Thursday, July 17, 2008

Loafin' It

Rickey was dialed in to the FM radio on his drive into work this morning and was overwhelmed with a wave of nostalgia as Meat Loaf’s 1993 hit “I Will Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” came across the airwaves. And it occurred to Rickey that it’s funny how an old pop song can trigger a flashback, surfacing from one’s memory like a bubblegum submarine from the depths of the subconscious. What record exec ever thought that Meat Loaf would be a viable musician? And furthermore, ladies, if you had to pick, which Meat Loaf would you rather sleep with: “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” Meat Loaf, or “Fight Club” Meat Loaf?

Rickey recalls watching the music video for “I Will Do Anything for Love” on MTV back in the day, and it had a sort of “Beauty and the Beast” theme to it if we remember correctly. Although Rickey doesn’t recall “Beauty and the Beast” having motorcycle chases. Or law enforcement officials being killed by crystal chandeliers. Or the eponymous Beauty splashing around in a bathtub and retreating to a heavily-blanketed bed to have conjugal relations with some kind of vampiric bride. Or the line “Will you hose me down with holy water if I get too hot?” But all that is neither here or there, and hey, what else would one expect from a music video directed by Michael Bay? What really sticks out in Rickey’s mind is the pivotal question: precisely what won’t Meat Loaf do for love? A few possibilities:

Run right into hell and back (or run at all for that matter)
Scrub the toilet
Attempt to master Guitar Hero
Accept REO Speedwagon’s challenge to a duel
Disband his fifteen member fan club
Appear in a Rocky Horror Picture Show reunion
Sue Jason Giambi for impersonating him
Obey fire codes in his music videos
Appear in another film anywhere nearly as good as “Fight Club”
Diet and exercise regularly

All kidding aside, our unease with this song isn’t so much the maudlin lyrics and theatricality as much as the inherent contradiction at work here. The song title reads “I Will Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”. If you break that into two separate sentences but eliminate the conjunction, you are left with two very different declarations:

1) I’ll Do Anything For Love
2) I Won’t Do That For Love

Rickey has seen enough LSAT practice questions to realize that this statement is logically impossible. Take a look at the pie chart below (courtesy of Pinksy) for an idea of what we’re talking about.
One cannot simultaneously do “anything” and also exclude one thing. (To use logic terms, “anything” would be a set of all possible things, a set wherein nothing could be outside of said set, leaving no instance of a thing not being for love.) So either he is lying on the first declaration or the second because both cannot be absolutely true. And as if having this shitty Meat Loaf song stuck in his head wasn’t bad enough, Rickey is also plagued by its inherent contradiction of logic. Bottom line: Rickey’s getting an FM car adaptor for his iPod so that this incident never ever happens again.

[Posted at Humor Blogs—if it so tickles your fancy, proceed to the link and click on the smiley face. Every time you click, a disgruntled blogger gets their wings.]

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Mike said...

Rickey has seen enough LSAT practice questions

Uh-oh! Rickey isn't thinking of taking the leap, is he?

Toasty Joe said...

Ahhh, "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)." The song that rightly takes its place in the Parenthetical Song Hall of Fame, right alongside "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)."

Of course, unlike those two songs, the Meatloaf song sucks.

Alice said...

As a statistician in my former life, this is the first time I ever thought set theory was funny. Thanks.

Rickey Henderson said...

Mike: Rickey's gravitating towards it yes...

Deb said...

DON'T DO IT, RICKEY! Now, all kidding aside, I've always wondered what some peoples' fascination with Meat Loaf might be. I see that Rickey has also had some of those same exact thoughts, redundant as my phrasing might be.

If I died and went to hell, I can't think of a worse hell than being stuck in a room full of top shelf audio equipment, all blaring one Meat Loaf song after another 24/7/365.

If I weren't already dead, I would probably want to kill myself.

The only worse thing would be having to also view the accompanying videos.

Yikes... I just scared myself straight!

Smitty said...

THe one thing I don't like about Jack Black is that he gives inordinate attention and gravitas to Meatloaf.


What self-respecting performer would opt to call themselves Meatloaf? A generic dinner. Geez honey, there's nthing else in the fridge, let's have some meatloaf.

Ed the Gent said...

Not one of the Beefy One's finest, but still a good one nevertheless.

Did you catch Rush on The Colbert Report last night?

leigh said...

i agree. FM radio sucks. i take my own music everywhere.

keep us posted on law school!

Anonymous said...

This is the first blog I've ever read that effectively uses the epistemological principal of non-contradiction.


Father Shaggy said...

Thank you for that wave of soul-crushing nostalgia. I am all sad and wistful now. It's too damn hot for nostalgia.

I was in love with a girl named Beth when that song came out, and it played incessantly on MuchMusic that fall/winter.

We're facebook friends now. She's married (of course, so am I, and no, not to each other). She's still hot.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed. I expected to read something about the Mets winning 10 in a row and BLASTING their way into first place...

Greg t

Bob "Serious McLiteral" said...

The real crazy thing is the audacity to claim to have reinvented the "rock opera".

I think only Queen can get away with that one.

Toasty Joe said...

Ummm, Peter Townshend invented the rock opera. I don't think that's up for debate.

damon said...

I need to sleep on this. I'll give you an answer in the morning.

Rickey Henderson said...

Ed: no, did Rickey miss something good?

Greg: yeah, a Mets post is long overdue. We've only held off for so long because successful baseball teams aren't nearly as funny as bumbling ones.

Toasty/bob: no doubt about it, Queen rock opera pales in comparison to Townsend's stuff.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Your logic and presentation is excellent. LOL! Great post!

Bob "Serious McLiteral" said...

"Toasty/bob: no doubt about it, Queen rock opera pales in comparison to Townsend's stuff."

I will buy that.

Same point applies: Meatloaf has no bizness putting himself there.

Alex L said...

FightClub Meatloaf is definetly the best, those massive tits. Oh god... what am I admitting to?

Toasty Joe said...

I would describe Queen's stuff as "operatic." Townshend, on the other hand, wrote actual operas.

Diesel said...

Just the fact that Meat Loaf was ever famous is enough of a mind-bending paradox for me.

Anonymous said...

I love the graphic. Not that the rest of point is bad, but that really makes it all worthwhile. :) And just curious, does Diesel regularly comment on your blog? Because until today, he's only commented twice...not that I'm counting.

Rickey Henderson said...

Glad you like pretty pictures. Words are nice too though, right? As for your question, you'd have to ask diesel about that. Are you insinuating that something unsavory is afoot?

A Free Man said...

Brilliant, particularly the pie chart! Thanks for the laugh.

I came your way from Deutschland uber Elvis and will be back.


muskrat said...

muskrat has a whole category of musical charts like this on his blog!

let me know if you decide to go for the JD. it's the most fun and the most misery you could willingly pursue.