Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Infested with tarballs

Posted in Articles by Toad Wednesday June 30, 2004 at 13:24

Okay, so maybe I’m old and I’m just not down with the finer points of modern music, but songs like this just don’t quite do it for me. The line that inspired me to post on this song was “When you move like a jellyfish rhythm donít mean nothing you go with the flow, you donít stop.” Now, I’m a musician, and probably the center of my musical heart is that of a conductor, not a French Horn player or piano player, so any reference to “rhythm don’t mean nothing” automatically rubs me the wrong way. To me just saying it betrays a lack of anything resembling knowledge of musical aesthetics, or just plain bad taste. Even the spastic dancing that modern youth enjoys has rhythm to it. Rhythm is essential in anything musical or poetic, even if it is less conventional.

Then I read the whole song, and while I can see that it was probably meant as a description of this “little girl”‘s surpassing beauty, it really doesn’t come across that way to me. The first verse has a few random sections that don’t appear to make any sense at all in the context of the song, and I don’t think my fiancee, anyhow, would appreciate having her toes called “bubbly,” or take “infested with tarballs” as a complement. Of course, I’ve come to expect senseless randomness from modern music; as a result, I avoid listening to the words if I can, and just listen to the music. What struck me as odd, though, is when I read the comments at the bottom. All these people hailing him as some kind of musical genius… when really, the music isn’t that great at all, and the words are largely just prattle.

Anyways, that’s just something that kinda bothers me about modern society. This sort of thing seems fairly typical: the public at large rallies around an ideal or song or person or what-have-you, but never actually stop to see if it makes sense, and in many cases, don’t even bother to figure out what they’re rallying around. It’s like white people who tell black people they’re wrong when the black person says, “But really, there isn’t that much racism, and I’ve been treated very well and fairly all my life.” I have, on several occasions heard a black person say that to hear the answer, “Shut up, that’s so not true! You black people just have it so bad, we whites are all horrible discriminators! I mean, except for me.”

That’s all for now. Remember kids, before you believe in something, be sure you know what you’re believing in.

Oh, and if your feet are infested with tarballs, please wash before coming in the house.


  1. You know, I would think the line “Infested with Tarballs” would be what you would call a linux cvs/source-code server.

    Said by Dan 7/13/2004 at about 22:17

  2. Your comment “betrays a lack of anything resembling knowledge of musical aesthetics” just points out that you really don’t get it at all.

    Did you just “read” the lyrics, or did you also listen to the song? You shoud be very concerned about finding out why you don’t get it, and try to salvage something of a soul from whatever deep and cold pit is at the center of your being.

    “thatís just something that kinda bothers me about modern society. This sort of thing seems fairly typical: the public at large rallies around an ideal or song or person or what-have-you, but never actually stop to see if it makes sense,”

    It does make sense. Here’s something that bothers me about you, and this sort of thing seems fairly typical: you don’t get it, but instead of wondering why you don’t get it and a lot of other people DO, you assume that everyone else is following mindlessly, while YOU are some sort of intellectual trailblazer.

    Said by Rich Steixner 8/22/2005 at about 14:11

  3. “feet are infested with tarballs” is a reference to the naturally occuring tar that every student of UC Santa Barbara spends energy removing from their feet after spending time on the beaches of Isla Vista.

    Said by richard grijalva 4/27/2006 at about 20:09

  4. Rich:

    You misunderstand me. My admission of “not getting it” is inviting people to tell me what I’m missing. It’s true, yes, that I assume people are following mindlessly, but in my experience, that is a well-founded assumption in the majority of cases. If you disagree with my stance, by all means, tell me why I’m wrong. Telling me that I’m wrong is incredibly insufficient to convince me that I am.


    Thanks for the info!

    Said by Toad 5/2/2006 at about 07:48

  5. The line you referred to is not necessarily talking about music, it is talking about gracefulness in life when its rhythm is off beat.

    Said by Tkenney 3/29/2008 at about 23:18

  6. I like posting comments on 7 year old threads. So I’m. But thanks to the tarballs explanation. Looking that up is how I got here.

    Said by Normy 4/20/2011 at about 09:14

  7. Well, you’re welcome! We’re glad to be of help.

    Said by Ziggy 4/22/2011 at about 08:15

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