Now on TikTok, in a historic first. I spotted an imported vodka at the liquor store called “Prince Igor” that I thought would be more apt as the rocket fuel for this, but ultimately went with a domestic brand, to keep my money out of Russian coffers. Would’ve thrown in a disclaimer here about how I meant no disrespect to Banff, except that nobody in Banff is actually from Banff. It’s a tourist town, where people might be conceived but are never born or raised. Last time I was there, half the town was Australian.
Yeah, you read that right. In my defense, I was travelling on a country road off the main highway where eighteen-wheelers dare not tread and is generally not considered an important economic artery by any stretch (I could’ve just taken the highway to the beach, but where’s the fun in that?). At that particular hour there were no other vehicles in sight, the only sign of non-corvine motile life being the swarm of flies I saw laying their eggs on that dead skunk a few clicks back. So I figured I could probably get away with slowing the vehicle down to a near-stop for the five seconds it would take to unlock my phone and hit the big Shazam button.
That song playing on the radio was one I’d never heard before. Couldn’t put my finger on what it was about it that piqued my interest. Perhaps it was the atmospheric quasi-Harrisonian chord progression, or the harmonic interplay between the guitar and vocal lines, or the artful use of what initially sounded to me like the choir setting on a synth (but was probably just plain ol’ backup vocals) towards the end. It certainly wasn’t the main hook, which sounded like an afterthought in the songwriting process, like something one of the band members let his five-year-old kid have a go at writing because he had no more fucks left to give. The inappropriate Frankie Valli impression employed by the lead singer during said hook only increased its Whiskey Tango Foxtrot quotient. But I still had to know what that song was in spite of its warts, and had precious little faith in the likelihood of the on-air talent’s announcement of such after the song was over.
I wouldn’t find out what the song was until after I arrived at the beach, as there was no cellular service in the area I was in when I initially Shazammed it. But once the result came in, it turned out to be an evidently lesser-known hit from a Vancouver quintet I’ve heard of. A band that broke up well before I started growing hair on my nether regions, yet seems to get a significant amount of airplay on this station in particular. Mere days ago I became aware of the fact that the drummer of said band has been dealing with some unfortunate medical issues lately. Not sure if that’s the reasoning, or merely because the program director is a fanboy.
I shall be returning to school this fall to formally train in the medical sciences. The scope of what I’ve been doing these last couple of years has revolved around this line of work, so it seems like a natural fit. At first I appreciated the fact that I still had a job to do regardless of whether or not a provincewide COVID-19 lockdown was in effect, but along the way I had the pleasure of working with some actual professionals in the field, finding myself greatly admiring the fact that their culture values things like compassion and lovingkindness. A complete about-face from the vicious cutthroat slash-and-burn world of information technology.
Don’t get me wrong, I love building web apps. But to me, building an app has always been more of an endeavour than a job. Something one willfully devotes a great deal of time and elbow grease to simply because doing so provides joy and contentment, like a vintage Harley Davidson being restored in the garage. The presence of a corporate manager constantly breathing down my neck about how the Harley must be street-legal by a particular date always killed the joy for me. It felt like being told I have only three minutes to get my rocks off during a sexual encounter.
Unfortunately, our health care system is in shambles. A lot of essential medical personnel have either retired early or entered a different line of work. Not just because of the stress of dealing with the pandemic (which is taxing enough on its own), but also because of the psychotic behaviour of certain misguided souls who get all their medical information from Karen from Facebook and react to any request to get vaccinated as if it’s a demand that they cut off their penis. We all know the type…
However, I’m certainly no stranger to people exhibiting abnormal ways of thinking driven by fetishized superstitions and old wives’ tales. The formative years of my childhood were spent listening to my grandfather proclaim young-earth creationism the Truth with a capital T, denouncing those geologists who have actually studied the earth and heartily beg to differ as harlots of Satan (his arguably disturbing obsession with what consenting gay men choose to do with their own genitals warrants a separate blog post). A decade or so later, my mother found instant validation for her hatred of my teenage self’s favourite bands in then-current conspiracy theories about satanic backmasking, and would hear nothing of her validation being built on a pile of sensationalist horseshit that was designed to exploit the ignorance of white suburban mothers and scare them into giving more money to the church. This is to say nothing of the fact that I used to work for somebody who eventually went insane and stabbed a guy. In part because she fell for that silly old li(n)e about God having a plan for her life. Thus I’m pretty sure I can handle whatever the cultists throw at me. I’ve been told (recently) that I have the patience of a saint.