Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

August 2010


GeneralTuesday, August 31st, 2010, (12:42 am)

I have a friend with a problem that they’re clearly unaware of. It seems to be getting worse and I find myself presented with a tough question; Should I bring it up with them, or is it kinder to just overlook it?

BuzzwordaholicCatherine (not her real name) is a bright and attractive girl who oozes confidence yet tempers any possible swagger with a genuine empathy for those around her. She loves her fast-paced city life and is enjoying success in her chosen field. In short she’s great, and I’m lucky enough to count her among my friends. However, she has a condition that I’m finding increasingly hard to deal with. She has I.B.S… Irritable Buzzword Syndrome.

Conversations with Catherine used to be fun and meandering exchanges that could flow in any direction or gather around a subject like bubbles in a bathtub. These days, however, the corporate city life she so obviously adores is having an effect on my friend.

Her I.B.S can stink up a conversation faster than a fart in a taxi cab. Buzzwords fill the conversation then linger like annoying toilet floaters seemingly impervious to any attempts to flush them away.

The unfortunate condition used to be confined to conversations about her job, but it would seem that the I.B.S is spreading. Even the briefest of chats can leave me feeling like I’ve watched a subtitled French film. Sometimes I can only make sense of a sentence because of the context; on its own it would be pure nonsense.

So what should I do about my friend and her I.B.S? I’m not sure that a quiet word in her ear would be heard unless it was itself a buzzword, and I’m not well versed in the corporate double-talk of her excessively wordy world.

Perhaps an intervention is called for, a forced removal to a farm in deepest Wales where she could be deprogramed then later returned to everyday society. Or maybe there’s a middle way, an option that won’t potentially alienate my friend or worsen her condition?

I’ve searched the web for natural remedies, plants or fruit extracts that might alleviate the situation. But perhaps there is a deeper issue here, one that cannot be cured in stealth mode and instead has to be confronted by my friend herself. Maybe there is a some kind of twelve step program she can join or a local support group for recovering buzzwordaholics? I just don’t know. All I know is that its getting harder and harder to listen as my friend fouls up our chatter with her Irritable Buzzword Syndrome.

Unsuckit.com : ‘Un suck’ terrible business jargon
BuzzWhack : Dedicated to demystifying buzzwords
Intergrated go-forward buzzword generator
Ridiculous business jargon dictionary
Doing life the hard way
What is I.B.S really?
GET BEFOREiFORGET BY EMAIL, iPHONE, OR PODCAST

MusicMonday, August 23rd, 2010, (4:57 pm)

Teen pop thing, Justin Bieber, is not a name you would find on my iPod. His particular brand of music isn’t really my cup-of-tea, however that might be about to change.

Justin BieberBieber is a 16 year old Canadian who has been enjoying success in the world of processed pop music. He was discovered on YouTube in 2008 and was quickly thrust into the limelight where he promptly became the heart-throb of many a teenybopper.

In truth I learned most of this information from Wikipedia because, as talented as Bieber may indeed be, his stardom had gone largely unnoticed by me. That was until last week when I was introduced to Bieber’s song ‘U Smile,’ or rather a version of the song that had been slowed down 800%.

Slowing down the track to such an extent transformed if from tweenbop pulp to a full scale ambient piece more akin to the music of Brian Eno or Sigur Rós.

The track glistens beautifully though a series crescendos that gives the now 35 minute piece an epic quality far beyond Bieber’s original which the San Francisco Chronicle recently described as an “uncreative and unremarkable piece of cookie-cutter pop.”

The slowed down version of ‘U Smile’ was posted on soundcloud.com last week by 20 year old Nick Pittsinger from Tampa, Florida, who produces ambient music under the name Shamantis. It was an instant hit and at the time of writing this post the track had been listened to 1,671,365 times and downloaded 19,467 times.

Bieber himself has apparently said he likes his ambient piece, commenting to this effect on his Twitter feed. However, despite it’s popularity, it’s unlikely the slowed down version of ‘U smile’ will find it’s way into his world tour.

Perhaps in years to come, after many rounds of rehab to recover from what will surely be a fearsome battle with cocaine and alcohol addiction on a par with other child stars, Bieber might actually produce music to this standard deliberately. Until then this will remain the only track of his you will find on my iPod.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, speeding up the music of Sigur Rós by 800% does not produce a Justin Bieber like sound. (Listen for yourself)

Justin Bieber, ‘U Smile’ – Slowed down 800%

Sigur Rós – Sped up 800%

‘U Smile’ slowed down 800%
‘U Smile’ – The original
Sigur Rós sped up 800%
How to make your own Ambient epic
Tree roots and other things
Four decades of naked ladies