Chris Clarke claims I’m doing a cameo in this video. Was I the jogger? The policeman? The nun? The construction worker? Oh, hey…there I am. Nice outfit.

Chris also wants me to introduce him to Julieta. Sorry, Chris, I think she’d find your appendages…inadequate.


  1. says

    That must be how you write so many substantial posts in one day.

    One per arm (less the one that holds your coffee)?

  2. mndarwinist says

    PZ, there is no way the guy with the appendages could have been you.

  3. gerald spezio says

    A dirty old unbeliever man falsely framed in a nun’s costume. Whadda prevert.

  4. says

    I didn’t understand a word she was singing. It was like a whole other language or something. Don’t these people know English?

    I bet they aren’t even Americans. Mike Gravel would have them deported in a second.

    Do octopi speak Spanish?

  5. says

    My sneaky suspicion is that the octopus suit may be a tad small. I think PZ Myers is too much “octopus” to fit in that tiny suit. ;)

    On another note. Who told the young woman that stepping into a cushion would be a fashion statement?

  6. Rbozyme says

    Christian Burnham (Comment #2): If that is indeed PZ, it’s more PZ than I’d care to see…

    Julieta Venegas is currently one of the more popular singers here in Mexico. She’s from Tijuana. She always wears those funny 80ish skirts and Daisy Duck/Minnie Mouse high heels.

  7. says

    I thought they were going for a single take and then they go and make two senseless cuts towards the end.

  8. Oh, fishy, fishy, fishy, fish! says

    OK, I don’t wanna go on a rant here, but I’m sick and tired of music in Spanish being (mis)represented by these clowns. Especially in a blog like this. Imagine if Britney Spears was featured in a very respected foreign-language science (and godlessness) blog. Even if she was doing some stuff with an octopus.

    This song is just pretty dumb (just if you were wondering something else). They are our Britney Spearses and April Lasagnas and whatnot. So to balance the budget, let me present you two of the greatest contemporaries, together (Spanish-speaking people living outside the U.S may already know them, but here they’re unnoticed by the Shakira-loving Latino community).

    OK, there are no cephalopods, but at least there is some, um, wet stuff. These are Fito Paez (great musician/poet) and Joaquín Sabina (super-duper extra marvelous poet, not much of a musician -by true musicians’ standards). He writes from simple but beautiful stuff like “may the end of the world catch you dancing” (“que el fin del mundo te pille bailando”) to much convoluted poetry which makes full use of the beautiful Spanish language, which will make this rant too long.

    By the way curiously, this Julieta Venegas does sing one of Sabina’s songs in an album where all-female singers sing his songs, that’s sub-par singing and music too, but the lyrics are still great.

    Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.

  9. Ribozyme says

    Oh, fishy, etc.: ¿Eres un paisano del otro lado del río? Me daría mucho gusto que así fuera. Para que no seamos tan pocos los hispanos que nos involucramos en este asunto de la ciencia, la anticiencia y la evolución.

  10. Eva says

    Oh, fishy and Ribozyme, you are not alone. También soy del otro lado del río- del Río Atlántico. Soy Latinoamericana y modero un foro de ateos muy gringo. No somos muchos pero algo hacemos…aunque habemos muy pocos ateos, escépticos y librepensadores en Puerto Rico, desafortunadamente.

  11. Very little squid... says

    Well, I agree that Venegas is not the Second Coming (not that I believe in THAT), but Sabina isn’t either. His songs all sound the same, at least to me. And he is a pretentious bore, which, in my opinion shows in his songs.

    If you want REAL quality singing you go for cuban Silvio Rodríguez ( and dominican Juan Luis Guerra ( Anyways, that’s maybe my Caribbean culture coming through.

    Venegas is not the equivalent of Britney, she is not all that and then some, but definitely not Britney. She is amongst the best popsters in LatAm, if you are into that.

  12. Oh, fishy, fishy, fishy, fish! says

    I am not Mexican, but I do speak Spanish. I also like Silvio, but I used to like him more when I was younger. His style is too idealistic for me now. I like Sabina more and more, his early stuff is not too great, I concur, and for a long time I didn’t also know what people saw in him. But his later stuff like Yo mí me contigo, 19 días y 500 noches, and especially Dímelo en la calle in my opinion are probably the greatest albums I have listened, alongside both of “La máquina de hacer pájaros”, and the third Sui Generis album (Pequeñas anéctotas sobre las instituciones). They don’t make’em like that anymore. Sabina and Paez are two of the very few left. Charly is insane now.

    Anyone else heard of “La máquina de hacer pájaros”? That’s Charly García’s band right after Sui Generis and before Seru Giran. In my opinion they even put Led Zeppelin and such to sleep.

    So by the way, I am typing in English so people don’t think we are conspiring to take over this blog (As we are taking over America!)

    Saludos, qué bien encontrar gente latina que piense como yo. Mis amigos están hastiados de mí blasfemando y comentando qué tanto nos han inculcado valores erróneos y a respetar la fe. Siempre he estado interesado en todo esto y más aún desde que uno de mis primos menores (por los 19 años) se consagró y se va a volver sacerdote… Mis amigos ya no soportan mi anti-religión jaja pero supongo que ellos no tienen tantos conflictos con los fundamentalistas. Lo que me perturba es cuántos de ellos creen en otras supersticiones como las tonterías New Age y otras cosas. Cambiar una droga por otra…

    (That was just a comment on how nice it is to see Latin Americans that think religion is nonsense as well.)

  13. Cyrock says

    Bueno, aquí hay otro español!!! :)
    Me alegro de que no sea el único que visite esta pagina!

  14. Cyrock says

    By the way…on that video (sabina & fito) Andres CALAMARO ;) also appears!!!

  15. bernarda says

    I am glad to see a song in other than English on the blog. But here is another, much better singer in Spanish, Tania Libertad. The CD version is much better of course.

  16. Ribozyme says

    For the most part, I don’t dig most modern music (whether mainstream or elitist) in Spanish. If there’s something good I can say about Julieta Venegas is that her music isn’t awful. There is this, to me rather peculiar (because my all time favorite music is classical, in which, for the most part, there is no singing, no lyrics), among the elitist fraction of music in Spanish, to focus on the content of the lyrics, leaving the musical quality as secondary. I think the real tragedy of music in Spanish is the almost complete inexistence of good rock (“I love rock&roll” as per Joan Jett). That can be said even of the most influential countries for music in Spanish: Spain (which I think is the worst), Mexico and Argentina.

  17. Oh, fishy, fishy, fishy, fish! says

    Ribozyme, I agree with you, but I would point you to those albums I mentioned above. I can appreciate classical, but classical doesn’t “speak” as modern music with lyrics can. Especially in Latin America, in countries like Argentina, rock music was a particularly liberating movement, in the midst of harsh censorship and military regimes.

    Music and lyrics especially in Pequeñas anécdotas sobre las instituciones is as close to “perfect” as I can imagine. The same for both albums of La máquina de hacer pájaros”. The lyrics of Sabina’s CDs I mentioned above are extremely rich. There is also Javier Krahe, which I think people who frequent sites like this (and can understand Spanish) can appreciate. He’s always mocking religion, even has a song called El cromosoma, which is just this whole website put into a song.

  18. says

    Personally, I have a huge problem with the fact that there’s very little substantive cumbia, bailecito, or son jarocho in the English-language music world.

    We need more West Virginia old-timey huayno, and we need it now.

  19. Ribozyme says

    Oh, fishy, etc.: Using a cliché, we’ll have to agree to disagree. To me, classical music (and I’m extremely partial to Baroque) speaks like nothing else: it’s not unusual for me to make a fool of myself while walking on the street, listening to Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann or Bach in my iPod, and be moved to tears by a particularly beautiful passage… Vivaldi’s Concerti con molti strumenti are specially bad that way. I usually describe the effect as a “reverse kick in the stomach”, that is, the effect is equally intense and throws you out of balance as much, but in a joyous instead of a painful way. I think the problem is trying to intellectually get the music, when you have to feel it (a lot of modern plastic art has that very same problem). Music is the abstract art par excéllence. It’s like what happens when you look at a Pollock or a Kandinsky… there is nothing intellectually recognizable there, but from the proper perspective they are so incredibly beautiful! Content and quality of synthaxis, metaphors, words used, even “message”, are important in poetry; in music, the most important thing is music, and what you say is, for the most part, secondary. Just listen to the most beautiful arias. For the most part, what they say is rather silly (and the same happens with most good rock)… but they are beautiful. In music, as in painting and sculpture, what you say isn’t as important as how you say it, that’s why ugly things can also be great art (Check Francis Bacon’s paintings or Giorgy Ligeti’s music).

  20. bernarda says

    Rock music has been deadly boring for more than 20 years. There are other types of popular music around the world that are more interesting.


    Peruvian, Susana Baca,

    This song is on the album Espiritu Vivo produced by David Byrne on the Luaka Bop label. The photo is from another CD produced by Byrne, Susana Baca.

  21. Ribozyme says

    Kseniya: That’s what I would call “easy Schoenberg”. Most of the works by Schoenberg, Shostakovich or Ligeti, I find difficult to digest, due to the ample use of dissonances. Of course I have to love Ligeti’s Requiem and Atmospheres, being a science fiction fan. I find Verklärte Nacht quite beautiful.

    Bernarda: That’s the kind of music we have had in Latin America for decades as an option to mainstream pop music. It might be attractive, happy-alive, and different (for the USA and Europe), but it’s not the kind of music that a century from now will be considered worth listening, like classical music or rock, or much of jazz, unless it has permeated deeply the culture of one or more nations. Check these links for a good example of a current rock group I find particularly worth listening:

  22. bernarda says

    Thank you for the links ribozyme, but I am not convinced. Let’s say they are not my cup of tea.

  23. Rhus says

    First of all, let me say that I laughed out loud with PZ’s appearance in the video. I’m so grateful to Chris Clarke! I’m one of the anonymous bunch who love him to bits and would gladly contribute to dedicate him a monument – if only to see what he’d do with it.

    About Sabina: he strikes me as a mysoginistic bore too full of himself. His name is usually coupled with Krahe’s, but this last one is, to my mind, much better. For people who understand Spanish, here’s a masterpiece of religious irreverence.

    Some of you might need footnotes, it’s so packed with allusions. If you care at all, Chris, just ask!

  24. Rhus says

    By the way, about the ongoing musical discussion: I see that I have totally corroborated Ribozyme in #19, who points to the habit “among the elitist fraction of music in Spanish, to focus on the content of the lyrics, leaving the musical quality as secondary.”

    I suppose it might be said that I belong to the elitist, since I almost exclusively listen to classical music (and a lot of it, by the way). Even so, not being an expert, I’d say that I agree with all your points. The bright side of Spanish music might be, as always, really popular tradition; pop and rock are in a sorry state and noise thrives. In this situation, I try to enjoy what I can – good lyrics or the cheekiness of Venegas (a Mexican, but widely heard in Spain). Or I look with some envy at the excellent health of classical music in Venezuela, for instance.

  25. Ribozyme says

    Rhus: If you manage to get the funds for PZ’s monument, just avoid a greek style scuplture with him as in the video linked by Christian Burnham in Comment #2.

    As I said before, I’m not crazy about Julieta Venegas, but her music is among the less bad in pop music in Spanish. If I had no choice but to be in a place with pop music in Spanish as ambiental music, I’d rather have Julieta than crap like Paulina Rubio, RBD or Ricky Martin. She’s still quite amusing, but it was far better when she started. She toned down her music so more people would buy her records. She even doesn’t play the acordion much anymore.