Friday, June 19, 2009

Verdi, Wagner... Hammer: Random Memories 1

I've been reading a book called "The Lives of the Great Composers" for some reason. It's just been sitting on my shelf for about 5 years, a remnant of my "spending ludicrous amounts of money at Barnes and Noble per month in college" phase. Anyway I don't have a TV or a computer at my house anymore so when I get home at night I read. It's a pleasant habit from a bygone era. Sort of like a child chasing a circle down a street pushing it with a stick.

I started reading in the middle in the chapters on Verdi and Wagner. First off let me just say that Wagner was a huge punkface, and Verdi was a bastage (moreso Wagner). What sticks out less however is the fact that we know so much about these folks. I began to think about why, and realized that they wrote journals, they wrote "correspondence" and they kept records of their lives.

I keep wondering what will be left when all of us are gone. Will our hard drives survive us (profound I know)? Beyond that though, I've begun to realize that I'm old,(not that old, but older) and can't remember as much as I used to. Or maybe it's the fact that I don't choose to remember as much as I used to. So I've decided that sometimes when I think of a memory that's odd, I'm going to write it down, and thus begins "Random Memories with Jeff Blake".

Here goes:

As a child of maybe 12 I was sitting in my family room watching MTV with my brother Brian...illegally no doubt...and MC Hammer was having a concert on the telly. It was all these people on a beach in swimwear and a jeep, and all I can remember is the crowd chanting rhythmically and melodically with Hammer "Turn this mother out".

He repeated it so many times that I started to sing along with it (presumably as a joke, but the state of my humor at that point in time is questionable, so perhaps I was just singing because I was easily impressionable). Anyway there I was singing "Turn this Mother Out" and my brother said to me "Jeff stop singing that!".
"Why?" I said. "Because it's bad!" he said. "Really?" I said. "What does it mean?", Brian didn't have an answer. He sat there stumped in silence, pretending that he didn't care enough to respond to my silly question. So I too sat there. In my 12 year old mind I wondered long and hard, as long and hard as a 12 year old thinks about anything, what could "turn this mother out" possibly mean?

Do you know what? After all that thinking, to this day I still have no idea what "turn this mother out" could possibly mean...And that's okay.

In an addendum, I somewhat hesitantly googled "turn this mother out" and came upon this quite humorous bit of cross cultural amusement at the URL:

Hola foreros:

"I can see it in your eyes
You feel the same way I feel about you
Some call it chemistry
I call it you should be with me
Cause I know together we can really turn this mother out"

¿Qué significado tiene "mother" en esa letra, tomada de una canción por supuesto?¿o es una expresión completa el "turn this mother out"?

Reply With Quote

So as you can see, this question has not only puzzled me, but those around the world. Therefore in the spirit of gathering a sort of diverse clearing house of ideas, I ask you friends and neighbors:

What does "turn this mother out" mean to you?


Mike A. said...

Here's my theory. "Turn out" in this sense means to produce something, like turning out a manufactured product. In this case, the song and the funky fly dope attitude that attends it are the products that the great MC so skillfully and prolifically produces, or "turns out." "This mother" is just an abbreviated way of saying "this M[elon] F[arming] song." "Turn this mother out" = Let's manufacture this kickass MC Hammer product and deliver it to the consuming masses!

Blogenstein said...

While I have no recollection of this incident, knowing my mentality at that age, I was probably afraid that you singing it out loud would "turn our mother out" when you sang it later in front of her and I'd have to painfully explain what it meant, who MC Hammer was, and why he wore genie pants.

Jared said...

This memory will be a defining moment in your biography 200 years from now.

Anonymous said...

Well... as for the meaning I'm sure there are diverse interpretations, and justifiably so when you add on his slammin' dance moves a number of new dimensions turn out as well... but that think was fantastic... I met Hammer recently, and he sang that song at a concert, and judging by how he acted most of that day, I'm not sure if you asked him, he could give you a strait answer about what his song meant...

Anonymous said...

that link*

Cassidy said...

Jeff, I have no idea what it means. But, I too have a Hammer memory I shall share. When I was young, I was lying in bed one night and outside I heard Can't Touch This outside my window. I had never heard the song but instantly loved it. Only, I thought that the lyrics were King Tucktus. Which, I assumed was Egyptian. He really is too legit to quit.

Nyla Alana Rae said...

i wouldnt want to turn my mother out....but i also wouldnt want to turn my mother in?

Anonymous said...

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