|IV. Sleepy Bill|
26jul04 . ITT2
“It’s the Tuna!” is ergonomically designed for trend-setters and aspiring trend-setters alike. It is for the very first guy who thought, “Wow, check out the trucker hat on that redneck trucker. How hilarious would it be if I wore one of those, seeing as I’m not a redneck, not a trucker, but rather a college student looking to get laid?. . .Hilarious!” Indeed. . . but sure enough, two months and no ass later, Ashton Kutcher slaps one on to wide acclaim and the whole world “catches the wave“. Now that poor bastard is just like everyone else in his faux Ford fedora and worse yet, more like Ashton Kutcher, except without the ass. I think all us phraseblazers identify with this guy’s plight. He saw that trucker hat just up the road, he recognized the irony, or the authenticity, or the camp, or the retro in the thing and he went with it, against all odds, despite all the drunk srat girls grabbing it and garbling out snide cackles and condescending snorts. He sported that thing everywhere he went and it became a part of him. The cool part. And at that moment of disillusionment, when Ashton stumbled in front of the camera with his spiffy new John Deere cap crazily cocked, our man tossed his in the trash.
This seems to happen to me and my friends a lot, having ideas that MTV or some internet site is already doing and has been doing for months, only way better than we had imagined. There was a time, when I was younger and hipper, that I could spot a trend a year or so before it hit. But now with time speeding up and things changing quicker I’m lucky if I get a two week jump on the competition. . . And though you might think that it pleases me to find that I was right all along, that an idea I came up with on my own is currently being embraced and enjoyed by the entire media guzzling populace, really it’s just upsetting. What ends up happening, as any once fan of Moby, The White Stripes, BTO etc. . .will tell you, is that as soon as the wave hits you are forced to abandon it, because you have instantly become a trend-follower. A true trend-spotter must move on. It’s how she keeps sharp. Every moment you hold on, you lose the ability to spot the next one.
So in walks “It’s
the Tuna!” with its master list, its clear hierarchy, so we can prove
we did it first. Our trend has membership cards! So really, it’s in all
our best interests to blaze the shit out of this phrase, because the longer
the list, the more important we are! How great will it feel when Ashton signs
up at number 325,009? It will feel great and we will welcome him into our family,
played-out hat and all. . . . .Finally someone has quantified coolness.
5jul04 . ITT2
Some interesting tuna related synchronicities recently:
(1) As ITT15 wrote:
"I was recently informed
that Pepsi has started using
the slogan, "It's the cola."
This is an obvious impingement on our beloved Tuna
campaign. We need to figure out the date they started
using this new slogan, and if it post-dates Tuna, we
should sue their asses for infringing on our phrase.
Do we have rights to "It's the Tuna" ?
On the other hand, it could
be an indication that our
turn of phrase has started filtering into the greater
cultural consciousness. Why else would Pepsi borrow
our Tuna carrier phrase? Way to go phraseblazers!"
Unfortunately, the Pepsi slogan does pre-date the inception of our organization. I'm not fretting it though. It's more evidence that "It's the Tuna!" is bigger than us all.
(2) Along similar lines, I noticed that the California cheese manufacturers slogan is "It's the cheese." Don't worry, I wrote them suggesting they modify it to "California cheese is the tuna!". . .No response thus far.
(3) And most astonishingly, there is a scene in "Intolerable Cruelty" written by the Coen brothers, and starring Katherine Zeta Jones and George Clooney, where they specificaly use the phrase "tuna" as a positive descriptor. A bunch of rich ladies are trying to convince Katherine to date this wealthy fish farmer, and one of them says "He is tuna!" Amazingly the special features reveal that the Coen brothers have been working on this movie for over eight years! I'm not surprised, but rather proud, that they are so frighteningly far ahead of us. We're in good company. Someone should invite them to join us.
(4) Here's a quote I found by Donald Barthelme in his essay "Not-Knowing." Though written over 30 years ago, I think it speaks of the intrinsic evil of a certain rival phrase, and prophesies our movement:
"The question is, what is the complicity of language in the massive crimes of Fascism, Stalinism, or (by implication) our own policies in Vietnam? In the control of societies by the powerful and their busy functionaries? If these abominations are all in some sense faciliatated by, made possible by, language, to what degree is that language ruinously contaminated. . .?"
Though it's taken us decades
to realize it, I am now sure that the degree to which our language is contaminated
is exactly equal to the degree that we say "It's the Bomb." So try
to say "It's the Tuna!" instead. The world will thank you.
America is a hopeful nation; an innocent group, forever eager for the future, for progress, for freedom, for the newest solution to whatever it is that's causing all this heartache. What little history we have has been spent chasing idea after idea with the greatest optimism, then rushing to patch up the holes we left in our wake.
Remember the automobile, that spoke of a future of mobility and freedom safely contained within asphalt lines. Finally, we could get out into the beautiful, untouched countryside after a hard day at the car factory. Finally, we could carry all our groceries home from the supermarket they were building a few towns away. Finally we could improve the Los Angeles sunsets. Finally, joyous children could run heedlessly in the streets! . . . But look at the world these humble dreams have created. A gasping earth, wars with enemies across the globe, Paramus, NJ. . .And now a Toyota Prius remains our final attempt to save an outdated faith.
Or how about television, remember how great TV was. Interconnectedness, infotainment, the News!, education, a nation's pacifier, an even better way to see the world. . .and all of it free!. . .But this one ended up in the shitter too. Now TV is just a place where rich people hand out rationalizations to help us deal with the terrible things they do in our name. Now we have a large group of people who seem to accept that the most important events in their locality are who died, who got arrested, what ten crucial words our leaders said today, and who's house got smashed by a tsunami. What these people don't see is that the news is really the olds: death, scandal, tagedy, war; those pesky nuisances that have been with us the longest, but that we hoped to overcome with our utopian electric box. Unfortunately these solutions just change the face of the problem and we're left twiddling our wallydinks for a tantalope caster. . .
Which brings us to the question: What does this all have to do with "It's the Tuna!"?!? Well, the answer is simple. I think we got it this time! I think the phrase "It's the Tuna" is the solution to all the sufferings of the world without the troublesome side-effects. "It's the Tuna!" promises community, joy, and immortality. Let's see your Geo Prism give you that. "It's the Tuna!" gives us a chance to make a huge difference in our small world and a small difference in the huge one. "It's the Tuna!" offers us something new and different and bigger and better and T-shirts if the board ever gets off it's ass and makes them. . .But I don't want to be over-optimistic. Maybe it will be later shown by "science" that saying "It's the Tuna" causes droughts in Asia or genital herpes of the mouth, but I highly doubt it. "It's the Tuna!" is the American dream! The one that works anyway. So embrace it and say it, because "It's the Tuna!" is your society's salve. "It's the Tuna!" makes life worth living.
I have been saved. Open your heart, and you will be tuna!
12mar04 . ITT2
It is often said that William Shakespeare's greatest achievement was all the words he either introduced or reintroduced into the English language. Phraseblazers are not much different than Shakespeare. We are the type of people who refuse to accept the word world handed to us - a once vibrant, exciting world now waning and dull due to unappreciation, inattention and neglect. William Shakespeare knew what we know, that the power to change our vocabulary lies in our hands, no matter what George Bush and his band of tongue-tied thugs might have you believe.
But there's more to this whole "Shakespeare thing" than above average language skills and nonexistent WMDs. Think for a moment, if you will, about the man himself. Picture Shakes slaving away at his "plays", forever worried about "drama" and "stage right" and "drunken ushers." Totally oblivious to the fact that hundreds of years later, we'd just toss all that hard work out the window and praise only his phrases; we'd trash the plays for the phrase. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think? It's like rain on your wedding day, or a free ride when you already paid; some good advice that you just didn't take, and who would have thought it figured? Answer: Phraseblazers!! Because the phrase is the craze man, and we know it! That's what separates the immortal phraseblazer from sleepy Bill. We're not gonna let time white us out. We refuse to let that happen. We're going straight for the gold!
Which calls to mind the visionary genius who invented those jeans where the fronts of the legs are all washed out or the butt is pre-worn down before they've ever been worn. This noble soul had the heart and guts of a true phraseblaser. She said, "I'm not gonna buy a new pair of jeans, wear them every day straight for two years, renounce napkins, and pledge to cleanse them only when mother nature chooses to sprinkle her patented cleaning solution upon them, so that in some uncertain and distant future I will be cool. Hell no! That's how the cavemen made cool pants. . . Instead, I'll make a machine (or sweatshop of third world toilers) that can help me be cool NOW!"
Well phraseblasers, we are that cool machine. We are that sweatshop. We are proudly a part of the "It 's the Tuna!" apparatus, designed for immediate saying saturation and therefore immortality. But "It's the Tuna" is nothing if not benevolent. We will surely share in the immanent spoils. If we just keep to the grindstone the tuna tide will wash our sorrows away.
In closing, I'd like to leave you with the words of a long forgotten wise man. He asked whether it was "nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them." I think we all know the answer to this one. And even though the author of these lines has been buried beneath the sands of time, his words live on. We must take arms against the "It's the bomb's" of the world! We mustn't let these would-be parlance police push us around any longer! Phraseblazers, we will have our day, and on that day it will be TUNA!