Thursday, September 24, 2009

You'd expect more from a supergroup

I was ironing today, something I do once a month whether we need ironed clothes or not.

(Actually, at least twice a year I get to skip my monthly ironing day, because my priceless mother-in-law is visiting and does it for me - way better than I do it, too, ironing not just the things that have been crumpled like tissue paper but even the children's clothes, which is something I'll only do at Christmas and Easter.)

Anyway, I had my "epic win" playlist going on the old iPod, and "Wildest Dreams" came on. Asia... ah, Asia. Asia was the band that introduced me to (putative) hard rock, back in 1982. (Yes, I know it's prog.) My taste in music in my first two years of high school was heavily influenced by the fact that I was living, breathing, eating and drinking musical theater; then I moved to a much smaller school with a great drama teacher but a very small pool of performers. (We tried, in my junior year, to put on Stop the World, I Want To Get Off, but had to cancel the whole endeavor because the only guy to try out for the male lead was also instrumental to the football team's prospects, and his priorities were more with the team than the ensemble. A lucky thing, too, because I was cast in the female lead role, and I was NEVER going to get the difference between a German and a Russian accent, much less be able to do those AND British AND whatever-all other accents that part required. It's rather a silly show anyway...)

So, with only musical theater in my head, I tended to go for the bubble-gum pop in my radio listening. (Radio: that thing in the car that sometimes plays songs, often plays commercials, and too often plays happy talk.) But then a guy stuck his Walkman headphones over my ears and cranked up some Asia, and suddenly a new dawn... um, dawned: hard rock could be melodic! Who knew?

Back to my ironing. I'm singing along to "Wildest Dreams," and we (John Wetton and I) got to the part about "They recommended euthanasia for nonconformists anywhere." Now, this afternoon was not the first time this line had bugged me, but for some reason it bugged me especially today; recall that this was the Reagan era, and that the chorus of "Wildest Dreams" says, "They fight (they fight) for king (for king) and country," and the only king they might've been referring to was Reagan, the clown-king of "progressive" fantasy. And what struck me was this:

Who created reeducation camps? Who undertakes "diversity" and "sensitivity" training? Who spearheaded hate-speech rules on campuses and elsewhere? Who goes immediately, in these times, to accusations of racism when policy disagreements occur?

Hint: it ain't Reagan's side, no matter how far from Reagan the American Right might've come.


Gahrie said...

Hmm....I was split between drama and football at one point...but in my case I was told that I had to choose between them by the drama teacher. (before you got there)

I also listened quite a bit to Asia. ( I had a 90 min cassette tape with Asia Asia on one side and Journey Escape on the other...eventually wore it out)

However I don't think I was the one to convert/corrupt you.

I just got a copy of a hard drive with virtually every song that player on the radio between 1950 -2002 and a couple hundred albums and assorted other songs. ( a large folder of Spanish music, a large folder of soundtracks, a large folder of Hawiian music...) I'm going nuts with it.

And yes, the Left has always had a bad case of projection.....

Jamie said...

Nope, Gahrie, you weren't the culprit; I'm trying to remember his last name. He was a year behind me, two behind you - Richard something. He started me on Asia and then Dio. I still like Asia, but I confess I don't listen to a lot of Dio. To my great surprise, my boppy-dance-music husband (favorite band Oingo Boingo) owns more Dio than I do!

Gahrie said...

Oingo Boingo are awesome! I used to go to their Dead Man's Party concert out here every year! They had a concert at the Hollywood Bowl (think symphonies, classical music etc..great acoustics, relatively small venue) one year that I went to and the people running the place had no clue. They wouldn't let us dance in front of the stage, or the aisles..or even in our seats! We eventually went all the way to the back to an unsold section and took it over and they finally let us alone.

Danny Elfman is a genius, and does a lot of scores for films now. I'd love the band to do a reunion tour.

Jamie said...

I agree about Danny Elfman and LOVE his scores. I don't, however, like Oingo Boingo; they're too... boingy for me. "Killer in the bathroom, boing boing boing..." I bop along with them when the husband puts them on the ubiquitous iPod, but I'm loyal to my bands: Queensryche, Big Country, Rush, OLD U2 (I have little use for much after Joshua Tree), Marillion, etc. You really can't dance to anything I like, is what it comes down to.