Friday, June 19, 2009

Verdi, Wagner... Hammer: Random Memories 1

I've been reading a book called "The Lives of the Great Composers" for some reason. It's just been sitting on my shelf for about 5 years, a remnant of my "spending ludicrous amounts of money at Barnes and Noble per month in college" phase. Anyway I don't have a TV or a computer at my house anymore so when I get home at night I read. It's a pleasant habit from a bygone era. Sort of like a child chasing a circle down a street pushing it with a stick.

I started reading in the middle in the chapters on Verdi and Wagner. First off let me just say that Wagner was a huge punkface, and Verdi was a bastage (moreso Wagner). What sticks out less however is the fact that we know so much about these folks. I began to think about why, and realized that they wrote journals, they wrote "correspondence" and they kept records of their lives.

I keep wondering what will be left when all of us are gone. Will our hard drives survive us (profound I know)? Beyond that though, I've begun to realize that I'm old,(not that old, but older) and can't remember as much as I used to. Or maybe it's the fact that I don't choose to remember as much as I used to. So I've decided that sometimes when I think of a memory that's odd, I'm going to write it down, and thus begins "Random Memories with Jeff Blake".

Here goes:

As a child of maybe 12 I was sitting in my family room watching MTV with my brother Brian...illegally no doubt...and MC Hammer was having a concert on the telly. It was all these people on a beach in swimwear and a jeep, and all I can remember is the crowd chanting rhythmically and melodically with Hammer "Turn this mother out".

He repeated it so many times that I started to sing along with it (presumably as a joke, but the state of my humor at that point in time is questionable, so perhaps I was just singing because I was easily impressionable). Anyway there I was singing "Turn this Mother Out" and my brother said to me "Jeff stop singing that!".
"Why?" I said. "Because it's bad!" he said. "Really?" I said. "What does it mean?", Brian didn't have an answer. He sat there stumped in silence, pretending that he didn't care enough to respond to my silly question. So I too sat there. In my 12 year old mind I wondered long and hard, as long and hard as a 12 year old thinks about anything, what could "turn this mother out" possibly mean?

Do you know what? After all that thinking, to this day I still have no idea what "turn this mother out" could possibly mean...And that's okay.

In an addendum, I somewhat hesitantly googled "turn this mother out" and came upon this quite humorous bit of cross cultural amusement at the URL:

Hola foreros:

"I can see it in your eyes
You feel the same way I feel about you
Some call it chemistry
I call it you should be with me
Cause I know together we can really turn this mother out"

¿Qué significado tiene "mother" en esa letra, tomada de una canción por supuesto?¿o es una expresión completa el "turn this mother out"?

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So as you can see, this question has not only puzzled me, but those around the world. Therefore in the spirit of gathering a sort of diverse clearing house of ideas, I ask you friends and neighbors:

What does "turn this mother out" mean to you?