for February 9, 2005
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for today's rant...
[Inscrutable Links: John Peel Says "Hi". FM106.3 Staff List. FM106.3's 1988 playlist.]
Cher and Cher Alike
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman
Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love notes that lately being out in public invariably results in stale soft rock hits rattling around the skull. It's like an assault that sounds like Lionel Ritchie singing both Stuck On You and Brick House; in the course of the past fifteen, twenty or thirty years' segues into and out of Phil Collins and Celine Dion hits, all of the funk - if there ever was any funk - bled out of these songs. Whatever meaning they had in music history is gone, too. The only recommending feature of soft rock songs is that everyone knows all the words, and we can make like Foreigner in the frozen foods section. The bonus for the music industry comes when the songs are so firmly jammed into the consumer's cranium that one of those late night greatest hits CDs seems essential to a person's very survival.
Shopping has become a musical minefield. You may vaguely recall singing the chorus of Rosanna while picking out turkey sausage, but you have no idea why Hungry Man dinners remind you of Vanessa Williams and xylophones. In the pharmacy and the supermarket: the double dose of horror that is Richard Marx's Right Here Waiting twice in one week. Your Delight's filing charges in the Hague.
Leaving the dentist's office, you find yourself inside a quiet car, humming a once-overplayed pop song - Cher's If I Could Turn Back Time - though that's not the worst part. No, you realize what you're humming as you're racing down Route 1 over the broad and ramshackle Morris Goodkind Bridge as friends and relatives of traffic victims stopping to place memorial wreaths where their loved ones crashed through the railing and plummeted hundreds of feet into the muddy Raritan cause more crashing and plummeting, and instead of taking bold action to get that tailgater off your exceeding-the-speed-limit rump you're glaring at an SUV grille in the rearview, because you're picturing Cher's cosmetically perfected bare butt on an aircraft carrier.
Question for philosophers: If one drives over the side because this song was stuck in one's head, could it really be called suicide?
Then there's the business of staying in and finding something quirky stuck in your head, especially if you don't know what it is. Your Sweetness rang up editor Sean Carolan in yet another real-life episode of "Ask Mr. Altrok".
Okay, so there's this Mercedes Benz commercial, and there are these two boys who look out the window and see a blinding snow storm. They shout, "No school!" and make a huge mess of their bedroom and killjoy daddy drives them to the educational gulag (which simply must be closed until some catastrophic spring thaw) so after the commercial we should see them trudging across the tundra and fleeing from polar bears while daddy's off drinking the blood of innocents. Do you know what song that is?
Huh! You'd think I'd remember that one.
Mr. Altrok forgot more about music before breakfast than most people will ever know. Still, even half-day Google searches yield no results that answer this question. Various ad music websites list Mercedes Benz commercials and their scores going back five years but omit this one. So the song snippet plays on the mental turntable in an endless loop.
©2005 Robin Pastorio-Newman
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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