Jake

Important If True 10: The Rooster's Stupid Secret

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Important If True 10:

Important If True 10


The Rooster's Stupid Secret
You've been given the chance to re-live your life from the start, with everything you know now. A chance to right wrongs, a chance to show them all? Maybe, if you're lucky. A chance—with our help—to really figure out the mysteries of the world that you missed the first time through? Things like: What do roosters have against Swedish labor unions? How did Sinbad hide himself in plain sight, in every child's copy of the movie Kazaam? What was that guy yelling about outside your apartment that one time? What is a "tooth worm?" Definitely. In fact, we just did. Your life wasted, you pursue one final question: Can you re-live your life from the start, knowing absolutely none of this?

Send us email at questions@importantiftrue.com. If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Discussed: ugh... "memes", Swedish labor union screaming rooster, Nick Breckon overhearing a disaster, psychic billionaire baby, John Titor, Early Edition, beautiful medieval teeth, tooth worm, Kazaam/Shazam, First Kid trailer on the Kazaam VHS

Nick's Endorsement: Boston Cooler (Vernor's Ginger Ale over vanilla ice cream)

Chris' Endorsement: Buckwheat tea, aka soba tea

Jake's Endorsement: Late Night Work Club animated short films

 

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In New Zealand we call an Ice Cream Float a "Spider". 

Plus one for the child prodigy/supergenius fantasy.. I try not to though, I mean its just a "What if my life was really sweet" thing and I don't like to open that same can of worms cause it just bums me out. Actually I think the movie Magnolia has a character played by William Macy in it who sort of represents similar ideas.

 

Image result for magnolia william h macy


 

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I found it so fascinating that Nick chose Hey Ya as the song to make if you go back in time. Some time ago I discovered that despite the upbeat nature of that song, the verses are actually a sad reflection on difficulties of relationships and love in the guise of a bubbly frivolous pop song. It's weird because I knew some of the lines, but didn't feel the need to look up the lyrics for years, and it becomes clear once you do that. He even comments about how no one is paying attention quietly at the end of the second verse after singing stuff like: "If [] nothing is forever, [] what makes love the exception?" "Separate's always better when there's feelings involved," by singing "Y'all don't want to hear me, you just want to dance."

 

 

 

So I think Nick is totally correct in that you'd make Hey Ya, meaning make a song that musically is a fun dance hit, while hiding all your angst about being a time jumping three year old who doesn't know how to capitalize on his knowledge and find his soul mate. Just keep the fun bridge intact.





 

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45 Brains Update

Submit your own proposals for brains to @45brains on Twitter. 402 podcasts remain.

Spoiler

 

#18 - Union Rooster

18.png.2c77475513edf122b9fc9676f3bcd0b9.png

The combined moods of the a Swedish union maintain the fury that drives this chicken to enslave and perpetually berate its former master.

Status: Proposed

Message: "Cockadoo-FUCK YOU!"

 

 

 

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Did Jake's endorsement break the Late Night Working Club's site? Such power.

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5 hours ago, CaptainFish said:

I found it so fascinating that Nick chose Hey Ya as the song to make if you go back in time.

 

The idea of Nick trying to write Hey Ya from memory in his second-chance-life is really confusing to me. Patrick's scenario indicates you get a do-over but you retain your current memories. So, hypothetically, you are a baby but you have a huge amount of knowledge already, so initially he's going to have to wait to catch up to his physical development, and then is he going to...immediately write down what he remembers from Hey Ya? How many of you could transcribe Hey Ya, or any hugely popular song, entirely from memory? Let's imagine that he can, in fact, write down some version of the song: the lyrics, the beat, perhaps some idea of the various instrument parts...is he then going to record this himself? Is he going to like, make a .mov file and upload it to his personal geocities account? Maybe he gets a band and sings it at his high school dance. No offense to Nick Breckon, but I have a feeling that the Nick Breckon version of Hey Ya might not have the same appeal as the version in our timeline. Also, remember, he has to do all of this before 2002-2003 or else he's actually beaten by Andre 3000. Maybe he thinks he'll try to sell the song to Andre himself. Will he travel to Atlanta in the early 1990s and hope to meet up with him (pretty funny considering Nick is like, less than ten years old, here), saying "here is this song I wrote, you should purchase this song from me." I think Nick's only option is to hope that he can win a court case with Andre 3000, saying it was suspiciously exactly the same as something he and a band recorded in high school, but at that point he's setting himself up to be The Jerk Who Sued Andre 3000 Because of Hey Ya.

 

I think that really, when it comes to your life, you've already forgotten so many of the little things that have happened to you that you're not going to be able to relive things exactly, and you'll introduce enough chaos early on to make it impossible to make sure everything happens the way that you remember it. I think that making an attempt to stop large world-changing events, like 9/11, might be worthwhile, but that's going to be pretty difficult to do, also (see 11/22/63). How the hell could you, as one person, stop Donald Trump from being elected? I think that the true sadness is the fact that you are going to live out your life just knowing that these things will happen, and no matter how many people you grab by the collar and tell on the street, it's not going to do much. Maybe at least just buy a bunch of Apple stock early, and maybe some bitcoin when it was cheap, and see if you can't try to save individual people when you can, if you can remember it. And Patrick, you'll live a life where you'll meet your partner, have had a lot of the same experiences that made you you, and also you'll just happen to be secretly very, very wealthy.

 

Ugh, I have thought so much about time travel, and the ability for one person to go back and change the past, and I always settle on this idea that perhaps we are living in a version of the world where someone has gone back and prevented even worse events from transpiring, and this is the version of the world where we should feel grateful that some time traveling hero like, instilled hope for humanity in Stanislav Petrov one autumn morning in 1983

 

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Yeah, I had pretty much the same reaction to the idea (presented in the question) that you could just scoop incredibly talented and often well-known artists on their greatest hits just from memory, that part of the premise didn't hold up*.  I think Nick was just running with the idea as presented, although the multi-Nick cast does make me want to see him try a full performance of Hey Ya.

 

*Maybe the question poser is really talented, I dunno. 
 

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My general reaction to this hypothetical is always the same: I don't remember enough of anything to have my knowledge of the world be useful. Maybe I buy apple stock, mine some Bitcoin like the previous poster said. Also, can you imagine the tedium of reliving your early, empty years with a complete knowledge of the full adult life you enjoyed? It'd be awful. 

 

 

Wait.  

 

 

Is this... Is this what Boss Baby is about? 

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I would tell Pixar to make a movie about a bunch of bugs, probably ants fighting grasshoppers or something.

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For the record I posed this question to my partner and they just shrugged and said "Since when have I ever paid attention to red flags?"

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20 minutes ago, Patrick R said:

For the record I posed this question to my partner and they just shrugged and said "Since when have I ever paid attention to red flags?"

BTW I love "Hey Ya!" So cool to have a celebrity on here. 

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If everyone is planning to write Hey Ya, then the odds are that when you go back to being a baby, someone older than you will beat you to it. Ideally you'd pick multiple songs and hedge your bets.

 

On the other hand, that's a really fun (if convoluted) plot for a film. Twelve people from all across the world have gone back in time, and they're all racing to remember the lyrics to Hey Ya and bring them to Andre 3000 before any of the others.

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If the point of writing Hey Ya is just for money, the stock market is just such an easier and less conspicuous  way to go about it. Get in on Google, Amazon, Apple etc. early enough. Make the right short calls just before the dot com bubble bursts, and again when the financial crisis hits. If you still don't have enough 5000x that by betting on Leicester City to win the premier league before last season began and you should be set.

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Seconding Chris' endorsement. Sobacha is awesome. Also try iced barley tea as the weather gets warmer. It's the best Japanese summertime drink.

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Oh man Late Night Work Club! The stuff they've made is excellent!

 

To follow on from this I'm going to endorse motionographer.com, an animation blog that also collects together a bunch of really good animation and motion graphics

 

Also an amazing animation released by Australian animator Felix Colgrave just a few weeks ago:

 

 

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One of the more interesting ideas presented in Nicholas Nassir Taleb's The Black Swan is that historical events with drastic consequences have those drastic consequences because the events were viewed as outside the realm of possibility. If you went back in time and devoted your life to passing regulations to install reinforced doors on all aircraft worldwide, in order to stop 9/11, there'd be one of two outcomes: either you'd succeed and be remembered as the person who wasted millions of dollars to prevent a scenario that never came to pass, or you'd be ignored because you were proposing something  and known as that quirky Cassa. Future events only become possible in the public mindshare when they've already happened in the past, so it's impossible to predict, let alone prevent, anything truly unexpected.

 

Anyway, that "tooth worm" myth seems to be mostly peddled as ubiquitous by dentists trying to show how far we've come from the Dark Ages (this is a tragically common thing, in my experience). I'd never heard of it before Nick talked about it, but it looks like it appears intermittently in works of oral medicine throughout the Middle Ages: the Anglo-Saxon folk remedies of the tenth-century Lacnunga, Gilbertus Anglicus' Compendium Medicinae from the thirteenth century, the fourteenth-century Chirurgia Magna of Guy de Chauliac. Many of these authors are just reproducing or adapting passages from classical Roman work by Pliny and Dioscorides (and contemporary Arabic sources do the same). However, the same medieval texts also reference the use of smoked herbs as painkillers, disinfectant powders for cavities, and even rudimentary fillings made from a paste of gall nuts, pig grease, mastic, myrrh, sulfur, camphor, beeswax, arsenic, and asafoetida. So really, it depended whether your local dentist preferred the authority of literature or experience, among many other things that make finding a good dentist a crapshoot even today. Also, as a final note, the biggest threat to dental health in the Middle Ages, at least if you weren't a noble, was eating coarse-ground "black bread" full of husks and grit that'd wear down your teeth over the years... especially since the vast majority of bread eaten by medieval people was stale by at least a day, if not three or four, because it was being used as trenchers for eating. They'd be softened up by the juices of whatever food was on them, but not by much!

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Nick Breckon's story about his neighbor's conversation was fabulous.

 

It also  revealed to me that my dream podcast from the Idle Thumbs network is just 10-15 minutes of Nick Breckon telling a life story or ranting about something.

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Another great take on the 'live your life with all your current memories' idea is Replay by Ken Grimwood. Several of the plot points were well predicted by the thumbs - but it certainly drives home how bittersweet a situation it would be - having your old reality undone.

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That Shazzam bombshell was very exciting. I did not feel like there was much chance of any resolution on that one.

 

If there was a way to maximize your happiness through salient time travel, it would require you to have learned anything substantial about happiness in your original life. This is a common thread in Buddhist traditions. Reincarnation allows you to build on the previous progress of your passed experience. Knowing when and where major events would happen would only allow you to improve your condition up to the point that you could reliably make informed decisions toward a definition of happiness. If your definition of happiness was lacking, then thrill of uncertainty would be lost in the big picture. So much of life is comparing our expectations to outcomes. I think having lived a reality would make the second pass dreadful

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I really think this was the best episode of important if true so far, I was a bit worried after the first episode that it would feel a bit scripted, but the Thumbs have just been smashing it since then, especially with stuff like Nick's story. I also like to imagine Nick pitching Hey Ya to some record executive whilst explaining why it's such a good song and trying to do the dance to it too, before being laughed out of the office.

 

I love the endorsements, and I've been trying them as best I can, including a long delayed one of posting here (Hi!) as a long time reader, first time writer. I also found late night work club through Scott Benson and just wanted to say for fans of animation here's my favourite, it's a bit old but not that many people seem to have seen it, it's even got Nick Cave in it!

 


I also want to follow up with an endorsement of my own; Celtic music. I have Chris in mind with this song because the musicianship is so good, but it's great music for anyone to work to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZknSJwYdayI (I don't want to video spam so have it as a link).

 

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Great 'cast gents; Nick, you somehow end up with just the best stories - I'm not sure I should be driving whilst listening any more, as the "So I was sat on my sofa" almost made me lose it. And, oh god, the toothworm! :D

But, to the email about reliving your life from 3 years old but being aware of all you'd done the first time around is explored rather wonderfully in "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August", which I endorse heavily. 
From the blurb:
"No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now."

Interestingly, the first time Harry is relives his life, he goes quite mad - which makes a lot of sense; imagine everything you do having an innate sense of deja-vu but you don't know why. Perhaps one for the Idle Book Club?

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