January 17, 2007

And It's The Stars That Lie To You

That's a line from the tune "Through Glass" by Stone Sour. I really dug the tune when it came out but I wasn't really sure what it was about. Thanks to the Wikipedia entry on the song now I do & I'm even more impressed with the tune. I assumed it was about some sort of relationship gone bad (the lyrics do kinda fit) but it's really about disappointment with the falsity of the music/entertainment industry. The video (which can be seen via this magically colored text) continues this theme & is one of the best vids I think I've ever watched. It does a real good job of subtly driving home the song's point. Here are the lyrics which might help clarify things a bit as some of the phrases are tricky to understand correctly in the song.

I can't say I haven't felt the way the composer did when he penned this tune. But the sad truth is I got past it & sold out a long time ago (I used to joke that I never actually sold out cause I would’ve had to have standards in order to betray them). If the cash was there I'd play it. Don't get me wrong; back when I was a musician I was in some hot little bands & did some very artistic things, but I've also played the Electric Slide, the Macarena & backed an Elvis impersonator (for a little while at least). “Rent due” will make you play some very artificial tunes & musicians despite our pretenses are nothing more than glorified (or demonized) liquor salesmen. Still, I understand the tune’s musings & sympathize with them. As you might have noticed from my posts I tend to focus on songs that have something deep or poignant about them & wish that these kinds of tunes were more popular. Alas I doubt we’ll see another Prine or Morrison anytime soon but there are a few folks out there who do a decent job (Cat Power, Mayer, Duritz, Thomas, Block, Hiatt, Kravitz, Kiedes, Gaines & Prince to name a few).

But honestly when I assumed it was about some sort of relationship I thought that "...and it's the stars that lie to you…" might have been a refutation of the Zodiac in some way (no; not those Zodiacs). It turns out the writer was talking about celebrities. & it seems some scientists agree with the him:

"Sense About Science has urged stars not to dip their toes into tricky scientific issues without checking their facts first."

& I just always assumed that celebs had teams of fact checkers working for them before they opined on any subject. /sarcasm Here are some examples of what the good scientists speak of:

On how to prevent breast cancer by giving women more information about 'the importance of keeping the lymph system clear and unclogged'.

Prof Michael Baum, emeritus professor of surgery, University College London: 'Carole's idea of keeping the lymph system 'clear and unclogged' has no meaning whatsoever.
It is not based on knowledge of anatomy or physiology of the human body, let alone of breast cancer."

Damn. Just last week I paid some quack $80 to clear out my lymph system. That’ll teach me to listen to celebs.

'Why should I allow my body or my children to be filled with man-made chemicals, when I don't know what the health effects of these substances will be.'

Dr John Hoskins, toxicologist: 'Away from the high doses of occupational exposure a whole host of unwanted chemicals finds its way into our bodies all the time.
Most leave quickly but some stay: asbestos and silica in our lungs, dioxins in our blood. The most important thing is dose: one aspirin cures a headache, a hundred kills.
The chemical baggage we carry is very small. It is only because of the great advances in analytical chemistry that we are able to detect it's there at all."

There's another article which more generally discusses the problem

It says a science group is distributing a pamphlet with a list of celebrity quotes & scientists’ take on thing.

"It offers advice such as 'if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is', and lists a phone number for concerned celebrities to call if they want to discuss anything with experts." (emphasis mine)

Nothing was mentioned about celebrity misstatements about firearms though which is probably the topic most frequently misunderstood by celebrities. Luckily we have Alphecca to straighten out Snoop Dog & David Codrea (of The War on Guns) to correct Sting. Most of the time a celebrity who speaks of firearms can be easily counseled &/or corrected as their statements are usually so blatantly wrong (if you can get hold of them that is). I'm afraid though that (according to the NRA) there's much more work to be done on educating celebrities (scroll down) than you might expect.

There are some celebrities who do understand what they're talking about. Bruce Willis & Tom Selleck come to mind (along with at least half of the Grand Ol' Opry). Others are close & one lass (Renee Zellweger) seems to be displaying a genuine if cautious interest in the subject.

"People usually mean no harm, but it's scary if there is a car idling outside your house in the middle of the woods at four in the morning. You realize you can't live there any more. It's sad, but that's how it works. It's no big deal. It's just a job hazard. I don't want to own a gun, but sometimes I do think about it."

Since I'm always willing to do my part I'll gladly educate miss Zellweger on the topic of firearms (or at least I would if she'd return my calls).

Posted by Publicola at January 17, 2007 04:27 AM | TrackBack
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