Music to drive by, but NOT to drink by

What I “hear” would be almost anything with a good bass line.

drinking,drivingThat 30-day music meme I was doing a couple weeks ago now wants A song to drive by.

When we’re in the car, it’s usually on the classical station. Probably some 19th overture is on, such as Franz von Suppe’s_Poet And Peasant or Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber Of Seville. The very little I’VE driven, I surely wasn’t playing music at all.

Now when I’m bicycling, I “hear” music, but I don’t actually listen to it/play it, lest it block out cars, sirens, or other traffic.

What I “hear” would be almost anything with a good bass line. A random sampling of same. Chart action is the pop charts in Billboard, unless otherwise indicated.

Keep On Running – Spencer Davis Group, #76 in 1966: always the first song in the rotation
(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone – Aretha Franklin, #5 pop, #1 for three weeks soul, in 1968: it has the added benefit of not allowing the DJ to talk over the intro
White Room – Cream, #6 in 1968: “Not THE Cream, Mr. Stone; CREAM!”
I Got a Line on You – Spirit, #25 in 1969
Roundabout – Yes, #13 in 1972: this is the album version
Theme from Shaft – Isaac Hayes, #1 for two weeks pop, #2 for three weeks soul, in 1971: “Shut your mouth.”

Watching the Detectives – Elvis Costello, #108 in 1978
Money – Pink Floyd, #13 in 1973: of course, from Dark Side of the Moon
The Chain – Fleetwood Mac, 1977: written by all five members of the band
Every Time You Go Away – Paul Young, #1 in 1985: that great Hall and Oates cover
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes, #76 in 2003: Jack White is working hard to bring back vinyl

Next prompt:

Songs about drugs or alcohol, which I presume we are NOT indulging in while driving.

Cocaine – Eric Clapton, 1977: “Things go better with Coca-Cola”, to this tune, often runs through my head
The Needle and the Damage Done – Neil Young, 1972: from the Harvest album

Red, Red Wine – Neil Diamond, #62 in 1968: the original
Alcohol – the Kinks, 1971: from Muswell Hillbillies

Don’t Bogart Me – Fraternity of Man, #133 in 1968: from the Easy Rider soundtrack
One Toke Over the Line – Brewer and Shipley, #10 in 1971: Jerry Garcia on steel guitar
and of course,
Along Comes Mary – The Association, #7 in 1966: their first hit

It becomes your issue when it becomes your issue

And it is BECAUSE of the tragedy that survivors or relatives of some senseless act, are more likely to be heard, sad to say.

It really does not matter what the topic is. Inevitably, when someone speaks out on an issue, usually after a terrible human-made event, some trolls will come out and complain that those people ought to have spoken out on the issue sooner. This is absurd.

People often, indeed usually, become aware of an issue and eventually speak out when it affects them personally. It’s human nature. Think of the founder of MADD:

Candice (Candy) Lightner is the organizer and was the founding president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.lightner On May 3, 1980 Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver at Sunset and New York Avenues in Fair Oaks, California. The 46-year-old driver, who had recently been arrested for another DUI hit-and-run, left her body at the scene.

Should Candy Lightner have been campaigning against drunk driving BEFORE her daughter was killed?

The trolls would say yes.

Ditto the parents of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. To suggest they should have spoken out before is a straw man argument. These are parents of now dead six-year-olds who probably didn’t see themselves as activists.

My particular irritation was most recently generated by the criticism of Richard Martinez, father of one of the six young adults killed around the University of California at Santa Barbara in May 2014. He may not have been a crusader before his son Chris died, but he is now. And it is BECAUSE of the tragedy that he, and people like him, survivors or relatives of some senseless act, are more likely to be heard, sad to say. Richard Martinez now has a pulpit that he just didn’t have the month before. Perhaps it’s the CONTENT of his criticism, against the National Rifle Association, among others, that have some suggesting that he ought not to be heard at all.

But, as I’m trying to note, this isn’t specifically about Martinez. It’s about the nattering nabobs of negativism who would stifle the involvement of concerned citizens by criticizing their timing.

300: teenage wasteland

Anderson Cooper mocked, “First of all, how lame is it that someone tweeted the 518?”

If you live around the Albany area, you probably know the story, but for the rest of you: former National Football League player Brian Holloway’s home in Stephentown, rural Rensselaer County, was broken into by about 300 kids and used as a party house on August 31, 2013. Holloway was in Florida at the time and these kids trashed the place, with graffiti on the walls and the like.

Holloway started some organization and website called Help Me Save 300, where he explained what happened, and most notably, posted the tweets and photos that the teens themselves posted AT THE TIME of their activity. He said he wanted to reach out to the young people and show them “there are better ways to spend their time than drinking, drugs, and vandalism.”

This has led some of the parents of the kids who left “urine-stained carpets, broken windows, damaged walls” to threaten to sue Holloway because he posted their pictures on his website, which, of course, has received appropriate local pushback.

What exactly is Holloway raising money for? (There’s no corporation in the state of New York called Help Me Save 300; I checked.)

It is an icky story. And I can’t help wonder if 30 black and/or Hispanic kids had broken into someone’s house if there would be as much “kids will be kids” reaction among some.

Naturally, there’s usually a silly side to these tales: CNN’s Anderson Cooper mocked, “First of all, how lame is it that someone tweeted the 518?” 518 is the local area code. First I recall someone touting their area code in that fashion was Ruben Studdard on the second season of American Idol, giving a shoutout to the 205. So Anderson is gratuitously making fun of upstate New York; guess one must find the levity where one can.

D is for Drinking

I never had a drink until I was of legal age.

JEOPARDY! Show #6480 – Friday, November 16, 2012
It precedes “rummy” & comes after “cotton”
It’s a geographical area that forms a harbor; any one in a storm
It’s the title of a 1958 no. 1 hit by the Champs; it’s also the entire lyric
This royal family ruled France from 1589 to 1792
De website for dis company says “a diamond is forever”
(Answers at the end.)

When I was 18, the legal age for consuming alcohol in New York State, and much of the United States, was 18, the same age as one could vote, smoke cigarettes, drive at night without restrictions, and go to war. However, there was concern about underage drinking, which sometimes also involved driving. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 withheld “revenue from states that allow the purchase of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21.” Different states have different laws about consumption, though “15 states and the District of Columbia ban underage consumption outright.”

Unsurprisingly, the issue of underage drinking remains; it’s just been pushed to the college campuses. In fact, many college presidents want the drinking age lowered to 18, believing that the higher age leads to more binge consumption. I tend to agree.

This is actually true: I never had a drink until I was of legal age. It may have been a Tom Collins at a bar on Clinton Street in Binghamton, NY where my sister, who was NOT old enough to drink, was singing with a band.

In college, I learned what I liked – most clear liquors, whiskey, Kahlua. And what I didn’t – vermouth, Scotch, and, unfortunately, beer. Not liking beer in a college town is a real drag, because while everyone else is sharing a pitcher, I’m ordering a white wine or a mixed drink.

I also learned, the hard way, never to change drinks during the evening. The first hangover I ever had was the morning of June 9, 1976, five years after my first drink. This was memorable because I went horseback riding that day – brutal. And a Long Island iced tea is a sneakily treacherous beverage.

If you look in the top shelf of our pantry these days, you’d think we imbibe a lot. In fact, I’ll go weeks without drinking anything other than an occasional glass of wine.

JEOPARDY! answers:

One of my favorite songs about liquor is Demon Alcohol by the Kinks. I prefer the original, but all I could find is this cartoon adaptation.
How to make a Dark ‘N’ Stormy, which I should note, I had never heard of.

ABC Wednesday – Round 12

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