For No Particular Reason At All, This Song Seems Strangely Appropriate Today

Yes, that about says it, I think.

No, wait, there’s this too!

And, I don’t know, this kind of encapsulates things.

Enough for now.

154 Comments on “For No Particular Reason At All, This Song Seems Strangely Appropriate Today”

  1. On an entirely unrelated note, today I renewed my SFWA membership. Seems I forgot to do it earlier. Oh, well, an easily corrected oversight, and it was.

  2. Ah, are we to understand that there has been an outbreak of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens to sweeten up the air in an entirely unrelated organisation?

  3. Careful, there. Not that I expect there is a lot of cross-over in readership, but after the demise of Doghouse Riley and the announced retirement of TBogg, you can scare the citizenry ratrher easily with a title like that.

  4. Probably has more to do with his recent heated argument over the proper pronunciation of Toe-mhat-oh’s.

  5. And that a particularly nasty species of fatberg has finally been flushed from the twitter stream it was stinking up?

  6. It isn’t first day in school. Will Weaton just tweeted that he arrived in Indy. I don’t see an elicit affair anywhere here. I’m out of guesses.

  7. I didn’t get it. Then I did. Or at least I *think* I’m getting it. But probably not. I often don’t get what the heck people mean on the internet.

  8. Great. Now I have a Sound of Music earworm. Time to crank up some Pavement and drive it out.

  9. Fine. But i’m printing a t-shirt declaring myself the winner of Whatever “For no particular Reason” of 8/14/2013.

  10. Waiting for Cheap Trick’s Auf Wiedersehen. (Cheap Trick did a lot of hello or goodbye songs. What’s up with that?)

  11. Actually, any excuse to play Oingo Boingo is OK. As for the Sound of Music, after that song, they escape Nazis. (Well, with drama. Nevertheless.)

    As for possible precipitating events: Disinfect all surfaces. E. coli, MRSA, and listeria can lurk.

  12. No, not really. Not until we’re saying goodbye to the anencephalic p####s in Parliament.
    BTW, gotta love the claim of whoever put the first vid on YouTube that the song was performed by The Von Trapp Family Singers when it was clearly ripped from the soundtrack of ‘The Sound of Music’!

  13. Theophylact — none of the songs Sinatra or Streisand sing were written by them, but you’ll usually see the singer given credit for the performance. In the case of musicals, the characters are often given credit on the soundtracks.

  14. Perhaps a few repetitions of the chorus from “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” would go well? Though were I advising certain others “Sorry seems to be the hardest word” would certainly seem apropros…

  15. John, a wonderful selection of music, tonight I will purchase a bottle of Dom Perignon to enjoy it by and if I ever have the pleasure of meeting you and Steven, I’ll share another bottle with you.

  16. The celebration of his expulsion is revealing. I doubt Mr. Beale would be posting youtube songs if the situation were reversed.

  17. Huh. I just happened to stumble across an interesting piece of news about a not-very-interesting person, and for some bizarre reason I thought you might have something to say about it. But nooooo, all you have is a strange collection of music, for no reason whatsoever.

    But who am I to talk? For no particular reason I can’t get the Katrina and the Waves’ song “Walking on Sunshine” out of my head.

    I suspect that Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” is next on my mental playlist, though I have no idea why that would be …

  18. Europa Universalis IV got released yesterday – is that what we’re happy about?

  19. Xea:

    The celebration of who what now? As I noted earlier, I have posted these songs for no particular reason at all, purely for my own personal enjoyment. Because they are lovely songs, and I endorse their sentiment. If other people wish to suggest there is some cause, well, that is on them, and not me.

  20. Let’s not turn this comment thread into a discussion of this Mr. Beale fellow, whoever he is. Let’s instead think about happy thoughts and fluffy animals, like, oh, rabbits, I suppose, and also just enjoy this wonderful music that I have linked to for no particular reason whatsoever.

  21. @Just an observation: Oh, excellent. I am reliably informed there are cookies to be had there.

  22. My house-rabbit dances for joy to a little ditty called “Don’t Let the Door Hit You in the Ass” that I found on YouTube. (I’m hoping it’s a cure for the Sound of Music. Hoping.)

  23. The proper attribution of “So Long, Farewell,…” is tricky. The characters were the Von Trapp Family Singers, but they were based on the real Von Trapp Family Singers who did not appear in the movie. Nor did they record the song. It was written by Rogers & Hammerstein, but this is not a recording of them, either. So who gets the attribution? Probably the best choice would be “the cast of The Sound of Music”.

  24. Thanks for this! Unrelated to any other contexts, I was actually just personally having a bummer of a day but as cheesy as the Brady Bunch is, it is still lodged enough into my subconscious that this really cheered me up. Thank you!

  25. The celebration of his expulsion is revealing. I doubt Mr. Beale would be posting youtube songs if the situation were reversed.

    No, he would be gloating in a straightforwardly dickish, un-creative, and un-amusing manner.

    Not that Mr. Scalzi’s post has any relevance to this person.

  26. I think Walking On Sunshine, the song that plays automatically when you look “upbeat” up in the dictionary, is also appropriate. And The Hell of It, that song from Phantom of the Paradise with the line “And though your memory lingers on, all of us are glad you’re gone.”

  27. Rabbits?! Every rabbit I’ve ever known (and the couple I’ve owned) were cranky, mean little critters. Fluffy yes, but just as happy to nip your fingers and run off as look at you. They have far too effective a publicist…their public image doesn’t match the gritty reality. Cats now…they can be quite cuddly (and they’re neither paying me nor threatening me in order to get this endorsement)….

  28. Cats now…they can be quite cuddly (and they’re neither paying me nor threatening me in order to get this endorsement)….

    Yes – as long as we are servile enough to them, they will never ever ever hardly ever hurt us.

  29. “Sometimes it’s better to be a bit coy and circumspect, you know.”

    Call it whatever you want, but it’s still a lie. A dead rose by any other name would still smell as foul.

  30. Another vote for “Na na hey hey goodbye” and “The Hell of It”. “Phantom of the Paradise” is woefully underrated, so everyone should listen to the latter anyway, as I’m sure @Xopher would agree.

    If we’re going to be doing 60’s/70’s giant family performing stuff, I must insist that “C’mon, Get Happy” from the Partridge Family beats the Brady tune any day. Hello world!

    Anyone who thinks bunnies are sweet and innocent has never lived with one, nor ever seen Birdchick’s famous “Disapproving Rabbits”. They’re even sneakier than cats. They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.

    Hello, world, here’s a song that we’re singin’,
    c’mon get happy

  31. Elephant:

    “it’s still a lie”

    Wounded, wounded I am, that a random anonymous commenter would suggest that I am being less than truthful about the cause of my musical choices! O! The sting! Because, as we all know, there is no disapprobation like the disapprobation of the random anonymous commenter.

    I am so deeply distraught by the accusation of being less than 100% truthful for my public reason for airing these particular bits of music that I will spend one whole second in contemplation of my alleged sins.


    There, done now.

  32. For reasons I can’t fathom, I’ve had Elton John’s “Indian Sunset” curling in my head all day. This is a nice break.

    BTW, John, the friend of mine that attended your book signing in Mountain View with me lives in Ohio — he retrieved a copy of the Dayton Daily with your interview so I could read it. Good job!

  33. [Deleted for boring me with continued doubts of my complete and total sincerity. Goodbye, Elephant – JS]

  34. So is this “Theodore Beale” customer the same Self-Loathing, Deeply Closeted Far Right Wing Fanboi (but I repeat myself) who you kept slapping some respect into, Scalzi…?

  35. Rabbits?! Every rabbit I’ve ever known (and the couple I’ve owned) were cranky, mean little critters. Fluffy yes, but just as happy to nip your fingers and run off as look at you. They have far too effective a publicist…their public image doesn’t match the gritty reality.

    This morning was spent with me on the laptop and next to me, on the couch, a medium-ish sized rabbit, flopped over on his side, sound asleep and enjoying getting petted. They actually make quite charming house pets–much quieter than a cat, tend to sleep during the day and (I believe this is what I read) now the third most popular house pet. Viva la Lagomorph! :) His only drawback is a propensity for untying my shoelaces–only mine, never my husband’s. He doesn’t chew on them, just delicately unties the bow and then the knot and hops away with an air of a job well-done. *reminder to self: must order Gamma Rabbit shirt for myself and husband*

  36. Timeliebe:

    Perhaps? I can’t remember. I’m pretty sure I farmed out thinking about him to other people if I did, and having done so, ceased to think about him at all. Honestly, it’s all so hazy now.

  37. Oh, piffle! My apologies for the double-post–back on topic. Sound of Music has, thankfully, exited my head. Now I have Munchkins singing, Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead playing over and over and…. I’m hoping some beer or wine will drown the sound out.

  38. Speaking of appropriate music, I went grocery shopping with my girlfriend today. There were a lot of kids and moms around, but that’s not surprising since there was a back-to-school sale on. What was surprising was they had Alice Cooper’s song “School’s out for summer” playing on continuous loop. Coincidence? I think not.

  39. Sorry if that last post is Malletable, Scalzi – I really didn’t know WTF you kept referring to, but from his Wikipedia entry he sounds like a Thoroughly Vile Right Wing Excuse For a Human Being (but again, I repeat myself). Glad to finally have a face and a name to attach to My Flaming Sword of Secular Humanism Loathing and Disgust!

    One complaint – THE SOUND OF MUSIC? Really, John – did you have to? I think that’s a violation of the Geneva Convention….

  40. This post and its comments somewhat mirror Mr. Beale’s post, and its comments.
    Nobdy wins. It’s disheartening.

  41. Fin:

    I wouldn’t know anything about what this Mr. Beale is doing, nor do I care. And I, of course, have merely chosen to play some sprightly tunes that I enjoy. What could be more delightful than that?

    Kudzu Bob:

    It’s now hubris to enjoy songs? How dreadful!

  42. Fin, even you don’t personally care for the music, this is the no-gatekeeper zone, and nobody’s making you watch the videos. I’m not even curious about what music Beale likes. His site, his choices. I don’t see why everything has to be treated like a contest.

  43. “He that is proud eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle.”

  44. Scalzi, you sound like a happy, happy man. As well you should! Your post and comment stream is full of such delightful songs, after all!

  45. Kudzu Bob, you have something against James Brown? Come on, man, don’t be hating on music.

  46. Lately– not really based on anything– I’ve been having visions of a Heavyweight Championship bout, in which through some fluke, the challenger was just a schoolyard bully. He entered the ring, just flailing his arms and screaming, “I’M A NINJA! I’M A NINJA!” while the champ just stood there, ignoring his ineffective attempts to even land a blow. Finally, more out of pity than anything else, the champ had security take the kid out of the ring. Oddly, that kid screamed, “Yeah! Now I’m winning!” as he was dragged off, and even stranger, his people in his corner were cheering, “You’ve got him on the ropes now!”

    This is a very strange vision for me to have, as I usually don’t much think about boxing matches, but I thought it was worth sharing.

  47. Reminder: this thread is about the joy of songs, not this “Mr. Beale,” whoever he is, so let’s wrap that up, please. Further posts referring to this fellow are likely to be Malleted, so this thread can be what it is supposed to be: A celebration of song!

    Kudzu Bob:

    Actually, I am eating a sandwich right now.

  48. Kudzu Bob:


    Nope, it’s hummus.


    Nonsense! I have the courage to post a song by the Brady Bunch! That makes me the most courageous middle-aged man who ever lived!

  49. [Dieter, from Sprockets] Now I am as happy as a little girl in springtime. The irony, it is delicious. It echoes in my soul. Would you like to touch my monkey? [/Dieter]
    (for those of you who are having trouble with The Von Trapp Family Singers, et. al., a slightly different earworm)

  50. Chumbawumba had more than one song?

    Josh Cochran – ye gods and little fishes, yes! And you really owe it to yourself to find them and listen to them, because they are really very good! I suggest Spotify.

  51. And no doubt you’d be perfectly happy to take the word of the Man with Red Eyes that the food on Camazotz is real, not synthetic. Bon appétit.

  52. Kudzu Bob:

    Is there a song about a man with red eyes? There’s a lovely song about a girl with kaleidoscope eyes. Now I find myself wanting to take a cellophane taxi!

  53. Not a song, a book. Take your cellophane taxi to the library and check out a copy of A Wrinkle in Time. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

  54. Might I suggest Queen’s “Death on Two Legs”? It’s quite a kiss-off to their ex-manager. Listen for Freddie to hiss “but now you can kissssss my assss goodbye”.

  55. Kudzu Bob:

    My hummus was made in White Plains, NY, not Camazotz. So it’s probably really hummus.

    Although that reminds me I once met Ms. L’Engle’s daughter several years ago at the ALA in Washington DC. She was lovely.

  56. It is good that those so lacking in a sense of smell that they cannot detect even the rank odor of self-congratulation have food labels to guide them.

  57. Kudzu Bob:

    My sense of smell is fine! Right now I can smell my wife making salsa downstairs. Mmmmmm, salsa. Which means there’s no smell of self-congratulations anywhere! Or hubris! Just salsa! Yay! Salsa!

    (P.S. Kudzu Bob: You probably don’t want to say anything bad about my wife’s salsa. Just to let you know.)

  58. Well, yes, of course there’s a BOOK about a man on Camazotz with red eyes. (I met L’Engle years ago; very nice experience. I’ve read and reread many of her books, including A Wrinkle in Time.) I just thought that since the thread is about songs, I would ask if there was a song about the red-eyed dude.

  59. Aristotle pointed out that pleasure is the cause of hubris, in that men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater. Enjoy your wife’s salsa; enjoy every bite of it, because what follows hubris is not so pleasurable.

  60. Good byeeeeeee, good byeeeeeEEEEEE. Wipe the tear, baby dear from your eyyyyeeeeeee.

    Sorry, don’t know where that came from; just in a nostalgic and valedictory mood, I guess …

  61. John, some of your respondents are just a bit whacked. Can they not understand your simple joy in music? And salsa? And possibly salsa music? Silly beings.

    (Fresh, vine-ripened summer tomatoes = salsa to sing and dance over, btw.)

  62. Kudzu Bob:

    But, see, all I am doing is enjoying some music. Aristotle said of music that it tends to be productive of virtue. So yay! I am a virtuous person through my love of music! Also, as Deb Geisler points out, salsa is a type of music. So there you are.


    Yeah, I honestly don’t know what these dudes have against these perfectly pleasant tunes. It’s nutty!

  63. But, see, all I am doing is enjoying some music. Aristotle said of music that it tends to be productive of virtue.

    And Mac Davis says that music is love and love is music. Also, people who believe in music are the happiest people he’s ever seen. So you got that going for you.

  64. He engages in hubris and sophistry in but a single thread. Tell me, is there nothing the man can’t do? Other than ACTUALLY getting 50,000 readers per day that he claims, I mean.

  65. Well, actually, up to 50K a day here (see here for the full discussion of site metrics) and more than 50K on Twitter. So, in fact, more than 50K readers daily! Thanks for asking!

    And now, Kudzu Bob, you’re officially boring the crap out of me. You run along now.

  66. He engages in hubris and sophistry in but a single thread.

    I think you have confused “hubris and sophistry” with “amusement and mockery.” This is a common mistake made by people who take themselves far too seriously. You know, the type of people who truly don’t realize how sad and silly they look riding their little hobbyhorse, waving their plastic sword, and pretending they’re leading a heroic cavalry charge.

  67. This has got to be one of the most upliftingly hilarious comments threads I’ve read in a long, long time.

    Thanks guys.

  68. “Aristotle pointed out that pleasure is the cause of hubris, in that men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater.”

    I agree that these songs can be grating, but I don’t think inflicting them on us rises to the level of hubris-inducing ill-treatment. It’s so easy to avoid the lyrical inanities: just don’t play the videos.

  69. I’m heading to bed, and as this thread has already shown the propensity for attracting people who apparently cannot enjoy the simple pleasure of a cheerful tune, I’m going to turn it off and reopen it in the morning. Good night!

    Update, 10:40am 8/15/13: Back on now.

  70. Brady Bunch??? I… Oh… I… I don’t even… grrr… what the hell is Peter is wearing there. Thanks for the flashback to hell, Mr Scalzi. Next you’ll be posting “Come On Get Happy” by The Partridge Family.

    Ok, enough of the bad-old music. If we’re gonna post good music, here’s one of my favorite bands, They Might Be Giants singing “Instanbul (Not Constantinople)”. It’s one of those quirky upbeat songs that always makes me smile.

    I can’t remember if the moderation limit is 2 or 3 links, so I’ll just post these for now.

  71. I wish I could see the videos;my video player isn’t working. :(

    @ Mr. Scalzi: Absolutely nobody whatsoever is linking to this post and calling you all sorts of nasty names while blaming you for his being lovingly corrected from a certain organization. That’s probably why you’ve had so many trolls on this thread.

    Also, I am currently gleefully cackling at absolutely nobody whatsoever’s well-deserved demise.

  72. Just found a bug in my video system–let me see if this works.

    Also, I suggest the Pearl Jam song “Bushleaguer” if you are interested in openly mocking Omega Rabbit. I know that it was written for the Shrub, but it’s actually remarkably appropriate.

  73. I don’t tend to go for hummus sandwiched. By the time you put on enough hummus to taste it over the bread, it’s a gloppy mess of a sandwich and very difficult to eat. Much better to eat hummus as a dip. I’d also advise avoiding humus sandwiches; much worse than hummus sandwiches.

    Personally, I could go for a good seitan Reuben: sauerkraut, swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and thinly sliced seitan grilled on a nice Jewish rye with caraway seeds. (Lacto)Vegetarian and probably even kosher (unlike a traditional Reuben).

    Curious about what sort of sandwiches would go well with “The Sound of Music”, I found an “alpine sandwiches” photoblog, consisting of pictures of sandwiches on mountaintops. None appear particularly Austrian, though.

  74. Hubris? That doesn’t even make sense. Schadenfreude (if that were what were present here) doesn’t require thinking highly of yourself.

  75. Greg –

    I too love TMBG. Here is a song that is one of my recent favorites and seems apropos to nothing whatsoever.

  76. Gak! What the hell? All my links are pointing to totally-did-not-intend-to-link-to-that videos.

    I’m not a “real” geek, I guess.

    God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

  77. (OK, Broadway musical lover, I must give full props to Phantom of the Paradise, which IS underrated liek whoa. Paul Williams, good gods.)

  78. Well, if somebody links to They Might Be Giants’ Istanbul Not Constantinople but it really points to something else, does that mean we shouldn’t know Istanbul’s a cover of something from 1953?

    Cheerful, but a completely different feel. For no particular reason at all.

  79. Lysana, you shouldn’t have mentioned, Hello, Dolly as I now have an urge to watch it again and don’t have it on DVD. *sad eyes*

    On the up side, I have Judy Garland’s Get Happy from Summer Stock now stuck in my head. it seems fitting, somehow.

  80. Hey John, if you were on Camazotz, and the man with red eyes kept trying to convince you that hummus was hubris, about how long would it take before the women and men with gold eyes and green skin showed up to kill IT with fire? Or to make this more on topic, in Lt. Heather Lee’s case, with Abba?

    I know this is a total fangirl question, but it’s been bugging me for a while. I figured since you’re now just a regular SFWA member and not President, and only get consulted on the important decisions instead of having to make them yourself, that you’d have more time for questions from your fans.

  81. Finding out that the world is a better place is cause to rejoice, though it’s a little
    unkind to be gloating over someone else’s misfortune. After all, you
    can never be sure that you won’t have your own misfortune someday, and,
    knowing that, the wise person errs on the side of dignified silence.

    Of course this is all hypothetical; I would never accuse our gracious host of
    feeling smug over someone else’s defeat. I’m merely opining and hoping to be
    found insightful.

    Before I started reading this blog,
    each time I ran into someone with
    a poisonous, vicious viewpoint I
    let myself get down. No more;
    each day like today makes me a little happier

  82. David Goldfarb pointed out on Making Light that “Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit” can be sung to the tune of “Fishheads.” Dave Crisp, in the same comment thread, points out that “Just another racist sexist homophobic dipshit” scans with “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

    I’m just talking about songs, mind you. Filk, in this case.

  83. I see that Xopher has already suggested the song that I would have added to the play list, but I did want to note that yes, a lovely day for upbeat music all around.

  84. “RSHD” can also be substituted for the four letter title of a song by some cosplayers from Christopher Street. You know, the one about the place where kids can get swimming lessons.

    There are things you can do with the rest of those lyrics, too.

  85. @ Xopher: “Narcissistic Racist Sexist Homophobic Diiiipshit!” fits the tune as well.

  86. This crazy broken-down computer that I’m using right now can’t play audio. Generally this is a bad thing, but occasionally it spares me an earworm or two. Or several, as would have been the case today.

    Unrelatedly, I have to confess that I just misread this blog’s tagline as “Taunting the Turntable since 1998”. That struck me as rather odd, as I’d not heard of any antipathy from John regarding vinyl records.

  87. If we’re posting TMBG songs, there’s always this one, which contains one of my favorite lyrics: “It was the loveliest party that I’ve ever attended. If anything was broken, I’m sure it could be mended.”

    Interestingly and apropos of nothing, the end of the link looks a lot like “nutcase” at a glance.

    And my personal vote for Best Cheerful Song that Makes No Sense:

    Why yes, I do have a blue canary in the outlet by the light switch.

  88. I would like to commend Whateverians for their knowledge of show tunes, TMBG, filk, and cheerful songs.

    Jazz hands and/or Vulcan salutes, everyone.

  89. Shannon: “It was the loveliest party that I’ve ever attended.

    That’s an odd coincidence….

    My two totally-didn’t-intend-to-link-to-these-videos links included one link to this very song which yet seems oddly appropriate for today but for no particular reason.

  90. Oh gawd, I googled and found myself at Voxpopuli …. sheesh, so that’s where the stuff in my toilet goes when I flush. I get why John doesn’t want the name mentioned. Man, I need a bath.

  91. What will you sing in the bath, Ambivalent, since this thread is about cheerful songs? I recommend “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair” from South Pacific. It’s sprightly.

  92. Greg: It took me two trips through the comments to figure out what you meant. :) I saw the text of the link, and knew “Istanbul” for an earworm, and so didn’t click. Not that “Birdhouse” is any better.

    BW: “Singing in the Rain”?

  93. @ Ambivalent: First, “Oh, FSM, you poor person!”

    Second: A bath is an EXCELLENT idea. Let’s never mention that person ever again, as well.

  94. Thanks, Nicoleandmaggie – loved that one and had never come across it before!

    @shannon – doesn’t everyone? :-)
    Actually, we used to use that song as a tiredness/drunkenness indicator at uni – if the lyrics began to make sense… you needed to stop talking and/or drinking.

    It is a very nice day, though… just saying.

  95. Now if the Von Trapp family were wearing Gamma Rabbit t-shirts, that would be even more of a win. Also for no specific reason.

  96. I understand the sunshiny-day stuff, but I’m not really a sunshiny-day kind of person. The songs that ran through my head were more along the lines of:

    I Will Survive
    These Boots Were Made For Walkin’

  97. (This is the most recent vaguely relevant thread, so…)

    Anyone remember that great analogy explaining what getting hit on feels like, as having ice cream dumped on your hands? I ran into it either here or on a blog linked from here. I’d like a link to it, and it seems nigh-google-proof.

    It came up because I had a cone of soft-serve dumped on me and I caught it in my hand, which led to my mentioning the analogy, etc.

  98. Plus, you can specify ‘blogs’ in google? Huh. That would have saved me this trouble.

  99. On a Google search results page, there’s generally a line of options, one being “More,” which has a drop-down list that includes blogs. I find the results to be hit-or-miss, but it’s better than nothing. I don’t know whether the Google home page has that lineup, because I generally don’t go there. I get to Google from a search box on my browser bar and then refine as needed.

    She mentions using the analogy previously in a comment somewher, so maybe you weren’t so far off. Plus, I’d never seen it before, and it could be very useful. So, thanks.

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