Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goodbye, John Reed

Although I have been accused of trying to be the incarnation of W. S. Gilbert (high praise I don't come close to deserving!), I have a confession: In the constellation of all things G&S, although I admired Gilbert tremendously, he was never my source of inspiration. When I think of Gilbert and Sullivan, my thoughts are not of abstract words or perfect melodies, but of one voice--the voice of John Reed.

Our library had, and I often borrowed, a large collection of the D'oyly Carte recordings; most featured Reed as the comic baritone. It was his voice that defined G&S for me, and brought Gilbert's words, Sullivan's melodies, to perfect life. Reed's voice was not operatically trained, but it was perfect for this task (others may disagree and have their own favorites, but I am right). I am very happy he sang at a time when a good stereo recording was possible.

So, goodbye, John Reed! Thank you for your elocution, your timing, your voice.

Imitation being flattery and all that, I reprise an earlier bit of work. Far better to acknowledge this as inspired by Reed than by the undeserving creationist plagiarists.

I am the very model of a devious creationist
I’ve made a film that’s best described as stolen-animationist
I know the use of rhetoric when facts are unavailable
To render the impossible into the unassailable

I’m very well acquainted, too, with data manufacturing
I’ll claim I stand on solid granite even as it’s fracturing
I document complexity, like when it’s irreducible…
And think my movie’s in the league of Arthur Miller’s Crucible

And think my movie’s in the league of Arthur Miller’s Crucible
And think my movie’s in the league of Arthur Miller’s Crucible
And think my movie’s in the league of Arthur Miller’s Crucible


I’m very good at lying, both the verbal and statistical—
Like Darwin in his later years, I’m openly theistical
In short, you might describe me as a mental masturbationist
I am the very model of a devious creationist

In short, you might describe him as a mental masturbationist
He is the very model of a devious creationist


My evidence, in volumes that would baffle a librarian
Is not so much orthogonal as utterly contrarian
Presented with a problem like the claw of a Deinonychus
I pause for just a moment, then it’s “Dammit, bring it on!” I cuss

My scientific colleagues have been banned from Universities
Expecting them to publish was just one of their adversities
They’ve parried the attacks of retroviruses endogenous
Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us

Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us
Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us
Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us


My evidence is solid as a fossil of triceratops
Presented with the humor of a monologue of Carrot Top’s
In short, you might describe me as a mental masturbationist
I am the very model of a devious creationist

In short, you might describe him as a mental masturbationist
He is the very model of a devious creationist


In fact, when I know what is meant by “cinemas” and “enemas”
When I can tell by sight the harmless serpent from the venomous
And claim I found the evidence in chapter one of Genesis
You’ll see, compared to Darwinists, which one of us the menace is

When I have crack’d a book on Evo-Devo or Biology
Enough to understand instead of mutter simply “Golly gee!”
And understand my argument is simply false dichotomy
You’ll say that this creationist does not deserve lobotomy

You’ll say that this creationist does not deserve lobotomy
You’ll say that this creationist does not deserve lobotomy
You’ll say that this creationist does not deserve lobotomy


For the science that I know was not updated for millennia
Not since the latest virgin birth, or genesis parthenia
But still, you might describe me as a mental masturbationist
I am the very model of a devious creationist

But still, you might describe him as a mental masturbationist
He is the very model of a devious creationist

6 comments:

seanahan said...

Best post ever. An all time cuttlefish classic.

morriganscrow said...

*leaps to feet and applauds wildly*

BRAVO, good sir, BRAVO!!

mpj said...

Bravo! Fantastic! but...
I can't get "Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us" to scan. Is it missing a syllable?

Cuttlefish said...

@mpj--

In my accent, "while" may be pronounced as a very long single syllable, or a brief two syllables. In this case, with music, either way works, but the one word gets a two-note slide.

(if it still doesn't work for you, insert a "the" between "that" and "Darwinians")

li'l girl blue said...

Digital Cuttlefish. There are things that make you grin, and things that make you snort, and there are things that give you full body goosebumps because they are just so perfectly expressed. This is a combination of all three of the above. Your blog is a constant source of wonderfulness.

Cuttlefish said...

*Blush*