Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Unintended Consequences

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This joke has been floating around for some time, but it’s still funny. I’ve added several items of my own at the end of the list.

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The Mozart Effect
(from www.bachorgan.com/Jokes.html, via L.N.)

A recent report now says that the Mozart effect is yet another charming urban legend. The bad news for hip urban professionals: playing Mozart for your designer baby will not improve his IQ or help him get into that exclusive pre-school. He will just have to get admitted to Harvard some other way. Of course, we’re all better off listening to Mozart purely for the pleasure of it. However, one must wonder whether, if playing Mozart sonatas for little Tiffany or Jason really could boost his or her intelligence, what would happen if other composers were played during the kiddies’ developmental time?

Liszt Effect: Child speaks rapidly and extravagantly, but never really says anything important.

Bruckner Effect: Child speaks v-e-r-y slowly and repeats himself frequently and at length. Gains reputation for profundity.

Wagner Effect: Child becomes a egocentric megalomaniac. May eventually marry his sister.

Puccini Effect: Child is prone to murderous fits of jealousy if another child plays with his/her toys. Child also suffers never ending bout of croup and insists it’s nothing.

Verdi Effect: Child marches around his room repeatedly, lines up all of his stuffed animals in a parade, pays particular homage to his stuffed elephants.

Mahler Effect: Child continually screams – at great length and volume– that he’s dying.

Schönberg Effect: Child never repeats a word until he’s used all the other words in his vocabulary. Sometimes talks backwards. Eventually, people stop listening to him. Child blames them for their inability to understand him.

Ives Effect: The child develops a remarkable ability to carry on several separate conversations at once, in various dialects.

Glass Effect: The child tends to repeat himself over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again[, making almost imperceptible changes to the words as he goes].

Stravinsky Effect: The child is prone to savage, guttural and profane outbursts that often lead to fighting and pandemonium in the preschool.

Brahms Effect: The child is able to speak beautifully as long as his sentences contain a multiple of three words (3, 6, 9, 12, etc). However, his sentences containing 4 or 8 words are strangely uninspired.

Cage Effect: Child says nothing for 4 minutes, 33 seconds—exactly. A recent study has determined that the Cage Effect is preferred by 10 out of 10 classroom teachers.

That list inspired a few of my own:
The Gesualdo Effect: Child begins each sentence on one topic, then shifts unexpectedly to a new, unrelated topic. Grows up to be a serial murderer.

The Scriabin Effect: Child believes he is God and believes that he can bring about Armageddon by talking to the Himalayas. [Not unlike some present-day religious nuts, eh?]

Another Mozart Effect: Child is prone to procrastination, insisting that he can write down his homework from memory in plenty of time before class. (And he can.) Obsessed with scatalogical speech and bodily functions.

The Satie Effect: Child refuses to bathe and cleanses self by rubbing body with pumice. Eats only white foods.

Another Wagner Effect: Child develops persistent narcissistic, hypersensitive, grandiose personality. Insists on pure silk underwear.

The Sussmayr Effect: Child believes that he can gain eternal fame by completing a classmate's homework. Can't understand why no one appreciates him.

The Beethoven Effect: Child is pathologically antisocial, but believes he can save humanity from its own ignorance. Forces art down their throats until they admit they like the taste, then says, "I told you I was right."

The Duruflé Effect: Child suffers from extreme perfectionism; works obsessively to create only perfect work. Has difficulty starting and completing homework due to his fear of making a mistake.

The Sousa Effect: Child is obsessed with toy soldiers, setting them up for one parade after another. Walks, talks, chews, and brushes teeth at precisely 120 beats per minute.

The (Richard) Strauss Effect: Child is obsessed with number of possessions. Often teases other children who have less. ("My orchestra is bigger than yours!")

The Bach Effect: Child grows up perfect and loved by all.


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