Today’s Epitaph

The next time I make business cards, I’m putting on them “Opinionated Iconoclast”.

12 Responses to “Today’s Epitaph”

  1. John Says:

    I believe you mean to say ‘epigraph’.

    Unless you’re implying your headstone will be your next business card.

    It’s a good choice, though, for either.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Oh, yeah, that is a better word. Thanks. :)

  3. Rachel Says:

    Or as Patsy of Absolutely Fabulous would say: “epitomb.”

  4. Mike Chary Says:

    More of an epithet, really.

  5. John Says:

    Yes, epithet works, too.

  6. Mike Chary Says:

    Yes, well, Johanna and I have often exchanged epithets in the past, so I have some familiarity with them… (I slay me; I really do.)

  7. Chris Says:

    I was going to go with “Beloved Internet Loudmouth” on mine, but now I wish I’d thought of that one first.

  8. Johanna Says:

    It came about because my carpool buddy and I were talking about music reviews. I brought up the famous quote “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” and he asked me who said it. I replied, “I’m not sure. I think maybe Frank Zappa. Some opinionated iconoclast, anyway.” He thought that was just hilarious, so I figured I’d better lay claim to it.

    (Turns out that it’s probably Elvis Costello or Martin Mull, of all people, according to this research.)

  9. Scott Hassler Says:

    its kind of a funny quote but totally untrue.

    there are words in every language that are used to describe artistic forms. many of the words are interchangeable throughout many different mediums.

    words are for the most part descriptors, and dancing is for the most part expression. someone could do a dance expressing how they feel about a particular structure, painting, song etc…, but unless their dance technique was a highly stylized form of communication it could not function as describing the intrinsic qualities of a work of art.

    words like tone, space, contrast, time, composition, meter, etc…. describe much more than just one art form. they apply to art architecture and music equally. these are the words our culture has created to describe abstract values in expression as concrete ideas. and they arent just used by critics.

    go to art, music, or dance school and you will find that these are also the words that teachers use to instruct their students and students use to communicate ideas to their teachers.

    maybe ive gotten a bit long winded here about a funny comment, but its a subject i find very interesting and i wanted to drop my opinion.

    p.s. elvis costello rules!

  10. David Oakes Says:

    How can a simile ever be *totally* untrue? As long as there is even the slightest similarity between the concepts (in this case, incompleteness), then it is at least somewhat true. Even if there are better similies.

    (“Writing about Music is like being critical of Literary Theory.” I don’t think one is going to catch on, even if I get Martin Mull to say it.)

    And really, the fact that Dance cannot explain Arcgitecture because it is an expression of emotion is the point. You can write about music, being perfectly specific and descriptive in your terms. But ultimately the written word cannot capture what that music *is*, it must be felt to be understood. We could equally say that “Writing about Dance is like Singing about Architecture”. (Or even that “Writing about Architecture is like Dancing about Music” – close, but not quite.)

    “There’s a new band in town, but you can’t get the sound from a story in a magazine.” – William Martin Joel, 1980.

  11. Johanna Says:

    Scott — I liked your essay!

    David — that’s from the song where Joel’s trying to sound like the music of his youth, right? :)

  12. Scott Hassler Says:

    its untrue because you can actually write about music, and give anyone who is familiar with what music is and what the terms are to describe its intrinsic values a very clear idea of what the music is like.

    the same cannot be said for dancing about architecture.




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