“Vogon poetry is of course the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem “Ode to a small lump of green putty I found in my armpit one midsummer morning” four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging, and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived only by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been “disappointed” by the poem’s reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve book epic My Favorite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilisation, leapt straight up through his throat and throttled his brain.”—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… as quoted by Steven Greydanus at the beginning of his review of Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon. Greydanus then says, “Michael Bay’s major intestine not being so obliging, his Transformerstrilogy is now complete. I survived the screening of Tranformers: Dark of the Moon, although it is possible other critics succumbed to internal hemorrhaging, and I may have seen Jeffrey Lyons a few aisles away gnawing at his leg in a bid to escape.”
This was written by songwriters Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher for The Muppet Movie, which came out in 1979. In the film, it is sung by Kermit The Frog as the Muppets set out to find adventure. Says Williams: “Rainbow Connection was the first number in The Muppet Movie. It’s the one that establishes the lead character. We find Kermit sitting in the middle of the swamp. Kenny Ascher and I sat down to write these songs, and we thought… Kermit, he’s like ‘every frog.’ He’s the Jimmy Stewart of frogs. So how do we show that he’s a thinking frog, and that he has an introspective soul, and all that good stuff? We looked at his environment, and his environment is water and air - and light. And it just seemed like it would be a place where he would see a rainbow. But we also wanted to show that he would be on this spiritual path, examining life, and the meaning of life.
It tells you that he’s been exposed to culture: ‘Why are there so many songs about rainbows?’ Which means, obviously, he’s heard a lot of songs. This is a frog that’s been exposed to culture, whether it’s movies, or records, or whatever. And I also like the fact that it starts out with the negative: ‘Rainbows are only illusions, rainbows have nothing to hide.’ So the song actually starts out as if he’s going to pooh-pooh the whole idea, and then it turns: ‘So we’ve been told, and some choose to believe it. I know they’re wrong, wait and see.’ And again, he doesn’t have the answer: ‘Someday we’ll find it.’”
”—Interesting background on the song “The Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie, detailed at Song Facts (and passed on to me by Ken Priebe)
If to exercise the body we must accept discomfort, pushing beyond pain, to exercise the mind requires a related effort, an involvement that rejects the passive, formaldehyde bath of strobing visuals. A human is more than his eyes—certainly more than his ocular reflexes—and to be human means breaking free of this dangerous trap.
Odysseus had to sail past the lotus eaters, restful and delicious as their land was, lest he be dragged down to an everlasting sleep. It seems modern man’s plight is avoiding that which bedazzles as much as that which sedates.
Still, either way, the alternative is an incapacitating torpor—a heedless stasis—a deadly lie that wears the mask of peace.
As Response editor Hannah Notess was checking the lyrics of a hymn that’s quoted in an upcoming article, she stumbled onto a Charles Wesley hymn in the hymnal that she’d never noticed before. And I must say, it’s new to me as well.
“Many people have wondered why it is that children’s stories are so full of moralizing. The reason is perfectly simple: it is that children like moralizing more than anything else, and eat it up as if it were so much jam. The reason why we, who are grown up, dislike moralizing is equally clear: it is that we have discovered how much perversion and hypocrisy can be mixed with it; we have grown to dislike morality not because morality is moral, but because morality is so often immoral. But the child has never seen the virtues twisted into vices; the child does not know that men are not only bad from good motives, but also often good from bad motives. The child does not know that whereas the Jesuit may do evil that good may come, the man of the world often does good that evil may come. Therefore, the child has a hearty, healthy, unspoiled, and insatiable appetite for mere morality; for the mere difference between a good little girl and a bad little girl. And it can be proved by innumerable examples that when we are quite young we do like the moralizing story. Grown-up people like the “Comic Sandford and Merton,” but children like the real “Sandford and Merton.”—G.K. Chesterton, Daily News