Thursday, April 14, 2011

The theme song for this blog

April2011Badgekeep calm and carry on

Having lots to write about, but not enough time or energy, plus a commitment to post every day on this blog, results in this musical interlude. At least now this blog has a theme song, even if it's one that I've loved ever since I first heard it more than 20 years ago.

From Wikipedia:
(Nothing But) Flowers  is a song by the rock band Talking Heads. It appears on the band's final album Naked, released in 1988. It was also released as a single accompanied by a successful music video, which featured innovative uses of typography by graphic designer Tibor Kalman. In addition to the band, the song features Kirsty MacColl on backup vocals and The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. It peaked at number 79 in the UK Singles Chart.
The lyrics describe a world where modern progress has been reverted back to a more natural state, due either to a political movement or by a necessity, such as dealing with overpopulation. While the protagonist may have once been in favor of the transformation, he finds himself now missing the modern conveniences and culture of the industrialized age.
Yeah, that's me. I actually like modern consumer society, but I know it's not sustainable, and it makes me sad that "this, too, shall pass." So, I've resolved to work to make the best possible sustainable future possible, while knowing that it might not happen. Yeah, that's a Crazy Eddie for you.

I'll see if I'm up to a Detroit news linkspam or another installment of Contemplating the Hedgehog tomorrow.


  1. Well now! I never had much consciousness of this Talking Heads song. I listened to them a bit on the radio in their early days, but never cared enough about the band to buy any of their albums because I was more into punk. This version with the repetitive African rhythms, is better than the TED Talk take you posted a link to in your (First!) comment on Kunstler's blog (7/6/19). One of the commenters said that one gave them the feel of being on a cruise ship, and I'd haveta agree.

    I didn't know your blog had a theme, but this tune would be appropriate to it, which is in keeping with the "World Made By Hand" concept. You musta read "The World Without Us" eh Pinku? I finally got around to it a few years ago, after long having it on my mental "must read" list. As I ride my bicycle through civilisation, I often envision what the massive man-made structures such as paved roads, highway bridges, apartment towers and the confined, controlled banks of the river I live beside, are gonna look like 500 years from now, when there's not enough money, energy or perhaps even people to keep up on their complexity.

    Y'know, "intelligent life" as it's currently defined, as in "having the ability to deliberately manipulate the natural environment on a massive scale" might not be such a good idea. We sure have fucked shit up in the last 10,000 years since we stopped being mostly hunter-gatherers -- even moreso in the last 500 after the Columbian Expansion set off a wave of inter-hemispheric extinctions. How many hundreds of millions of years did the Earth tick along pretty smartly without "intelligent" life, as lumbering beasts roared and shat and fucked and bit each other to death? Those dumb animals might not have built World Trade Centres or written books of religion, but they lived on a planet that was lush, without toxic chemicals like PCBs. (As a central Michigander, you'd be hip to the 1970s Dow contamination, molecules which "World Without" says will outlast anything else that humanity has created.)

    Even after Extinction-Level Events such as massive asteroid strikes or Deccan Trap vulcanism, the unintelligent beast survivors crawled out of the smoking ruination, dusted themselves off and in a few 10s of millions of years reformed a verdant web of life. If humanity collapses enough so that nothing is left except those flowers that Byrne sees, it wouldn't be a bad thing for Gaia. Without much luck, "intelligent" life won't evolve again. It didn't for how many billion years before, y'know. A fluke. Nature may not go down that dead end again.

    1. You and I had the opposite reactions to Talking Heads. I've been a big fan for nearly 40 years. I was such a big fan that a friend of mine took me to see "Stop Making Sense" for my birthday when it came out. As for K-Dog saying the song reminded him of being on a cruise ship, who am I to argue with him?

      I haven't read "The World Without Us," but I have watched the TV version. I've also read "After Man" and its sequel "Man after Man," and read and watched "The Future is Wild." I'm quite familiar with post-human speculative biology.

      The assessment of intelligent life I use involves both self-awareness and the ability to communicate it, but not necessarily the ability to manipulate the environment through tools. That way, cetaceans can qualify, not just primates.

      BTW, I'm originally a Californian, not a Michigander, and consider myself an adopted southeast Michigander, not a mid-Michigander. I once lived so far south in the state I was on the border between the Lansing-Jackson and Toledo media markets. That written, I'm quite aware of Dow Chemical's dubious contributions to the environment, including dioxin.

      Those aren't as bad as The Great Dying, which really screwed up life on Earth. I'm not anticipating anything that bad. Instead, I'm expecting humans will recreate the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), although with more extinctions because of habitat destruction.

      As for intelligent life, I'm more optimistic about it evolving again. So is Greer the Archdruid.