CWT-4: Pop Quiz

Tom Leu
Q&A on the Communichology™ of Pop Culture

Ricky Midway: I want to give you a little test.

Tom Leu: What kind of test?

A pop quiz.

I thought I was through with those things when I finished college?

We’re never through being quizzed and tested in life…

You speak the truth.

So just tell me the first thing that comes to mind when I say the following series of people, places, and things. 

What, is this some sort of Rorschach-style interview?

Call it whatever you want. Are you ready?

Let’s do it.




Relatively exclusionary.


A source of insight and explanation excluded from most religions.


A source of socially acceptable delusion and exclusion disguised as inclusion.


Often as fundamental as the Fundamentalists.


Fundamentally unsure about the nature of reality… past, present, or future.

Reality TV.

The new prime time.

Rockford, IL.

Primarily behind the times.

Los Angeles.

In time.

New York City.

Ahead of the times.

New York Yankees.

Old news.

Chicago Cubs.

The new New York Yankees.

“New York State of Mind.”

Timeless song.


Too much wasted online.

Social Media.

Personal Reality TV revealing in too much information.

The Internet.

More unnecessary evil will be revealed.







Bob Dylan.


Boz Skaggs


Ricky Skaggs

Don’t know.

Dr. No

Old times.

No Doubt

Ahead of their time.

King’s X

Good times.

Cleverly-creative idea.


Conservatively-exclusionary ideal.


Liberally-relative ideal.


The vehicle.


The difference.

Emotional intelligence.

The destination.


The ball game.

Well done. So what’s the moral of the story?

All of the things that you asked me about were loosely, yet contextually related to the next. And then it all sort of came together full-circle at the end, and became a six degrees of separation sort-of-thing.

Neat huh?

Yeah… because when you really think about it, most things in the world are more or less interconnected. All of creation is dependent, yet interdependent at the same time. Each of its own, on its own, yet deriving meaning from, and within the context of the other. All things are complex and commonplace; esoteric yet exposed; sophisticated yet sophomoric simultaneously. Such is life…

Congratulations. You’ve passed the quiz.

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9 thoughts on “CWT-4: Pop Quiz

  1. Okay. I get what you’re saying with this one. “There is no such thing as disconnected facts. There is only complex structure.” (Luca Turin) It is what it is only by what it is to other its. Context is everything. It’s all relative. I get that.


    Dylan overrated?! Psh. Whatever, Bam Bam. As if.

    …..Then again, what can you really expect from a drummer. Let me guess, you probably think that Rush is the best band ever, right? lol

    I will agree with you about Rockford though. Being out there has been some pretty serious culture shock for me. I hadn’t anticipated that.

  2. I am a drummer, a [song] drummer… therefore Rush, is NOT my favorite band ever. In fact most “drummer’s drummers” and their respective bands are my least favorite most of the time. Go figure.

    WARNING: opinion coming…

    Dylan is still greatly overrated though. Note: I don’t believe he’s bad; I like him some; I just believe he’s one of those rare few [bandwagon artists] that people jump onto and claim reverence to because so many others do.

    Sure he wrote a few decently melodic songs (some say), but his greatest contribution (I say) is his painfully clever lyrics. That voice though… yikes.

    Alas, his influence is heralded more than it’s not.

    The [claims] of Dylan’s musical influence are far greater than the [actual] influence.

    Some say…

  3. It’s okay. I understand. I also went through a phase where I thought Dylan was overrated. (When I was like twelve… 😉

    I just don’t see how the claims of his influence could be greater than his actual influence. And just because you don’t like him, those of us who do must have just hopped on the bandwagon? We couldn’t possibly actually like him? Really? I will concede that his strongest area are his lyrics; most of the musicians I know who like him are not just musicians but lyricists as well.

    And the voice issue… how is an AC/DC fan going to rip on anyone’s voice. Brian Johnson sounds like he gargles with razor blades. Seriously. I’ve never been able to get into AC/DC for that reason; Johnson’s voice is just too off-putting. His voice has that same screechey Axl Rose “quality” that sounds like hitting a baby with a cat. To be fair, though, the AC/DC stuff is musically fairly decent and I’m not familiar with their Bon Scott stuff so that could potentially be good. But whenever I hear Brian Johnson singing, that just makes my throat sad.

    If you wanna talk overrated, Jim Morrison is ridiculously overrated. Ray Manzerek wrote all the good songs that were hits for The Doors. Jim Morrison just wandered around with a head full of acid, spewing nonsensical jibberish. All the Morrison followers, now there’s a perfect example of bandwagon fanhood. Yikes.

  4. No… I believe you actually think you lilke Dylan – at least since you were thirteen or so. 🙂

    And I’ll agree with you to a point on the Doors/Morrison thing. I LIKE some of the Doors’ stuff, but don’t embrace the fanaticism that often surrounds their [bandwagon fan’s] claims of transcendant influence. You see, there’s a difference between actually liking an artist and being a bandwagoner. My point is that many, but not all, Dylan fans (as well as Doors fans) are bandwagon fans. They “like” what they “learn” to like from others. The social psychological term for this is [social proof]. And if that’s true, then claims of either’s “influence” is logically & mathematically overrated.

    But when one actually admits “I’m not familiar with their Bon Scott stuff” when referring to perennial, cat-bashing, (and appropriately influential) AC/DC…

    Well… how can one now take any sort of rock music review/commentary seriously with such a gaping void-style omission present in their pre-requisite rock-n-roll curriculum?


  5. LOL smart@ss!

    I think I understand this social proof concept. An example of it would be for a grown man to have really long (possibly permed) hair and wear more eyeliner than my mom because he’d learned to want to do so from his friends and the rock stars of his heyday?! Yikes on BIKES! 🙂

    I don’t know that one’s musical pereferences are a conscious decision. It’s like the Gene Simmons quote about the emotion business that we were talking about the other day. If the music produces a positive emotional response in you, then you like it; if it produces a negative emotional response, then you don’t like it; and if it produces no response at all, then you are indifferent. Have you read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell? Music is all about the thin slice, imo. Sometimes there just isn’t any logical, rational explanation. Which can be difficult for those with the terminal left-brainedness to accept. But of course, what do I know.

    Were I to attempt an analysis of why I like Dylan, I suppose I would point to the stripped-down, bare-bones style of his early stuff. Just him and his guitar & harmonica. No gimmickry or any of that other BS. And so, with minimal musical support and yes, an unconventional voice, his lyrics did have to be THAT good in order for him to thrive. And they are. Which is why he did and has. (imo) Though I still maintain that you have to be a lyricist yourself to be able to fully appreciate what a rare and amazing ability Dylan has. (And I do think that songwriting is an ability thing, you either have it or you don’t. Sure, a talent can be strengthened, but you have to have something there in the first place to be built upon. You can’t polish a turd. But I digress.) You say that you are “a [song] drummer….”, are you a [song] writer also? And what exactly does ‘a [song] drummer’ mean, anyway?! You are out of control with those brackets Tom! lol

    And as far as Dylan’s influence on music as a whole, how many bands and artists have covered Dylan tunes. (vs. who has covered AC/DC tunes…) Did Hendrix only think he liked Dylan when he decided to cover ‘All Along the Watchtower?’ I think not. There is simply no denying the ripple effect that Dylan has had on music as we know it.

    p.s. Hey, who’s your favorite Traveling Wilbury? Is it JEFF LYNNE?!?! 🙂

  6. Gotta love those 80’s heydays when the guys who looked like the girls got more girls than the guys who just looked at the girls who were looking for the guys who looked like girls. 🙂

    And I suppose somehow, someway, all of the above is owed to Bob Dylan and his profound influence on “popular” music as we know it…

    But thank goodness Hendrix covered “All Along the Watchtower” – because without that brilliant version, we’d be left with, well… Dylan’s version. Yikes.

    And yes, next to the great George Harrison, Jeff Lynne IS my favorite TW actually… although placing the word “favorite” in close proximity to the words “Travelling Wilburys” is a clear example of oxymoron. One of the greatest [non-great] super groups there ever was…

    And yes, I do like my brackets. Maybe it’s Dylan’s subconscious influence on me…??

  7. Tom Leu, that is just too much information! lol I don’t need to be hearing anything about your 80’s exploits dude. (though I am going to get that tattoo parlor story out of you eventually..) Congratulations on having snagged lots of pelt and everything, but, yeah, the flytrap talk… “too much unnecessary information”.

    And you are being SUCH a slippery little sh!t with the Dylan thing! I was cracking up when I read the part about the Dylan verson of Watchtower. Smart@ss. Ice to Antarcticans, man, I’m telling you. Ice to Antarcticans. And what was the verdict on the Eskimo issue?

    The question about your favorite Traveling Wilbury is actually a quote from an episode of The Simpsons. (as is the line about hitting a baby with a cat, that was in a different episode. and yikes on bikes is from Talladega Nights.) But I will agree with you about the greatness of ALL the Wilburys. Though I am a bit surprised to see you say that, given that Dylan was a member of said great supergroup…

  8. Whoa, read it again, I NEVER said anything about myself. Just talking in generalities here… observer commentary. What is implied is up to the reader. 🙂

  9. No worries man, I was just messing with you. Of course we all know that a fine, upstanding individual like yourself would never really engage in such behavior. You are a gentleman and a scholar. 🙂

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