28 April 2009

I Ended Up On You Tube Again....


The missus and youngest daughter have commandeered the TV to watch a few episodes of House. I'm in another You Tube mood. Being on You Tube can variously lead to a serious case of time-wasting or soul searching or strolling down memory lane or therapeutic laughter. (And yes, I note that those strolls down memory lane take longer and longer with each passing year and that each year that passes does so at an accelerating rate.)

Here's one video I looked at. I'm only vaguely familiar with the song, it's nothing I'd ever buy but goodness what a toe tapper. It calls to mind my distant youth and nights out on the town. On the dance floor with a few belts under my belt bouncing and swaying rhythmically to whatever was playing. Just cutting loose and enjoying. Out with friends. The rugged guy with the enviable self confidence. The nerdy fellow working up courage by gulping down liquid courage. The sexually ambiguous bloke -- which way would his night go and how come we never found out? Of course there was the thrill of the chase. I won't get vulgar about the terminology then employed. Suffice to say there were natural passions invoked. What excitement, what anticipation. Might I meet someone? Would it amount to a few dances? Maybe securing a phone number? Or dare I hope, an overnight guest?

No apologies from this corner. All natural stuff. My God when you weren't in a serious relationship the whole male/female stuff was so intense. Scary as hell. Not being with anyone for awhile could be devastating. Sometimes meeting someone was worse. All the worry about stuff like when to call her. And God forbid you should fall head over heals. The potential for heartbreak was often too much to bear. "I've met someone." "I think of us as friends." "I think blah, blah, blah, that we should yak, yak, see other people..." But there could be true love or passionate love making or both. All that runs through your mind in a millisecond when you see that cute girl across the room and wonder if it's you she's smiling at. (The rugged guy would know she was. The nerdy guy would know she wasn't. The ambiguous guy would...hell, I don't know.)

I recalled all that and more from one lousy song. It's the ultimate turn-off-your-brain-and-have-a-good-time song. It recalls the youthful ability -- it was a need too, wasn't it? -- to disconnect from those few troubles that then vexed us. We had youth and with it all the power to dream and believe. The future was a blank slate that was ours to fill as we wanted. We knew that songs like that were empty calories and didn't care a wit. After all it was party time. If we didn't "meet someone" we could at least have one helluva fun night.

And then I came across this one. This is high school, baby. I can't tell you how often I listened to this song. Like many songs of the time it was part of our anthem. I literally could write a book about my high school experience. Berkeley in the late Sixties early Seventies. No prom, no spirit week. No homecoming rally. It was cutting school to go to protests at the Cal campus. Getting tear gassed. The National Guard encamped across the street from school. It was experimenting with drugs. It was a fervent belief that our generation was going to change the world. Bring down the man. This was a shock and awe directed at our government. With flowers not guns.

We believed anything was possible. We were serious. We had grown up while the Civil Rights Movement was making the most inspiring and wonderful sort of history. We were being serenaded by The Beatles. Our hair grew. We were DIFFERENT. Being young is a powerful drug, add the changes we felt that were partly our making and the literal drugs we took.... Maybe that's why a few years later we took to disco. We needed the break.

So the old geezer (as youngest daughter calls me) that I am today was shaped by a very atypical high school experience. None of the traditional stuff. Plenty of counter culture. No wonder I'm such a contrarian. But also no bloody wonder I can temper my well earned cynicism with hope.

So I got nothing on movies today. I'll be back with something in a day or two. Meanwhile I leave you with this final You Tube that the better half recommended. It's a hoot.

(P.S. I've got a new quote on the blog. Anyone who noticed gets extra credit. If you don't know the quoted person run out and rent Good Night and Good Luck (2005). NOW!)

1 comment:

Kate Gabrielle said...

Love Edward R. Murrow, great quote!