Alive in particular.)

As far as what I might use for psyching myself up for it? Not sure – I’ve always thought any revenge I took would be really ambient and creepy – likely to be something from Desiderii Marginis. But if I wanted true theme songs for it? Probably Games Without Frontiers and San Jacinto by Peter Gabriel (like you don’t know who did them), Anarchy-X by Queensryche, The Blood Is Love or Everybody Knows That You’re Insane by Queens of the Stone Age, Eraser by Nine Inch Nails, and Professional Killer by KMFDM.

Blast and tarnation. Now I’m REALLY thinking about this.

Songs I would play at the Maternal Unit’s funeral, when the time comes, assuming I’m invited/want to attend:

Billy Joel, “My Life”
Evanescence, “Everybody’s Fool”
Shinedown, “Second Chance”
Machines of Loving Grace, “Content”

That last one, especially, has lyrics which just crystallize her personality:

This ain’t no big deal
Get off the cross, dear
We need the wood
We need the wood

Deep in your twisted mind
You’re helping all mankind
We need the wood
We need the wood

So for me, it’s not so much “revenge” per se as it is “Gotcha, you bitch, you didn’t fool me!”

Have a lovely day, everyone!


Matthias Corvinus (Matthew the Crow) was elected King of Hungary, once upon a time. No record about the soundtrack has survived the intervening centuries.

Blue Foundation – Eyes on Fire. I first heard it off the Twilight Soundtrack but please don’t judge the album based off the movie! It was really an excellent soundtrack. I now prefer the Zed’s Dead dubstep remix of the song, but both are really good.

Some lyrics:
I’m taking it slow
Feeding my flame
Shuffling the cards of your game
And just in time
In the right place
Suddenly I will play my ace
I’ll seek you out,
Flay you alive
One more word and you won’t survive

“Flying Colors” and “Cold Wind to Valhalla” – Jethro Tull
“Hero Takes A Fall” — the Bangles
the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack
“Everybody Loves You Now” – Billy Joel
“The Bitch is Back” – Elton John
“The Pretender” – Foo Fighters
“Welcome to the Jungle” – Guns and Roses
“One Way or Another” – Blondie
“You Know My Name” – Chris Cornell
a very long list of Irish and Scots battle music
“Lubbock or Leave It” – Dixie Chicks
“Bad Reputation” – Joan Jett
“How Do You Like Me Now” – Toby Keith

…and many more. Jesum crow, I have a lot of angry fight music on my iTunes.

My personal favorite is by Apocalyptica feat. Sandra Nasic – Path Vol. II.
I don’t know whether Apocalyptica is well known in the USA. In Germany they are mostly known as four guys playing Metallica on their Cellos. Sandra Nasic is the singer of German Rockband Guano Apes, again I do not know how well known they are around your place. Anyway, that song was my constant companion while playing Diablo II (and that over the course of years). Ahh, the monster slaying, the atmosphere in Act 1… good times.

I’m a pretty nice person so a couple of hours of assorted celine dion or yanni is what would be needed to build me up to a homicidal rage. You were asking for music that would piss me off, right? Most of the music listed above would just make me happy and relaxed.

Yeah, gotta watch out for those corvidae.

And the “O Fortuna” from Orff’s Carmina Burana. Yeah, I know, it’s kind of become a cliche, but it wasn’t so much of one when I first learned it. Plus it’s got that whole “wheel of Fate turning and dumping one’s adversary onto the bottom” thing going on.

I’ve actually tried to let go of my anger and move on, rather than take revenge. But if I were going to take revenge, there are two songs for different phases of the operation. For working up to it, “Doll on a Music Box” will get me in the mood:

(Since there’s no preview, here’s the YouTube link in case the embed doesn’t work:

Once I’m in the actual throes of the operation, “Epiphany” would be my theme song:


And may I say that if you knew who my nemesis is, you would perfectly understand these choices.

“The Plunderers” by The Herd. Some lyrics:
“An Eco friendly emblem on a petrol station,
Like a f**king referendum for a queen without a nation,
Lies about land rights,
Build uranium mines, avoiding millions in tax,
You’ve never paid a fine.”

It’s a peaceful sounding song until you listen to the lyrics. For angry Herd 77% or Mandate by Eye is hard to go past.

If you want cliche, “Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt by Greig. Very Wagnerian and fills me with the urge to go out and hammer some dwarves. Or for a “what nemesis? I have no nemesis” moment there’s “I don’t like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats.

I assume the corvid rooks vote as they do have parliaments.

For the “beat the everliving s*** out of somebody” revenge I’d go with “Harvester of Sorrow” from the Metallica album …And Justice For All. For “grand poetic statement” revenge I’d go with the Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem Mass.

And what J-Ro said: Head Like A Hole by Nine Inch Nails
bow down before the one you serve,
you’re going to get what you deserve

Dark ranty music from my misspent youth. Hmm, The Jesus and Mary Chain “Darklands” is the nihilist version of an assassin’s creed. It sounds like one of their happier songs but the lyrics are nice and dark. Then there’s the silly-metal “We’re not gonna take it” by Twisted Sister. And “The horse you rode in on” by TZU (the chorus has the obvious f-word in it). The Muttonbirds “There’s a Limit” for contrast. And Tiddas “Malcolm Smith” always makes me want to go out and force someone to stop being an arsehole. So I listen to Tim Finn’s “Parihaka” until I calm down and start writing letters to them instead.

What’s Left of the Flag, Flogging Molly
Army of Me, Bjork
Hells Bells, AC/DC because Trevor Hoffman always entered padres home games to that song, and it was awesome.
And Nemeses by Jonathan Coulton because Obviousman likes the obvious.

No doubt all these have been mentioned, but I refuse to look at the other comments, lest my feelings of originality wane.

Well, there’s obviously “slipping” from the Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, and “The Marriner’s Revenge” by the Decemberists…. But I would go with a classic ass-kicking song like Wagner’s Ride of the Valkeries.

Depending on the variety of vengeance…Rogue Trader’s “I Never Liked You” if I’m feeling catty about it, and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “Red Right Hand” for proper vengeance of the prolonged and diabolical nature.

Subtle, individual revenge: “Want You Gone” from Portal 2 by Jonathan Coulton.

Apocalyptic, wholesale revenge: “Dies Irae” from Verdi’s Requiem.

+1 for Invincible, What’s Left of the Flag and Goodbye Earl.

I’m partial to “Casual Match” by Suzanne Vega. It’s kind of a “reap what you sow” song, not as overtly emotional as other songs mentioned – but they say revenge is a dish best served cold, right? ;)

On the other side of the coin, “Help Is On the Way” by Rise Against, “Uprising” by Muse, and “Let The Flames Begin” by Paramore all help get that good burn of anger flowing.

“Room of Angel” from Silent Hill is a haunting (ha ha) portrait of hatred/apathy. And of course, for sheer apocalypse, you can’t beat the Sephiroth theme. ;D

For prolonged, relentless, utter decimation, you could do worse than McBeth, by Laibach. Although I suspect any nemesis-related activity I entered into would be best accompanied by Yakkety-Sax.

Possibly “I Can See For Miles” by The Who, but only if I’m also driving a jetboat over my nemesis’s head, just breaking water just 10,000 feet in the distance.

One of my nemeses was, unexpectantly, defeated today when I went voting so I’d pick “We are the Champions” by Queen. That nemesis being the electronic voting machine. No matter how many times I’ve used a electronic voting machine (probably around 10 times over 9 years) I never got that solid feeling of tangibleness that filling out a paper ballot brings. So, for the first time since the 2000 elections I feel like I’ve actually voted and it’s a great feeling! (Even though so little of what I voted for actually passed today.)

I suppose it depends on the level of nemesisity (yeah, that’s a word I just made up, but it sounds good!)

I mean, if they’re requiring a terminal solution to make me feel better then I’d probably go with….

“Die, Motherf**ker, Die!” by Dope

If I’m in the throes of sorting out my nemesis, I’ll probably be too busy to appreciate incidental music just then. That said, “Coney Island Whitefish” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts at bunchteen decibels couldn’t hurt – it’d drown out the screams, for starters.

Music for pre-sorting:
Leonard Cohen, “First We Take Manhattan”Romeo Void, “Not Safe”The Clash, “Clampdown”Leslie Fish, “They Were Having A Sale At The Gun Store” from Lock and LoadOingo Boingo, “Only A Lad”

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