Thursday’s Theme Music

Walking après writing yesterday, I was thinking of words and their meanings. Words’ meanings, especially when used in expressions, often lose their original meaning or intentions. Sometimes they’re literal for some while they’re meaningless to others.

“Thoughts and prayers” jumped into that category. Politicians are often saying, like a jerk reflex, “Our thoughts and prayers are with” some victims of murder or disaster. It seems like an expression they can use without thinking or doing anything else. Meanwhile, thoughts and prayers are powerful to others.

“I love you” also jumped into my thinking. I was reminded of a sitcom called King of Queens. It was on for a while years ago. While it ended production, the show can probably be seen in syndication. I confess, I’m a sitcom addict. Most make me wince but I still watch them, hoping for one that’ll satisfy. Admittedly, I watch less of them now than a few years ago. They’re too insipid. While I’m fond of shows like The Kominsky Method and Grace and Frankie, I’m instead turning to darker comedy like Barry, The Boys, and Stranger Things. 

But there was one episode that came to mind from the King of Queens. The main characters were Doug and Carrie, a married couple. Carrie worked for a boss for a while whose name also was Doug. Once, when she was saying good-bye to him to end a phone conversation, she said, “Okay, Doug,” and then, saying Doug, automatically added, “I love you. Bye.”

 

“I love you,” became the pivot for my thoughts. That finally brought me to today’s music. “More than Words” by Extreme (1991). The song is a ballad about wanting more demonstration of a woman’s love than just the words, “I love you”. When I first heard the song on the radio, I wondered who was singing it, and was really surprised to learn it was Extreme. Later, I saw the video, and enjoyed how the bass and drum players are just sitting to one side, variously reading books, holding up lighters, etc., since the song doesn’t require anything on their part. That cracked me up.

So, here it is at last. Sorry for the long intro. Cheers

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Sunday’s Theme Music

Another week, and more mass shootings – hello, El Paso and Dayton, we’re talking to you. Chicago is overlooked; none dead in its mass shooting, just seven injured.

August has arrived with a bang. We’re expecting a week of thoughts of prayers. Sure, everyone dies, but do their deaths need to be senseless executions for the crimes of their skin, culture, ethnicity, or being in the wrong place and time when angry, hateful people acquire guns and decide to pull the trigger?

Sorry we can’t do anything about it, so, so sorry. What else can I be, but all apologies?

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music, “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum (1993), came from writing thoughts about the current novel in progress, April Showers 1921. As the story fleshes out more, becoming more substantial, I entertain different scenarios about what could happen, reactions and twists, and what could be said. One idea was that a person was thought to have runaway.

The novel’s protagonists are all teenagers. As I thought about their situation, my stream took a turn toward runaway children and their existence. That brought out today’s song.  Images and details about runaways are often featured in their videos and during Soul Asylum’s performances of this song.

Sadly, not all children were actually runaways. The missing aren’t always hiding. Sometimes, they’ve been hidden.

Monday’s Theme Music

Organizing writing thoughts this morning delivered today’s theme music. Although I wasn’t thinking about murder, I was numbering and ordering what I was going to do. From that began the Sting/Andy Summers jazzy song, “Murder by Numbers” by The Police (1983).

It’s all about one, two, three, as easy to learn as a, b, c.

Compelling

It was the fourth series of the show. I’d watched and enjoyed two episodes. Character driven but with a strong plot, the pacing was fast, with powerful acting. Then I watched the third episode…

As George T. would say, “Oh myyyy…”

I had to know what happened next. The plotting became diabolical, with more twists and cutbacks than a lonely mountain road. The characters’ complexities increased, the acting stayed sharp and the pacing intensified.  WTH, I thought as Monday slipped into Tuesday, I’ll watch one more. Then I watched another, and then, well, only one remained.

So it was that I’d binge-watched the final four episodes. And it was fucking brilliant and clever, what I look for in my entertainment. No wonder it’s been consistently nominated for awards, and often wins. Love that series, but they’re so far apart. Just like they do to me with Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and several other series I enjoy.

Sure, I didn’t get to bed until two thirty on Tuesday morning, but I have no regrets, and lots of coffee.

 

The Shooting Dream

I dreamed last night that I was shooting people. Don’t worry, I hadn’t gone on a rampage; I was being told by others who to shoot and when.

They were real people, and not voices in my head, or ghosts. It was a beautiful day. I cringe to note this, but I was on a grassy knoll. Around me, though, was mostly country side. I had a rifle. A person beside me – not anyone that I know – would be given a piece of paper. They would read something and then look around, and point, and I would aim and shoot.

It didn’t bother me in the dream, but this is not me. I’ve gone hunting a few times, but didn’t like it and stopped. I was in command and control in the military, and controlled nukes, but I eventually grew to dislike that role. As I’ve lived, I’ve concluded that there are enough threats to life out there without us going about killing one another. Yes, I understand that life is finite, and we’ll all die, and killing another is simply advancing the outcome. But I also understand that killing brings waves of actions and reactions. Some of those waves never stop, but build and expand, creating more killing.

So, it was a startling dream for me to experience. But I was just following orders, right?

Sunday’s Theme Music

I don’t know why this song streamed into my mind this morning. I guess my neurons were bored with the chicken and avocado kibble dream.

“Road Rage” by Catatonia came out in 1998. I don’t recall hearing it, though. I encountered it in Paris a few years later when I was doing a trade show. It was always interesting to discover what other countries were listening to, and how different some of the music sounded in comparison to America’s radio blarings.

I liked the lyrics of “Road Rage” but didn’t understand them all. I was singing some of it to myself at our booth. Eventually, one of the people from the U.K. who was attached to the exposition organizers told me the song’s name.

The Internet was getting strong and healthy by then, so I hunted down the song, eventually learning about the murder it was based upon, and finally reading an interview with the singer, Cerys Matthews, about the song and her telephone conversation with the victim’s mother. It’s not a new premise, how technology drives us crazy sometimes, and sporadically ends with murder.

Anything can drive us over the edge.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

So, reading and listening to news reports (“He was only shot three times in the back, not eight, with three shots in his side” — doesn’t change that he was armed only with his cell phone and was in his own backyard), an old Rolling Stones song started streaming through my mind.

The police in New York City
They chased a boy right through the park
In a case of mistaken identity
They put a bullet through his heart

Heartbreakers with your forty four
I wanna tear your world apart
You heart breaker with your forty four
I wanna tear your world apart

h/t Lyricsfreak.com

This song was released in 1973, over forty years ago. Pathetic how little has changed, with police shooting black men for little or no probable cause in America, a trend that’s being carried over to homeowners, who fear fourteen-year-old black boys asking for directions. Sad. Sickening.

Here it is, with the bizarre title “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” by the Rolling Stones, from 1973.

Monday’s Theme Music

Hey, come on try a little
Nothing is forever
There’s got to be something better than
In the middle

Yes, being stuck in the middle…not fun. We find that again, with the Las Vegas massacre. We’re stuck in the middle of a gummy, messy life, struggling for traction, and spinning our wheels.

Though I need to look back to all the revolutions that have already passed, and the solutions found, and the resolutions made, and the resolve embraced. Humanity follows this long arc. We attempt to flower, but some are afraid to flower. They want it the way it was, and think, that’s the way it should always be. Others of us think, that was good, but it excluded too many people. We trampled too many others to have it all our way. There must be a better way ahead. So, we keep pushing, and will keep pushing, even as others push back.

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