World War III Radio: Sonic Youth – EVOL (1986)

What was 1986? Where was I? Who was I? That is all going to depend on whose version of the story you believe. Could be my story. Could be the other me. Could actually be the truth, but I seriously doubt it. It’s hard to say what’s true anymore. My best guess is that it’s some version of the events, though maybe not chronologically based, along with an array of anecdotes that my be spot-on-true, true but embellished, utter bullshit, or a combination of the three. My memory just isn’t that good anymore. There have been too many events, way too much bullshit, and way too much time between then and now.

I do remember this vibe though. I remember this mood, and I remember this sound. Sonic Youth created the soundscape tapestry, or rather photographed it, and that became the backdrop for all the rest that was going on. They captured the time period. They nailed the chaos, spot-on. Of course they could have never imagined today’s chaos. I don’t believe anyone could have imagined 2022 or what it may come to sound like. People are managing now, but nobody really saw this except for a handful of dystopian science-fiction writers. It’s all just too fucking weird.

Of course we may have, by 1986, already reached the point of information saturation where anything could come true. The point where you could manifest the existence of any horror simply by having the imagination to conjure it and the sheer gall to say the words aloud.

But of course that would just be magical thinking, wouldn’t it? Like when Dan Akroyd’s Ray Stantz in Ghostbusters thought of The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It came into his head and hence came into being. But the world doesn’t work that way, does it? It’s probably a lot more stupid and random. Probably. Who knows.

Enough carrying on though. There are things to do. Jobs to job. Work to work. All that stuff. And there is still the heat. It’s a heavy, diabolical heat. It’s got it’s own gravity field. It’s brutish and horrible and cruel. It’s July in New York City. It’s no fun. Trust me on this one. It’s no fun at all.

Still thinking about 1986. Probably in some self-centered, self-involved flight of fancy, pretending to be someone I wasn’t or would never become. Innocent enough kid stuff from someone who should have already begun figuring out some of the identity questions but got hung up in costume and make-up, trying on new identities. Still innocent enough. It’s not that my intent was to deceive for any malevolent ends. It’s just that the truth still frightened me. And we’re not going to get into the truth right now.

Not right now.

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