Michael Jackson is Dead Video by Jon Lajoie

Jon Lajoie is awesome. I enjoy his work. The day after Michael Jackson died, Jon released the video for his song Michael Jackson is Dead on YouTube. With this video, I think he makes a great point about the media’s relationship to Michael Jackson. They made cash money by labeling him a freak on the cover of every major magazine at some point over the past 30 years. Anyways,  I’ll let the video speak for itself. The most poignant lyrics are just before the last verse:

oh it’s so sad that michael passed away
we loved him so much
oh really, really, did you love him
cuz from where i’m standing it kinda looked
like you hated him
and that you called him freak
and that you wanted him to die
but now that he’s dead
you love him and he’s a legend
and he’s so amazing
and we love michael jackson
how about you go fuck yourself
you big bunch of fucking hypocrits

The media is nothing if they are not hypocritical, but I will accept the argument that they are often nicer to people when it involves death. However, it is a flimsy argument, so all you media defenders should try to avoid using it.

This song was written (and the video was posted) less than 48 hours after Michael’s death was announced. Jon Lajoie’s got some skills. Well done, Jon. Well done indeed.

Learn Chinese Languages, Get Perfect Pitch!

According to a post at telegraph.co.uk (here), “Learning to speak Mandarin and Vietnamese as a child helps make you more musical, claims a study that suggests being fluent in the languages helps you have perfect pitch.” The article goes on to point out that perfect pitch in China is a rather common occurence. However, In the US and Europe, it is estimated that only 1 in 10,000 people have perfect pitch.

Apparently, many Chinese languages are ‘tonal languages’ – meaning that the pitch of a word is essential to its meaning. Tonal languages? I had never even heard of such a concept. It’s fascinating. And the part about those languages nurturing perfect pitch? Wow. I have always been under the impression that genetics played the main role for people with perfect pitch. It’s simply fascinating to know that social factors may play a bigger role in acquiring or having perfect pitch.

“It really looks as though infants should acquire perfect pitch if they are given the opportunity to attach verbal labels to musical notes at the age when they learn speech,” said Prof Deutsch.

Maybe I’ll be a parent who forces perfect pitch on my kids by having them learn 4 chinese languages. Then again, maybe not. I have known several people with perfect pitch. I knew this guy in college who could tell you the pitch of a fart. My wife’s mom can tell you the frequency at which a light is buzzing. From talking with various friends about it, perfect pitch can be an amazing gift, but it can also be a real nuisance. For example, let’s say you are listening to an acapella choir that goes flat by a quartertone. For most people with perfect pitch, the experience is nearly ruined because they cannot listen to the performance without noticing how the choir has gone flat. And it goes for instruments, too. Furthermore, I have also heard that perfect pitch will begin to fail in old age. I couldn’t handle that. It would be like a super power was being taken away slowly. People would say, “Poor Hulk. He’s can’t turn dark green anymore. He’s only making it to lime green these days. Poor guy.”

In conclusion, while it might be awesome in theory, simply being a good musician may be better than having perfect pitch.