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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #186
The Aging Process
David Gunn

As a famous plagiarizer once said, "The New York Times, they are a-changin'." All right, so he didn't cop the original words as much as he embellished them. The fact remains: the world is changing. At the Times, for instance, English is fast becoming a second language, thanks to an influx of journalistic recidivists who, as they were taught in school, write what they know -- but they know only words that are popular in boondock doggerel and seedy limericks. The music of modern television programs, once the bailiwick of competent tunesmiths schooled in the art of thematic legerdemain, has become the province of buzz-haircutted technologists with an ear for the squawking of damaged refrigerator coils. A dissipating ozone layer 18 miles above Antarctica seems intent upon turning the frosty tundra below into a 65 2,280-hole par 10,000 golf course with a water hazard the size of Sri Lanka. An ill-defined trend in dietary preferences is gradually converting former tossed salad aficionados into meatatarians. And, speaking personally, as I sit here before Mr. Microphone on a cool, listless afternoon, unable to remember what the purpose of my words are at this moment, a final late autumnal zephyr blows the last bit of grounded warmth off of the Vermontical hillocks with all of the disdain of a flea circus on an anemic Great Dane. They, and I, are involved in the abstruse business of growth, replacement and destruction which is the aging process.

Trapped in a grumpy bag of protoplasm, blotchy epidermis and lymph vessels of anniversarial vintage that doesn't want to mature, much less age, I -- like the Times' linotype operator, the Brady Bunch musical hookologist, the oxygenated allotrope wisps of the Southern Hemisphere, the Vegans For Venison and, even, though I failed to mention him before because of a faulty circuit in a short term memory synapse, Beano Bengaze, who would rather be playing racquetball with Weasel Slayer than sifting through imponderable clues to the authenticity of the universe -- am ready for this aging cycle to reverse course.

The aging process may also adversely affect mechanical devices, manifest in many of our recording gadgetry as they begin to exhibit the ravages of the passage of time. This very microphone carrying my voice could, without warning, cut out at any moment. And to think that a mere tune-up from a licensed behavior modification clinic could forestall such mechanical decline, if only it were paid for by a grant-in-aid or charitable donation from you, our listening audient.

All that said, it's interesting to note what one part of this elderfication process, i.e. maturationism, has done to one part of the aggregate, i.e. music composition. To compare a representative early work with a representative late work is indeed helpful, if only to pad the number of the show's tunes by two. However, it's my hope to foist as many examples of thematic aging by assorted notemongers on this program -- the 186th episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, itself an older but wisenheimerer half-cousin of its ancestor, the K&D Sesquihour - as is possible, an act that would be impossible without the extended LP collection of Kalvos.