I’ll Stop The World And Melt With You?

When Modern English’s “I Melt With You” pops up on my Pandora station, I really should thumbs down it. But once, didn’t I like it enough to sing along?

In a recent moment of nostalgia, I typed R.E.M. into Pandora’s search box. For a little bit of Life’s Rich Pageant, now that I better understand what that means. So I relaxed again into Michael Stipe’s introspections, Dolores O’Riordan’s “Dreams,” and Edder Vedder’s “I Wish”es.

But what to do when “I Melt With You” plays? I should thumbs down this odd interruption to my alt rock playlist. Thumbs down because I no longer care for the new wave anthem.

But how could the adult me thumbs down something that once mattered, even if for only one night of driving around town listening to music? Because music mattered at that age – you know, that age when songs really speak to you and your seemingly very individual moment and emotion – I almost feel like I should spare the old song a spot on a playlist.

Maybe I’m treating myself here like I do my daughters. Continue reading

A Snowball Won’t Save Us When The Water Runs Dry

20 million people in Sao Paolo are facing the kind crisis we usually see in dystopic fiction and film. They’re almost out of water.

This kind of news clip is usually reserved for opening scene montages that give us the backstory of a film’s apocalyptic setting. Perhaps this is why our limited response to Sao Paolo’s crisis: we think of ourselves as apathetic audience rather than participants in the world.

Brazilian sci-fi novelist Ignácio de Loyola Brandão Ignácio de Loyola Brandão calls his country nonchalant in the face of disaster. “The majority doesn’t get indignant with anything,” he said, “as if we’re comfortably strolling toward our own demise.”

If we’re all complacent, we’re all complicit too. Continue reading