The Saucy Nugs Guy and The Treachery of Rhetoric

This became a minor meme boomlet for a few days last week:

Obviously, the first response, the intended response, is laughter. A political meeting is a ridiculous place to discuss what pub food is called. On top of that, you can pull/impose a “commentary on the absurdity of our politics” if you’re in the mood.

But as I’ve written before, irony does not translate to mass media, so the first thing that came to me, regardless of intent, is the fact that his argument is completely sound. “Boneless chicken wings” is an absurd nomenclature, dreamed up by marketing drones and refined in focus groups (who the hell willingly sits in a focus group? Where do they find these people? Do they pay them?). As a piece of corporate communication, seller-to-buyer, it’s effective: This will be like a chicken wing, but it won’t have a bone in it. It’s still nonsense. We could call it something else, and people would still eat them.

Rhetoric works best when founded in truth, so people ran with #saucynugs on Twitter. He’s become the Saucy Nugs Guy. He has gone viral over something ridiculous, and possibly initiated a minor cultural change. Was this his goal? It doesn’t matter. It has gone out into the world, and people have made it what they wanted. A joke becomes an idea.

So while the rhetorical devices SNG employs in his speech are both cliched and comically out of place, that actually makes it entertaining to listen to, selling the argument. I came away from this not only convinced but but determined never to use the term “bonless chicken wings” again. At the same time, a tossed-off line that was intended as humor has become his Official Cultural Designation, for no better reason than euphony.

This could take off. Not suddenly, but slowly, if the memeing of the term reaches an inflection point. It depends on wheter people are willing to actually say “Saucy Nugs” in public. They might at first, if only to display meme-awareness, and then out of simple habit. When the term appears in carryout menus, even ironically, then victory will be at hand.

Let’s make it happen. Of all the nomenclature-related disputes of our age, this one makes the most sense.

My Brain is Sluggish; it Must be Tuesday.

It seems like the BBC is always offering New and Interesting studies that fail to be either. I don’t know if science in the UK is so devoted to AGW that there are no resources for anything else, or if the BBC can no longer tell what’s news and what isn’t. Of course, I have that complaint about almost every major news organ, and the science of every country, so please don’t infer criticism of Brits as such.

But I don’t know who thought it would be a good idea to study weather people were any happier on workdays other than Monday. Of course they aren’t. Dragging yourself from bed to commute to desk does not become more pleasant by repetition. It becomes more tolerable on Friday only because you know you’re getting a break.

And what a break it is. Frankly, I’m tired of Saturday, the Domestic Workday. I can’t recall the last time I didn’t ask my wife, “Do we have something to do this weekend?” Because even if you aren’t Running Around, you’re grouting the thing and mowing the other thing. The only good thing about Saturday is recovering from sleep deprivation.

Which is what I’m suffering now. School ramped up again, and my mind has been un-writerly of late. I have projects, but the narrow sliver of time granted to them rarely seems long enough to get a good look at the problem, let alone accomplish anything. Which is no doubt just laziness rationalizing itself. In any case, I missed some sleep last night, and will likely again tonight. I’m only blogging this out of guilt. So maybe I’ll just cut to a video of some puppies:

 

The Convention. Feh. I can’t even sit through pep rallies, and they’re only an hour long. Nothing that happens at a convention matters. Sarah Palin had a perfectly fine speech in 2008; it availed her nothing. John McCain’s speech was okay, if kind of a wet fart at the end. But he was still doing fine in the polls until the economy tanked. I don’t remember what the hell Obama said at his convention; does anyone? Everything Obama has ever said could, if you were only interested in the content, have come out of the mouth of any Democratic politician from the last forty years. It was the feeling of Obama that mattered, the Presence, that MLK-light timbre in his voice. The voice is still the same, but the Presence seems diminished, and the feeling, well…

Thus Do We Meme, says the people who have nothing to do but fill the internet with joke versions of paintings in the fashion of an 80-year-old woman’s botched restoration of a Spanish fresco that was only 40 years old when she was born.

I suppose all art is self-portrait.

This is going to be funny for about 15 minutes, and then it’s going to go down deep in the earth to sleep until revived for VH1’s “I Love the Teenies” webcast in 2032 (incidentally, how odd is it going to be then when talking about The Twenties, and not meaning the 1920’s?). What I want to know is, who authorized the restoration, and what bishop is chewing him out right now as a result? There were times in the Spanish past where this would have been prima facie evidence of the need for an auto-da-fe.

Frankly, I don’t know why whoever decided to “restore” The Scream bothered:

And let’s have that image cap this long and rambling post. Happy Tuesday.