“Applying Basic Psychology to John Wozniak’s Current Weight Problem (By the Way He’s Not THAT Fat)”

This post isn’t about sex (or candy). It’s about the real-life prospective possibility that America will need soldiers for world war 3, to fight against the North Koreans. And don’t gimme that world-war-3-won’t-need-any-soldiers-because-one-flick-of-the-wrist-will-set-off-a-nuclear-bomb-crap. That’s too easy.
Anyway, I just saw this photographic portrait of Marcy Playground’s John Wozniak on Wikipedia and good God he’s FAT! And they even have him in a loose overcoat in the photo, whereas the guy behind him is in a very stylish, expensive-looking black t shirt, but… it’s all his face, you can tell.
Well, I blame the school systems. By the way there’s a line in one of the Celine books, either Journey to the End of the Night or Death on the Installment Plan, about being offended by the sight of ugly people, but that’s a very depressing thing to either look for or especially to google. It’s compounded by the fact of course that I don’t even know myself if I’m ugly or attractive — it depends on the lighting, I guess.
But anyway, this is more an obesity issue, which to my credit does actually have SOME practical implications on society, if only it comes to fitting the most people in an elevator. Still, I do blame the school systems.
The history of Marcy Playground, per the available folklore I’ve imbibed, anyway, goes something like this: little John Wozniak, who would actually go on to write many, many songs about childhood (“St. Joe on the School Bus”; “A Cloak of Elvenkind”; “One More Suicide”) somehow accrued an inordinate amount of lunch-detentions at his private elementary school in Minnesota, the “Marcy” school, and would spend endless, grueling and tortured early-afternoon session staring out at the yard intended for play, the… “marcy playground,” so to speak.
Now, there’s a psychological phenomenon known as “positive reinforcement” — whereby if a reward is given for a certain kind of behavior (like letting a mouse have a little piece every time it scratches itself, or something), then the subject will continue said behavior, with the expectation of repeatedly receiving that same reward. The songs, the LIVELIHOOD, then, of this guy, when you think about it, are BASED on sitting around and doing nothing. In a slew of haunting tales lately, indeed, we have seen how, even with all the success in the world, musicians have a hard time shedding their pasts, and maybe sometimes they’d rather be artistic than successful, or so we hope. Of course, this would indicate that we’ll get another good Marcy Playground album at some point, which seems sort of a pie-in-the-sky wish sometimes.

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