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October 16, 2004

This Is the Way the World Ends: Not with a Bang, with a Coo

One of my students complained, yesterday, when I informed him that, if he wanted back the remote control car that I had just taken away in the final minutes of the day, he would have to walk down the stairs with the class and then back up with me. Apparently, he had to walk home, and this extra bit of exercise would be just a bit too much, making him "collapse halfway home." Two relevant flashbacks:

  • The feel of jeans almost literally frozen to my legs after the two-mile bike ride to the junior high school in the dead of winter
  • The day my mother had to leave work to bring me dry clothes because the same bike ride ended with me saturated, just about requiring the janitor to follow me around with a mop

In a fantastic rant, Michele Catalano pinpoints the moment when Western Civilization decided to smother itself to death:

You know when the world went to hell? When Coca Cola decided to teach the world to sing. The second that commercial came out, a death knell sounded across the playgrounds and schoolyards of America. Parents everywhere, suckered in by the feel-good lyrics and hand-holding sappiness of the commercial felt an awakening of sorts. All those who missed the hippie train of the 60's were going to jump on the Free to be You and Me train of the 70's, and ride it hard.

Ride it hard, but with fifteen layers of padding.

ADDENDUM:
In a confluence of thought and scenery, as I put this post together, I just happened to catch a bit of the lyrics of "Apple a Day" from David Wilcox's excellent CD Into the Mystery (of which I have an autographed copy):

When you get there life is easy
Winning every game you play

But every day is just the same
Nothing lost and nothing gained
Same old re-run on some child-proof stage
So they say: Vacation in Eden
Bring an apple a day

(Dust in the Light, where angry rants lay down with Christian folk-rock.)

Posted by Justin Katz at October 16, 2004 11:22 AM
Culture