Monday, July 19, 2010

The Rivers Cuomo Hypothesis

Last night I saw Weezer perform at the Ottawa Bluesfest. I'm not their biggest fan, but by and large Weezer put on one of the best shows I've ever seen--mostly thanks to frontman Rivers Cuomo. This has led me to develop a literary strategy--potentially equally a strategy for success at anything--I tentatively entitle the Rivers Cuomo Hypothesis.

The Rivers Cuomo Hypothesis: A Recipe for Success

1. Bring the hits: Despite owning no Weezer albums, having no friends who do either, and listening to the radio only a few times per year, I recognized every song Weezer played last night. The literary equivalent: tight scenes that leave you gasping for air, stories that pluck primordial chords, and hooks that treat your readers like tuna.

2. Roll with the punches: Although Weezer's performance was devoid of technical gaffes, I'm sure I wouldn't have noticed if the opposite was the case. Cuomo was a force to be reckoned with, engaging fans, the festival geography, the stage and the setlist with equal parts subdued ferocity and unbridled creativity. He consistently rocked out without shame. To pound into your skull: engage the written word in your own fashion and fear not the wrath of detractors. The production will be the more awesome for it.

3. Respect the audience: Rivers Cuomo doesn't swear on stage. Last night he threw a bag of garbage on the audience and later apologized, explaining that he got a little carried away. Weezer played the hits and rolled with the punches. For writers without an audience: give your readers a story, not a moral lesson, an exposition of political theory or a bit of linguistic trickery. In short: give them what they want, not what you do.

I'm sure there's more to this Hypothesis, more yet to be uncovered. Syncretistically--that is to say, "taken together in a manner reminiscent of snobs"--the parts of this scheme are less than their whole. When the synthetic thesis, in Hegelian fashion, reveals itself unto me--by its nature not to be discovered, pondered, or analyzed--I will report back on its development.

On a less abstruse note, Weezer is a thoroughly excellent band, and it is to my detriment that I've paid little heed to their music so far in my life. Indeeed, this Hypothesis might equally be called the Weezer Hypothesis, brooking no preference among band members; but the name of the theory itself is an exercise in the Rivers Cuomo Hypothesis.

Dare I revel in my wit?

-bn

1 comment:

  1. Fun literary hypothesis, there. Just can't hold back, right?
    "Don't throw garbage at your audience" seems to be good advice for writers as well... Well, good advice for anyone. =P

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