The Real World ... Blogger Style: Mnemonic Playlist

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Mnemonic Playlist

So I was smoking last night to celebrate the fact that I could damage my short term memory again now that the GREs are over. My companion and I were hanging our heads out my attic window, looking at the streetlight glare that substitutes for moonlight out here in the Mission, and talking in that desultory way you do when you're trying to hold the smoke in your lungsacs just before the buzz comes on all philosophical. Anyway, he had a blinding insight into why I hate Bob Dylan. Which led me to hold forth on the nature of songs and memory. This is not an original topic--most people know that certain songs are like freaky time machines that literally transport you back to an old self, an old body, an old set of feelings with almost total recall for as long as the song lasts. Anyway, it struck me (remember, I was stoned) that it might be interesting to compile people's mnemonic playlists--you know, the stories that go with the songs--what age the song stuck like a burr into your psyche, what you were doing, how it felt and why. I bet if I named a song that everyone has heard there'd be a ton of different memories that got mined.

because no matter how generic a song is, your memories aren't

Which could be a tagline for one of those infomercials that flogs hits of the 70s to nostalgia junkies.
Any suggestions for a common but evocative song anyone wants to throw out there for the anthology?