Time, The Alan Parsons Project and Friday Night with Youtube

June 28, 2008


How did I start thinking about The Alan Parsons Project tonight? Well, it was because the ioWest was hit with an SUV on Thursday. Let me sum up…wait, let me explain.

I just woke up from a Friday evening nap, one of life’s little pleasures. Every once in a while, like tonight, I’ll try to fight it, thinking, I must stay awake, it’s a Friday night. Then cool, calm rationality takes over, or as I call it, sleep.

So, then I head over to the ol’ internet just to see what is happening. Looking over the Big News board, I realize that I’ll have a lot of time for my own writing in the next couple of weeks as the ioWest is repaired (as will a lot of folks.) I must have been in a reflective mood anyway as I had just viewed an interview of George Carlin by Ralph Kiner on the youtube and started to read an account of how the poet Billy Collins was inspired by one of my all-time favorites, Looney Tunes.

So, immediately I went to my own history and started to think of my first favorite band, The Alan Parsons Project, since “Time” was one of their biggest hits. I think I first was exposed to the song on a collection of hits called “Dimensions” from that great compiler of hits, K-Tel Records. As with most things from your youth, it is probably more fondly remembered than it is. I looked at the lyrics, and saw there wasn’t a whole bunch there.

However, there was enough there for me to use it as my interpretive song for a drama class in high school. I got an A- and surprisingly didn’t have my lunch money stolen afterwards.

While looking for the lyrics, I saw there was a youtube link. That’s when the nostalgia started flowing like the Mississippi River during flood stage. The video, with “Time” playing underneath, had a ton of cool nature images. The fourth one got me to sit up and watch closer as I swore it was a view of Maroon Lake near Aspen. (As I write, I confirmed it isn’t, but still the journey starts there, and even a journey that starts under false pretenses is still a journey, or am I getting too metaphysical? Let’s just get “Physical” and go on with the show. Cue the lights….)

From there, it was just one long trip. Watching a turntable spin “Eye in the Sky” and thinking of all the old vinyl that I had. Watching “Don’t Answer Me” and thinking of Lichtenstein, how animation has changed and how a good story still is the base on which those images rely. Watching “Let’s Talk About Me” and realizing that some things are better left in the past. Watching “Prime Time” and feeling somewhere in between.

Favorite bands change and even now, I am not without sheepishness to admit to a past love, and even a bit of a current one, for The Alan Parsons Project or later groups like Hall and Oates, Night Ranger, David Lee Roth and Dokken. I’m not even sure if I can say that I like the music as much as the memories. Remind me to tell you about Butch someday.

So, now it’s 11 pm and I’m fully awake. I just loaded “The Best of The Alan Parsons Project Volume 2” from my old CD technology into my itunes (which is surprisingly categorized as rock, and looking at “The Turn of a Friendly Card”, progressive rock even), so that I can take some of those travels again as I shuffle songs or feel the siren call of Eric Woolfson calling me back to my childhood.

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Quotes #8 and 9

June 10, 2008

“Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72″ by Hunter S. Thompson. Page 371.

The other vice-presidential finalists were rejected for a variety of reasons that don’t really matter much now, because the point of the whole grim story is that McGovern and his brain-trust were determined from the start to use the VP as a peace offering to the Old Politics gang they’d just beaten. It was crucial, they felt, to select somebody acceptable to the Old Guard: The Meany/Daley/Muskie/Humphrey/Truman/LBJ axis – because McGovern needed those bastards to beat Nixon.

Which may be true – or at least as true as the hoary wisdom that said a maverick like McGovern couldn’t possibly win the Democratic nomination because Ed Muskie began the campaign with a lock on the Party Machinery and all the pols who matter.

So, now that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, he must choose his running mate. A CNN poll shows that 22 percent of Hillary supporters would stay at home and another 17 percent would vote for McCain if Clinton is not named as VP. So, the selection of Hillary is obvious, correct? Or, will the selection of a Clintoncrat dissuade young supporters of Obama that he really seeks change from the past 28 years of Bush/Clinton?

Which leads to this quote on page 174:

“I’ve always thought that the blue-collar vote had to be a source of his strength,” said Frank Mankiewicz, McGovern’s main strategist. “It always seemed to me that McGovern – not as the anti-war candidate but as the ‘change’ candidate – would appeal more to Middle America than he would to any other group. They’re the ones with the most to gain from change and they’re the ones who get screwed by the way we do business in this country.”

With Clinton’s already strong support among the blue-collar vote, and the increasing probability of recession due to rapidly increasing oil prices, an Obama/Clinton “Change” candidacy in the face of a crumbling economy may be the surest thing this side of a New England pro sports franchise.


Wood

June 9, 2008

So, I’m walking home last night, as I do most every night that I actually leave my humble abode. There’s not much thinking once you get past Selma and Cahuenga and can finally stop dodging the club goers as they lurch and preen their way around sidewalks. So, naturally, I can just retreat back in my thoughts with only the occasional pedestrian hating car or Scientologist handing out free tickets to the Psychiatry An Industry of Death Museum to interrupt my reverie.

Last night, I’m in front of the 7-11 at Sunset and Cherokee when I notice two guys side by side coming toward me and incredibly taking up the entire sidewalk, leaving me no choice but to walk between them. Well, just as I get close, one says to me, hey I got a question for you, and before I can say that I don’t have change, he tells me he doesn’t want my money. Which is usually code to mean, I don’t want your money until I tell you my story. Unfortunately, he meant it.

He opens his next sentence with, “So tell me, one white guy to another” and I imagine that my face wrinkled, tilted to the side and generally appeared aghast, as there can’t be a good way for this sentence to end. My lack of a poker face must have been very apparent, because he changed his tact mid-sentence and said, “don’t worry, wood” and picked up his shirt to reveal a tattoo of “Wood” across his mid-section.

I am so glad I now know the secret word with which to approach other white guys on the street. All I need to say is “Wood” and immediately I’ll be in like Flynn with the secret cadre of white guys, since they are so mysterious. My next meeting in the Finance department, I’ll trot out “Wood” and immediately all the white guys will know we can get to discussing barbecues and baseball instead of boring old balance sheets once everyone else leaves. I’m so happy to know this, because discussing finance is becoming a bit tedious.

Of course, this, ahem, guy, didn’t want to discuss balance sheets, baseball or even barbecue. The rest of the question was “Where are the hookers?” Then, he started whistling at a girl walking down the other side of the street.

I have a feeling I don’t know the whole “wood” picture. Maybe there’s a handshake involved as well. I hope I’m never stranded in North Dakota without the rest of the picture.