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Columbia Missourian

DEAR READER: Introducing the world premiere of 'The Inverted Pyramid Song'

By Tom Warhover
May 20, 2011 | 10:43 a.m. CDT

Correction: I changed this article after publication because I meant 1967, but wrote 1969, as a year for Cardinals greatness.  

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Dear Reader,

Not every community can boast of having a banjolele player in its midst.

But we can.

Greg Bowers strums this gene-splicing experiment. It looks either like a tiny banjo or like a big ukulele that lost all its curves when it got fat.

Bowers is a poet. He juggles apples in the newsroom.

Oh, yeah, and by day he edits the sports report for the Columbia Missourian.

Why do you care?

Because you can be one of the first to see his performance of the only song ever recorded (so long as we don’t search too far) that pays homage to the inverted pyramid.

Impressed yet? I know I am.

The inverted pyramid is the story form you see every day in every newspaper across this land and many others. It assumes the most important information is at the top of the story – “the good stuff is on top,” Greg sings — with explanation and background below.

Anytime you see a story about something that happened today, it’s probably an inverted pyramid. The form is efficient for the reader and writer alike. It also can be deadly dull, a just-the-facts-ma’am formula guaranteed to chase away all but the most devoted news junkies.

In fact, editor Greg consistently preaches getting beyond the pyramid – to find the narrative that will attack the senses as well as display the facts.

Songwriter Greg celebrates the most dominant writing form for more than a century. If the inverted pyramid were a sports team, it would be the 1985 Chicago Bears, the 1967 Cardinals.

It would be Muhammad Ali.

And just how does Greg wax on about the IP?

I’m glad you asked. The chorus:

I like sprinkles on my ice cream,
I like ice cream on my pie
I like the inverted pyramid
do I have to tell you why?

So maybe it’s no Paul Simon. I doubt Lady Gaga is worried.

Then again, they’re no Greg Bowers.

His English degree and poetry practice come in handy. If you think rhyming with “inverted” is difficult, you’d be right.

Somehow he manages in this verse:

Try it once or twice and you will be converted.
Try it once or twice and you will be converted.
Journalism is fun when your pyramid’s inverted.

The song, like the inverted pyramid itself, is stupidly brilliant.

The music video features backup nodding and kazoo solo by assistant director of photography Clint Alwahab, who, rumor has it, practiced for minutes and minutes before the recording session in the office just off the main newsroom. Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and All-Around Instigator Jacqui Banaszynski provided viral promotion across the world.

I think all involved will keep their day jobs.

All praise, inverted pyramid.

Tom