April 1, 2018

Any way the wind blows.

In the comments on the post about the smelliness of a particular city in Iowa, stever writes: "I lived in Pampa,TX for awhile in the late 70s. There was a paint plant on one end of town and a rendering plant on the other. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, you only needed a nose to know which way the wind blows."

So Bob Dylan wrote, wrote "You don't need a weather man/To know which way the wind blows," which is about understanding what's happening. It brought a similar phrase to mind — "Any way the wind blows" — which means just about the opposite, more unknowing than knowing. It is closer to another famous Dylan phrase "no direction home." If you go any way the wind blows, you go wherever outside forces take you; you're an aimless wanderer. So it's not surprising the phrase comes up again and again in songs — most notably in Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."



And thanks to Queen for putting that video up on their official YouTube feed and with no ad. That shows some nice respect for their fans, and I hope I'm returning the favor by embedding them here and inviting all the love possible for this overflowingly generous band.

Now, I can't wear on your patience long enough to point out how many different songs have the title "Any Way the Wind Blows"...



But look at Doris Day — so wholesome, but kind of dirty:



And here's a different song with the same title. It's the one that's stuck in my personal memory bank — in 2 really different versions. You've got the Mothers of Invention of "Freak Out"...



... and the insanely, delightfully slowed down rendition by the Mothers in the form of Ruben and the Jets...



But maybe you like this kind of thing, slick country rock from the 1980s. Same title, but again, a completely different song:

22 comments:

tcrosse said...

Out here we call the wind Maria.

Ron said...

I worked for almost 2 years in the world's largest wastewater treatment plant...which was near 3 steel mills, a paint factory...and other things. In August, in 90+ temps with 90+ humidity...a truck spilled a load of dead goats 15 feet from my office window....took, a long long time to lose the smell of THAT....

Ron said...

The plant had an informal slogan: "Your shit is our bread and butter"

Fabi said...

My mother was born in Pampa, Texas, and lived there until she was about ten years old. She remembers it being very cold.

MadisonMan said...

I recall driving once in southern Rhode Island, and a load of squid waste had accidentally been dumped on the road (in mid-Summer). You couldn't help but drive over it, and then prey that the smell would dissipate.

(shudder)

How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand when it smells of decomposing squid?

Fernandistien said...

Cruising with Ruben & the Jets is a great album, probably Zappa's best.

jaed said...

Also: "The wind bloweth where it listeth."

Also translatable as "The spirit blows wherever it takes a notion to." Wind and spirit are the same word in koine. So the phrases about wind also have a potential spiritual meaning.

traditionalguy said...

Doris Day says Love is like the wind blowing.But then Doris began as an all male big band girl singer. She travelled on the tour busses with the horn players, maybe giving blow jobs any which way.

SteveR said...

@Fabi the saying was the only thing between Pampa and the North Pole was a barbed wire fence

nucint said...

6-months in a barracks right by the Kandahar poo-pond
https://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/the-poo-pond/

the 4chan guy who reads Althouse said...

I was just commenting in the Nazi Autism post when I come and see this one, and it makes me think that, when it comes to Bob Dylan, Althouse might be a bit on the spectrum, too.

Because I don't think she's obsessed with him, but she sure seems to think of him a lot, in a lot of the things she thinks about. Some people might not see a difference, but I do: obsession makes you do crazy shit, when just thinking about something a lot only makes you say crazy shit sometimes.

I don't mind Dylan, but he can be hard to listen to. I don't mean his voice: it's weird, but I'm okay with weird, I like Scooby-Doo's voice, too, so whatever. It's just that his words rhyme a lot, which I like, but they don't make any fucking sense, which then makes me uncomfortable listening to it.

And people insist that it all means something, but when they try to explain it they don't make any sense, either. Or at least that I can tell. If a chrome siamese horse-cat means something maybe just say what you think it means, rather than going on about a chrome siamese horse-cat, you know?

And if I ask the question 'What's blowing in the wind?' you shouldn't just say 'The answer is blowing in the wind.' That's not an answer, that's some Chinese Ninja riddle. And I like Chinese Ninja movies, because I like the bloody sword-fights and throwing stars and shit, but I don't like riddles. The whole purpose of a riddle is to fuck with you, as far as I can tell, and I don't get why people would want to be fucked with like that.

I mean, 'Everyone must get stoned': I get that. But the sun's not yellow, it's chicken? Is that supposed to mean something? If being normal means that would make sense to me than I truly have no fucking idea what normal even means.

But I think this all makes sense to Althouse, and -- when you are on the spectrum -- some things make sense to you in a way no one else seems to see. So I can see that. I bet a lot of lawyers and judges might be on the spectrum a little bit, too, because they can make all kinds of intricate arguments about something yet still not know if it is right or wrong. And I can see that, too.

Like I said: sometimes I truly have no fucking idea what normal even means.

jimbino said...

I remember that Cedar Rapids, IA, stank to high heaven when I spent a decade there in 1986.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Cudahy, the blue collar suburb south of Milwaukee, used to have a meat packing plant (Patrick Cudahy) which stunk to high heaven, especially in the summer. It's why when we Bay View kids played Cudahy teams in high school the usual taunting chant was "South Milwaukee, Whitefish Bay, nothing stinks like Cudahy."

I have not been to Cudahy in many years and so do not know if it still stinks.

Fabi said...

Thanks, SteveR -- I never thought of Texas as being cold, but her brother noted it too.

Kelly said...

Back in the 80’s stationed on a tiny kaserne in Korea. A hog farm on one side, tannery on the other. No matter which way the wind blew........

Roger Sweeny said...

Imagine, that they would freak out in Sibley, Iowa.

William Chadwick said...

" . . . wholesome, but kind of dirty." That kind of sums up Doris Day's appeal. She got this reputation as the Eternal Virgin, but if you look at her movies she can be sexy. Also see the YouTube video of the time she appeared on the Tonight Show without a bra. Hotcha! And with--as her frequent producer, Ross Hunter, said, "The best ass in Hollywood."

Rick Turley said...

Took a trip to a rendering plant in San Angelo, TX in the middle of a summer 1980's heat wave. This was the only type of business - among almost 400 - where we corporate types did not have to wear suit during a visit. The stink got on you, then in your car, then finally in your motel room. I'm sure the cleaning staff looked under the bed a few times for a dead body. Few things make a visual impact like a bloated steer hung up back its back leg with the long blackish tongue hanging out. Still have a slight mark on one of my hands where I foolishly grabbed the steering wheel (once) after a day baking in the sun. Good times.

Rick Turley said...

A far second was the Ralston Purina monkey chow plant near Louisville across the street from one of our businesses. Had to wear a suit because the monkey chow plant wasn't owned by us.

CStanley said...

Few things make a visual impact like a bloated steer hung up back its back leg with the long blackish tongue hanging out.

Bloated heifer, 3 days dead in the field in August in Louisiana. I drew the short straw and had to stick my necropsy knife into her belly to release the contents (which consisted of gallons of gas and the entirety of her internal organs which had liquefied- gallons of putrid liquid cow pouring out onto the floor.)

Quite a visual and olfactory impression.

(Apparently the vet school can't turn away animals brought there for necropsy and farmers sometimes take advantage of the free disposal service for animals that they can't take to the rendering plant.)

Stephen said...

Too bad no notice or shout out for J.J. Cale, a great musician who wrote the song performed by him, Clapton, and lesser country act that you posted.

Rick Turley said...

CStanley said...

"Bloated heifer, 3 days dead in the field in August in Louisiana."

OK, you win.