Friday, September 22, 2023

A few Observations From a Garrulous Geezer

A Random Randomnesses Column

Image by Max Yakovlev from Pixabay

This is a weekly column of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise them now and haunt them when I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring Dana: Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device

"All you need is love." -John Lennon (A yellow submarine would be cool too) 

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),

You may be old, or at least getting there waaay too fast, when you encounter some input that reveals that hip-hop has been around long enough to join AARP having recently celebrated its 50th birthday and you're at least mildly shocked.  

"Kool Herc made history in 1973 when he and his sister hosted the “Back to School Jam” in the recreation room of their Bronx apartment building at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. This historical party is recognized for launching the hip-hop movement."

If you must force yourself to face the fact the eighties are as significant to the many people who are younger than you as the 1960s are to you, you're definitely old.  


No but. Just because getting old is not what you thought it would be doesn't necessarily make you seem any younger to the young.

If it makes you feel any better, I personally regard most hip-hop as doggerel with a psyche-smashing backbeat. I heard Winton Marsalis refer to it as the new minstrelsy somewhere, and no shortage of other H. sapiens seem to hold the same opinion.

However, I'm old; I yell at clouds, and no shortage of ancient infidels were appalled by the traditional rock 'n' roll that I fell in love with. A relationship that endures, but ain't what it used to be.

Music fans are aware that at some point after WW2 recording technology advanced to the point that musicians and recording techies gradually began using the technology to not only dramatically improve the sound quality of the recordings, it enabled them to turn recording studios into musical instruments.  

It became possible to create songs that were difficult to play live. Purists complained, most musicians, and most of the public (including me, growing up while taking it for granted) embraced it. 

Very long story short, technology kept/keeps rapidly evolving, and now unapologetic "disrupters" are using AI to write and even "perform" songs constructed of the pieces/parts of potentially anything ever recorded. 

We've gone from H. sapiens creatively using comparatively limited technology to the ability to "borrow" chunks of the work of others and create mash-ups using computer-generated "instruments" and/or computer-enhanced real instruments and/or computer-generated voices and/or computer-enhanced voices.

And for some mysterious reason, it sounds cold, repetitive, and empty despite regularly adding in some eardrum-busting bass to try and give it some soul. 

I've written about encountering the phrases based on facts that meet fiction and representationally accurate that I've seen used in place of the formerly ubiquitous based on a true story.

I've recently encountered this is a fictional account based on deeply researched facts.

As far as I know, for some reason, no one uses anything like my (recently updated) version:

"The content you're about to consume is an allegedly more or less sorta/kinda accurate depiction that has been sliced, diced, tweaked, sexed-up, dumbed-down, and/or altered in any number of ways to make it more entertaining and hopefully more likely to make some money. It's based on facts that meet fiction, a representationally accurate fictional account based on the deeply researched facts of a true story.

{Impressive, I forgot that you got kicked out of law school for not cheating.}    

Spokespersons from the D.I.E. (diversity, inclusion, and equity) departments of several well-known, prestigious, and obscenely expensive colleges and universities have contacted me and pointed out that the word "geezerettes" is blatantly ageist, sexist and might make queer folx of various and sundry denominations feel unsafe.

{Queer! You can't say...}

Clearly, you're not as chill as I am. You can not only say it you can get a degree, in Queer studies. For example, at Denison University, located in my little corner of Flyoverland (Ohio). It costs $79,400 a year but that includes three hots and a cot.

{Do people still say chill?}

If you provide your own food and shelter it's only $57,500 a year. Word to the wise? Living in a tent in Ohio — aka southern Canada — can be somewhat problematic.

You may have heard, or been told something similar to:
"And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make" -Lennon/McCartney 

Permit me to/forgive me for pointing out that this just ain't true. In the end, you may discover that you have "made more love" than you received.    

{What are you talking about?}

Me mum (thinking about the Beetles sometimes causes me to write with an English accent). It's quite simple really. In the end, if she had been asked, and if she answered honestly, she would've had to admit she had given far more love, in all sorts of ways, than she received in return. 

I'll grant you that she was loved by lots of people, but to assume that this was necessarily of any practical value in any given situation, or to claim that "in the end" giving and receiving will balance out, is just wrong. 

Sweet — and giving without expecting an eventual balancing of the books is virtuous under the right circumstances, and with good guardrails in place — but wrong.  

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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