... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Monday, December 20, 2010

150: Ticky Tacky

Just one more day at work, stretching out further ahead than I care to contemplate, and then I’m away for Christmas.  Two long weeks of alcoholic inactivity, festivity and holly and ivy, and stuff.  It feels like weeks since I last wrote a blog post but it’s actually just one long day stretching behind me further than I can remember.  I can barely remember how to write; the basics of sentence structure, syntax, punctuation...  I’ve heard those words before, I think, but what do they mean?  Critical error, restart, sleep.  Can’t think cos I just have the refrain from Little Boxes going around and around in my head.  It’s a super smashing great old folk song I loved as a kid.  I never paid any attention to the words back then, but hearing it now the words are fantastic.

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky...
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All go to the university,
And they all get put in boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
And there's doctors and there's lawyers
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf-course,
And drink their Martini dry,
And they all have pretty children,
And the children go to school.
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
And they all get put in boxes
And they all come out the same.

And the boys go into business,
And marry, and raise a family,
And they all get put in boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.

I wasn’t going to print that all, but decided I might as well stick it in.  It has a hint of cloying cuteness, but it coyly masks a face twisted with rage against mediocrity.  Listen to the original (with spotify) by Malvina Reynolds here, and the fantastic cover by Devendra Banhart here.  PS Spotify Open is available again for free users; if you don’t have it get it here.  I think this song has leapt back into my mind, from the depths of my childhood, in response to the waves of identical over-privileged families that make up my customers... but enough about that...

So anyway what can I say that isn’t about work, the customers, my lack of brain activity, or sleep?  Shouldn’t talk about Christmas too much otherwise what would I write about on Christmas day?  I’ll just line up the American classics of folk and country on spotify and let my imagination take me to a time and place I know nothing about.   If I get to far away with my imagination there are always the adverts for Barclaycard and Wilkinson’s to remind me where I am and who I am.

Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos), Committed to Parkview, American Remains, Born and Raised in Black and White, Angels Love Bad Men, Desperados Waiting for a Train, Highwayman.  I don’t care what idiotic negative preconceptions you have about Country and Western; if you don’t love these songs your opinion on everything, from politics to food to your own family, is worthless.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard people say ‘I love all kinds of music, except Country and Western’.  Yeah, and I love all kinds of people, except you.  Country isn’t some bland uniform blob that can be entirely tarnished with the same crap.  It is massive, complicated, brilliant, rubbish, simplistic, varied and evolving.  If you say ‘I don’t like Country,’ what I hear is ‘I am entirely unable to make differentiations between good and bad in a genre I am unfamiliar with, and as a result must make a sweeping negative stereotype in an quivering cowering attempt to push my own inadequacies away from myself’.  Word for word; that is what I hear.  Word?

What was I talking about before that digression in defence of Country?  Oh yeah, nothing much.  Anyway, Country doesn’t need defending.  It can stand up for itself.  It’s not one of those weak house-of-card concepts that need defending by rabid fanatics terrified of dissidents and critics.  You know like religion or god.  Night.

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