Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Friday, January 23, 2004


The other day my cubicle mate asked me what the name of that song by Bob Geldoff was. She was downloading songs from the internet and wanted that one but couldn’t remember the name.

I suggested, “I don’t like Mondays?”

“That’s it!”

A couple hours later she was listening to her downloads and a song started and she said, “Here’s our song!”

I had no idea what she was talking about, but a few bars in I recognized it: “I Don’t Like Mondays” -- the Boomtown Rats, Bob Geldoff’s group.

Funny thing is, I’ve heard the song a couple times now in the last few days, and I could not hum you one lick of the opening bars. I couldn’t repeat any of the melody before the part that goes:
“[ba da dum] no reason
cuz there are [?] no reasons
no reasons for [ba ba da da dum]
tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
tell my why
I don’t like Mondays
tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oot
the whole day down”

I don’t remember many of the words either.

The distinction between being able to recognize a tune, and being able to repeat it, to really remember it -- well, we call the catchy parts “hooks.” But it’s interesting that part of the whole is distinct in my memory, and part is completely vague in my mind’s ear but quickly recognizable while it’s actually passing through my eardrum.

Remembering puts back together that which has been dismembered. Dionysus torn to bits by his worshippers. Except total recall is impossible. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men.

When something makes an impression, it presses down hard and leave its shape in a “negative” space. A song’s hook bites in and painlessly tears the mind’s flesh, lodging decorously like a mind’s ear-ring.


Why do they even call them Presidential "Debates"? It feels like the condescending journalists get more time to ask the questions than the contestants get to answer them, making it more like a sound-bite-a-thon, like a TV reality show, like the elocution portion of a beauty contest. "I want to devote my presidency to world peace and fighting hunger. Thank you."

Before the Marquess of Queensbury codified boxing in the late 19th century, pugilists would go round after round until one fell down and didn't get back up. The Lincoln-Douglas debates were the oratorical equivalent. I'm not sure that that would be the best way to go either, but it would be a hella better than what they got going now.
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