Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yankee Doodle

Have you ever really thought about the words of Yankee Doodle? Their meaning seemed kind of pointless to me, until I looked it up in Wikipedia, the greatest online reference ever...

Turns out Yankee Doodle was originally a song intended to jeer Americans. At the time, doodle was another word for fool, and macaroni was an avant-garde wig style. So, in effect, the first verse is saying that Americans are so backwoods, they think sticking a feather in their cap suddenly makes them Karl Lagerfeld.

So, why did Yankee Doodle become a popular American song? It was an Act of DEFIANCE! Which is what makes this such great knowledge to have...

As the story goes, the Minutemen mocked the British with the tune after beating them in battle.

The Wikipedia article is a good read.


skmckinn said...

I love Karl Lagerfeld. No really, I LOVE Karl Lagerfeld. I think it has to with his having a habitus I could never take on myself. (I guess that's the point--you can't appropriate a habitus.) Anyway--he's the kind of snob I wish I could be.

Did you know that he blogs? Is it really him, or is it someone aping him? I really hope it's him.
In this post,
he lambastes one of my favorite blogs, The Sartorialist--tore Scott Schuman a new lens-hole. PLUS, he uses Bob Dylan in the post. (In fact, the blog says that Dylan is a contributor. Really? Again--how, oh how can I be a part of this club?)

I ALSO love Wikipedia. No, really, I LOVE wikipedia. The Rhetoric and Digital Media field is (naturally) all in a hub-bub about it, and Wikipedia is winning respect in the academic sphere.

A student of mine just turned in a (very good) paper about rationalism in economics, and he uses Wikipedia's definition of the term "homo economicus"...But the brilliant part is that he justifies his use of Wikipedia by saying that if he's going to define (economic)rationality, he should necessarily use the most widely accepted version of the concept, and Wikipedia is a tool (in this case!) for a kind of up-to-the-minute epistemological consensus.

(Of course, it AFFECTS that consensus, as well, which is where it gets sticky.)

Digitizdat said...

Wow. You're right, that blog entry is absolutely brilliant. My blog feels suddenly more inadequate than before.

skmckinn said...

Well, dude, it's Karl Lagerfeld and Bob Dylan you're thinking about.

Lemmee go get famous and then we'll coolify your blog.