Just don't

Just don’t

I’m highly doubtful about the smartness of smart technology. However, for one, YouTube pleasantly surprised me when I entered a halfwit query and it returned the answer I was hoping for.

In one of the recent episodes of The Americans series, the male lead was strangling, with little pleasure, a random guy who was at the wrong place at the wrong time and asked the wrong questions. (He should have asked YouTube.) The whole business was being done to the accompaniment of a song which I liked and from which all that stuck on my mind was the line “got to run away”. It wasn’t even the refrain of the song.

Tentatively, I typed this in the YouTube search box and SmartTube replied that what I mean is the song “Tainted Love” by Scorpions. It turned out that it was precisely what I meant. This is rather different from my usual experience with Google, who thinks it’s smart but is not so much and whose Did you mean…? assumptions are routinely plainly wrong.

Here is the song:

I listened to some more music by the same band, which I of course knew, except I didn’t know that I knew, and got as far as to the song “White Dove”. This one is so famous that it received a Czech cover version (the same tune, but new lyrics). I actually listened to the original Scorpions lyrics for the first time now and was terrified. While the sentiments are surely commendable, their expression can’t get any more cheesy. It didn’t help that I listened while watching a home-made Polish cover video for the song.

If you want to be scared, here’s the video:

As I was being exposed to the above torture, I was meditating on the choice of dove as a peace symbol. I’m positive there is a history behind it, which I’m too lazy to Google (and Google would anyway think that I mean something else), but does everyone realise that a dove is basically a pigeon? Pigeon is an instant trigger for me because I’m plagued by these pests fiercely.

Gangs of pigeons hover around my terrace, driving me and the cat crazy. The cat grinds her teeth very intensely and very noisily at the sound or sight of a pigeon, sometimes waking me up in the night. At this pace, she’ll soon be totally toothless. Pigeons thrive here, as far as I can judge from the huge blobs of nasty and shockingly gluey substance they cover my terrace with. It sticks to the surface and seriously doesn’t wash off. (Please tips and tricks for pigeon poop removal. Thank you.)

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Posted by Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

27 Comments

  1. Being the ever helpful chap I think I am I did go to google and looked up removing pigeon dropping and found the attached site…..

    http://www.geeksofpets.com/how_2362434_clean-pigeon-droppings.html

    I found it entertaining to read, its a bit like “Removing pigeon droppings for dummies” I found the language very condescending but it may make sense to you and be of practical use providing of course you have a hose and the space gear needed to clean the stuff off.

    I do know the song Tainted Love but not the version you have. As for the “dove” song, popular songwriters never had a great concern for deep and meaningful lyrics…so I am with you in feeling the torture of this song, needless to say i have not added it to my playlists…..have a good weekend.

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    1. Thank you so much for the link!! Besides being of practical use, because it didn’t occur to me that I could use a paint scraper (well, if I had one), I found the instructions extremely entertaining, as you said yourself.

      I’m lucky that I usually don’t listen to song lyrics – and as a non-native speaker, I often don’t even hear the lyrics anyway, so I’m protected…

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  2. The first video is probably the best they did, but it won’t play as it’s not available in the States so it says. I found the link below for poo removal. I suppose there are many ways to get that off.

    http://www.pigeoncontrolresourcecentre.org/html/cleaning-pigeon-droppings.html

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    1. There’s a spray for pigeon poop removal? Cool… I think I’ll just get something to scrape it off though. Or a gun.

      Sorry about the video, I didn’t realise there were regional restrictions applied to it. It’s not that you missed much.

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  3. White doves may be related to pigeons, but here’s the low down from Dr Google on why they are considered to be symbols for peace 🙂

    Doves mate for life, are incredibly loyal to each other and work together to build their nest and raise their young. Because they tend to nest in areas that humans can watch, people picked up quickly on the idea that doves were dedicated, honorable and peaceful.

    While hawks and other birds of prey would violently attack their neighbors, the dove was a bird of peace, eating seeds, easily trained to eat out of the hand or to become domesticated.

    Beginning with the Egyptians, the dove was as symbol of quiet innocence. The Chinese felt the dove was a symbol of peace and long life.

    To early Greeks and Romans, doves represented love and devotion, and care for a family. The dove was the sacred animal of Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love. The dove also symbolized the peaceful soul for many cultures.

    The Bible continued this symbolism, often referring to the dove as an animal representing love, loyalty, fidelity and honesty. The dove is entrusted with the olive branch when Noah hopes to find a new home for himself and his flock. The dove often also represents the Holy Spirit.

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    1. Thank you so much for doing the heavy lifting for me! I suspected it would have something to do with the Bible, but I didn’t realise that doves have such quite lovely characteristics as a species. Good to know!

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      1. Happy to help out 🙂

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  4. This is the version that I loved and danced to while in my shoulder pads, and bi-level haircut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF68OyTlP4E

    and halfwit is an excellent word.

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    1. You beat me to it 🙂 I didn’t even realize that Scorpions did a cover version.

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      1. I didn’t even realise it wasn’t an original Scorpions song…

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    2. I didn’t even realise before that Scorpions did a cover version of a song originally from someone else. The original version is more disco, quite fun. I saw a video clip for the original, with a disembodied head of the singer floating in space… I couldn’t stop laughing.

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      1. Welcome to the 80’s haha!!

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        1. Actually, 80s in the US were 90s in Eastern Europe, where things are slow to come. So it’s a familiar, even if hilarious and occasionally cringeworthy sight.

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          1. Cringeworthy is an awesome word

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          2. I think cringeworthy captures the feeling quite well 😉

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  5. I’ve been surprised many times, how I’ve been able to find songs, the way you described! It’s nice.

    Before reading this post, I only knew one song with the Scorpions: Wind of Change.

    Pigeons are everywhere. They must be master multipliers. They’re on our balcony. They tried to start a family in a flower box, but we managed to stop that in its tracks.

    In the park, there are Mourning Doves. Their sound is really melancholy, so perhaps they’re constantly in mourning. They’re different from pigeons.

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    1. In Czech, the word for pigeon is holub, and for dove, it’s holubice. This word formation is misleading because it suggests that the dove is a female pigeon. Hence my associations of pigeons with doves!

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      1. In Swedish, there’s NO distinction between pigeon and dove — only one word.

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        1. Ah! I see. That’s a curious failure of language. At least you didn’t spend most of your life, like me, thinking that the dove is a female pigeon 😮

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          1. I just asked G. and he went through a few languages he knows — they all had different words for dove/pigeon.

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          2. A few languages he knows? Wow… Which languages? I’m quite curious about your husband’s work…

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          3. French, Spanish and Italian were the ones, but he does speak German too.

            He’s had a great career … got to travel a lot!

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          4. Oh dear. I’m so envious. Envious in a good way though! Your husband has my deep respect. So do you, of course, for other reasons!

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          5. He lived for four years in Italy, while he was still studying to become a Catholic priest, and he’s kept up his Italian.

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          6. I see… That’s hugely admirable. (Or enviable, as I say 😉 ).

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  6. There’s no distinction in Spanish either for pigeon and dove, so I say “paloma mala” and “paloma buena”.
    We need a giant “don’t feed the pigeons” sign over the entire city, because all of the bakeries toss their old bread, the bored retirees buy bagfuls of rice to scatter as if it was a freaking wedding, and then we have my neighbor, Mr. Pigeon Man. He buys a huge sack of corn every week and feeds the pigeons twice a day. I did a writing exercise on him out of pure disgust/fascination: http://phloating.blogspot.com.co/2016/01/pigeon-man.html.

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    1. The good pigeon and the bad pigeon, that’s a good distinction 🙂 It’s funny how language sometimes deceives us. I find it surprising that today still, someone would feed pigeons – while there is clearly too many of them and it is generally known how they spread diseases – not to mention the mess they make. I enjoyed reading your piece, it was quite raw, just the style I like.

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