The Failure Mode Of Clever

from 2020 Songs Rough Cuts by Cat Faber

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about

This song was inspired by John Scalzi's essay of the same name, found here: whatever.scalzi.com/2010/06/16/the-failure-state-of-clever/ and includes several of his coinages ringing changes on "clever." I have modified the language a bit because I don't feel as free to use some terms as he does.

lyrics

Designers should be wary of the simplest mistakes
And ask the crucial question--what happens if it breaks?
Whether it’s a parachute or just a kind of grout
Bear in mind the failure mode before you try it out

Oh the failure mode of clever’s unpredictable at best
The folks who didn’t get the joke may wind up unimpressed
The hitch with cleverations is they may not always work
And the failure mode of clever—is jerk.

You want to send an e-mail, but it’s to a busy guy,
So you clever up the subject; that will catch their clever eye!
Feeling cleveringent, they will be a better sport—
Instead they just delete it because buddy, life’s too short...

Oh the failure mode of clever’s unpredictable at best
The folks who didn’t get the joke may wind up unimpressed
The hitch with cleverations is they may not always work
And the failure mode of clever—is jerk.

You want to make your song a hit before the beat can drop
You fill it up with clevernesses till it’s fit to pop;
You find your cleverology has filled your heart with glee;
And hope your cleverama will impress your cleveree.

Oh the failure mode of clever’s unpredictable at best
The folks who didn’t get the joke may wind up unimpressed
The hitch with cleverations is they may not always work
And the failure mode of clever—is jerk.

credits

from 2020 Songs Rough Cuts, released January 25, 2020

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Cat Faber Tennessee

I write music about science fiction and fantasy subjects, commonly referred to as "filk."

I write much faster than I can record. Recent songs may be found at my website--the URL is given below.

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