Tag Archives: cold war

David Bowie – Heroes



Berlin Remnants of the Cold War 2012

Like many people and all of my friends, I’m sad and upset and unsettled by the death of David Bowie.

I was not a ‘fan’ in the usual sense of the word, but I think in some sense we are all Bowie fans – those of us who value creativity, progressive ideas, humanity. His music expressed all of these and more.

I love many of his songs but the one that touches me most is Heroes. The sentiment of the song is wonderful – “We can be heroes, just for one day” – and indeed we can. The music is soaring and dramatic and makes me shiver.

But also, the song expresses for me what it was like to grow up in that strange time  called the Cold War. The song spoke to me then, as it does now, of living in the shadow of politics and folly yet being able to rise above it, and love and live.

The song (and his 3 Berlin albums, Low, Heroes and Lodger) are my favourites … but can you have favourites among such a stupendous output by such a mercurial, creative, restless genius?

In any case these albums made me want to go to Berlin, and in time I did and it stays one of my favourite cities. I suppose he kind of put the city on the map for someone like me, living  in the depths of Canada… it came in to my consciousness as a place… this was probably good for Berlin, for the people there not being forgotten.

I’ve had Heroes on loop for 2 days now.

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2012 Mayan doom and viruses

2012 started pretty well but has very quickly lapsed into that old standby, the crippling cold that goes to every part of the body, stays there and totally ruins one’s life for a period of time. Getting up and going to work hacking and spittling, then managing to pull myself together for a few hours before going home and collapsing;  meeting the dog’s guilt-inducing eyes … “I Can’t do a 3 hour ramble through the park, we will just go around the block, ok???”  Making it up to her by letting her sleep in the bed with me, where she selfishly adjusts herself during the night and i find myself hanging off the side of the bed while she sprawls luxuriously.

So, am I expecting a Mayan-style 2012 metldown a  la Roland Emmerich? Not really but you never know.  Recently declassified British Government docuemtns remind us just how close wer were to nuclear conflict during the Cold War. Our dear leaders were all ready, codewords to hand:

A top secret copy of the Cabinet Office’s War Book, dating back to 1962, has been released to the National Archives, revealing that one of the secret codewords authorising government evacuation from London before a nuclear attack was “orangeade”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/dec/30/gems-national-archives-30-year-rule

“Orangeade” being something like TANG (sickly vile artificial sweet beverage). The UK had good reason to be afraid, the presence of the Trident nuclear weapons made the UK a target, which is why the Germans for example refused to host them. Canada – where I was during the cold war – didn’t have nuclear weapons but since we are tucked in tight to the USA [physically, economically and politically] it really didnt’ matter.

So – 2012. I don’t remember being scared during the 1980s and I am stil not scared today though I am older and wiser and probably should know better.

Let me now just get rid of this virus.



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