Five Things for Friday, 10/23
1. Have you ever really liked a song and enjoyed everything about it except one little thing that just starts to stand out to you every time you hear it? Then the more you hear it, the more time you spend dreading the part you don’t like? Eventually, you end up not liking the song nearly as much as you did and every time you hear it gets a little more disappointing? If no, then fuck off and read something else.
For my wife, one of those songs, I think, would be “China Girl” by David Bowie (and just now, the part she hates ran through her head and for a second she hates me just a little bit for bringing it up). For me, that song is “Paradise City” by Guns n Roses. The beginning of that song is like the perfectly distilled essence of what is good about rock music. The extended musical intro, the wailing refrain, simple and pure: “Take me down to Paradise City/ where the grass is green/ and the girls are pretty/Oh won’t you please take me home.” If for one song, I was blessed with the ability to play guitar, sing, and dominate a stage with my presence, it would absolutely be “Paradise City.” Except for one niggling thing.
The rest of the lyrics are absolutely fucking horrible. They start off somewhat ok: “Just an urchin livin’ under the street/ I’m a hard case that’s tough to beat/ I’m your charity case now buy me somethin’ to eat”, etc, etc. Not great. Not putrid. Each successive part, however, just gets worse and worse, culminating with one of the all-time shittiest, most pointless, random collection of words thrown into a song: “Captain America’s been torn apart/ Now he’s a court jester with a broken heart/ He said turn me around and take me back to the start/ I must be losin’ my mind are you blind/ I’ve seen it all a million times.”
No, seriously, what the fuck is that even supposed to mean? The goddamn rhythm doesn’t even work – listen to Axl try to make “million times” fit the meter (or whatever). The lyrics, and particularly those lines, turn the most perfectly evocative quintessential rock-n-fucking-roll song into, well, something quite a bit less. What a shame.
2. Redskins-Eagles, Monday Night. Part of me has a niggling thought, that just when the Eagles get ready to face a national laughingstock and they appear to be cruising to another playoff-bound season, the impossible happens and the Eagles are caught looking past the clearly inferior organization in disarray. Sadly, that happened to them last week, so they’ll be a little more conscious of the possibility and run the ball a little more this week. Eagles 37-13.
3. Who presides over an atheist’s funeral? Where are they held?
4. I won’t get a flu vaccination, not from fear of government probes inserted nasally, or the dangers of vaccines, or whatever ridiculous shit people say to try to stem the flow of scientific process. In my risk evaluation, past experience has shown that I am very unlikely to get the flu, so I’d rather not go through the potential discomfort or time to get a shot. One day that may change, but it’s not likely.
5. I read an interesting article last week in Discover magazine about aping and what causes social animals to respond to others’ yawns and laughter and the like, and how it evolved as an important social characteristic (when others run, don’t look around, just run. If others are feeding, feed. If others are tired, sleep). Then I saw the kickoff in the Raiders-Eagles game where a pigeon suddenly took off and flew down the field with the kick coverage unit. I thought it was a perfect illustration of that phenomena – the bird was by a group standing still, that suddenly burst into a run, and the pigeon followed out of social survival instincts. Either that, or it was inhabited by the spirit of a deceased Raiders linebacker. Definitely one of those two things.