In which I sell out to become famous

Well, I’ve turned down every invite I’ve had to write for PuffHo, for I don’t like their policy of exploiting writers by paying them nothing while the PuffHo drags in huge amounts of money.

But they made me an offer I can’t refuse: they wanted to publish my “Rock and roll is dead” post.  I said okay, on the condition that this is a one-time thing. I’m just curious what kind of reaction it will receive, but, more important, I wanted to see if it could draw fresh blood to this site (not that we need any!).

Anyway, the post is up, and for the nonce is on the front page.  Go quickly, because it will soon disappear when we start bombing Syria. Granted, it’s not the cover of Rolling Stone, but that’ll do, pig; that’ll do.

But it will always be in the entertainment section, right next to Miley Cyrus twerking.

The comments should be interesting.

And I promise not to do this again.

Picture 1

Fame at last!

Front page (use your magnifying glass to see Professor Ceiling Cat at the bottom left):

Picture 2

80 Comments

  1. Grania Spingies
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Say ten Hail Marys and a Hava Nagila as penance.

    Serious philosophy question of seriousness: can one be a sell-out if one doesn’t get a red cent out of it?

    • gbjames
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      A “sell-in”?

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I’ve violated my principles, so I’m a blatant sell-out.

      • Kiwi Dave
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Professor Ceiling Cat

        Just remember that you and many (most?) of your readers are atheists; since it is an indisputable fact that atheists are totally immoral and without an objective basis for morality, neither you nor we can judge your actions. Obviously, your Christian readers will judge not lest they be judged. :-)

        Censorious readers can probably be appeased by more posts on cats, food, religion, music, evolution, boots…

      • Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        And it’s a Bl*g.

        • Timothy Hughbanks
          Posted August 29, 2013 at 5:41 am | Permalink

          Yeah, now it is. 😃

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha Huffington post redirects me to the Canadian site where I see an article about Rob Ford (Mayor of Toronto) confessing to marijuana use.

    • Merilee
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Hilarious, huh? ( or eh, I guess, Diane).
      Weren’t you just like, totally, gobsmacked to hear this news about Our Illustrious (can’t quite think of a sleazy enough word…). It would be impossible to make Rob Ford up.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, but Canada looks cool because we’re bad ass now. :)

  3. Aelfric
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Coyne: while I agree with your taste, my quibbles with the original post would simply be that (1) aesthetic taste is SO inherently subjective, and (2) if you and I liked it, it would, by definition, not be rock and roll to today’s youth. That being said, I do appreciate a good “get off my lawn” article, and as for the site, HuffPo is such a hodgepodge that I see the act of publishing there as a venial, rather than a mortal sin. Thanks as always for the website.

  4. Alex Shuffell
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    On the PuffHo piece you ended with “I am Professor Jerry Coyne, and I endorse this message.” Before you were Professor Ceiling Cat. What happened?

    • gbjames
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Transubstantiated?

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      I changed it because nobody who reads HuffPo would know who Professor Ceiling Cat is. My first inclination, though, was to leave it in.

    • Cliff Melick
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Separation of cat and 4th estate?

      • Merilee
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        Good ‘un!

  5. Jesper Both Pedersen
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    But it will always be in the entertainment section, right next to Miley Cyrus twerking.

    LOL. That one made my evening. :-)

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 29, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

      Miley Cyrus gets less annoying every day… ;)

  6. ChrisKG
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    After I read that I will need to clear my browsing history and wear a hairshirt for a week.

  7. Pete Moulton
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, I don’t know how to break this any more gently, but your post has been relegated to the Bl*g. Oh, the humanity!

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I have no control over that, though, in lieu of pay, I could have asked them to change it to “Website”.

      My tuchus is smarting. . .

  8. Alex Shuffell
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    If you wanted to wear a similar bikini you have my support.

  9. FloM
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Next stop: Osservatore Romano

  10. Barry Lyons
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I’d be curious to know how many readers will NOT get “My theory, which is mine…”.

    Yes, the dinosaur is thin on one end…

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      I SOOO loved that reference!

      On that note…displaying the fact that my cluelessness about popular culture is at least equal to my nose for nerdy references: What the hell is “twerking,” anyway?

      • gbjames
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=twerk

      • Jesper Both Pedersen
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        When in doubt, wiki is there for the rescue.

        Twerking: Twerking (or twerkin) is a dance move that involves a person, usually a woman, shaking her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer to shake, “wobble” and “jiggle.” According to the Oxford Dictionary Online to twerk is “to dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.”

        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twerking)

        • ladyatheist
          Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          I learned about it here:
          http:/…./www.youtube.com/….watch?v=eTOmr9LAACk

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            That was awesome!

      • Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks to you both.

      • Alektorophile
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        You’re not alone in being clueless about popular culture. I for one was wondering who this Miley Cyrus person doing this “twerking” was. But after glancing at the list of posts arranged alongside Professor Ceiling Cat’s piece on the Huffington site mentioning her, I decided I’d rather not know. Life’s too short.

        • Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          I hear you. The only reason I know who she is, is because she used to play Hannah Montana, and my daughter was at the right age to like her when that was on TV

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 29, 2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink

        It’s now in the Oxford English Dictionary

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/29/oed_update/

        (along with the glorious omnishambles)

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 30, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        So, I learned today that “twerking” has been around for 20 years. See details here.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      One commenter @ HP said, “… it’s just resting its eyes…”

      • merilee
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Brackets Miss Brackets

  11. ladyatheist
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I thought my latest “discovery” (which is #1 on Spotify internationally, and probably also in the U.S.) was an example of thoughtful creativity until someone pointed out the Ralph Lauren product placement toward the end of the video:

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      It’s a good melody, but I ain’t loving the dancehall parts. :-)

      Speaking of pure pop/dance, I recently discovered a british gal named Ellie Goulding.
      If you like Avicii I think you might also dig some of her stuff.

      • Alex Shuffell
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        If you liked Ellie Goulding you should check out Rammstein, one of my favourite bands for the last 10 years. Try this song -www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ3kVtd2CCA – The video is lovely and creative too, an angel, ballet dancing, some men mud wrestling in low lighting. A typical modern day German love story, a true story too. The singing is in German which is great language for his rock/operatic style, you can find a translation online easily enough after. It also got me into Star Trek (Meiwes read from a Star Trek book to Brandes for a few hours after). You can read more about it here:
        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armin_Meiwes

        • Jesper Both Pedersen
          Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, Alex.

          Rammstein are legends and I’ve been lucky enough to catch them in concert. What a show.

          • Alex Shuffell
            Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

            I saw them at the Brixton Academy during the Volkerball tour in 2005, I’m somewhere in the crowd on the DVD. I had seen some videos of them live before but the pyrotechnics during songs like Mein Teil live will always turn me into a giggling child.

            • Jesper Both Pedersen
              Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

              Roskilde ’02 for me. I was fairly tipsy, but that concert has stuck with me ever since.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            It must be a lot different from Du Hast which is the song I first heard from Rammstein.

        • Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          “If you liked Ellie Goulding you should check out Rammstein”

          Ummm…really?? No disrespect, but that struck me as one of the funniest sentences I’ve read for some time. It’s been a while since I’ve heard any Rammstein. Have they taken a serious change in direction? I thought they were some industrial metal band and Ellie Goudling is a modern/dancey/pop star. Or am I missing something??

          • Alex Shuffell
            Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            I made a joke, you laughed, no disrepesct at all. I hope you enjoyed the song. Maybe one day Rammstein will cover an Elton John song too.

            • Jesper Both Pedersen
              Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

              LOL. The joke completely went over my head. :-)

              • Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

                Oh crap. I laughed but still missed the joke. At least I wasn’t the only one, eh Jesper? :-)

              • Jesper Both Pedersen
                Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

                Guilty as charged. :-)

              • Posted August 29, 2013 at 4:44 am | Permalink

                You like jokes? You should watch the film Requiem For A Dream. ;-)

              • Jesper Both Pedersen
                Posted August 29, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

                LOL. Watched it, but the message was somewhat lost on me I’m afraid. :-)

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

              Okay good. I thought Rammstein had totally changed! I like Rammstein though. They are a bit like KMFDM.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      This very annoying vid seems to be set to autoplay. Took me 5 mins to find this among my forest of open tabs while I tried to listen to a groovy new podcast interview with Victor Stenger :)

      [Which is HERE for those interested]

    • Alex Shuffell
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t notice the Sony Xperia mobile phone? It was a weird music video, unexplained moodiness, no story but stuff happens. I have the same confusion I feel when watching a aftershave/perfume advert. Not a negative criticism, I’m just curious.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Who looks after the little girl while her big sister is raving all night?
      The horse?

      The video is actually scary: avoid the place where people come in all shapes and sizes and ages and look individual. You have to be 20 and branded. That’s what the all the cools kids are doing.

      #icanbeacurmudgeontoo

      • ladyatheist
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        I think the little girl is her inner child? That was my best guess

        • js
          Posted August 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          I seem to have both an inner and an outer child.
          I said to a friend recently that at 47 I am still waiting for my mid life crisis and he said I had to grow up first.

      • Diane G.
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, my take exactly.

  12. Notagod
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I’ve gotten out my magnificating glass. It reveals what looks to be a fine wire mesh in front of a darkish shadow, similar in some aspects to a human head, at the bottom left of the supplied screen image.

  13. Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    BTW: “twerking” is one of the new words added to oxforddictionaries.com today: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/august-2013-update/

  14. Marta
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I went. I saw.

    With a shovel and a pickaxe I made my way through the stories (with PICTURES!) of Miley Cyrus, Miley Cyrus twerking, Miley Cyrus in her shiny underwear, Miley Cyrus at the VMAs, and Miley Cyrus’ tongue. Of which there were many pictures of her tongue.

    I nearly died.

  15. Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Due respect, but if you really wanted to sell out and generate some serious clicks, you’d have written a piece on the evolutionary explanation for Cyrus’ VMA performance, maybe titled it something like:

    “Towards a Tolerance of Twerking: An Evolutionary Explanation For Cyrus’ VMA Performance”

    Actually that sounds more like an academic paper I guess. Either way, get on it sir, you only have a few hours until the next meme comes around.

  16. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait until the DI reads this and comments that “radical evolutionary atheist comments on music while decrying people who comment on science who don’t have degrees in that field. How typical of the Darwin lobby!” :)

  17. Barry
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Another famous professor had a similar idea in his day: August Weismann, The Musical Sense in Animals and Men, Popular Science Monthly, V. 37, pp.352-358 .

    • Barry
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, the link did not work (the article is on line), and the date is 1890.

      • ladyatheist
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        *lol* The more things change…

  18. john Q
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    jerry , for some reason I don’t receive any email notifications.

  19. Yair
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Well, Rock tried to kill the metal. But it failed.


    :D

    • Yair
      Posted August 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Oh, and “Rock is Dead” – which is more fitting to this thread, but a worse song…

      • ladyatheist
        Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Rock n Roll will never die!

        • natalie
          Posted August 29, 2013 at 4:37 am | Permalink

          in order post links instead of entire videos, as it says in the 10 commandments ;-), I recommend cutting off the beginning of the link

          http://www

          and just start with the youtube bit. Easy and effective!

          friendly greetings from berlin

          • Diane G.
            Posted August 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            Actually all you have to cut off is the “http://.” If you do, WP will add it back in and you end up with a hotlink rather than an embed.

            Will have to experiment to see if it does so if you also delete the “www.”

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 29, 2013 at 1:49 am | Permalink

        I’d never heard of them (though I recognised Jack Black) – but I got a good laugh out of that. They’re very good at what they do.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 29, 2013 at 1:50 am | Permalink

          Tenacious D, I mean (not referring to AC/DC)

          Drat WP and its erratic nesting.

  20. Don Bysouth
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Dang it Man !! u made it !!

  21. Hot Jam
    Posted August 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    My crystal ball says that JAC will start tw–ting before the year is out…

    • Posted August 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Well, each post from this website goes out as a tw–t, but I bet you $100 you will see no tweets from me besides those this year.

      You on?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Don’t do it! Admiral A clear says, “It’s a trap!”

  22. Ray Dymun
    Posted August 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Atheist professor next to Miley Cyrus’ gyrating bulbous buttocks? Isn’t that conveeeeenient.

  23. gbjames
    Posted August 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    OK. I finally tried to listen to that gawdaufful Avril Lavigne video.

    You’re right. Rock is dead.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29,343 other followers

%d bloggers like this: