Monday, February 22, 2010

The Daily Trance

If following links along the Internet weren't bad enough in print, there's the truly addictive and zone-out inducing YouTube. I've just spent a couple of hours on what began as a simple search: curious to see what versions of "Kumbaya" might be preserved, in connection with a post I wrote on the subject at Daily Kos, expanded for my site, 60's Now. As I suspected nobody could really make much with that song, although Pete Seeger tried--as the crowd sang the melody he tried some lower register harmonies reminicent of black South African harmonies.

But through their fiendish links, I watched and listened to a couple of versions of "If I Had A Hammer," by the still incomparable Peter, Paul & Mary, and a great version by Pete Seeger with Arlo Guthrie (although he had little to do with it--it was the backup band and the backup singers that made it great.) And PPM singing "Blowing in the Wind" at a peace demo in Washington in 1971--I was there for some peace march that year, but I don't remember a podium and a program, although I do remember hearing them sing this song at the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963--it was the highlight of the program for me (sorry, Dr. King--I was a white 16 year old.)

And then somehow I happened on Paul McCartney singing "Back in the USSR" in the USSR (Red Square) and some obscure Beatles performances and studio tapes....I know I shouldn't have even started, but I let my guard down because last night I found the 1948 Superman serial I don't remember ever seeing, and which I just read about in a new book about the Superman phenomenon. I did that for an hour, but that's all, I stopped. So this time I thought I could control it.

And now I'm wasting even more time writing about it! This is the Internet!!!

Speaking of which, there is this strange thing on Kos. There's an entire underground of "trusted users" who can carry on dialogues through the comments that no one else can see. This happened on my post--there are at least 17 comments hidden to, among others, me--the person whose post it is.

But I think I know what it's about. I posted this "diary" early Saturday evening, then went out for awhile. Just before I left I saw a comment that was no longer there when I got back. It was from somebody who felt threatened by young men "of color" in his neighborhood, hanging around his car. His opinion was that his Louisville Slugger was more useful than singing Kumbaya. So my guess is there was or is a discussion about the appropriateness of this comment.

Well, gotta go--check my spam filter, run a couple of virus programs--one of which purports to erase at least 13 viruses a day. And if you care to comment here--though no one does--it won't appear right away, because my comments have been spammed (I know because the comments are in Chinese) and I have to approve them before they appear. When I get the time. Off of YouTube. Fortunately, I don't much care for today's TV shows on Hulu. I don't think.

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