That Small Percentage Is A Really Big Number
I started by giving a little update on life in Minnesota after our first week of Stay At Home. It’s been ok, I guess. Actually, it’s not very different for me because I still head into work each day pretty much just as before.
Then there was this graphic (left), which was shared on Facebook by a friend of mine who appears to be pining for a life without responsibilities to others. Oh, that may be unfair. He’s a decent man. He cares about others. He just doesn’t understand how terribly callous this statement is.
First off, the statement is missing the proper context. When I first looked at it I thought the 98.54% was referring to the population of the United States in total. Even making that mistake was a good way to demonstrate how a small percentage, in this case 1.46%, is a really big number. When considering 327.2 million people, the current estimated population of the USA, a 1.46% non-survival rate means 4.78 million people will die.
The White House is predicting horrifically large numbers of people will die due to COVID-19 (100,000 to 240,000) before this is over, but not as high as the graphic had me thinking at first. The graphic is missing a clause to put its information in context. It needs to start with, “Of those who develop COVID-19…” Make sense now?
However, to Pollyanna this pandemic by saying most of us will be just fine, is to promote acting irresponsibly. We each need to proceed as though we are already infected and act accordingly to not infect others. And would you rather come out the other end of this crisis realizing we all over-reacted or that we didn’t do enough?
Cool Thing #1: TPT’s Documentary About First Avenue
I used to be cool. In those days of my being cool, I used to hang out at the legendary nightclub First Avenue & 7th Street Entry. It was and still is a great place to see bands play, although I haven’t been there in years.
Our local PBS station produced a documentary on that club from its ambitious desire to be a great live music venue, to the disco years, to world fame provided by Prince’s movie Purple Rain, to near permanent closure, and to its success today. The documentary, called First Avenue: Closer To The Stars, is part of TPT’s series Minnesota Experience.
Cool Thing #2: A Picture Of Dwayne
Even though I was really hoping I would have sneaked into a corner of one of the photographs used in the First Avenue documentary, I was excited to see my old art school classmate Dwayne, that’s him in the circle, made it into one of them. I haven’t see Dwayne in years. I hope he’s well. He and this photograph are pretty cool!
Back When I Was Cool…
During my time hanging out at First Avenue, when I would be there every Tuesday night for Club Degenerate, a night of the best alternative music of the day, there would occasionally be cameos by local bands. One Club Degenerate featured a much longer than cameo appearance of Prince protegee band The Family and I was too miffed that my music night was being interrupted to realize the band was not bad at all.
According to Wikipedia, The Family only performed live once before lead singer St. Paul Peterson quit. One show? If Wikipedia is correct, that was the show at which I was miffed.
Cool Thing #3: VH1’s 25 Years Of Punk
Before turning my attention to the surprisingly good VH1 documentary on Punk Rock, I went on a rant about how disappointed I was with a PBS documentary series on Rock & Roll, in particular the episode dedicated to Punk. It was close to an hour long and it did give a thorough look at the beginnings of the movement in New York and then in the UK. Nearly the entire documentary was dedicated to that era which ended with Blondie’s Heart of Glass.
If it had ended there I might have been fine, but in the last five minutes came Nirvana. That set me off. Sure, American radio didn’t pick up on Punk until Nirvana, but the documentary gives the impression that there was nothing between Heart of Glass and Smells Like Teen Spirit. I was appalled.
The VH1 documentary 25 Years of Punk, on the other hand, gives that decade PBS missed a fair shake. And that makes VH1 so much cooler than PBS.
A Dimland Radio Pedantic Moment: The Beatles Vs The Velvet Underground
A contributor to the VH1 Punk documentary, co-founder of the fanzine Punk, Legs McNeil, dropped a clanker when attempting to make a profound comment comparing the Beatles to The Velvet Underground:
“It’s amazing to think at the same time The Beatles were singing I Wanna Hold Your Hand, the Velvets come out with Heroin.”
It would be amazing if it was true. The Velvet Underground released the song Heroin in 1967. The Beatles released I Wanna Hold Your Hand in 1964 and they had stopped touring in 1966. The Beatles hadn’t been singing that song for a long time before the Velvets released their song about such a taboo topic.
I suggested a different song that Legs could have gone with that would have been accurate and still made his point. Had I been the producer of that documentary I wouldn’t have kept Legs’ erroneous statement in the final cut.
Cool Thing #4: Three Dudes Reacting To The Who
Watching the nightly national news is a horror show these days. Because all the major national TV news organizations are located in New York, New York’s problems tend to get over-amplified. However, in the case of COVID-19, New York really is experiencing the most horrifying effects of this pandemic. I watched some of that news and felt as though the world was crumbling and I needed something to lift my mood.
That’s when I found Jamel_AKA_Jamal and Andy & Alex, two YouTube channels that feature videos of these fellows reacting to songs they are hearing for the first time. Of course, I went for songs by The Who first and started off watching each react to the arena classic Won’t Get Fooled Again. Check them out here and here.
There is some skepticism about whether these reactions are all genuine and it may be true that some are faking hearing the songs for the first time. However, if the fellows I watched are faking it, they are the finest actors I’ve ever seen. Hell, Jamel_AKA_Jamal when he starts listening to WGFA realizes he had heard some of the song before, he just can’t place it. In a later reaction video, we learn he heard part of the song in the theme to one of the many CSI television shows.
Regardless, watching these dudes discover songs that I know so well was so cool and a delight. And it was just tonic I needed.
Don’t panic. Wash your hands. Stay home. Stay safe.
Dimland Radio opening theme song: Ram by The Yoleus
Closing song: Angler’s Treble Hook by $5 Fiddle
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