Monday, April 25, 2011

"London calling, yes I was there too/An' you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!"

The Song: "London Calling," The Clash. Words & music by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. Track 1 of London Calling, 1979.
When/how acquired: Bootleg cassette, c. 1981; purchased CD, c. 1990
Listen/watch here.

On any given day, London Calling is the one album I'd need on a desert island. It's so thoroughly interwoven into my life that I don't remember the first time I heard it, but I suspect it was in Norfolk Academy's art classroom, which doubled as a dressing room for school theater productions. A copy of the CD was one of several stolen from my car in Montreal in 2005, and it's the only CD I actually replaced, even though I'd uploaded it to my iTunes.

You're not going to get any snark about the royal wedding from me, although I doubt I'll wake up early to watch. (I'm supposed to be in New York on Friday. I do plan to be in New York on Friday, but it will depend on what my eye looks like on Wednesday morning. No, I've already explained too much.)

Anyway, I believe in marriage, I love weddings, and I have no objections to the Windsors. They work hard, and I don't envy their lives for a moment. I'm glad Americans don't have royalty, but I see its value, especially as the historical artifact it's become. Modern-day royalty are like ghosts among us, reminders of both the good and bad of how things used to be. I love that Kate Middleton's parents used to be flight attendants, and that the future heirs to the throne of England will have that as part of their heritage as well as the first Duke of Marlborough. And no one can deny that the wedding's been great for the global economy, from tourism to magazine publishing to whatever factories (probably in central America) make those tea towels.

It's been much too long since I traveled to England. It's been much too long since I took any kind of real trip. Invitations are welcome, especially if they come with plane tickets.

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