Friday, March 20, 2015

Any Given Point In Time Beyond My Reach

Exposure, Pittsburgh, 2015

For years, since 1984, actually, I've kept a journal.  Those imitation leather bound volumes served as a point of reference to where I was and what I was doing, and most importantly, what I was thinking as I moved through my life.  Then, in 2004, catastrophe hit in the form of Hurricane Ivan and the resultant flooding that occurred in Western Pennsylvania.   The house I was living in at the time was inundated by water and anything that I hadn't taken with me before we bugged out didn't survive.   A tragedy of epic proportions.  Not since the library of Alexandria was torched has so much been lost to humanity.
All that aside, I was reading a review of the Museum of Modern Art's Bjork Exhibition, and unflattering as it may be, it called to mind the first time I was exposed to Bjork via The Sugarcubes on Saturday Night Live.  I'm positive that this was documented in my journal at the time, but as that's been lost to history, I'll just have to rely on memory.  I was in the Allegheny National Forest, spending the weekend in a trailer with several other family members.  Television reception, by way of a dodgy antenna, was also dodgy.  You'd think that we would've been content to play cards or chit chat or wile away the evening playing charades, but no.  We had to watch tv, despite the horrid reception.  Only two channels came in, both broadcast out of Erie, PA, an ABC affiliate and a NBC one.  We opted to attempt to watch NBC's Saturday Night Live, although we didn't have high hopes of making out much of what was happening. 
The only thing that I remember even remotely about that show was the musical guest, The Sugarcubes.  When they came on all of our collective attention was focused on discerning what was happening between all of the bits of white noise emanating from the 13" inch television screen.  I didn't know if this woman was singing or yelling at someone, but I knew that I found what she was doing exciting.  Oh, the late 80s cried out for a change in music, and fortunately led to the Alternative Music Scene of the 90s.
 As soon as the song ended we erupted in discussion/argument.  A couple of us liked it/loved it, and a couple of us vehemently despised it.  And I think that still holds true today.  Whatever it is that Bjork is doing, musically or otherwise ( I wish she'd act more, I loved 'Dancer In The Dark' ), it...startles.  That's what she does to me, startles me out of complacency.  Demands something from me.  I haven't seen the Bjork MoMA show, and probably won't be in NYC anytime soon, but I wonder if I would be walking into with a different appreciation. 
The world will never know.

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