Saturday, February 25, 2012

Adrian Veidt, Johnny Come Lately, and refusal to be reconstructed

Finally watched the 'Steve Earle at Montreux' DVD I got for Christmas a few years ago last night. He seemed really bitter and grumpy. In all the Youtube videos I've found of him he seems bitter and grumpy too. But when I saw him live at the turn of the century, he was cheerful and perky.  (It should be easy to find the exact day, since Kasey Chambers was supposed to be his support act but didn't show since she was having a baby). He had a mustache when I saw him live, from which I conclude that having a mustache is an essential component of male happiness. Or maybe, that 2000 was a great time to be alive. Interesting to think that if Adrian Veidt was going to make a perfume to evoke 'Nostalgia' today, 'Millennium' would be a great name for it.

Anyway, I am prepared to cut Steve Earle a lot of slack for mean-spirited leftist grumping, since it was one of his songs that I listened to over and over again through my earphones on March 20th 2003 while I gleefully walked from work to the station, tearing down anti-war posters. If he knew I'm sure he would be bitter and grumpy at me in particular.

Took a little while but we're in this fight / Ain't going home till we've done what's right

I think 'Kurdistan' scans a lot better than 'Vietnam' in the last verse. Which as written makes no sense, even in the most child-bridey redneck families. Let's say Grandma was knocked up almost immediately, so the narrator's mother was born in 1942/3. Even if we assume the narrator lied about his age to join the army (in 1972?!) it is hard to push his birth any later than 1956. Which is physically possible, I guess, and maybe just legal in Texas. Perhaps.

FWIW, I also think 'Al-Zarqawi' scans better than 'Robert E. Lee' in this song. Though I've never gotten around to writing a set of lyrics to match.

The other day I picked up some za'atar from a takeaway food shop here that has a few shelves of middle eastern food since it is run by Egyptians - we are too small and rural to support an actual Egyptian restaurant - and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was made in Zarqa, Jordan. I was almost as pleased as when my 'One China' shirt arrived and turned out to be made in Haiti. No longer will this apparently bleak industrial city be associated in my mind only with a famous terrorist, but with tasty noms. I will cling to this, as to my Haitian T-shirt, as one more sign of the coming of Happy Fun WorldTM.

No comments: