Adventures in Ethics and Science

On our drive to the Monterey Peninsula last night, la familia Free-Ride listened to (most of) the new Jonathan Coulton album JoCo Looks Back. (We skipped a few songs whose subject matter and lyrics were deemed “too mature” for the audience in the back seat.) The Free-Ride offspring had some prior exposure to Jonathan Coulton by way of concert videos on YouTube, but this was their longest duration Coulton jam.

“Do you know him,” the younger offspring asked me.

“No, sweetie,” I replied. “I don’t personally know everyone on the internet.”

“Well, then could you write on your blog that I really like his songs?”

I allowed as how I probably could, but made no promises that Mr. Coulton would read that blog post.

The younger Free-Ride offspring digs the recurrent themes of robots overlords protectors, zombies, and monkeys. The dystopian vision of corporate life makes less of an impression on a second grader, but you can bet that it will resonate strongly when we hit the first real summer job. Also, the rhymes are clever and the tunes are catchy.

My hope is that this CD will make an appearance when the Free-Ride offspring are in high school and it’s time to subvert propose a prom theme. I’m of the view that Skullcrusher Mountain captures something central to the experience of teen love. Indeed, it’s a song the prom committee’s faculty advisor should happily embrace when faced with the alternative of First of May (one of the songs the Free-Ride offspring have not yet enjoyed; there’s only so many parent-teacher conferences you want to burn through on matters of artistic expression).

We like it. Good driving music, but also good for dancing around if you happen not to be in a moving car.


  1. #1 Chris
    February 21, 2009

    JoCo is awesome… glad to hear other people know about him. I’ve tried to turn my friends onto his stuff, but apparently they don’t have the requisit geek characteristics 🙁

  2. #2 The Science Pundit
    February 22, 2009

    The water’s not cold baby, dip in your big toe.
    Maybe I’ll see you in flagrante delicto.

  3. #3 scicurious
    February 23, 2009

    I met him this weekend!!! He’s totally awesome, you can tell your kids Scicurious said so.

    I’m doing science and I’m still alive…

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