Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I love snow.  And I don't particularly mind cold weather, as long as I'm experiencing it in the later part of the day.  But I hate having to get up early in cold weather to go to work.  I'm pretty miserable any time that I have to get up before noon. Getting up when it's before noon and below freezing is almost intolerable to me. That is why I sometimes think that it would be nice if humans were to hibernate through the winter.  

In my plan, the natural period of human hibernation would be December, January, and February.  We would, however, force ourselves to stay awake through December, so as not to miss the holidays.  We would continue to work for the first three weeks of December, then close down business for the year, and relax and enjoy Christmas.  And we would celebrate New Year's Eve as normal.  But instead of getting up on January 1, we would stay in bed until some time at the end of February or the beginning of March.  

As I said at the beginning of the post, though, I do love snow.  Here is the one problem with my hibernation plan—we would miss out on the snows of January and February. And so perhaps we would not sleep solidly for two months, but instead wake up enough to sit drowsily by the window and enjoy the beauty of the falling flakes.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Two Score and Ten Years Ago Today

Today has seen a lot of commemoration of the first appearance of the Beatles on American television.  In watching footage from the occasion, one is reminded that the band, particularly in their early days, was in some ways what we would today call a "boy band"—young men whose popularity depends not on the music that they play, but rather on the fact that they are found attractive by hordes of irrational, screaming teen-aged girls.   

John, Paul, George, and Ringo were, of course, much more than a boy band.  But understanding this aspect of their appeal helps to explain why there will never be, and indeed can never be, another rock band as big as the Beatles.  The Beatles came along at a time when rock music had not yet diversified into myriad genres and sub-genres, and so the Beatles could be all things to everyone. They were One Direction, and Metallica, and Sigur Ros, and Vampire Weekend, all at the same time.  No band today could be regarded as both a boy band and a serious rock band, let alone simultaneously satisfy the fans of pop rock, hard rock, art rock, blues rock, and all the rest.  

(As I wrote this, I noticed that the spell-check function on my computer was flagging the word "Beatles".)