Living with…Arrested Development…for a week

Measuring time…

10 minutes

10 minutes is how long it took to set the tone for the week.  Early in the week that weather was quite nice really, so I was out on the trampoline with P.  She’d devised a new game which in polite terms involves a combination of bouncing alternately on feet and backside while counting down.  She has a short but very descriptive name for the game.

Anyway, after several rounds of this we were counting down and hitting the number 5 when a sharp stabbing pain left me sitting.  I believe they call it a groin strain in the football world.  <wince>.  And that set the tone for the week – movements accompanied with winces.

And the lesson?  At my <cough> <cough> age more effort on the warm-ups.

10 minutes that set the tone.

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38 minutes 26 seconds

My first choice of music for the week was the ubiqutous Eminem – with sales topping 90 million over the last 12 years surely he had to be worth a week.  38 minutes 26 seconds later The Marshall Mathers LP lay at the bottom of our wheely bin, my only regret being that you couldn’t fully recycle it and at least claim some worth back.

Music was OK, but I’m not really sure I needed to know how much he both hates and loves his mother and all the things that he’s going to do about it.  Maybe I should have a higher tolerance level, but all I could think of when listening to Eminem was John Lennon’s white piano (the Imagine one)  that we saw at Liverpool the other week,and the messages of peace and love that he tried to build into his music.  John Lennon was far from perfect, and you’re never going to agree with everything but it’s 38 minutes 26 seconds I can’t recycle and claim some worth back either.

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47 years, 9 months, 5 days

It’s often said that people remember where they were when they heard that JF Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas. I can honestly claim not to have been in existence (just) and so can quip when asked – where were you when JFK died?  I was in a history lesson.

But it’s more likely that someone told me as part of talking about that big country across the water and everything it did, and more than likely I said “Tell me about that landing on the moon thing again.  Now that does sound interesting…”

But there is a date and an event that I clearly recall and we are counting down such that it is now…

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9 years, 11 months, 16 days

…since 9/11. In a fortnight’s time we will be flooded again with the memories of an event that changed us and changed our world.  I’m not going to pontificate about the wider stuff, I think that’s bigger than any of us can understand or try to communicate.  That day a little something inside each one of us changed.  How we saw the world.  How we saw ourselves.

I was at work, in one of those numerous meetings that snare you and seem so vitally important at the time, but for the love of me I can’t remember a thing about now.  Someone knocked at the door and just said “Something’s happened”.

We walked in to the main office and there frozen on a screen was that image.  A skyscraper with an enormous gash in the side and what looked like a plane.  Everyone was trying to find out.  Our internet had frozen as across the organisation people stopped to find out.  This was the only image we had in our office.  Something was happening in New York.

Like the band on the Titanic we went back to the normality of our meeting but we were distracted and it soon wound up.  Not much got done that afternoon as we tried to piece together the horrible events.

That evening we had an appointment in Birmingham – there was some serious stuff going on for us at the time, and a good friend joined me and we chatted and prayed around the wonderful lakes at the university.  I still remember now how beautiful an evening it was.  In the same way that my memory of the scenes in New York was how beautiful a day it was, and the disparity between that and the horror.

I’d forgotten until earlier this week, that we flew to Turkey on September 13th 2011 and there were so many hesitations as to whether we should go or not.  It almost seems ridiculous now but you have to remember that whether we liked it or not something inside each one of us changed 9 years, 11 months, 16 days ago.  How we saw the world.  How we saw ourselves.

We still flew to Turkey and had a wonderful time.

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3 years, 5 months, 2 days

is the time it took the American hip hop group Arrested Development to be offered a recording contract, and hence the name of their first album.  It was released in 1992.  They’ve obviously come on as a sub after 38 minutes and 26 seconds the star player having disgraced himself and got sent back to the changing room.  But they ably acquit themselves!

Aspirationally, Arrested Development’s school of hip hop punches a little higher.

“Space ain’t man’s final frontier. Man’s final frontier is the soul,
guided by someone more powerful than any human being
Someone felt but never seen.”

Eminem just wants to **** his mom.

The album is rooted in everyday life but then covers everything from spirituality to identity, to organised religion to racism – connecting their music back to African roots and calling on the elements – it certainly aspires!  Musically, they try to evoke a more African style and I feel that is generally successful in making them stand out from other hip hop.  Maybe at times it comes across a little preachy and too worthy but you can’t fault them for trying and there are moments of genius.

The particular gems on it for me are the three singles People Everyday, Mr Wendall and the brilliant Tennessee.  So that’s the featured video, although I’d ignore the hair and clothes, I’m sure they’ve moved on since then:

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All in all, a different form of hip hop with a very different message from gangsta.  I unashamedly enjoyed it.

You might also want to check out:

Living with…Jay-z…for a week

Living with…Public Enemy…for a week.

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Twotes of the week

@OctoberJones: Packs of Nurofen Plus may contain anti psychotic drugs. Your move Kinder Surprise.

@danieltownes: i just saw the headline Steve Jobs resigns as apple CEO. I thought it said “redesigns apple CEO”

@GreySkyThinking: Tip of the Day: If you’re taking the bus home, get off two stops early. It’s much nearer the pub.

@gtdguy: Being organized simply means that where something is matches what it means to you. No more, no less.

@MooseAllain: Following the success of the vuvuzela it has just been announced that the official wind instrument of the UK 2012 Olympics will be the sigh.

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