Dollop 31 – Happy Birthday Benjamin

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So Cancer claims yet another celebrity this year, with the death of Terry Wogan. I’ve naturally been inspired by him, being someone who presents podcasts and has always been interested in radio. Sadly I never met him and so his passing does not afford me with any points in a game of Death Top Trumps. I have however met Dermot O’leary, so I’ll be quids in when he finally kicks the bucket, as celebrity deaths are worth ten points. Fortunately for Jon Snow, he’s not in work today, so he’s got an extra day to think up a way of trying to anger or upset Gaby Roslin and Ken Bruce on tomorrow’s Channel 4 news. I suppose at this point you might expect me to offer some suggestions of the kind of jokes he could possibly use, but I am not so tasteless and insensitive as to do that kind of thing. That is definitely the reason, and is clearly not because I basically can’t think of anything. I have lots of ideas about how to insult the memory of Terry Wogan in front of his friends on television news – I’m into the 31st day of Dollops now so obviously I’ve reached the habitual unstoppably creative stage – but I am too nice for that kind of thing.

Today is my housemate Ben’s birthday. We were out last night and didn’t get back til late, but I thought it would be a shame if Ben missed too much of his special day, and so, even though I knew he would be seriously hungover, I woke him up early with the gift of music, which was a Happy Birthday Benjamin megamix, courtesy of Spotify.

As mentioned previously on a Young’uns Podcast and in Dollop 22, there are people who have used the digital streaming and downloads phenomenon to try and make as much money as possible by doing as little artistic or actual work as possible.

One day I typed Hartlepool into Spotify, just out of curiosity to see what would come up. I found a song called Get The Goal (Hartlepool United.) I assumed it was an official song paid for and recorded by Hartlepool United, but it soon became clear that this was not the case. Firstly, the singers were American, which seemed to dilute the passion of the song somewhat, although it soon became very apparent that there was absolutely no passion here at all. Not only where the accents American, but the terminology being used was also transatlantic, using words that aren’t even used in UK football: set play, overtime, score zone … They’d basically recorded the exact same song for every football team, not just in the UK leagues but all the world leagues, with the only distinction between the tracks being that they inserted the name of a specific team, although the passion was even more impaired by the fact that they got many of the team names wrong, calling Peterborough United Petersburg United, and proudly proclaiming Derby Country instead of Derby County. There are hundreds of versions of this same song on Spotify.

Typing Happy Birthday Benjamin into Spotify also brought up hundreds of results. There were Happy Birthday Benjamin songs in every genre: country, reggae, jazz, dubstep, even a blues Happy Birthday Benjamin, which seems a little odd given the general nature and mood of the genre.

There are happy birthday songs for every single name, and hundreds of them. It would probably take you a couple of months of solid listening to get through every single happy birthday song for every name in every genre. Perhaps this could be a sponsored event for charity. Or maybe this should be David Blaine’s next endeavour. He may have spent 73 hours stood on top of a 72 foot pillar while having one million volts of electricity applied to his body. He may well have survived 44 days without food or nutrients. But I doubt whether even he would have the endurance levels to tolerate two months listening to every happy birthday song listed on Spotify. And I’d let him have whatever food and drink he wanted; he still wouldn’t be able to get through it. I heard about five of them, and it’s torture.

Well there you go friends, I think I’ve proved that I am able to blog about something other than the act of blogging, which is what Bill was intimating that my blogs had started to become. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I am too arrogant to let this intimation go unchallenged, while on the surface it may seem that my blogs have fallen into the habit of merely referencing my previous blogs, this is not at all the case. Bill has clearly not understood that I’ve been using my blog as an elaborate metaphor. So when I reference my blog, I am in fact not really referencing my blog, but rather constructing a very complex and intricate tapestry of allegory. It will all become clear in the fullness of time. I’ve been planning this project all my life Bill. I have great truths to tell, but you must continue reading and deconstructing in order to ascertain them. I suggest you meditate before reading to best ensure the optimum mindset for absorbing the Dollops fully. For best results, I recommend the Samadhi meditation technique for about thirty minutes beforehand, preferably whilst naked. Good luck in your search. If you’re really serious about uncovering the truth hidden within these Dollops, then I recommend that you might want to listen to all the podcast versions of these Dollops in reverse. But I can’t give any more away than that. I’ve already said too much; my masters will be angry.

I am going to have to leave this Dollop here as we are going out for a meal and some surprise activities for Ben’s birthday. What amazing friends he has. Most people would be completely satisfied to simply receive a ten minute compilation of Happy Birthday Benjamin songs, unless they weren’t called Benjamin, in which case they might find it a little odd.

Back tomorrow, as we enter our second month.

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