Monday, January 12, 2004

In a long list of questionable purchases, most recent was the comedy album by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. It's not that I really regret purchasing the album, it's more that the album makes me feel like I'm in 7th grade, wishing to god Mom doesn't bust in and hear all that filthy talk. This sort of thing used to be reserved for late night viewing of Eddie Murphy specials, Richard Pryor videos and the occasionally unsurfaced Redd Fox record.

We didn't use a lot of profanity in my house. In fact, "sucks" was not considered acceptable until i was in 9th grade. Mom broke the ice one spirng evening when, while on a phone call, I heard her say "I thought she was going to shit a brick." Well, from there the floodgates opened, and the Steans household has slowly become potty mouth central. We don't drop the F-Bomb, and taking the Lord's name in vain is still frowned upon (but will rarely actually illicit a verbal reprimand). But a lot of stuff that didnt fly when i was a tyke is now par for the course.

But of course, like most boys, I'd secretly had a pirate's vocabulary since about 5th grade. The switch flipped on and off at the presence of anyone resembling authority, and I only rarely got called on my vulgarities. In hgh school, somebody made the mistake of telling me "speak with the vulgar, think with the refined," which I took, wrongly, to give me free license to drop the F-bomb as frequently as possible.

And then in my second job in college, we had some modicum of restraint, but cursing wasn't exactly taboo at the Camelot Records. My third job in college might as well have been on a submarine, and the profanity flowed like fine wine. If you weren't emphasizing your point with the F-word, you weren't really trying to make a point. And so it went.

Saddest of all of this is how twisted the language of my beautiful wife has become since when we first teamed up. Now, it's like her super power is never running out of obscenities. It's really pretty funny, as it always is when otherwise very nice people blurt one out, and I've grown to find it endearing instead of just feeling guilty over my bad influence (Jamie insists she was like this before, but I remember a time... I remember a time...).

Things kind of came to a head in college in my screenwriting class. I was asked by several people who were reviewing my script to "please, please try to keep the profanity under control." And I felt a little bad, but not that bad. It was distracting them all from how incoherent the screenplay actually was.

The current job is certainly no place for profanity. In fact, slang of any sort kind of leaves about half the staff looking at you like you just walked off the moon. And that's fine. I reserve the blue talk for the freeway system and parking lots. I've found a well=placed Charlie Brown "Arrgghhhh!" usually gets my point across here in the office.

But Triumph... Triumph has managed to take it to a whole level I haven't been on in a long time, back before I decided being gross wasn't really funny anymore. I really wish I had a little jambox so i could hide on the other side of the bed and listen to the record, turning it off the second anyone walked in the room.

And I think that's kind of genius.

Now if any of you ever saw the hypnotically upsetting "TV Funhouse" which ran on Comedy Central around 2000-2001, you might have a pretty good idea what you'd be in for. I could go on and on about 'TV Funhouse," but the bottom line is that it just wasn't a show for everybody. Or, possibly, for anybody. It doesn't really matter how jaded you THOUGHT you were, because "TV Funhouse" had a little something to upset everyone.

And so it is with Triumph's new album. Anyway, go listen to it if you want to, you sick bastards, but don't say I didn't warn you...

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