(Alternate title: Fun with YouTube. Written December 12, 2012)
I just now saved an email message to an HTML file for posterity, and used one of my usual file-naming structures. beginning with the date arranged like this: 20121212. It was fun typing that.
And the world has not ended yet, and probably won’t on any other day this month, despite any Mayan prophecy. I look forward to 13-13-13. It will come in another solar system, where they have fifteen months per year, and legend there says the universe will end.
Hey, I just realized that Y2K will not happen again until Y3K. And dates like 2002-02-02, 2003-03-03, … 2012-12-12 — with a zero in the second digit of the year — occur in 12 annual bursts only once each millennium. Last time it was 1001-01-01, 1002-02-02, … 1012-12-12. In more frequent but still seldom cycles we get similarly cute dates for twelve years in a row … 1901 – 1912, etc. Then there are the ones that come once every eleven years: 2101-01-01, 2102-02-02, 2103-03-03. Pick a cycle to enjoy thinking about, then think about what to do other than think about it.
I had the honor of living through all 12 of the most recent millennial series, and this X012-12-12 today is the last one for 989 years, until 3001-01-01. I think I should celebrate. Maybe we should celebrate all such special occasions that uniquely (or seldom) mark the passage of time.
Today I’ll crank up (there’s a dated but timeless phrase) the boom box and load the Pink Floyd CD (“album,” in my time … there’s that time thing again) Dark Side of the Moon, and put track 3 (Time – 1994 London Concert performance; YouTube) on repeat while I do my morning routine exercise and meditation program, which I just started today, because, well … it’s past due time to do that, and listening to Pink Floyd reminds me of the days when I saw a future for me in yoga.
Ever since Ecclesiastes (my favorite book of the Bible, even as an atheist), we’ve had a nifty poetic way to say that there is a time for everything. Darn-it, I don’t have The Byrds’ song Turn! Turn! Turn (To Everything there is a Season) – check out the dancing in this 1966 video. I should go buy the Forest Gump Soundtrack (let this play in the background while you do something you don’t feel like doing; you’ll have fun), where they wisely featured this Byrd’s piece of iconic time-celebrating music, along with something like a soundtrack for a large part of the first decades of my life, timeless oldies. The greatest movies have the greatest music.
Maybe I should learn to start downloading music instead of relying on that age-old, dated technology of CD and radio with an antenna. It’s just that I am reluctant to let a computer, Microsoft Windows, a mouse, a keyboard, and a video display be the gateway to my music collection. Any $100 boom box plays CD’s great for decades, and no hard disk to lose, and to backup, and to fear being infected by the latest malware. Sure, sure, I’m better off downloading. Yeah. Right. And no, I don’t need to carry around a thousand songs in a pocket-sized pod wired to my head. I just think about a song and it’s stuck in my head all frigging day. And there’s a damned near flawless CD player in the car, too.
I even still have a dual-cassette boom box. It cost $50 about 30 years ago. And … get this: both cassette drives still work! Vive le General Electric. As long as it keeps working, I’m keeping my cassette tapes, though I very rarely play any of them. JC Superstar now and then.
After twenty minutes of Pink Floyd’s Time, it would be great to switch to The Byrds. And I can! Thanks be to the gods and to our generation in the evolution of civilization, we have the Internet, wherein we have the miracle of YouTube to deliver an old song on demand, without even downloading it, and not just read the lyrics, not just hear the music, but SEE a great, “live” performance by the original artist, mop-headed and all, and sing along with them!
That’s another Time Event Celebration Tradition to adopt: the songs must be iconic for sing-along, that is, easy to sing and easy to remember at least the choruses by just about anybody born since the Korean War.
Hey, Happy Birthday is a timeless hit used for an annual time-based celebration. Christians should have it sung to them twice a year, unless they were reborn on their birthday.
(Geez that last line is funny. Sometimes I write a sentence, thinking it merely droll. Then, I come across it during editing and crack up laughing as if it were Louie CK on evolution. Yes, I edit this crap. How else can I stop myself from going into a manic rant on what I really think of blog readers; that you are just practice targets for my writing, like a bull’s eye to an archer. He doesn’t care about the target. He just wants to win a prize or bring down a deer, later, doing something that matters to him. You don’t matter. You’re just scribblement fodder for something important I may write someday, unlikely as that is. But still please don’t tell anybody I crack myself up.)
But getting back to singing on special times, or for special times, even if your singing is terrible — as evidenced to everyone hearing your rendition of Happy Birthday — the celebration is truly more fun if you sing the songs, not just listen to them. You gotta sing it.
Can you seriously say that you get through a year without singing at least one Winter Solstice song? Not even Jingle Bells? What are you? Anti-Time? I suppose you just move your lips without any sound at the birthday party.
I’m an atheist who does not do Xmas, but I do Jingle Bells (YouTube rendition really really sung by real animals! – HILARIOUS!) , Deck the Halls (the YouTube animals at it again – splitting human sides) and Oh Night Divine (just because it is so fun to sing, and so beautiful … and I can make any night divine that I want to, with or without a religion … and I do it incredibly well in the shower — when there is nobody else in the house).
What about dancing for time-treasuring celebrations? Some old holidays and weddings have traditional dances. Thus I hereby inaugurate The Twist (watch this YouTube video dancing anthology on The Twist before you die — it even has a clip of The Beaver twisting – with Chubby Checker’s immortal song) for special days that are merely rare or unique occurrences on the calendar. I’ll include February 29 in that category.
(For my favorite Twist dance scene in the movies watch this clip from Pulp Fiction, with hottie Uma Thurman and lucky John Travolta aided by Chuck Berry. When I was married I used to hate myself when I thought about Uma.)
For celestial events, which are traditional time-centric special things, my inner Pagan will enjoy outdoor celebrations of full moons, meteor showers, eclipses, solstices, equinoxes, and Halloween. For these I could ad-lib a personalized sort of waltz, naked, in front of a bonfire, to the song Colour My World by Chicago, because it begins with the line, “As time goes on.”
Instead of the object of the song’s love being a romantic partner, I’ll use it as a devotional to the appropriate god or goddess associated with the event or the celestial object. “Sweet Diana lighting the snow so bright this night as only the Moon might, join now in coloring my dark world with the passion of Bacchus, the love of Venus, and the assurance of powers unseen working in my favor because I said these things in earnest.”
As an absolutist celebrant, I would sing the song a-capella in the light of the bonfire, with nothing artificial, no electric or gas-powered light, no man-made fabric, no leather, no footwear, no jewelry, except things like necklaces of shells or bones, and bracelets of braided grape-vine. Not even a watch, for the sky is my timepiece on that day.
You think I’m kidding about all this, right? No. Honestly, genuinely, I believe that if we all did this kind of thing as often as such times arise, when in solitude or with others (I prefer the solitudinal way — and I think I just invented the word solitudinal), we would be partaking of and contributing to the good and the beautiful of the world, and we need more of that, desperately. We can use these “holiday” time-timing events as reasons to celebrate life, love, Nature, and each other. It is always a good time to do that. Well, at least to celebrate Nature.
Today, 12-12-12, I will light my big fat two-wicked apple and spice aromatic candle, and at 12:12 PM (so sorry I missed the earlier 12:12 AM moment), begin to let it burn all day until my eyes sting from the odor-causing chemicals, and immerse myself in the songs, sing with them, dance to them, and eat artery clogging foods, maybe donuts, ice cream, cream cheese, Tootsie Rolls, and too many hard-boiled eggs.
Seriously, folks: take time to smell the music. AT LEAST do the Pink Floyd part (from the album, with lyrics). It is such a hot piece of timeless art.
By the way … Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? Does anybody really care?
I do, because it’s time to get off the computer and out into the woods where I most belong, all the time.