Friday, August 21, 2009

Humor: Genealogical Convolutions

Years ago, I remember hearing Willie Nelson sing a funny song, called 'I'm my own Granpa'.

As an amateur genealogist, I was intrigued by how that could occur, without gross incest happening multiple times.

But, it turns the lyrics to this song were actually diagrammed to demonstrate how this might happen, which it turns has - in England!

So, I asked Mr Google and found this blurb from Wikipedia:

Also, a Youtube animated song and familytree diagram version from Ray Stevens:

Finally, here's the printed lyrics:

I'm My Own Grandpa
(Sung by Lonzo & Oscar in 1947)

It sounds funny, I know,
But it really is so,
Oh, I'm my own grandpa.

I'm my own grandpa.
I'm my own grandpa.
It sounds funny, I know,
But it really is so,
Oh, I'm my own grandpa.

Now many, many years ago, when I was twenty-three,
I was married to a widow who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, and soon they, too, were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life,
My daughter was my mother, cause she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matter, even though it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to Dad,
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle, then that also made him brother
Of the widow's grown-up daughter, who, of course, was my stepmother.

Father's wife then had a son who kept him on the run,
And he became my grandchild, for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother, and it makes me blue,
Because, although she is my wife, she's my grandmother, too.

Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grandchild,
And everytime I think of it, it nearly drives me wild,
For now I have become the strangest case you ever saw
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!

I'm my own grandpa.
I'm my own grandpa.
It sounds funny, I know, but it really is so,
Oh, I'm my own grandpa.


Ever think this sort of thing might also happen in politics?

Healthcare: More Perspectives

'If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.' - MARK TWAIN

As frustrating as it has been at times listening to our national healthcare debate, the more discussion occurs, the more facts and perspectives do emerge.
This is good -even essential- despite the overcharged emotional climate that has predictably evolved.
Of course, those people exist who will not be persuaded of anything other than their own biases and opinions, but isn't it always that way?
One can only hope these do not represent a majority, or sufficient numbers to seriously test the courage of those entrusted with representing the best interests of our country as a whole on this important issue.

Rather than expound from my personal perspective any more than necessary, I will trust these three links to express their own views:

First, from the NY Times this article by Timothy Egan on cooperatives:

Next, from today's Crosscut, this article by Ted Luce, an experienced user and administrator of the British health care system, entitled The Socialized Medicine' Red Herring.

Last, from the website, this statement from Mitt Romney:
Brief. Why should Obama NOT be listening to 'liberals', and since when is a delay in healthcare reform a concern of Romney's?

The first two citations help explain and clarify some misconceptions that have been in evidence recently.
Charitably, these might be called 'urban legends', but uncharitably are accurately termed lies, half-truths and deliberate mis-conceptions.

As Richard Abanes wrote about an entirely different subject, the novel The DaVinci Code:
"The most flagrant aspect … is not that Dan Brown disagrees with Christianity but that he utterly warps it in order to disagree with it … to the point of completely rewriting a vast number of historical events. And making the matter worse has been Brown's willingness to pass off his distortions as ‘facts' with which innumerable scholars and historians agree.

And this apparently describes the origin of the term 'urban legend':

The term “urban legend,” as used by folklorists, has appeared in print since at least 1968. Jan Harold Brunvand, professor of English at the University of Utah, introduced the term to the general public in a series of popular books published beginning in 1981. Brunvand used his collection of legends, The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends & Their Meanings (1981) to make two points: first, that legends and folklore do not occur exclusively in so-called primitive or traditional societies, and second, that one could learn much about urban and modern culture by studying such tales.
Brunvand has since published a series of similar books, and is credited as the first to use the term vector (inspired by the concept of biological vectors) to describe a person or entity passing on an urban legend.

Do you know anyone around here who can be credited with being a VECTOR, creating, or promulgating, an 'urban legend'?

"I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world." -

"All schools, all colleges, have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten." - MARK TWAIN [1908, notebook]