Talk of the Nation

Alanis Morissette, pedagogue

Vituperative: This word was in the magazine at Sam Goody and I had to really go look it up. It means scolding. I don't think Alanis scolds anybody. She's just pissed, like the guys in Bush and Matchbox 20, only she's a girl. My bro says they are all pissed for no reason and they should try living in the projects for, like, one second. I said you don't need to be poor to be frustrated. I said they are pissed because it's hard just to be a person, which I really believe is true.

Hypocrite: Alanis sings, "I am the biggest hypocrite" in "One" because, she says, she used to be a "sexy treadmill capitalist" (which means a rich person). She's naked in the "Thank U" video to show she's sexy in her body even if it's not perfect. She did a triathlon out in nature, which is much better than a capitalist treadmill, even if it doesn't make you a twig. It would be really hard for anyone except maybe Mariah Carey to be a hypocrite when she's naked.

Maverick: Alanis's record label. Really Madonna's. It means rebel, which they both are because they have the guts to walk around naked in traffic, unlike Jewel, who struts her tits but acts like she doesn't and is a complete wuss.

Recovering "sexy treadmill capitalist" Alanis Morissette
Recovering "sexy treadmill capitalist" Alanis Morissette

Elusive Kudo: Two unknown words together! Alanis says this in "Thank U." "Elusive" is hard to get and "Kudo" is not a snack bar but a compliment. So as you know, I think Alanis's kudos should not be elusive (though I read SFIJ sold more CDs in a week than any other woman ever since they started keeping track, so that's a kudo up in your face right there).

Ironic: This is an oldie, from Jagged Little Pill. It means really bad luck, like crashing in a plane when you don't like to fly. Or something really inconvenient like needing a knife and you only can find spoons.


That's all for now. If anybody wants to e-mail me, I can help maybe with other Alanis words or even just kick it on the A tip. Especially if there's a person in your house who disses A on a regular basis. Like for instance my brother who just said Alanis proves she's an idiot when she screams, "THANK U, SILENCE!" He says why don't you define silence for your dictionary and send it to Alanis. He says maybe she hasn't noticed that she never shuts up. I never put all that together before, but now every time I hear that part, I laugh, because, I told him, that's the joke. Doncha think?


Alanis Morissette plays the Target Center Sunday, March 7 (Garbage opens); (612) 989-5151.

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