Dagwood Sandwich

Dagwood Sandwich (n): a thick sandwich filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, dressings, and condiments.

His name was Chic Young.

I just wanted to see that in print—because as an author, I am fully aware that most of the things I write will be lost in obscurity or rendered meaningless.

Being a creative person is similar to manufacturing clouds. Brief vapor that they are, they soon will pass away and need to be replaced by new clouds.

Chic Young is the cartoonist who came up with the idea for Dagwood and Blondie. The strip began in 1930, when the assumption of the times was that men are lazy, always looking for a way of getting out of work and never doing what their wives wanted them to—and that women are interfering, nosy and a bit inept.

That particular line of reasoning is still alive in our entertainment today.

Yes—although it’s been ninety years, we persist in believing that men and women are destined to be at odds with one another, except when sexual arousal temporarily interrupts the warfare for a copulation treat.

I shall not comment further on that. You can probably tell by my emphasis that I find such thinking to be self-indulgent and counter-intuitive.

But back to Chic.

Let’s just take a moment and salute a fellow who came up with a character—Dagwood Bumstead—who loved to make huge sandwiches, usually with a sardine sticking out on the side—and because of that, to this day we name such concoctions and compilations Dagwoods.

How many of us can say that something we came up with led to having a sandwich named after it?

By the way, the name Dagwood is legitimate.

It actually comes from England and is translated as “shiny forest.” Although I do not know what a shiny forest would be, I assume it could only be viewed following the ingestion of some hallucinogenic drug.

So on this fine day, we want to thank you, Chic, for giving us Dagwood and Blondie.

And for all you writers, composers, thinkers, reasoners, poets and musers—keep going.

Someday something you concocted might be ordered at a Subway–with extra pickles.

 

Composer

Composer: (n) a person who writes music, especially as a professional occupation

In the classical field they refer to them as “the Masters.”

These are the folks who wrote symphonies, operas and other various styles of composition, which have endured to the present day.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Please understand, in their time, many of them received no attention, zero appreciation and often suffered criticism and poverty.

It would seem that their greatest accomplishment was that they died. Once they died, a sentimental streak went down the backbone of all the critics, and they began to view their music from a less cynical position.

So now we consider them geniuses–and we take the composers of our day and ostracize them, cheat them out of opportunity and often make them live in poverty (just so they can die quickly and have their music appreciated).

It is a bizarre system which seems determined to continue because it receives great funding.

 

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Classical

Classical: (adj) standard, classic.

I have worked for 22 years with an oboist.

She’s a little bit Mozart; I’m a little bit rock and roll.

When we teamed up, I think she was concerned that our musical tastes might be ill-suited for one another. She had played in symphony
orchestras, and I had bopped around with gospel, blues and pop.

What she did not know was that as a boy of eleven years of age, I got hooked on a record series called “The 25 Greatest Melodies of All Time” and “The 50 Most Influential Classical Music Pieces.” So along with listening to rock and roll and some gospel music, I played my recordings of Strauss, Wagner, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff.

It was perfectly produced–the records didn’t have so much of each composition to bore me, just the highlights. What you might call the Cliff notes of the masters.

I loved the music. To this day, I think my partner is a little surprised when I insert a bit of understanding (or sometimes misunderstanding) of the music of that era. Matter of fact, she and I joined together to write some symphonies–our tribute to the styling, with the addition of our original juice.

It’s too bad we have to call something “classical.” It scares off the best market–young humans. After all, why would they want to listen to any music their parents might enjoy?

But what they don’t understand is that these composers who wrote this dynamic material were just a bunch of radical, rebellious, rag-tag and reckless adolescents.

 

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Alto

dictionary with letter A

Alto: (n.) a voice, instrument or musical part below the soprano and above the tenor

It’s called a triad.

I’m not trying to give you a music lesson. It’s a simple blending of two notes that creates a cohesive and usually very pleasant harmony.

It was the staple of music for generations, but in the past thirty years it has been forsaken in favor of harmonies which stress the fourth and fifth instead of thirds.

Now, understanding that this is much too technical for anyone who does not pursue bass and treble clefs, let me personify it better by saying that if you’ve ever heard a women’s trio sing in a church or civic organization, one of the ladies always carries a harmony which clings to the melody so faithfully that it is almost like a twin.

It is beautiful. It is gorgeous. But for a generation of musicians and composers who favor a bit darker sound to their tunes, it is probably quite annoying.

Matter of fact, the most common way to end a song in today’s market is on the major seventh or with a dangling fifth.

Once again, I’m getting too technical. But understand this: sometimes it’s just lovely to hear a melody accompanied by a triad tripping faithfully along behind. It is a union that reminds us that the universe is not meant to be strident, but is intended to have a soprano … accompanied by a well-tuned alto.