A Question Of Questions

from Dekalaug 4: 4th & Ten by Young Southpaw

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I feel like when bands pose questions in songs, that they should answer them...I think it’s their moral obli- well not moral but it’s their obligation ya know...instead of leaving us wondering, ya know..ol’ Southpaw’s melon twisted around like that...

People have been asking questions in songs since the dawn of time..I mean maybe not as hard-hitting as stuff like How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? or Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour On The Bedpost Overnight...an investigation that I still don’t think has been properly resolved...and I mean could it ever be? Isn’t it all about the individual...heck both the person and the particular piece of gum itself...I’m not sure we can say with any certainty given any stick of gum in combination with any human being...and that’s what makes life so terrifying...

I mean the questions weren’t always about candy...or as hard as teeth themselves ya know...though I mean in Sweet Child O’Mine, Axl was quite concerned with knowing ‘where do we go now?’ and I mean he sounds like he’s in pain with all the ‘ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow’s at the end...I mean is he hinting he needs to go a hospital...maybe he’s having stomach trouble from things being..all too sweet...I mean I know producers drive you hard to get the right take but couldn’t they have taken him to a doctor first? and why did they want to doc-ument his agony like that?

but I also feel they could have easily answered that question had they put Paradise City after Sweet Child O’Mine on the record, it would’ve been such a simple fix..insteada leaving Southpaw staying up nights unable to sleep tryin’ to figure out ‘well, where are they going now?’...answer coulda been simply ‘Paradise City’...instead of all the endless conjectures...to China to try and instill democracy...to Italy for some sorta of incident involving pasta...or to the land of illusions where there’s apparently a civil war going on...such is the danger of leaving these questions unanswered...I mean with Paradise City, even if they didn’t mean it, you know if they had no intention of even putting it on their GPS...GNR’s GPS, that would go for a fortune on ebay...but they coulda just said it to give us a placebo, Placebo being a band who funnily enough had Come Home as first song first album...could that be the same home Axl was talkin’ about with ‘won’t you please take me etc’...and I guess that’s another question, won’t you?

and I mean it’s all about the Depeche Mode Guns N Roses connection, really, I mean tellingly, in 86, the year before Appetite, Depeche Mode themselves, masters not servants of the interrogative form, released Black Celebration, containing two songs with the word question in them – A Question Of Lust and A Question Of Time – but no question marks! I don’t want things to get too crazy but it woulda been rad if they were written the Spanish way with two, ya know the upside down one at the beginning of the sentence and all that jazz

Depeche Mode of course – who years later would put out a song of their own called ‘Home’ on Ultra – but they got their properly punctuated queries out right away on the first album with What’s Your Name? even though the lyrics themselves asked no questions whatsoever...a smart move, the listener can simply answer the question of the title by stating their own name out loud – or silently I guess like if like they’re on a bus to a submarine museum or just shy you know – but after that they don’t have to worry about entering any sort of existential meltdowns brought on by queries within the lyrics...and then The Clash had ‘What’s My Name’...the New York Dolls predicting this sort of confusion years before with Personality Crisis...but I mean a personality crisis...Imagine if UB40 covered The Cure’s Why Can’t I Be You?... it would break minds ya know

what’s crazy is that I grew up thinkin’ the tv show What’s Happening had a question mark at the end, cause that’s how I heard it thank you very much but now watching reruns, which is crazy, I mean if there’s any show to watch re-runs of, I mean it’s like an infinite time loop watching a re-run of Rerun, but anyway my point is that it’s got not one but two exclamation points at the end of it like you would have if you transcribed what I just said

but the thing is I can’t be sure they just didn’t add those in later, that the show I watched as a kid did indeed have a question mark but for nefarious reasons they, whoever they are, have altered it in later years...there’s no way to prove this of course, I mean unless we had a time machine...I mean we could ask Nietzsche but I don’t wanna take time outta him following the Wu Tang Clan around...and I mean I don’t know why they would change it in the first place

And this could definitely be applied to movies, you know like with The Wizard Of Oz, question mark on the Oz, The Wizard Of Oz? Cause no one knows what Oz is, did they refer to Australia as Oz before that? I don’t know...and anyway that would only further serve to confuse things, I mean we all know Australia has different wildlife with their dingos and boxing kangaroos but to conjecture they also have an Emerald City with cowardly talking lions might be all too much...unless I’m completely wrong about this, and The Wizard Of Oz was just a 1939 documentary on Australia..hence the question mark...but regardless of all that it’s still a reasonable question – the wizard of Oz??

I mean you could do it with every Star Wars film too...Star Wars? The Empire Strikes Back? Return of the Jedi?...Return of the Jedi? I mean is the emphasis on return or the jedi? I mean I guess it could be both..Return? Of The Jedi? but then you’d prolly need two question marks...then like Phantom Menace? Attack of the Clones? Revenge of the Sith?...and then of course like Revenge Of The Sith and Return Of The Jedi are like almost interchangeable so like you can have a whole nother movie if you can get this question thing goin’ right..a whole nother two movies prolly... like – Revenge of the Jedi? Return of the Sith? – cause by now people are gonna know what the words jedi and sith mean so the questioning emphasis doesn’t have to be on them...I mean there ya go...

and then, oh man, I don’t remember what the newer ones are called, I know I’ve seen ‘em and I liked ‘em, a lot too, so I mean let’s move on..cause like every movie..ya know...Night Shift? Who’s Harry Crumb? that’s already got one...Stripes? ..actually nah, Stripes is prolly the one movie you couldn’t, it’d just be confusing..cause you’re like asking did they get the stripes? not really the focus of that film...I mean there ya go..question mark

But like Star Wars? people are gonna be questioning that, especially in 1977..I mean what stars are going to war with one another, I mean they don’t have human aggression...just up there so high, like a diamond in the sky...well maybe those are just the little stars you know...that don’t have the manpower to go to war...they’re just up there writin’ poems...well that poem was prolly actually written by a human...I don’t know if any stars write poems...I mean how would they do it, they don’t have any hands...or feet...though maybe I’m being too literal with the ‘write’ ..perhaps they just talk them into their tape recorders..or phones I guess nowadays..though in 77 it woulda been a tape recorder, big one too...but I mean if they do, do they return the favour and write little ditties about us humans?...again, not that we know of...or even just eight line poems...but I mean still, imagine how much better Star Wars would’ve been if David Bowie was in it like they originally planned you know... and it was the Rebel Rebel Alliance...but like The Man Who Fell To Earth really messes with the timeline ya know, a literal prequel coming out the year before and there aren’t even any Ewoks in it! Or Ewen McGregor!...but perhaps this whole conundrum was what Bowie was talking about with Space Oddity

though of course Starman ya know, Bowie predicted this, again highlighting that only men start wars

I mean was Ziggy Stardust the Luke Skywalker of his day...which was only 5 years before! Which is crazy when you think that 5 Years is the first song on the album

And of course Bowie had the greatest question-marked song of all-time, ‘Life On Mars?’, and did he answer that question – on the very next album – by naming Ziggy’s backing band The Spiders From Mars?


from Dekalaug 4: 4th & Ten, released August 19, 2020


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Young Southpaw Connecticut

"From the existential thread that ties Jean-Paul Sartre to Jon Bon Jovi, to the skinny on what’s floating in TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’, and the possibility that Al Pacino is coaching boxing kangaroos in space, wise-fool Southpaw's ramblings lead listeners on a surreal journey through doors they didn't even know existed, into a highly original, deeply funny land of pop culture confusion." - popbollocks ... more

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