April 25, 2010

When Mary Travers was thin, Mama Cass was radiant, and Joni Mitchell did not have multicolored fibers protruding from her skin.

They say everything can be replaced...



... but they are wrong.

Any day now, any day now...


Are you still looking toward the future, or do you look back to the gorgeous, unreachable past?

46 comments:

mesquito said...

I'm forty-four. I've been raised on cultural hand-me-downs from The Loudest Generation. I've learned that the "past" is mostly self-serving baloney, and that the future will be pretty much like right now, except I'll be old.

David said...

Glorious?

The future is always my focus. But as Faulkner said, the past isn't even past.

David said...

quito--I'm 66. Old ain't so bad.

mesquito said...

The Sixties is what happens when too many people are 19 years old at the same time.

Beth said...

I turned fifty yesterday. For a few days, I think I'll be on a teeter-totter between those two views.

What a great song. I hadn't heard that performance of it, so thanks.

I'm off now to Jazz Fest to enjoy some good music.

Pogo said...

Hell, now I know where Joni's Morgellon's came from: wearing multicolored fibers that were not authentic while singing plagiarized songs full of deception.

Such falsity must be expunged, even if from the skin.
Any day now?
For Joni, every day now, they shall be released.

Pogo said...

Happy birthday yesterday to Beth!

AllenS said...

Happy birthday, Beth.

Titus said...

I love Mama Cass but in the end she wanted to be referred to as Cass Elliot so please change the "Mama Cass" title.

Thanks Doll.

Titus said...

Did you all know Mark Twain was a vegetarian?

edutcher said...

Not sure if my past was all that glorious, but I find myself doing a Janus, remembering the good things, but looking forward to what could be a much better day.

For 61, that's not too bad.

mesquito said...

The Sixties is what happens when too many people are 19 years old at the same time.

You just might have something there.

WV "congazyg" When the line goes in an unexpected direction and you end up in the second trumpet's lap.

PS Many happy returns, Beth. 50 is pretty good, a lot better than you might think.

Pastafarian said...

Happy birthday, Beth.

Jesus, what horrible music; other than Cream and Hendrix and a few other exceptions, most music from that era is treacly and nauseating.

I hate hippies, even hippie chicks.

Pastafarian said...

Titus, that sounds like some bullshit your husband told you when you were fighting with him about that god-awful hummus and water meal he made the other night.

Don't put up with it, Titus. Someone from Wisconsin should not have to eat hummus. It's not natural.

ricpic said...

Mama Cass was never radiant.

Titus said...

I am really into Ellen Page currently. She is cool and natural and hot.

Did you know Paul McCartney is a vege?

EDH said...

The "Ham Sandwich" and the damage done.

Titus said...

Do you all know how your meat eventually gets to your table?

This is so important.

Standup agains foix gras NOW.

Titus said...

Think about the chickens.

They are social animals who like to roam, nest, and other shit like that.

And don't even get me started on the cows. Poor cows.

And what about the cute baby lambs? BAAAAAA. Can you hear the lambs?

And those of you whores who are wearing fur I say bad fur wearer.

Robert said...

"Radiant" is the new "glow" and is intended to convey "perspire".

Titus said...

I read somewhere Hitler was a vege too, not cool.

But still picture where your food comes from.

Chicken cages where they cant move and are surrounded by feces and dipped in scolding water while alive. Chickens are similar to cats and dogs in terms of feeling, emotions and shit like that.

Meat is Murder.

For some reason I don't care as much about fish. I say fuck the fish. Gut them, scale them, cut their heads off and deep fry them with a side of American Fries...and slaw, natch

rdkraus said...

Apparently, radiant does not mean what I think it means.

rdkraus said...

Is there a contradiction between warmly remembering pleasant things from the past and looking eagerly toward the future?

Isn't this normal?

Mark O said...

Over on the YouTube page with this song is a link to Joni singing "Both Sides Now" with Pete Seeger. It includes a verse Pete wrote. It's worth the visit.

Meade said...

Pastafarian said...
"... and a few other exceptions,"

I sure hope one of those is the greatest rock songs by one of the great rock guitarists of all time. Of ALL TIME.

William said...

When you're young, death has a kind of poetic air about it. For all its absurdity, there was something tragic about the death of Cass. Then it was Mary Travers turn. Her death was unfortunate and way too soon, but you weren't haunted by its brevity but by the lengthening shadows that fell towards you. Her death thus inspired more terror than pity. Now it's Joni Mitchell's turn. She gets to contemplate a lingering death from a mysterious disease. At a certain point she will consider death to be a release, but I do not think she will hear a beautiful melody underlying such a harsh lyric. There's not much to be said in favor of death. It's a young person's conceit.

edutcher said...

ricpic said...

Mama Cass was never radiant.

She was in '65.

Titus said...

I read somewhere Hitler was a vege too, not cool.

He also loved kids, dogs, and big blondes, which probably proves something.

Meat is Murder

Don't you know about how the carrots scream when they're pulled from the bosom of Mother Earth?

Or the suffering of the lettuce when it's cut?

David said...

Titus--I am picturing where my food comes from. I keep coming up with Publix and Kroger.

sunsong said...

Here comes two cents worth :-)

I distinguish between "the past" and "tradition" or "heritage". I think there is great value in respecting and honoring tradition (but not all - and not always) and also great value in looking to the future for that which has never been (again - not "anything new" and not always). In other words, there is something wonderful, to me, in the idea of a balance between the two.

Can the world be improved? - of course - can we find answers in our traditions? - of course. Can we go backward? - no. So many who want to go backward - want to retreat into a past that never was. There is a sadness about that.

Do I love the old music? - absolutely :-)

big yellow taxi

Oligonicella said...

Titus --

"They are social animals who like to roam, nest, and other shit like that."

So are wasps.

Judith said...

Joni Mitchell is probably my favorite singer/songwriter. Her and Richard Thompson and Joe jackson, maybe. But I'm not enough of a fangirl to keep up with her news and I had no idea she has that disease - gah.

Penny said...

"There's not much to be said in favor of death."

Except, of course, that it necessarily follows your birth and that grand thing we all call 'living'.

TheGiantPeach said...

I am in my fifties. I spend a lot of my time in the past. And it's because we shall not be released from the past, as long as we are alive.

What I can't be released from is the effect of the bad decisions that I made when I was young. And the decisions didn't seem all that bad at the time. The most important ones were made with the approval of my parents. And it still worked out all wrong.

Now, I spend a lot of time rewriting the past, substituting better decisions and imagining how things would have worked out differently. It's as if my mental energy is engaged in a massive alternative history exercise, with the topic being that endlessly fascinating (and fascinated) subject, me.

We get our release however we can get it.

PJ said...

I didn't think you'd allow that swipe at Dylan to pass, Professor.

When Joni was right, in the 60s and 70s, she was sublime. But then something hit her from which she never recovered, and since then she always seems angry, bitter, and hopeless. Now every mention of her makes me sad.

And Meade, until my click went through, I thought surely you were going here.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Meade

I was sure you were going to go here with THIS guy

Or better yet THIS GUY Ok. more blues than rock.

LOL @ mesquito. I think you nailed it.


There is a difference in wallowing in and romanticizing the past and appreciating that what you experienced was unique....but only unique to YOU. Every generation has unique and definitive moment, music, culture, clothing.

Someday...somewhere....someone....will look back on their Goth Youth and be nostalgic

Jacq said...

mmmm Just want to thank you for a trip down memory lane.

Lovely times those were (yeah there were down sides) but there was a poignancy and a hope and an unfetteredness. Am I talking about me or the times -- a bit of both I think.

And 'Mark O' thanks for the Pete Seeger/Joni Mitchell heads up on his verse on "Both Sides Now"

k*thy said...

Happy Birthday, Beth, and as my turn is later this week, I know how you're feeling. The best I can do with the past is not to regret it. As for the future, well, I didn't expect to get this far, so I'll just try my best to enjoy what's here today.

Beth said...

Thanks for the good wishes, y'all.

Fifty is looking good so far.

Levon Helm played the festival and I caught about 20 minutes of his set. It was good.

JAL said...

Late to the party Beth, but (Belated) Happy Birthday!

Fifty is fine and can be fun.

Ann Althouse said...

"I didn't think you'd allow that swipe at Dylan to pass, Professor."

I went there initially from my Dylan Google alert, but I thought the stuff about Dylan was boring. It's nothing new. Why is she grousing about Dylan? Miffed she's not considered greater? Deal with it.

Now the disease... that suggests she's got some mental issues.

lucykin said...

The past might be radiant, but not this version of that song.

jamboree said...

I'm upper half Gen X. I acknowledge the 90s were my cultural peak- the point at which my personal preferences and the media culture at large merged most perfectly - making it generally Great To Be Me in that decade.

But I think after going through a phase of reveiw- rewatching Northern Exposure for the 3rd time in its entirety, among other media touchstones- I am officially tapped out on 90s nostalgia. I realized NX was pretty much just about growing out of your single years, out of your personal exploration, and back into shared reality - even with all the deeper storylines.

As for the 60-70s, about the only thing that interests me about them is John Lennon - and one Linda Blair teen exploitation movie for some reason [grin]. I dunno. I came across "Born Innocent" on youtube recently and was weirdly riveted - something to do with abused kids fighting for their rights being a root level theme of my own bunch (see Roman Polanski to Sinead O'Connor). It felt like I found some kind of missing link.

Go figure. I'm sure it'll pass quickly..

The Crack Emcee said...

"Now the disease... that suggests she's got some mental issues."

Not like those "good" Muslims who, you think, need protection from getting upset if someone draws a picture of their non-existent "prophet", right? Naw, they're perfectly sane,...

BTW - how are those spirits crawling around in your house? Has Meade chased them away yet?

If I were you, I'd get him right on that.

Meade said...

Crack: Turns out the crawling spirits were only squirrels. And they weren't in the house, they were on the roof. That is, until I caught 'em, killed 'em, and roasted them in the old popcorn popper. Thank you, Mike Huckabee!

As for Offend All Muslims By Courageously Drawing Pictures That Insult Their Deities Day... what's the point? Is it because we have so much free speech that... WHOA, LOOK OUT! WE CAN'T CONTROL THIS FREE SPEECH HOSE! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!?

Why only Muslims? Why not Offend All Religious People By Courageously Doing Things That Insult Everyone's Deities Day?

Why pick on only Islam?

Trooper York said...

With any luck, Joni will be will soon be joining Mary and picking up the gigs she missed out on!

Ira said...

Great stuff. But, how can Joni Mitchell sing a song written by that "fake", Bob Dylan?

Kathy said...

At least in the '60s, people cared about making the world a better place for EVERYONE! Now, people selfishly only care about making the world a better place for themselves, and our government only cares about making the world a better place for the stinking rich. I'll take the '60s over this greedy, stingy, inhumane time we're in now.