On the one who was Built on the Tale O' the Twister This Way

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/04/19 11:46 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/04/19/8410221.aspx


Content of Michael Kaplan's personal blog not approved by Microsoft (see disclaimer)!
Regular readers should keep in mind that all I said in The End? still applies; the allusion to the X-Files continues for people who understand such references....

This blog is one of those ideas suggested by my friend Andrea back during that conversation I blogged about in I'm aware of that: an Andreaesque segue and intervention, of sorts.

She is kind of interviewing. Interviewing to be the new Liz. Kind of like how Kirsten Cohen was interviewing with Ryan to be "the new Seth" while Seth was away in the almost healthy almost bounceback in Season 4 of The O.C. Hopefully Andrea's interview will go better than Kirsten's. Or season four's.

Her suggestion went something like this:

Andrea: Well I was thinking about songs and song themes. would you say that the Steve Taylor song you like and the Samantha Ronson song you like are opposite sides of the same relationship? Well, not relationship, but the same people, and the way that most relationships happen with the same like people?
Michael: Hmmm..... interesting. Not exactly that, though -- they are both about one person, each -- though from two different points of view. They could both be about the same person, though. I'll think about it, that could be interesting....
Andrea: Since it was my idea, I guess I'm aware of that.
Michael: Though I think your take on it was wrong.
Andrea: I'm aware of that.

Okay, so the two songs are Samantha Ronson's Built This Way, heard on the soundtrack of the movie Mean Girls, and the Chagall Guevara song Tale O' The Twister, heard on the CD cut of the soundtrack of the movie Pump Up the Volume.

Liz and I had previously talked about both of these songs, though at different times and neither of us ever connected them. But she was not beyond making new connections so the premise, though forced, is plausible, at least.

So we'll run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. :-)

First I'll put the lyrics out there for both:

Built This Way
Samantha Ronson

Tale O' The Twister
Chagall Guevara

Did you ever feel like you wanna be
someone else for just one day
did you ever feel like you wanna see
through another pair of eyes
Did you ever think I might wanna be
with anyone else for just one day
Did you ever really think of me
when I walked away
 
The look the dunks and the bottle of Jack
the smokes the slouch and my eyes back
you think you know what you think you'll find
you think you'll figure me out tonight
but you'll never know what I won't share
'cause I don't care, no I don't care
you think you'll figure me out tonight
but I don't care
 
And I wonder, if I'm just built this way
'cause every man that I know makes me feel like I'm to blame
when it's over, me and my selfish ways
go back to start again
go back to start again
 
Did you ever feel like you should have said
something smarter at the time
Did you ever feel like you should have kept
it all to yourself
Did you ever think it might be your fault
I never promised any more
Did you ever think it might not be me
no it was always me

The look the dunks and the bottle of Jack
the smokes the slouch and my eyes back
you think you know what you think you'll find
you think you'll figure me out tonight
but you'll never know what I won't share
'cause I don't care, no I don't care
you think you'll figure me out tonight
but I don't care
 
And I wonder, if I'm just built this way
'cause every man that I know makes me feel like I'm to blame
when it's over, me and my selfish ways
go back to start again
 
And I wonder, if I'm just built this way
'cause every man that I know makes me feel like I'm to blame
when it's over, me and my selfish ways
go back to start again (2x)
 
The look the dunks and the bottle of Jack
the smokes the slouch and my eyes back
you think you know what you think you'll find
you think you'll figure me out tonight
but you'll never know what I won't share
'cause I don't care, no I don't care
you think you'll figure me out tonight
but I don't care
 
And I wonder, if I'm just built this way
'cause every man that I know makes me feel like I'm to blame
when it's over, me and my selfish ways
go back to start again

And I wonder, if I'm just built this way
'cause every man that I know makes me feel like I'm to blame
when it's over, me and my selfish ways
go back to start again (3x) 

She was a cool blue redhead
She was a virgin vixen
She had the eyes of Lassie
She had the lips of Nixon
Lips like Tricia Nixon

I stole a sideways glance at her continental shelf
And I know she was the devil himself

It's a barstool yawn to a stuttered come-on
It's a dirt road rut,
She said, "Button up, mister"
I shook as she took another look
"Have you ever been hooked," she said,
"By the tail of the twister?"

And with a brain like Einstein
And with a form like sin
Up on the roof of Trump Tower
She said, "It's yours on a trade-in"
Think about it

She was drawn to blood
like a lean loan shark
A tornado to a trailer park

It's a long black car
It's power like a czar
It's temporary bliss
It's like kissing your sister

Big wheels and you're feeling real fine
It's a temporary ride
On the tail of the twister

Big, big wheels
And you're sitting real high
It's a temporary ride
On the tail of the twister

Cars and girls
It's the details of design
Another bait and switch game
That hooks me everytime
And it's payday

After sleeping with the devil
you'd love to close the book
But you gotta wonder
how the baby's gonna look

It's a wide-eyed steal
It's another New Deal
It's the whore before the cart
My head's starting to blister
She said, "You could be the envy
Of everyone you envy
"
It's the tail

It's a long black car
It's power like a czar
It's temporary bliss
My head's starting to blister
I got took as she took another look
"Have you even been hooked," she said
"By the tail of the twister?"

Now I have had a chance to think about this one a bit further....

As a quick "by the way" many people claim that the line in the Samantha Ronson lyric was I'm too plain rather than I'm to blame but I am certain they are wrong and have heard her say as much once (the lyrics have also reportedly been given as such on her MySpace page, further bolstering the claim.

I'll call them Built and Tale since otherwise using those nouns over and over again would really wear me down and all. :-)

Both songs are clearly about particular women (Built is about a woman talking about how all of her relationships seem to go a particular way, and Tale talks about one woman -- a woman who it is easy to imagine that her relationships go that way).

And both women are rather aloof about, or perhaps Built would prefer to say disconnected with, the men they are with.

I've met and occasionally even dated women in the past who seemed like the virgin vixen of Tale -- that kind of confidence in herself, that kind of belief in her ability to change a life. To have the influence and impact of a twister. Only having the one interaction per woman, it is hard to know if they were touched by the relationship (whether it was witnessed or experienced). I'd like to think so, but the front she puts up makes it seem clear that I will never know for sure. Calling them relationships is likely an overstatement, though -- there is a real disconnection there, and it does seem to be her that is driving it.

And I've been friends with and occasionally even dated women in the past who like Built seemed to wonder if they were just built that way when the relationship ends. They probably don't wonder it every time, but they do feel disconnected from the men they are with. In the end it doesn't work out, and though all of the men make her feel like she is to blame, she is perhaps not so quick to deny it as pone might imagine. Maybe she is just built this way and there is little else for her to do but try again.

I'll flatter myself enough to claim that I likely occasionally had impact in the latter case (though probably not the former) when I was in them. And perhaps the tantalizing idea about them being the same woman and the only differences related to how close I was able to get (either as friend or lover) is tantalizing because it redeems the former more than a little bit. It implies that someone is able to touch them, though Tale seems all but untouchable. The fact that Built claims to be untouchable since we'll never know what she won't share and all, yet I know she was occasionally touched makes me wonder whether Tale is emotionally touchable by the right person.

And in the case of the Built woman (Wow, what an odd phrasing! Though at some level both were clearly "built" that is not how I meant it!) I had the chance to see they did have a heart, even if said heart had no eventual impact in changing the course of the relationships that don't happen. You can even see it in the song -- her asking him all of those questions, explaining that it is her. She cared, even if only about not wanting inflict pain.

It is in the nature of men to live in hope and push it into delusion as need be. She will dance with him once and then refuse for the rest of the night. from her point of view she was being polite and now can't shake him; from his point of view she was interested and perhaps still is so why not keep trying? Neither sees the way the other looks at it through the eyes of the other, but either way it clearly isn't meant to be.

So I think I will choose to be enough of an optimist to say we are talking about the same kind of woman in both songs, though the cynic in me is quick to point out that whether true or not the relationships end so that even if it is true it doesn't make a ton of difference. Trying to rehabilitate the view someone after they break up with you really is putting the whore before the cart (to use Steve Taylor's rather visceral phrase about Tale), but when one has decided that Built isn't a whore and that Tale is her, it is simple logic to decide that tale isn't one either.

Does it matter to her? Not to Tale since he doesn't know about it and probably wouldn't care if she did. But to Built it would matter -- the occasional bout of guilt about the cyclical nature of the relationships she had is somewhat assuaged if the men feel better about her as a person.

But it matters to him. And I'm not just saying that because at times it has been me. Once beyond the bitter phase it is much clearer that negative feelings about the whole thing aren't healthy.

It was Damon Wayans who (in The Last Boy Scout) once said "I want to meet the bitch who fucked you up". It is a sentiment even expressed to me, on occasion. But that kind of thinking isn't very productive in the long run, so it is seldom something that I respond to -- we are responsible for our own actions, and both Built and Tale need to get over themselves enough to realize that we all have impact on each other, whether we realize it or not.

Both songs are on the Zune and in some (though not all) of the playlists, so I hear them from time to time when they come up in the rotation. When they inspire memories (as they sometimes will) they inspire ones that are good. Which I think is a pretty healthy view on the whole.

But perhaps I will feel differently the next time I am dumped under either Tale or Built circumstances. So all of that is a tad situational. :-)

So Andrea, was that what you had in mind? I'm not sure how organic that felt, from a process standpoint (we mostly talked about what was important not to me but to her -- so the new Liz would have to be a bit more willing to bring her own concerns and interests to the mix -- mine just aren't as interesting to me!). But I suppose maybe another interview is possible, there is some potential here.

 

This post brought to you by(U+a49d, aka YI RADICAL YO)


John Cowan on 19 Apr 2008 10:24 PM:

Read this:  http://arthaey.blogspot.com/2006/08/hit-on-already.html and my comment on it.

Michael S. Kaplan on 19 Apr 2008 11:21 PM:

Yep, that covers it -- polite just doesn't work in such situations, due to this hopeful blind optimism we seem to have as a gender!


referenced by

2008/04/26 A song that reminds me of a roof (which isn't there, anymore) and a girl (who isn't, either)

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