Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blur -- "Popscene" (1992)

A fervoured image of another world 
Is nothing in particular now 

I assume you've noticed what today's date is -- 11/11/11.  This song and this post have nothing in particular to do with the date, but I thought it was worth mentioning.  (Hopefully we'll all be around in 13 months and a day for 12/12/12.)

I have a few photos left from my trip to Joplin earlier this fall, and I might as well put them to good use.  

I suppose you could say they are "fervoured images of another world" -- that world being post-tornado Joplin.  But perhaps you would say they are "nothing in particular now."

Here's one example of "nothing in particular":

(Of course I don't know how a bowling ball ended up here -- that's kind of a dumb question, don't you think?)

Here's an even odder scene:

This house was presumably damaged severely enough that it couldn't be repaired.  But the owner left all the plumbing in place.  I guess he's going to rebuild his house exactly as it was:

Does the recliner convey with this property?  If so, I'm ready to make an offer:

This guy seems a bit touchy.  Probably not a good place to go on Halloween.

I never thought of Joplin as having much in the way of trees -- the Washington, DC area where I've lived for over 30 years is very heavily wooded (as an allergy sufferer can tell you).  But if you look at pre-tornado video of Joplin and compare it to the way it looks now, you'll see that there were a lot of trees to be seen before May 22.

Those trees that were not blown over by the tornado were greatly diminished -- in most cases, there wasn't much left other than about ten feet of trunk.  Most of the trees looked like a Napoleonic-era sailing ship that had been through a long and painful battle.  The hull was still intact, but all the masts and spar and rigging had been shot away.  What remained didn't really look like a ship, and what remained in Joplin didn't really look like trees.

I assumed that the severely damaged trees that were left behind after the tornado were goners -- all their leaves were gone, for cryin' out loud, and the 2011 summer in Joplin was famously hot and dry.

To my surprise, many of the skeleton-like trees I had seen in June had leafed out by September.  Here's an example of one such tree:

Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom seems to be that most of these trees won't survive for long.  I have a feeling that we may be surprised by how stubborn some of these trees are -- I bet a lot of them hang on.  But a lot of them won't.

Someone once said that there are two good times to plant trees:  25 years ago, and right now.  A generation or two from now, Joplin will probably have as many or more trees as it did before the tornado.  There are a lot of people working hard to make that happen.

The last picture I'm going to share is one that makes me very sad.  This is Irving School, where I attended grades one through six.  (I remember the principal, Gerald Prater, and teachers like Mrs. Belford and Mrs. Croddy and Mrs. Denham like it was yesterday)  Irving seemed old when I was a student there -- along with so many of my oldest and best friends -- 50 years ago.  

I guess you can always rebuild a building.  Let's just be glad that no one's children or grandchildren were around when the tornado hammered my old school.

Blur had planned to put "Popscene" on its second studio album, Modern Life Is Rubbish.  But when the song did poorly when it was released as a single in the UK in 1992, the group decided to punish the British music-buying public.  "We thought, If you didn’t f*cking want it in the first place," Blur guitarist Graham Coxon told an interviewer, "you’re not going to get it now." ("Popscene" was included on the American version of that album.)

"Popscene" is a great little pop song, thanks in large part to the horns.  The lyrics are rather opaque -- this song is about 90% music, 10% words.

Here's the official "Popscene" music video.  I like the odd way in which the video was edited, but you may not -- it's sort of annoying to watch:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment