As the various elements of the world of normality come crashing down around us (again), I realised that I had been listening to some of the tracks off the Transformers: The Movie soundtrack over and again. It's a memory that was jogged a few years ago by a cricketing mate of mine who said that, were he to play in the kind of T20 where you get a song as you come in to bat, his would be The Touch by Stan Bush, which is what is playing in the film when Optimus Prime rolls up to win the battle for the Autobots. If you don't have any conception of what I'm wittering about, fair enough. The Optimus Prime who appears in the current (ish) run of Michael Bay films is a poor excuse for the character, even though they've got the voice pretty much spot on. But here's the thing: Optimus Prime genuinely was a proper hero when I was a kid. Even though he's a robot who transforms into a lorry, he was what you wanted to be. So when he dies twenty minutes into the move, it really hits hard.
What I realised over the course of a few listens is that I can actually picture the scenes in the film that are accompanied by the songs. I also realised that - at the age of seven or eight, when I would first have seen it - the 80s rock stylings must have been a huge formative influence on my later 'taste' in music. I even took the plunge and listened to the actual soundtrack music - the stuff that is the score, rather than more-or-less complete songs - and that was even worse. The death of Optimus Prime music still - and I can't believe I'm writing this - makes me sad nearly thirty-five years later. Apparently time doesn't heal all wounds.
I have half a notion of writing a lengthy and detailed post about the current goings-on, but I don't think I'll have anything to say that hasn't already been said better by someone else. It's a great shame that there are selfish and incompetent people in charge of a wide range of things at a time when even the best people would be struggling to make it work, and it really is staggering what a colossal balls of it - the pandemic, the US election, Brexit, whatever you care to mention - can be made by folk who think they are good enough to be in charge.
So, instead, I'll keep it short: I hope that good vibes accompany you in this strange, unsettling and dark time. I hope that you are able to enjoy life, and that hope for the future remains real. Time is a strange thing - it will seem, when all this has passed, as though it did not last as long as it did - and whilst it most definitely does not heal all wounds, it does allow perspective - and situation - to change. Those things that seemed important, or were a barrier or a frustration, will one day no longer loom so large. Those things that really did matter, hopes, dreams, feelings, experiences, people... One day, perhaps not that far in the future, those things might take their right place once again.
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