Fri. Apr 19th, 2024
The Main Story

I was watching some Youtubes today and for some reason (probably I’d watched something similar) a two year old video of an elephant being helped out of a hole by an excavator machine popped up in my stream. It was a nice little clip, very heart-warming as the elephant appeared to turn and ‘thank’ the excavator for its rescue. This is footage that is typically called ‘human interest’ within the news media. The classic one is the fireman rescuing the cat from a tree. Or, as I was surprised to see on a MSM news channel today, a story about a library book that was returned 35 years after it was borrowed (I believe this was the New York Library). They’re not the usual doom and gloom stories of car accidents and crimes committed, emphasizing conflict within the world. We know why news media tends to focus on conflict and happenings that are out of the ordinary – because they get more audiences. Problem is, the reinforcement of these types of stories and the world views they encompass can lead to a distorted view of what’s really going on in the world. I mean, isn’t the main story that happens every day the fact that millions of people actually got along and were friendly and courteous to each other? But that’s not interesting, that’s not entertaining. Well, I disagree. Give me more stories about the elephant over stories of crime and death any day. There’s something therapeutic about them. That’s one of the things I like about social media like Youtube: the fact that, at least some of the time, I get to choose the filters I want for my preferred news media.

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I listened to a couple of my record fair purchases. They were Roses In the Snow by Emmylou Harris, and the Bryan Ferry Collection. A couple of nice mellow albums (well, the second half of the Ferry album was). Listening to Roses again, Emmylou’s first bluegrass album, was like visiting some fond old friends who had changed but were still recognisable. The album includes two songs that weren’t on the original, the Hank Williams number I’m Gonna Leave and the English traditional Root Like A Rose. They threw me a little because neither are what you would call bluegrass. I guess they were included because they were recorded around the same time. Good songs, though, especially Root. The album was initially difficult for me to get into. There were a number of ‘Jesus’ songs like Jordan and The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn. And where were the drums? With traditional bluegrass there weren’t any. But the strangeness wore off with time and familiarity with the music. In that way Emmylou was very much a path finder for me. This album introduced me to bluegrass, just as songs on previous albums introduced me to the songs of Gram Parsons and so many others.

That louche lounge lizard Bryan Ferry was also, in his own way, a trailblazer for me. He and Roxy Music‘s sound was startling in the Seventies. The only other person close to them was David Bowie (oh and maybe Lou Reed at times). And those early solo cover songs (what Ferry called ‘ready mades’) were wildly original. His version of Dylan‘s Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall completely revamps the original, giving it a campy glam edge. The video is just as arresting. It’s a good selection of his solo stuff, but it really should include The Price of Love and This Is Tomorrow, two big hits here in Australia at the time. I’m still processing the last track, The Way You Look Tonight, wherein Ferry time travels back to the Nineteen-Twenties and becomes Fred Astaire. Swinging!

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Jihyo: not an elephant

It doesn’t seem too big a stretch to go from Bryan Ferry to the love lives of Kpop idols, so let’s go there. A few outlets, Allkpop, Twitter, etc, are reporting that Twice Jihyo, the group’s leader, is ‘dating’ a hunky sports dude called Yun Sung Bin. Have to admit, I’m always surprised when it turns out Twice members actually have private lives. We Onces get so little of that kind of info. Anyway, I’m happy for Jihyo, who we know had been in an earlier publicized relationship with boyband idol Kang Daniel. Now I wanna know if something like this will surface about yesterday’s Birthday girl, Twice Mina. She seems to spend all of her private time playing computer games like Minecraft or making Lego figurines. But she’s so fine, it would be a crime if she wasn’t getting any lovin’. Maybe would-be suitors are put off by that menacing-looking older brother of hers? C’mon Mina, I don’t care who it is, just get down to it – throw me a bone!

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