Generally speaking, my year-end posts have taken a mordant tone as the year draws to a close…a tone that I’ve wrestled with in the past to limited degrees of success. I’ve never much cared for the facile notion of looking back on a year, especially as it draws to a close. It’s so easy to fall into a trap of glossing things over or reviling in various conceits of dismay, alacrity or over-exuberance. Why does this rear-view mirror mentality have to happen in December when a backward glance would be just as apropos in the beating heart of May?? Time is a focking continuum anyway ((as are my words)) so why are we so compelled to spew out these backwards glances during the holidays. I can just as easily trot this stuff out at any moments notice and shake my fist angrily at God, Hercules, the Wind, the Sun, Major League Baseball, any novel by Dostoevsky you’d care to name, and the focking Zodiac.
So fock all that.
The other day, I listened to some of my phonecalls with my boss. I’ve been working during holidays at Lands End as a Customer Care Specialist, which mean I take phonecalls from people ordering from Lands End’s catalogues. Anyway, I got to listen to myself on the phone, which is a always a bit dismaying. ((— Insert all the usual “Do I really sound like that??” cliches here —)) Basically, I sound sort of like brother but with a southern accent. ((A facile way of putting…as how I speak is far more complicated than that)) It’s the tonal quality of my voice…the timbre of it that is reminiscent of how my younger brother sounds when he talks to me on the phone. But other than that, we could just easily have come from two different areas of the world.
So it got to thinking more about my speech and what it sounds like. Also, there are times when I wonder if any of my speech patterns spill over into my writing. I wonder if my writing sounds like me.
I know my dialect and/or accent is somewhat of a hybrid that has evolved over the years. it’s become something very different than what it probably was when I was 5 years old in Upper Michigan, and 15 years old in Appleton, Wisconsin. While I retain quite a bit of the Wisconsin/Upper-Midwest dialect, my phonology has evolved and has become peppered with nuances from such diverse areas as downstate Illinois (mostly), East Texas, North Carolina, Northeast of England (particularly the area between Newcastle and Berwick), and the Midlands of England. Without ever thinking about it, I pronounce certain words, use dialect and accents, a drawl, a lilt, that rises unbeckoned depending the situation or context. Bloody hell anyway (( <— THERE ya go! There’s a cheap and obvious example)).
How do YOU pronounce the word water? My wife always is a bit dismayed when I use that word.
Or Heathrow Airport in London? The way I pronounce Heathrow was probably more common when I was in England in 1973 than the way most people pronounce it now, I think.
When I ask you, “How ya be?”, I’m expecting you to answer, “I be fine.” But I can understand if that’s not how y’all’d respond to that. But believe me one time there now that when I ask you, “What you be fixin’ t’ do?” I fully expect you to expect to answer, “I be fixin’ to get DRUNK!” That one I must insist on.
All of this makes me wish at time that I’d spent more of my anthro undergrad days studying linguistics. Not to to be some multi-lingual snob or something, but more to gain a deeper understanding of the English Language and all the variations and cultural dynamics of it. After all, some of the variations of English can be more inscrutable than many foreign languages. Also, many of the local variants and regional dialects are dying off as older speakers are passing away and the youth are gorged on Generic Television English and other pablums of permissiveness like American Slang which stress the lowest common denominators rather the highest algorithms of excellence ((although I’m quite sure equating many of of our dying rural dialects with excellence is oxymoronic and quixotic to the extreme)).
Well, forgive my fumble-fisted attempt at getting a grasp not on what I’m saying, but how I’m saying it. I guess what I’m on about here is the phonology of my dialect more so, since what is sometimes missing from my sounds are some of the slang terminology and local colloquilisms that are taken for granted by native speakers in Newcastle, and Norwich, and Coventry, and York and Birmingham, as much terms like “bubbler” and “all bought in” and “and so?” are taken for granted by myself and other native speakers from Milwaukee and Kewaunee and Appleton, Wisconsin.
This is where doing, or imitating accents goes horribly astray. They’re wrong right from the start and it becomes a cheap cliche. You end up, for the most part sounding like a dopey wanker whether you’re a Yank trying to do a British accent or as Brit trying to sound like a Yank.
That’s why I don’t even try. So what comes flying out of my piehole is honest and true ((despite what my wife thinks at times)). Whatever the fock it is.
So here’s to continuing to transcend isoglossic boundaries!!
In other words, Take A DRINK!!
I would love to say that I called this shot, but that would be disingenuous, and heaven forbid that I’d ever be disingenuous.
But I did get 2 out the 4 finalists for the chase correct. I predicted Hamlin and Harvick would be in the final four at the start of the season. That almost should count for something, given the capricious and unpredictable nature of the new Chase Format.
Also, the night before the final race at Homestead, I predicted that Harvick would win.
And that is what happened and I’m happy for him ((pun not intended)). This season, he finally shed the pallor of the Ghost of Dale Earnhardt when he joined Stewart/Haas. Piloting the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet breathed new life and vigour into his career. He was a changed man from the start of the season. So props to him. Congratulations. He wears the firesuit in the family now. No doubt about that won.
Obviously, I wanted Kenseth to win it all. But he didn’t make it to the Final Four. And of those final 4, my preferred choice of winners was Hamlin and Newman, respectively.
But there was really no stopping Harvick. None. Even though Newman did give it a go.
As I said, the Gundam always wins.
And that’s what Harvick did. All season long.
Good for him.
The 2014 Camping World Truck season was not very kind to Ron Hornaday Jr. Midway through the season, his team, Turner Scott Motorsports became embroiled in internal conflict and imploded. Hornaday was dumped from his ride when he was 2nd place in the points and replaced by a callow youth, for a while, until the entire team went down the shitter. Turner sued Scott, and Scott sued Turner, and the team then filed for bankruptcy, shut down entirely, sold everything, finito.
All in all, it was a shameful way for a storied career to end. Hornaday is a 4 time champion and has the most wins ever in the Camping World Truck series. He’s a great driver, a true champion and a role model as a race car driver that every young driver should respect and emulate.
But he wont have a ride this next season. And maybe not ever again on a fulltime basis. In 2015 he’s going back over to the fabrication side of the business, partnering with Diamond Chassis.
He’d love to do a farewell tour, but no rides are forthcoming.
So consider this my homage to a great one….he’ll always have a ride here at Whose Shake Is This.
Without further adieu, and before I get that ominous knock on my door, here, as I’ve been doing for years, is:
The Ron Hornaday Top 9 Anime Shows of 2014
- Ping Pong, The Animation
- Zankyou no Terror
- Amagi Brilliant Park
- No Game, No Life
- Space Dandy
- Rail Wars
- Wake Up, Girls! / Bakumatsu Rock (tie)
You know the drill.
Get your sorry ass to a computer and WATCH those shows right NOW before Ron Hornaday comes to your door and turns your sorry ass into a Camping World Truck Series chassis with his bare hands.
As I polish off this yod-dropping, non-rhotic dialectic analysis of where we are at the moment and the year slips though our little hands of concrete, I will keep one promise I made to myself when I started this little homily to the spoken word.
I made a promise to my self that I wouldn’t discuss a bit of soccer, despite all the EPL Boxing Day and Sunday Fixtures swirling all around.
I’ve kept that promise. And promises are better and more virtuous to keep than any resolution will ever be.
So with that, y’all will hear from me again after Old Year’s Night
And that’s both a threat AND a promise.
Dew yer keep a throshing, bors!
And mind how you go.