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Henry Phillips - On The Shoulders of Freaks 1995

A YouTube video posted by henlips on August 06, 2009

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For the Snooty Academic "Expert"

  • Jul 17, 2010

Click here to read my Quick Tip.

This isn't your traditional reading material that is usually found in Cafe Libri because of the format it's presented in: a song. Despite that fact, this topic has found a special home in our community because of the lyrics.

The tone of this piece is set from the minor introduction by Phillips that actually has nothing to do with his commentary about Academia: "You know there's a rumor that when Isaac Newton was first asked how it was that he was able to see so much further and more clearly than everybody else he answered by saying that he was standing on the shoulder of giants." 

Henry Phillips disagrees with this sentiment by elaborating on how the great scientists, philosophers, writers, and artists were really all freaks. Thus, anyone in Academia are actually "standing on the shoulders of freaks." He goes on to describe the sexual preferences of philosophic giants such as Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates (and that is only the beginning). He tackles Ernest Hemingway's thoughts on life and Salvador Dali's food preferences. There is so much happening with this song that I had to listen to it multiple times to really catch all the nuances. Plus, I was laughing, so it was easy to miss some of the details.

I only had two complaints about the presentation.
  1. Henry Phillips is a bit too quiet with his singing. There were parts of the song that were hard to hear because of the clapping and laughter in the video.
  2. I wanted a list of academic resources where I could look up some of the claims (this is my academic side rearing its ugly head,). Of course some facts are common knowledge, but I was surprised by a few of Phillips' revelations. A part of me wondered if he made these details up.

If I really cared about my second complaint, I could always research the information. Then again, that would take away from the fun of the video. Sometimes it's best to take things at face value rather than over-analyzing something to death.

The song is dark, twisted, ironic, and yet true. If you don't want all that you believed of the greatest classical thinkers in history to be torn asunder in a humorous song, you might avoid this piece. Those of us with a sense of humor and a thirst for knowledge, though, will really enjoy this gentle reminder that no matter how great a thinker someone is, they aren't above the quirks and oddities that define the average person. 

Take that you snooty academic experts. ;)
For the Snooty Academic

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August 03, 2010
Excellent review
August 05, 2010
Thank you. I was having a bit of fun when I wrote this one. I appreciate you taking the time to read it, Alex. :)
July 27, 2010
Good review. I went and saw the youtube video for this after reading your review. The song is pretty unusual, but I enjoyed listening to it. It was pretty funny. :-)
July 27, 2010
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the video. It was definitely different and unique. I would love to see some academic professors' reactions to this song. ;)
July 18, 2010
This song does sound like it is me; dark, twisted and ironic LOL! I loved your last few closing paragraphs, no matter how smart you are, it is the quirks and oddities that also define us. wow! can I use that line the next time I ask a woman out? ;)

Highy entertaining write up! (hugs Adrianna, and then hugs the snooty academic experts LOL!)
July 19, 2010
(laughs) It was fun, eh? Glad you liked my closing remark. Please feel free to use it when you ask a woman out. Tell her that Adrianna sent you. (insert evil laughter). That will really confuse her.  ;)

It was one of those spur of the moment inspired write-ups. Glad you enjoyed it. (hugs to everyone around)
More Henry Phillips - On The Should... reviews
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
Read my longer review (For the Snooty Academic "Expert") by clicking here.      This is a dark, twisted, and comedic approach to looking at life's greatest classical thinkers presented in song format. If you are looking for a good laugh or need a break from traditional academia, check out Henry Phillips.
About the reviewer
Adrianna Simone ()
Ranked #9
MY GROUPS (AND COMMUNITY):      The following information was taken from the officialCafe Libri Website.   Cafe Libri (Yahoo Reading Discussion Group)is the original Cafe … more
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Music, Cafe Libri, Songs, Comedy, Comedian, History, Science, Literature, Guitar, Academia, On The Shoulders Of Freaks, Henry Phillips


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