Saturday’s Theme Music

Today, we remember the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. While it happened around 5 PM in the SF Bay area, I was over in Japan. Stationed over in Germany just outside of Frankfurt, we were waiting for the World Series to start. That year’s series featured the Oakland A’s and its neighbors across the bay, the SF Giants. That led to nicknames like the Bay Series, the Bridge Series, etc. We were pretty excited in Germany because we were going to be able to watch it live via satellite. That sort of thing was just becoming more common for us in the military. Now, it’s pretty much taken for granted.

The film and report from that earthquake were another mind-blowing reminder of nature’s strength and human fragility. We build these things thinking they’ll be ‘forever’. Nature comes along and knocks them over with a hefty shrug. Watching on television, we saw the baseball stadium shake and said almost as one, “Holy shit.” It’s a military expression commonly used back then.

I ended up stationed in the SF Bay area, arriving in Feb, 1991. We visited Santa Cruz the next year. Its streets and businesses were still recovering from the earthquake. A drizzly day, seeing all the destruction which still remained stilled our spirits. Businesses and people were coping and regrouping.

As I remember that earthquake and those times, I remember songs, too. One of them is “Stand” by R.E.M., a catchy song with silly lyrics. “Stand in the place where you work, think about directions, wonder why you haven’t before.”

It was like, whaaat?

MC Floofer

MC Floofer (floofinition) – American floof rapper (floopper), dancer, and producer from Oakfloof, Califloofia, who realized his greatest popularity and commercial success from the late 1980s until the early 1990s.

In use: “One of MC Floofer’s most memorable hit songs is “U Can’t Pet This”, which was released in 1989. Weird Al Floofivich’s 1991 parody of the song, “U Can’t Eat This”, was also a hit.”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Thinking about the impeachment trial in the Senate took me to thoughts of denial and stonewall. This process sucked a line of lyrics into the stream of thought:

But this wall of denial was just built on fear.

Bottom line in my mind, turbocharged business as usual as Republican Senators screamed, “Nothing to see here,” and closed ranks to ensure there wasn’t anything introduced to be seen. Orwell would’ve been impressed.

Meanwhile, today’s theme music continues with the rest of that song, “Wall of Denial”, by Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble (1989). He died the next year, thirty-five years old, killed in a helicopter accident that took four others, as well.

I selected this cover from Late Night. Hope it works for you, too. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Time for a little Neil Young. Call out to him for being naturalized as a U.S. We used to live in the same neighborhood, broadly speaking, on the California coast. A friend was his primary supplier, so the story goes. A little club wasn’t far where he liked to play for small crowds with no announcement, so the story goes.

1989 saw him bring out “Rockin’ in the Free World”. The song provides so many mocking lines drawing attention to our cultural hypocrisy:

We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler,
Machine gun hand
We got department stores
and toilet paper
Got styrofoam boxes
for the ozone layer
Got a man of the people,
says keep hope alive
Got fuel to burn,
got roads to drive.

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Yeah, that’s rocking in the free world. That Trump used the song during his POTUS campaign without irony nauseates, but then the Trumplicans bastardize the meaning and intention of everything that they touch, subverting without sparing, heavy of hand and cruel of ideas.

I’m part of the hypocrisy in my comfy white land, something the feeds my perpetual self-damnation. Too weak to walk away from the cushiness, I’ll just do some marchin’, protesting, donating, and votin’, hoping to change things, even though that’s not been working for lo’, these many years since Bush I.

Guess I’ll just keep rockin’. Pour a little CBD into my coffee, please. My joints are hurtin’. “I try to forget it, any way I can.”

 

 

 

Thursday’s Theme Music

A flashback morning took place. Had an early morning appointment down the highway. I avoid early mornings and appointments. I don’t mind getting up as long as I can leisurely sip coffee, read, goof-off, and dress. If you force me into the shower and clothes early, I’m a recalcitrant beast.

Did that for years. Military periods in command posts in the winter meant I’d go into the building before dark and come back out after dark, a day without sunshine. Marketing years meant hitting the road for early flights, slumbering and working on planes, and then into a rental car to hunt my way around the city. Meanwhile, there was always The Commute, the buzz along highways filled with like buzzing drones, racing to our work hives like frantic little bees.

So being in the car on the road before sunrise (which isn’t that early, between the time shift and time of year) (so, setting the stage with more specific info, this was 7:30 AM), zipping through rain and lumbering along with other traffic (what the hell is going on up there? Why aren’t we moving?) made it seem like old times.

Radio selection helped turn it into a jumpback in time. When “Roam” by the B52s hit the air, I cranked it up and motored like it was 1989. ‘Course, it also reminded me of Ricky Wilson’s passing (1985, 32 years old), kicking in reflections about what age is considered acceptable to die? I concluded, we’re all going to die, but that doesn’t make it okay, at any age, for any reason.

Yeah, tilting against death, nature, etc., It’s a quixotic mission.

 

Friday’s Theme Music

This one was another cat song, to my little ginger Papi boy.

First lines were the hook:

Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?
What goes on in that place in the dark?

The dark, for the cat, is the dark night where he disappears for a few hours in this land of cars, bears, cougars, and raccoons. I want him to stay home and safe, but he insists that he must be allowed to wander.

The Elvis Costello song, though, “Veronica” (1989), is about an older woman suffering severe memory loss, and was inspired by his grandmother. It’s a fortunate few who’ve not witnessed dementia or Alzheimer’s assaulting someone as they’ve aged, stripping away their awareness, coherency, and personality, stealing them away from you before your eyes.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

After reading some news last night and this morning, my anger spilled over. “You must be evil,” I said in my head to several of the articles’ principals, evil for how their minds work, evil for their indifference about what their actions do to the world or other creatures, evil for their willingness to rationalize murdering and victimizing.

From that came, quite deliberately, Chris Rea’s 1989 song, “You Must Be Evil”.

 

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s music choice began with a Billy Collins poem.

I don’t know what neuron decisions forced the stream of a Billy Collins poem to intersect with a 1989 song, but after a bit of that music, the Billy Collins poem moved aside, like a little Fiat 500 moves aside for a semi-tractor bearing down at seventy-five, its horn blowing like a child with a toy.

Wondering about the switch, I wondered if it was about faith and expectations running up against experience and reality. Maybe that was far-fetched.

For the record, the Billy Collins poem is “Nostalgia”. I can’t say that it’s my favorite B.C. poem because I like so many of them so much. I think that if I had to recommend just one B.C. poem, it would be “Forgetfulness”. It begins,

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

h/t to PoetrySoup.com

Love that poem. Anyway, here’s the song, “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode.

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