Words and Thoughts — July 20, 2023

Hello again, alleged readers. Now, I know exactly what each and every one of you are thinking at this exact moment: “Stav, we keep telling you this, there is little to no value in creating, and marketing, a Mongolian translation of Shakira’s 2009 studio album She Wolf.” While I always invite constructive criticism, I’ll thank you all not to dismiss my entrepreneurial passions so quickly. In fact, I find the counterargument to the Mongol She Wolf translation project as short sighted as GM’s decision to stop making the 1994 Oldsmobile Silhouette. Do we not all agree that if the 1994 Silhouette was around today, that 1) Oldsmobile would still be a functioning brand and 2) we could have avoided the 94–95 MLB strike? By the transitive property, I’m doing basically the same thing that GM had a chance to do in 94, but never did. A brilliant opportunity sits in front of us, blinding at first, but soon coalescing, like oncoming headlights, into a crystal-clear manifestation of our own potential. 

Think of the Mongolian truckers, on their long-haul journeys from Dzuunbulag to Tsagaantunge, or a cross border run down into Hohot or Baotou; cooped up for long hours in their Dongfeng KLs, hauling a load of tungsten beyond the next horizon, and the next after that. These modern-day cowboys don’t want to have to have Google Translate open on the dash while they listen to “Spy” (featuring Wyclef Jean) on repeat. These men and women work hard enough. And based on the amount of Mongolian throat singing videos I keep seeing on www.facebook.com, I think it’s high time we lob something back their way. It’s the least we could do! 

So, listen here, ye naysayers, doubters, and ne’er-do-wells! When my translation, and subsequent re-recording, of She Wolf, or should I say, Ter Chono goes platinum, rest assured, while I’ll be satisfied, I won’t gloat. It’s like my grandma used to tell me every time we sat down for our Thursday night dinners. Through her limited grasp of the English language, she’d look me dead in the left eyeball and through force of sheer will, gutturally grunt, “Stav, you know that if you go out to where the elephants are eating rice, and feed them oil paint, and then go back to wherever you were before you fed them the oil paint and wait a while, and then go back out and check on that elephant to see if it’s pooped yet, and if it hasn’t go back to whatever you were doing, and then repeat that process until the elephant finally poops; Stav you just know that you’re not going to end up with a painting of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Stav, you won’t even end up with a cheap René Magritte reproduction. Stav, you’ll just still have a large pile of elephant poop, and it’ll probably be more than usual on account of the intestinal distress brought on by feeding the animal oil paint, which you shouldn’t do.” Then we’d say The Pledge, and eat. 

It’s exactly like that.