Tuesday, 17 January 2017

List TEN albums that MADE a lasting IMPACT on YOU as a teenager

1. Today was the third day back at work - that's going ooooooookaaaaay - I still haven't clicked back into the groove but I can already tell that this going to be a year of greatness workwise, because on the first afternoon back, I went upstairs to the special room* and while I was making small talk with the volunteer on duty there we had the great good fortune to see a young person tumble over the little stone fence* and land on his bottom on the special rock* in there. No harm done, but it was a wonderful thing to observe and I am just so pleased I was there to witness it.

2. Also today I saw my doctor again for the first time in almost a month - that went extremely well -  afterwards my life made sense to me again, and I felt so unburdened that I went and sat in a nearby park for a while just to smile and do nothing in the shade. The transference is so strong that think I may be developing a secondary transference from the doctor onto my bicycle, towards which I am feeling strong sensations of gratitude, affection and respect.

3. If someone set out to design a social media fad that you won't be able to enjoy if you are in the habit of spending 45 minutes a week being psychoanalysed, they couldn't possibly come up with a better one than the 'list ten albums that made a lasting impact on you as a teenager' thing that's doing the rounds on facebook right now.

4. For one thing, unless you're drawing on other evidence than your own memories, you can't actually identify 'now' what it was that mattered to you 'back then'. What you can do instead is identify what you 'right now' need 'back then' to be all about. It's not what you're telling that's truly revealing, rather it's the way you tell it. Still works really well as self-disclosure, just doesn't mean what you think it means.

5. The instruction in the meme was "don't overthink it" and it's clear that that's a totally impossible requirement.

6. So it's funny and also a bit depressing to see loads of people obviously falsifying their lists in an attempt to make their past teenaged selves look cool.

7. I really liked two responses, though: one was just a photo of Johnny Cash and the other was a list of compilations of top 40 pop hits.

8. If I was to just list a lot of records that I was interested in as a teenager, I think that would be immensely boring. There's no pattern, unless the pattern is casting around for something that might stick.

9. I thought about what I'd put in my personal list, and like the Johnny Cash person, I could only get behind one album that felt right: The Beatles ( ie the White Album). I knew almost all the Beatles' stuff by the time I was ten but we didn't have this record until I went and got it, in probably around about 1984. The album came with four A4-sized colour photographs of the group; these I took to school and pinned on the wall of our home classroom. I was deeply into reading everything I could get about the Beatles at this stage, and one of those books was a very detailed and probably fairly mild tell-all kind of affair by someone who worked for the Beatles in some kind of administrative capacity. From the book I got a picture of how the Beatles ceased to function as a band and I applied this understanding to the White Album. I reckon it was at about this time that the listening habit which I still have, for better or for worse, of obsessively playing one record to death before moving on to the next obsession, was formed.

10. The only other real candidate that I could come up with was The Smiths' live album "Rank" which I played a hell of a lot then, but really dislike now.

*Look, just for simplicity's sake, I'm not going to name my workplace or use any of the very many keywords associated with it.

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