Hot Air

Music & Chemicals

I’m feeling fairly lazy this AM so I’m only going to point out a couple of things:

● 1) Acc’d’g to the music/snark website Death and Taxes as well as Forbes online, 2014 will be the first year since the designation was first announced that no album will be named a platinum record. The Recording Industry Association of America first designated gold records in 1958, signifying one million dollars in sales. By 1976, the RIAA had come up with the platinum record, meaning an artist had sold one million units of a particular recording. Eventually (1999), the RIAA started passing out diamond records for recording sales of 10 million. And you may not believe this but the RIAA now gives out separate gold and platinum records for ringtones based on hit songs.

Gold Record

The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” Gold Record

Anyway, pop music geeks are split over the reasons for this phenomenon. One group says, See? Music today is so horrible that business is falling off. The other group says, You’re nuts. It’s just that people are buying their music as singles online now so naturally album sales have fallen off.

I’m not being a curmudgeonly old bastard when I say pop music in 2014 is desperately, depressingly sucky. I mean, sure, we had the likes of the Starland Vocal Band (don’t click unless you want to kill yourself) and Tony Orlando and Dawn (if you click this, you should kill yourself) back when I was a teenager with a transistor radio surgically attached to my ear. Even so, we could still also listen to the likes of Stevie Wonder, the Isley Brothers, Paul Simon, and even a youngish David Bowie just to take our minds off the horrible sounds the former acts spit out. Today, though, teens listen to Justin Beiber and Nicki Minaj with no hope at all of hearing anything to counterbalance those screechings.


Minaj Got A Platinum Record, Then Ebola Happened — Coincidence?

It’s no wonder, therefore, that many young kids now more than ever hark back to their Daddy-os’ and Mammas’ heyday and listen to Bob Dylan or Neil Young.

So, yeah, I’m a curmudgeonly old bastard, but simply telling it like it is about the abominably bad music of 2014 isn’t why.

[BTW: Michael Jackson’s 1982 release, Thriller, is the top-selling album of all time. Acc’d’g to the RIAA it has sold 42.5 million units. In other words, it’s now platinum 42 times over.]

● 2) Live better through chemistry. When I was a propagandist for Whole Foods Market back in the ‘Aughts, we liked to tell our customers, casually, that our foods and body products were chemical-free. We lied.

[And it wasn’t the only time we lied: we sold scads of homeopathic “remedies,” too.]

A Universe that’s chemical-free would be…, well, nothing. It wouldn’t exist. Similarly, a soup that’s chemical-free would be a bowl-ful of emptiness.

Empty Bowl

Chemical-free Soup

Chemicals was the dirtiest word in the food fetishist industry as recently as 10 years ago. Now it’s GMOs. BTW: Martha Crouch has sent me some new material on GMOs to study up on. I’ll let you know what I’ve learned here in this space sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, IFLS provides a nice primer on “Five Myths About Chemicals You Breathe, Eat and Drink.”


Click Image For Full Story

Okay, kids, that’s it for today. I’m going to lie down and take a 12-hour or so nap, then make a huge pot of chili. Autumn, no?


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