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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #92
More Musical Diseases
David Gunn
Vitamins -- what are they? Where do they come from? Do they exist in Nature? How do they pollinate? Why do they float? Would you want your sister to marry one?; your stepfather? Why do Freudian philosophers link them so closely to band music? Is it true that if their molecules -- when at rest -- are shifted one degree to the right, they turn into bubble wrap? For how many years did they control Canada's lower house of Parliament? How do you get two violists taking vitamins to play in tune?

These questions and more will not be answered on today's program, as we have other more important matters to discuss ... matters which, when placed next to an Algonquin Hole, tend to generate acute ontological discombobulation before suddenly converting to antimatters, or antimacassars. One antimatter, discussed on previous episodes and then carefully forgotten, is the International Classification of Musical Diseases. Since last time, new, pathogen-filled strains of music have arisen to provide further discomfort to the ears of the impressionable listener. One of the most virulent is Elgarysis, a highly contagious illness whose most evident symptom is the tendency of a group of similarly infected unfortunates to walk painfully en masse and in columnar formation with no apparent destination. Survivors claim to have been attempting to run away from a slow, and disturbing musical theme in their heads but, with legs numb and swollen from the disorder, they have at best managed only a halting march. Tests on violists, however, suggest that these are isolated cases of tinnitis.

While cut from the same cloth as anthrax, blackleg, rinderpest, glanders, distemper, mange, springhalt and sheep rot, Segovirupia frequently crops up in the craws of amateur zitherists, who have not learned how to handle rusty guitar strings, whence the disease is transmitted. There are no symptoms, no cure and, most importantly, no federal funding for research which might lead to a discovery of one or the other.

A final International Classification of Musical Diseases example is best presented as a query. Violitis is (a) the inability of two or more instruments to play in tune, (b) the name of a former tennis pro, (c) the small town in Siberia vaporized by the Tunguska Fireball of 1908, (d) a vitamin that neither floats nor pollinates nor has any affinity with bubble wrap or (e) an unwilling survivor of Elgarysis. If you guessed (f), le flambeau oriange, you would be mostly right.

Mostly right is also what you'd be if you guessed that this sesquintroduction is a product of recent Canadian influence, specifically that part of Canada whose cultural ties to Saskatoon are at worst enigmatic and at best serendipitous, a part whose sums are not only greater than the whole -- i.e. the Algonquin Hole -- but also greater than antimatters of fact, the only qualification of which lies couched in this, the 92nd episodic appearance of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, this part of which is the same as that alluded to in the bit about Saskatoon, albeit one with a different configuration of vowels.

I shall now weave together a string of vowels in an attempt to keep any more feet out of my personal mouthal area. I'll do so silently while passing the microphonal baton to another recent Ontarian outcast with a yen for violists, vitamins, and Varesean vivisection, Kalvos.