The Weauxf Gods Are Always Listening … And They Understand French

It seems that France's Olympic swim team has been introduced to the Weauxf Gods. For the uninitiated, Weauxfing (pronounced and sometimes spelled 'woofing') is best explained by Oliver's Woofing Theorem:

"Oliver's Woofing Theorem states, in a nutshell, that in any given
athletic competition (team, individual, amatuer, professional), the
team/player who is the most over-hyped/over-praised by him/her/its
fans/supporters is likely to LOSE the competition.

And it is policed by the Weauxf Gods.  They are all-knowing and all-
powerful. They and they alone decide the outcome of ALL
sporting events.

Unfortunately for France, their star swimmer Alain Bernard is unfamiliar with the Weauxfing theorem, or so it would seem by the comment he made last week regarding yesterday’s 4×100 freestyle relay heats:

“The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for”

It seemed as if his prediction was going to come true.  Halfway through the race, the US team was losing.  And as they kicked off the wall into the last 50 meters of the race, Jason Lezak was half a body behind France's Bernard. 

But he didn't quit.  He got a self-described supercharge, fighting back and eventually winning on the very last stroke of the race, by eight hundredths of a second, the slimmest margin of victory in the history of the race. 

While its easy to confuse what happened with athleticism meeting fierce determination…it's clear what that supercharge actually was:  The Weauxf Gods exacting a severe penalty on Alain Bernard for his  Weauxfing.  Not only did the French team lose to the Americans, but they did so in
such a spectacular fashion that they are sure to become immortalized in Olympic lore for all time
ESPN described it as "the stuff of Disney movies." And for the incredible feel good ending of a Disney sports movie to occur for the protagonists, there has to be an equally powerful emotional reaction in the negative direction for the antagonists. 

I bet it stings, really bad. 

Just something to keep in mind as we come out of another sports dead zone and head into another football season.  The Weauxf Gods hear all. 



Listening to NPR the other day, I came across an interview with a guy by the name of David Matysiak talking about a music project he put together called Telephono.  Knowing that most of his musician buddies now had access to home recording software and the Internets, he decided to see what would happen if he sent some basic song ideas out to friends for them to add whatever they wanted to it, and then had them forward the songs on through a whole chain of musicians to see what it sounded like when he got it back. 

"Telephono is an audio experiment that allows musicians to communicate
with one another by manipulating audio files. Inspired by the classic
children’s game “Telephone,” my interpretation involves sending a
unique audio file to a musician via the internet. That musician then
chooses whether to edit the piece or simply pass it on to the next
person in the chain."

"Telephono is about the process, not the product."

I love it because it's "about the process". I worry sometimes that we as a culture have become so used to mashing things together that we have lost touch with the craft that goes into bringing original ideas to life.  Technology has made it easier than ever for anyone to make stuff, but usually it does so by eliminating the need to understand the bits and atoms that go into making original creative things. It's usually done using some kind of shortcut web app, which naturally have their own limitations.  Some people have done great things with what is out there, but I think it can be a bit limiting.  

What you don't often hear about is Web software designed to help the masses of prosumers.  You know, people who actually know how to make stuff.  I'm a little surprised about the lack of attention, especially from music recording software companies, paid to trying to make the internet more readily useful for people who already know how to make music.  I would love to have some kind of collaborative Web based recording or writing tool good enough to go mainstream … and I'm hoping that things like Telephono inspire companies to start moving in that direction.