How "Blue Collar" changed my life, and other love songs.
This morning I mentioned to my Lady-love that most of the wierd-assed references I pull out of my poor demented brain are song references. This morning it was Jonathon Coulton’s “Re: Your brains” that spurred the whole thing.
The very first song I heard that truly struck an emotional chord with me above and beyond the actual song’s content was Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s classic, “Blue Collar.“ (A sample from LastFM is here.) I love the bluesy feel, the sauntering base line, the metronomic drums, but the lyrics themselves have always set me off to that other place where I can indulge myself in my “deep thinking” and re-sort my thoughts and priorities. It’s like the blogging without having to show off how shallow and pretentious I’ve become.
I’ve been very much in a “Blue Collar” frame of mind lately. Rather than explain what that means to me, I’ll display it by creating a new category.
One of the things over the past few weeks that’s been eating up vast swaths of my free time has been rediscovering a column put out from Gwynne Dyer. His name popped up in Google News and I found that the Hamilton Spectator carries his columns.
Who is Gwynne Dyer and why should anyone care? Gwynne (or, if you prefer, Mr. Dyer) remains one of the smartest, most inciteful, outward looking pundits I’ve ever had the honour to read. I grew up getting my news from The National on CBC - preferentially with Knowlton Nash. One of the really-bright talking heads they had on was Gwynne Dyer who knew military strategy inside and out.
He’s not always right. He’s ready to admit when he doesn’t know. He has always struck me as an honest guy with a lot of insight from genuinely looking at the world with a global view of historical perspective.
He’s based in London now and he still sees the world at large. National governments the world over would probably do well to listen to his thoughts. He’s always been as sharp with the whip as he was with a compliment.
So, one of the things I’ve been up to over the past couple weeks has been to re-calibrate my world view again. You know the feeling you get when you’re watching the news thinking, “There’s got to be more than this.“ There probably is more than what’s getting presented.
Gwynne’s thoughts have taken me to Africa, Great Britain, all over the Middle East, through some strange place called the White House, and this odd little country called Canada. He’s brought up some ideas I simply need to revisit.
And I shall. “Blue Collar.“ It stands for that four in the morning deep thinking.