Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire


The song was playing in the shop. It strummed from high speakers, working its way into the ears, mind, memory, source of us. While it continued, the sun broke through, lighting half the space, making me notice instantly, before the baristas chirped and incoming customers came in fresh.

There was a mythic quality about it, a moment of youth, of being really young, knowing nothing but the atmospherics of the immediate surround and not of the wider circle, the serpentine, the bog path.

There was a counterpoise that made the innocence stand out even more, causing shine: a flicker that this was NOT a moment 'frozen' in psychologically hopeful explanation for an nuclear annihilation a microsecond into its inception.

Not coincidentally, that irony isn't lost on the makers of Fallout 3, whose marketing includes retro recordings quite at odds with its apparent post-apocalyptic game world. They've used the Ink Spots' song, first released in 1941 -- if you recall a year of Pearl Harbor, Nazi occupation of Europe, the air Blitz over Britain, German invasion of the Soviet Union, and Japanese imperialist conquest of Southeast Asia and voluminous island populations of The Philippines and the Dutch East Indies.

Yet the 40s strike us as 'nostalgia'.

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