Monday, December 17, 2012

Random Nonsense

"We'll tonight thank god it's them instead of youuuuuuuuu!"

Listening to "Do They Know It's Christmas" on the radio the other day, it occurred to me for the thousandth time that Bono's lyric makes no sense at all.  His line is arguably the most memorable of the song, given that a) it's the lyrical climax, b) Bono really puts a lot of oomph into the delivery and c) Bono is one of the few in Band Aid who is still famous and even kind of relevant 28 years later.

Here are the full lyrics to the song, basically summarized as such: "Christmas is a great time of year but things aren't nearly as merry in Africa, so keep them in your thoughts and donate some money to provide food, while you're at it."  Perfectly lovely sentiment.  And then, right in the middle, here's Bono essentially throwing that sentiment under the bus by saying, in effect, "hey, better them than us, eh?"

Three theories…

1) The discordant line was meant to essentially sum up the western view of African suffering.  This is pretty dark for an Xmas song, but that's the point --- it's the jolt line in the middle of this celebrity charity sing-along.

2) I'm misinterpreting the line entirely and its intent is really the equivalent of "tonight thank god FOR them instead of you," as in, Band Aid are taking a moment to focus on the unfortunates rather than the happy one-percenters in the western world.  Bono is notorious for forgetting or altering lyrics (even to his own songs that he's been singing for 25-odd years) so perhaps he replaced the "it's" for the "for" and it just wasn't noticed during the recording process because…

3) …everyone was so drunk and/or high during the session that Bob Geldof just let the whole thing slide.  And then once the song was released they had to stick to it, to the point that Bono returned to sing the same line during the 20th anniversary version re-recorded with modern stars* in 2004.

* = Ok, well, modern "stars."  Not a lot of names jump out on that 2004 list as people who are still relevant even eight years later; it seems like most of the famous names (Paul McCartney, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood) stuck to the instrumentation, possibly so they could avoid having to sing a bizarre lyrics that people are still writing blog posts about years later.  Then again, the 1984 version featured the likes of members of Shalamar, Ultravox, Heaven 17 and Status Quo, so it wasn't quite as star-studded as one remembers.


In the spirit of year-end lists, Uproxx has the top 20 memes of 2012.  I'm proud that Toronto's very own IKEA Monkey snuck on there just under the wire.

Lawyer Dog, Falling Bear, Sophisticated Cat, Go Home You're Drunk and Skeptical Third World Kid are all pretty amazing, but my favourite is clearly Inappropriate Timing Bill Clinton simply because that picture is so funny just by itself.  The expression on Obama's face is priceless…"ah geez, not this guy again."


And, here's the commercial of the year, as voted on by Adweek Magazine.  In a world where Hansel & Gretel has been re-imagined as an action franchise, there is a 100 percent chance that someone is writing a gritty adaptation of Three Little Pigs at this very moment.  Ian McShane can, nay MUST, play the big bad wolf.


So the city of Toronto, in its infinite wisdom, decided to remove the bike lane from Jarvis Street after complaints that the street needed the extra fifth lane to accommodate extra traffic.  And of course, the other day I found myself driving up a very slow-moving Jarvis Street, presuming it was just a busy day until I hit the cause of the holdup in the right lane….one lone cyclist, who couldn't get fully over on the right side of the street due to parked cars.*

Smart move, Toronto.  This was surely worth the thousands of dollars and months of construction.  You sure showed those cyclists, all of whom will continue to bike up and down Jarvis since, y'know, they might live or work on Jarvis.  It could also be argued that if you're worried about clogging up traffic on Jarvis, then shutting down vehicular lanes to build or remove bike lanes every couple of years is fucking nonsensical but hey, what do I know?

* = There's a special place in hell for idiots who illegally park their cars during rush hour.  Many is the time when traffic is jammed up on a major street because one clown has a lane blocked because he chose to park between the hours of 4-6pm.  I propose a law that would instantly solve this problem.…if you see someone illegally parked and blocking a major road during rush hour, you should have virtual carte blanche to do whatever you want to their vehicle.  Take a leak on the door handle?  Go for it.  Key the side?  Perfectly fine.  Slash the tires?  Well, that would actually block traffic for even longer because then they'd have to call a tow truck, but still, I like the cut of your gib. 

No driver would make the mistake more than once of leaving their car illegally parked if they knew it could be beset upon by an angry mob.  Yup, I see no possible downside in instituting virtual martial law on vehicles.  None whatsoever!  What lawsuits?  *dusts off hands triumphantly*


And no, I'm not done talking about driving.  I've discovered I'm a superb reverse-side parallel parker.  I recently found myself on a one-way street having to parallel park on the left side of the road, and while my parallel parking skills are probably slightly above-average overall (*pats self on back*), such a maneuver is still a tricky bit of business for us North Americans.

However, not only did I pull off a thoroughly tremendous parallel park, a guy on the street CONGRATULATED ME WHEN IT WAS OVER.  I kid you not.  The guy was standing at the parking meter and watching my progress, and he actually said "very nice job" after I got out of the car.  Not a hint of sarcasm in his voice, either.  Blanche Dubois was right, you can always depend on the kindness of strangers.


I see a clip like this (described by Film Drunk as "the most Christopher Walken scene of all time") and it makes me think of my friend Dave, a.k.a. the aficionado of terrible action movies.  This is exactly the type of scene that Dave would have watched 20 years ago and quoted incessantly ever since.  "I never forget a face, especially if I've sat on it."

No comments: