I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.
What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.
To be honest, I am not sure where to start. There is so much going on, and I have a few potential projects to begin, but not enough support to do everything that I want at this present time.
You would have thought that with everyone on lockdown, I would be able to make the most of not having to attend appointments or meetings. It is true that this has saved me plenty of time, but unfortunately this has been filled by having to step up to my responsibilities as an employer. I have long been a supporter of independent living for disabled people, so I am not complaining about these duties, but it can be frustrating when dealing with employees who are not team-players. As always, I am looking for new members of staff, but trying to find new blood in the current climate of fear is nigh on impossible.
I recently watched the film, ‘Crip Camp’ on Netflix. This wonderfully empowering film focuses on Camp Jened – a summer camp for teenagers with disabilities – and the crusade for disability rights that was fostered in this environment.
I thoroughly recommend this film to anyone, whether you are disabled or not. It just shows what is possible if people stand together with a common goal in mind. People should be watching this right now and thinking about how they can help shape the future. There is no doubt that when this Coronavirus crisis is over, we will all be faced with a ‘new normal’, so this is our opportunity to stand up for what we believe in…
Unfortunately, many people don’t have this thirst for change inside their lackadaisical bodies, but I hope that I am proved wrong.
One project that I am hoping to start at the end of August is to relive the 1983/84 football season. I could do this via YouTube videos, football programmes, Panini stickers and submerging myself in the news, fashion, food and music of this era. You may be wondering why I would bother to do such a thing, I think it was Xmas 1984 that my Gran gave me a VHS video that I watched religiously throughout my formative years: Race for the Championship 1983/84. It is a fantastic watch, presented by Brian Moore and featuring footballers such as Ian Rush, Kevin Keegan and Eric Gates.
The point is, that I really enjoyed this era in football, as opposed to the dire entertainment that is on offer nowadays. Players receive ridiculous salaries and only the middle classes can afford to regularly attend games.
I need to do a lot of research over the coming months, and I plan on keeping everyone up to date with how my season is going, once it starts in late August. I will also be using the programmes I collect, to create material for the collages that I plan on creating.
I have tried my hand at Zoom meetings this week. Unfortunately, I find it inaccessible due to my poor hearing. I rely on a Palantypist to allow me access to the words of others. It is very frustrating to be a disabled activist, without a voice, while others contribute freely with impressive looking headphones and accompanying microphones.
All that is left for me to do is poke fun at some of the weird places that people place their cameras. Why on Earth people want to show off their disastrous interior design tastes and skills, is beyond me. I may not have been able to contribute much to the meetings I have attended, but at least I can take pride in my domestic decor.
I have put myself forward to become a trustee of Disability Arts Cymru, after being asked to do so. It is an exciting opportunity, and I look forward to discovering if my application has been successful, next month.
This week, I have been mostly listening to REM.
I love this video, especially the ending when the residents of the bar are mouthing the lyrics of the song. This put me in mind of ‘All Together Now’ by The Farm. I wonder if Michael Stipe or another band member had seen this video and thought, that would be a good idea for them to use.
Anyway, here is my latest earworm:
If any of these videos that I share suddenly refuse to play, please let me know, as I always try to keep this blog as neat and functional as possible. Many thanks.
R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe. Additionally, many liner notes from the band’s albums list attorney Bertis Downs and manager Jefferson Holt as non-musical members. One of the first alternative rock bands, R.E.M. was noted for Buck’s ringing, arpeggiated guitar style, Stipe’s distinctive vocal quality, unique stage presence and obscure lyrics, Mills’s melodic basslines and backing vocals, and Berry’s tight, economical drumming, and backing vocals of his own. In the early 1990s, other alternative rock acts such as Nirvana and Pavement viewed R.E.M. as a pioneer of the genre. After Berry left the band in 1997, through some changes in musical style to include electronic music and pop rock sounds, the band continued its career in the 2000s with mixed critical and commercial success. The band broke up amicably in 2011 with members devoting time on solo projects despite having sold more than 85 million records worldwide and becoming one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
R.E.M. released its first single, “Radio Free Europe“, in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. It was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band’s first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the group released its critically acclaimed debut album, Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases each year from 1984 to 1988: Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction, Lifes Rich Pageant, Document and Green, including an intermittent b-side compilation Dead Letter Office. With constant touring, and the support of college radio, following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit with the 1987 single “The One I Love“. The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.
R.E.M.’s most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), brought it to the vanguard of alternative rock just as it was becoming mainstream. Out of Time received seven nominations at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards, and lead single “Losing My Religion“, was R.E.M.’s highest-charting and best-selling hit. R.E.M.’s 1994 album Monster continued its run of success. The band began its first tour in six years to support the album; the tour was marred by medical emergencies suffered by three of the band members. In 1996, R.E.M. re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported US$80 million, at the time the most expensive recording contract in history. The tour however was productive and the band recorded the following album mostly on soundchecks. The resulting record, New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996) is hailed as the band’s last great album and members’ favourite one, growing in cult status in the years following its release. Berry left the band the following year, and Stipe, Buck, and Mills continued as a trio.
After the electronic experimental direction of Up (1998) that was commercially unsuccessful, Reveal (2001) was referred as “a conscious return to their classic sound” which received general acclaim. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in its first year of eligibility. In order to “redeem themselves” after the lukewarm reception of Around the Sun (2004), the band released the well-received albums Accelerate (2008) and Collapse into Now (2011). R.E.M. disbanded amicably in September 2011, with former members having continued with various musical projects, and several live and archival albums have been released.