The Talking Lion

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hmm. I'm speechless...

Well, not exactly. I just don't have anything new to add to what's been said today. Which usually doesn't stop me from posting, it's just I don't feel like it either. So, here are the posts I think are spectacular and wish I wrote first:

Lauren at Feministe makes a great point about a new Texas law that would charge doctors with murder for performing abortions.

The great Dr. PZ Myers has a fantastic post on yesterday's idiot pro-ID column in the Washington Post. More like Intelligent Des-owned. Am I rite?

Greg Saunders at The Talent Show has a quickie that's worth more than the 3-seconds it'll take you to read it.

Anyway. There seems to be a talk-about-music bug going around the blogs I read. And I hear that imitation is the best form of flattery, so I think I'll talk a li'l bit about teh musics.

The year is '99, the last few months before all the computers in the world were supposed to explode. I was a lowly high school sophomore from Fairfax, VA with a penchant for shitty gangsta rap (there are few things funnier/sadder than a suburban brown kid who nods his head to the tin-can bass response of his $20 boombox). I had been into Biggie and Tupac since middle school and after they were killed there was basically nothing redeeming about mainstream rap (and all I could access was what I heard on MTv, sigh).

I was in Spanish II and was talking to this kid, Chris Ballard. He had a blue front tooth. I never knew why; more importantly, I never knew how to ask him about it...I digress. One day for some reason he and I were chatting about music. I had nothing to offer. I liked...sigh...the new Ja Rule song (It's Murdaaaaaaaaaah), he was listening to demo tracks of this and that band I had never even heard of. I didn't even know what the hell a demo was. He told me about Napster.

Free music! Free songs! I got on my family's shitty computer and downloaded Napster. Of course the first things I downloaded were Rage - Guerrila Radio and DMX - Party Up. Sigh. But Napster had a great feature where you could look at the libraries of the people you were downloading from. "Blue_Zebra2342 likes this song I like, maybe I'll like this other song he has by this band I've never heard." And I traveled those libraries for a few months, mostly downloading shit like P.O.D. (sigh) and 311 (not as bad, but they need to stop putting out records). Then I stumbled upon Operation Ivy.

I downloaded Unity by Operation Ivy. I had no idea of what war they wanted to stop or anything else they were talking about. But the music fucking touched me. I fell in love with punk rock, and Napster allowed me to gorge on these new fucking awesome sounds. Fucken. I downloaded everything I could get my digital hands on that sounded like it could be punk. I could throw away shitty music and keep the good stuff. I could, without spending a cent or depending on VJs or DJs, build and hone my musical taste.

I transformed from a kid who was obsessed with basketball and desperately wanted Air Jordans, into someone who was essentially freed from being told what to like by corporate higher-ups in charge of mainstream media. I mean, to a large extent, thats not true (are any of us truly free from them?) but I felt liberated.

Hmmm. This is all a tad self-indulgent (hmmm, I've said "a tad" twice now, does anyone still say that phrase anymore?). Whatever. Let me just end this by thanking Napster and Operation Ivy for my musical rebirth. I would also like to thank Radiohead but that's a story for another time, kids.


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