Sunday, July 6, 2008

What Is And What Never Will Be

What comes to mind when you hear this song?

Maybe it was the first time you heard it. You were six years old and you were poolside, waiting patiently for adult swim to come to an end. You were watching some paled fatass carefully waddle around the water, pleased that his hair would remain dry. Page’s riffs came without warning through the loudspeaker radio, roaring like a pissed circus tiger that had escaped its cage after being beaten one times too many.
By the second verse, you were wiser to the bullshit. You knew it, you felt it all around, engulfing your everyday existence.
And upon Bonham’s boisterous drum outro, you soared into the pool, landing an inspired cannonball that drenched the fat guy. You may have forgotten the tears he had shed and Dad’s subsequent roar, but the fuller movie magic of that moment will be yours forever.

Perhaps it was the 700th time you heard it. It came on the disc player one May evening, back in high school, when you were cruising around town in your shitty car because you had nothing better to do with your time. While you carried the rock n’ roll persona — an apathetic attitude, a 2.1 grade point average and a Ramones haircut to go along with your Ramones t-shirt, the only CD you owned was the second disc of the Led Zeppelin box set, which you stole from your friend’s house.
Right when Robert Plant had begun the “oooh-yeah” succession, the traffic light, twenty feet down the street, went yellow. In that definitive fight-or-flight moment, you gave it your all. Your miraculous vehicle sailed like a ragged Spartan, breezing past the intersection at around 50 miles per hour —probably, easily, ten miles over the speed limit. You had just enough time to watch the light blink red in your rear-view mirror. “Fucking badass,” you whispered to yourself, suddenly urged to roll into the Adult Book Ranch.

It’s too bad that neither of these scenarios are associated with this song for you or any person in modern society. If you are reading this blog, then you listen to this song and you see that fucking car.
You hear the chorus, and you can see the dust fly as Grandad’s slightly souped-up beast drifts over a dune. You hear Page’s crunching solo and you see the parked product glowing in the orange stage light, smirking with the satisfaction of a successful stunt run.
It wasn’t your fault. You just happened to see the commercial that one time, and as a result, it literally burned through your memory bank and replaced your livid memory with its product.
These things happen all the time, it’s okay. This is just the multinational corporation’s response to the rebel rock, which had raged against it since the beginning; literally, never had a bigger middle finger been flashed. You were just blinded by the light.

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