Lindsay Harris-Friel

I write plays and audio drama, make puppets, clean up messes, take in strays, eat and drink and curse too much, and laugh too loudly.

  • Followed
  • Follows you

Edit biography

I’m cutting down on my screen time, but this is a worthwhile exception. 

John Leguizamo is insane and hilarious, the show is rooted in heartfelt familial relationships, and includes a viable bibliography and a lot of dancing. 100% worth your time. It’s not just about history, it’s more about integrity. 

we watched that the other day! It was awesome.
Rabbit 11/20
Yaaas. I also watched it the other day. Second the recommendation. So worth it!
I didn’t like how he made Montezuma gay, but I can see that somebody wanted him to do his drag character. So I’ll forgive it.

A rare moment: Mahoney is tolerating Sassafrass’ advances.

Mahoney is well aware that when Sass says, “please be my friend,” it inevitably turns into a game of “chomp your neck,” so this moment of cuteness didn’t last long. 

Last night I dreamt that Chris Herdt and I were attending a black-tie gala fundraiser at the building that keeps showing up in my dreams. It’s a combination shopping mall, hospital, and transportation hub, and very easy to get lost in. Chris was totally prepared for this, he had his tux all ready to go, of course. I wasn’t. I walked into some department store, handed them my wallet and said, “I’m going to this gala fundraiser, it’s black tie, I have nothing, make me look appropriate for this.” 

I ended up in a black or navy sleeveless sheath dress with a chiffon cape and my hair was all Sophia Loren, so I looked good and I trusted these people. The shoes were light blue faux crocodile stilettos. They said, “Okay, we’re going to do your makeup, trust us, this is the style that everyone at the party will be wearing.” I said okay. I liked the shoes, so what could go wrong? 

The right half of my face was covered in glitter, with a fin of pink and orange wired ribbon flames in a line from my forehead to my chin. The left half was made up like Peter Criss from Kiss. It was as if Peter Criss’ cat face were exploding into flames. They said it was perfect for a black tie gala fundraiser because it was a tribute to the California wildfires. 

Damn if there weren’t other people at the party with glitter and ribbon flames glued to their faces. 

Edited to add: still sick. It's 100% fatigue, feels like a fever. I managed to shower, dress, practice piano for half an hour and eat dinner. I'm hoping that going to bed early will solve things. Or at least provide interesting dreams. 

Wow. I want a photo of your dreamself.
I think I have to try to draw this. I also think that all dreams are collages. Most of mine are, anyway.
The face makeup sounds like something out of The Hunger Games!
You just inspired me to look up "who created The Hunger Games makeup?" and it's Ve Neill. Wow, what a treasure trove of crazy ideas..
So basically, some people dream in color. You dream in Ve Neill.
Sorry to hear you are still sick. You are not alone in the fatigue-y fever-y feeling thing. I slept all day, barely could get dressed and eat, and then getting back into pajamas later required actual help. Maybe there is a case of the creeping crud going around. I hope it's not your flu shot, still. Either way, feel better soon.
Karen 11/13edited
Thank you. It seems to be stepping back in the fatigue part, but the sneezing part increased.

This article came across my radar yesterday and I found it fascinating. 

Illicit Love Letters: Albert Camus and Maria Casares

I know next to nothing about Camus, but the idea of this love affair cropping up at the end of WWII, ending abruptly, then continuing for decades, almost entirely by post, has me riveted. It makes me wonder if they were really in love with each other, or more in love with the act of writing and reading? Would it have been as exciting if it weren't a secret? 

The problem is that the book hasn't been translated into any languages other than French yet. I don't speak or read French. 

There's a play that's very similar to this story, called Dear Elizabeth, about the correspondence between the poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Unfortunately, it's written by Sarah Ruhl, who I dislike. 

The Camus & Casares story interests me more. It has Europe, war, absurdism, Camus' suicidal wife, the train ticket in his pocket the day he died. And I can't read it, damnit. 

thanks for the pointer to it though. that sounds like just the thing I was looking for to practice my french reading skills on.
CM Adams 11/8
want me to fill you in on how it goes?
CM Adams 11/8
Please. How fluent are you?
I tried taking French on Duolingo a few years ago and all it made me was angry.
I would embarrass myself trying to hold a conversation in French, but I still read it pretty well. The decade of Latin helps.
CM Adams 11/9
And by "pretty well", I mean "better than one would expect based on how long it's been since I used or studied it".

I'd need to have a dictionary on hand.
CM Adams 11/9edited

My little homemade Halloween display. 

If you can’t zoom in enough to read the product labels or book jackets, let me know and I’ll explain. There are little star lights hanging above, but they’re not evident in full sunlight. 

The challenge was to spend no money, only use objects and materials I had around the house, and not make anything I couldn’t recycle or throw away. 

You know what drives me nuts? You can buy Halloween decorations that look like spell supply ingredient bottles and jars, and they’re lovely, but I haven’t found a single one that was functional. In every case, the lid, cap or stopper was molded to the object. I hate that. If I spend money on a fancy jar with a fancy label that says “Banshee’s Toenails” or something, you’re damn right I want to be able to open the lid and serve some damn Bugles out of it. 


I will see Jill Knapp’s Perfect Snack, and I will attempt to raise it.

Popcorn + sweetened condensed milk. 

There is a temperature issue here. We made Jiffy Pop, which is Basic Movie Night Popcorn at its corninest(Emphasis on corn, rather than butter and/or salt, unlike PopSecret, which is butter and salt with a hint of corn additive. YUM). I think if the popcorn is freshly warm, with the sweetened condensed milk at room temperature, then this snack would be puuuurrrrrrrr-fect. 

But this snack is perfect for the sticky sweet substance on a spoon plus savory crunchy goodness in a bowl puttin in yer face method. 

RE: Single purpose spell components - Yeah. I'm very much with you there. I've become a bit of a minimalist for obvious reasons, and that just makes me twitchy to read - let alone if I was actually shopping for such things.
Now imagine me picking these up at Target/ A.C. Moore/Michael’s /Rite Aid/ Whatever.
“Shit! ... Shit! ... Shit!...
Shit! ...”
(Chubby ladies in kitten sweatshirts raise their eyebrows)
You made a lovely scene
The neighbors said that the cats have been neatly bookending the display, but they didn't get a photo. I'm so bummed.
I love everything about this!

I just can't get enough.
Dammit, now I just want popcorn. And I have some. It's the salt-and-butter-with-a-hint-of-popcorn kind, but what the hell.

I'm still a fan of your tip to put popcorn in tomato soup. Mmmmmmhh yeah.
Karen 11/1

Yesterday I got really bored with the unit I was working on in my piano lesson book (pounding my left paw into a C-E-G chord has its intellectual limits) so I skipped ahead and started picking at Simple Gifts. This song was drilled into us at Quaker School (cultural appropriation: Quakers stealing from the Shakers?), and it was the processional at my wedding. so it was a more interesting way to practice chords. 

I started making mistakes, which I realized was the same mistake, and then I realized it wasn't a mistake. I remembered picking out a more complex version on the piano in high school, to learn the soprano part for choir. So I let that memory take the wheel for a bit, realizing that I can play this on eighth notes rather than quarters. I can play more of the song than the exercise called for on paper. 

Once my left hand gets the memo and stops playing chords like a hoof, everything will be fine. 

To hoof, hoof shall be our delight....
...till by thudding, thudding, we pound round right.
For your viewing pleasure, the chipmunks, long before they were teens:
That's so stinkin' adorable.
It's a shame those kids have no stage presence, no sense of comic timing, or any joy in their lives. (Seriously-- that was awesome.)
The regular beatings totally worked.
“And what do we do when the audience laughs? WE HOLD FOR LAUGHTER!”
I am Dead of the funny

Today I decided to pump up the volume and make mistakes. 

I confirmed a theory, which is that my left pinky finger is rubbish. When I was ten, I accidentally cut part of my left pinky finger off in art class, with a giant, brand new pair of Fiskars scissors. It's never been the same. The tip, where the skin graft is, is extreeeeeeeeeeemely sensitive, so I've learned never to touch it. The problem is that my finger looks 100% normal, unless you look very closely. So I forget about it, and nobody notices, and then something stupid happens. 

It seems as though what has happened is that I've learned to compensate in such a way that I never use the tip of my pinky finger. I type pretty fast, but with only three fingers on each hand. I gave up learning to play ukulele, guitar and bass when my pinky said nope.

it doesn't hurt my pinky to play piano, but it's weak. Right now what I'm learning involves left hand chords with major thirds (?). So I have to retrain my left hand to use my thumb, middle finger and pinky, all at the same time. My brain and my muscles are NOT amused. It's the simplest thing in the world, just pressing down with those three fingers at once. And yet, it's as difficult as trying to write with that hand. I can feel it all the way up to my elbow. My muscles have no memories. 

Mayra (next door) was blasting her dumb music early in the afternoon, and the crazy lady across the street was blasting WOGL-FM (Worst of the 80s) later in the afternoon, so I cranked the keyboard volume up to 11 and played a left hand bass C scale for 30 minutes. 

Then I played Ode To Joy really badly. And loudly. When Tom Petty wrote, "The Waiting," he loved that intro riff, and he knew his neighbors could hear him practicing, so he played it incessantly, just to piss them off. 



WILLIAM: I can’t deal with this shit anymore.

PHILIP: what is it now?

WILLIAM: The Americans have developed the most devastating biological weapon you can imagine. It’s terrifying. 

PHILIP: What could possibly be worse than liquefaction of your vital organs and extruding them through all of your orifices? 

WILLIAM: Okay, here’s the deal. You know when you get a case of pinkeye?



PHILIP: ...And?

WILLIAM: But here’s the thing. It never goes away. 

PHILIP: ... 

WILLIAM: It seems to. Ten days, three different kinds of drops, eighty seven loads of laundry, bleaching all surfaces, and finally, the itching, burning, watering and cloudy vision starts to clear up. And just when you get a smidgen of hope and happiness, you try to go for a walk, maybe even smile in the fresh air again...

PHILIP: A smidgen?

WILLIAM: WHAM. Your own dopamine triggers a biochemical reaction and you’re back in Red Crudistan.

PHILIP: That’s... horrible. 

WILLIAM: Bet your ass. 

PHILIP: Is that why you’re so miserable all the time?

WILLIAM: Yeah, I can’t take the risk of thinking happy thoughts. 


WILLIAM: I do like your new wig, though.

PHILIP: Thanks. I call it Slappy. 

I needed that.

Similarly, there is the "arm hurts must change position vs. kitty cuddles" conflict. But that cartoon is MUCH better.

Vince and I are celebrating the end of the week by watching a YouTube channel called My Virgin Kitchen. We're watching this adorable blonde haired blue eyed British family, testing various "kitchen hacks."

Honestly, I'm not in the mood for this right now. I want to test-drive a knitting stitch I found online, or finish knitting this purple hat for Trish, or drink screwdrivers while playing We Happy Few. But this family is so ridiculously cute and I'm so starved for People Being Nice To Each Other, and Vince wants to watch food videos and I happen to like being around him. 

Here's thing: Watch the kids. They are SAVVY. All Caps. They know how to look good on camera. I suspect this was filmed (a word that makes no sense, in the digital age, much like how a floppy disk as a symbol for "save" makes no sense) with something allowing the kids to see themselves on camera, like a phone camera in selfie mode or a laptop. The kids barely fidget, they're perfectly in frame, they follow instructions, only deviating when it's adorable to do so. The younger one, in particular, is working for Maximum Kid Cuteness. 

I said to Vince, "Imagine the amount of work that the Food Network goes through to capture Friday afternoon attention spans, how much money is spent, how much studio space, how many lighting assistants, whatever. These folks circumvented all of that and made something that's basically just as good, if not better." 

Admittedly, I like the videos better when it's just the guy in his kitchen making grilled cheese sandwiches and failing. But anyway.

So, I'm watching this video and over-analyzing it, wondering how this guy gets compensated for this work. Is this his thing he does for fun, while the girls are at soccer or his wife is working? Is this their family activity, like board game night? He does have a cookbook, but I can't imagine that's hugely lucrative. 

Then I notice,  the older of the two girls is soaking up all this information like a sponge. This little girl is going to grow up to find a way to make YouTube able to use data from fitness trackers so that every time a video makes a viewer happy, the video creator gets paid. 

Yes, that's incredibly invasive and requires tremendous pressure to get users to opt in, along with working in the background to pressure the general populace to use fitness trackers. It requires a vision as detailed as it is vast. But, look at that face.

This little girl is working on a master plan. 

I can't tell if I hate this family or like them.
I know. They seem too polished, like a family of British replicants. Even the part where they try to pop an ear of corn in the microwave is cute. But the fact that they failed without using it as a moment to explain the difference between fresh corn and popping corn, makes them seem more believable.
Does that make them really less believable?
Is it a nesting doll of credibility and incredulity?

The guy apparently had the opportunity to build a second kitchen studio for his YouTube habit, but opted to continue using his family’s perfectly lit and open plan kitchen instead.

It's 7:47 am. I have put a load of laundry in the washer and cleaned up after the dog. 

Why Is The Sudden Resurgence Of The Song 'Africa,' by Toto, A Thing? 

The song 'Africa,' by the pop-rock band Toto, has recently surged in popularity on the Internet. It has become a popular tune for musicans of all types to cover, and YouTube videos of the covers are shared frequently. However, some argue very effectively that the colonialist nature of its lyrics and ham-fisted attempts at echoing indigenious African music are insulting to Africans and their descendants. In this essay, I will argue that the recent embrace of the song  'Africa' shows us more about ourselves, via resitance to toxic masculinity, white fragility, and cultural imperialism, and embrace of new communication methods. 

This essay assumes that the reader has basic familiarity with The Internet, the concept of memes, and the song "Africa" by Toto. We also assume that the reader is familiar with the popular music video which supported initial single and album sales. A full analysis of the video will be available at another time, upon request. 

"Africa" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 5, 1983. Though Toto has other top 5 hits, it remains as their most memorable song. The band was more attached to another hit song, "Rosanna," and in an interview with KROQ-FM, dismissed Africa as "an experiment" and "dumb," and said that it has used "placeholder" lyrics that stuck (such as Phil Collins' use of "Sususudio," or Trey Parker's use of "Shpadoinkle"). The lyrics used as placeholders aren't nonsense words, and they end up illustrating ideas that show a colonialist bent. On its surface, the song seems to be about a white man, who goes to Africa, expecting to find knowledge, spiritual fulfillment and romantic love. The explosive chorus of the song (listed in 2012 by NME magazinein 32nd place on its lost of "50 Most Explosive Choruses") implies not that he found any of these things, but that he "bless(es) the rains down in Africa." The implication that the narrator has the godlike power to bless a force of nature places him in a selfishly powerful position. The rain, in the cathartic chorus, is a release from the tension that the rest of the song sets up.  

Embracing this song, with its colonialist attitude, implies that the next big meme probably should be Old Kentucky Home, with its original lyrics. The song doesn't seem to be shared by people of color. Though it's been recently covered by Weezer (their recording peaked at #3 on the US Adult Top 40), no R&B artist has covered it, no rap artist has sampled it. despite the fact that it would be very easy for someone like Kanye West to do so, it simply hasn't happened. The rap community samples, re-mixes and shares their work, at a higher rate of viral speed than other groups (citation needed), but a popular African American re-interpretation of it hasn't surfaced in the way other versions have. The covers of this song which have gained popularity have been voiced by men. Versions have been made popular by Family Guy, American Dad, South Park, and Jimmy Fallon. There hasn't been a version which grabbed the zeitgeist that is sung by a woman, or a non-binary and/or outwardly LGBT person.  Essentially, it's a straight-white-male-hit. Is this song a secret white supremacist dog whistle? An anthem for the Brock Turners, Richard Spencers, and other rabid tiki-torch carriers? Though that interpretation, sadly, is valid, we need to examine this phenomenon more closely. 

To start simply, let's look at the sharing of this meme. The website Know Your Meme details the inception and process of it being shared via YouTube. As of this writing, their charts show that its popularity as a meme is rising. 

In 2010, working musician Mike Massé shared a video of his low-fi interpretation of the song. The performance was solely on guitar and bass, with no drums. It's a soulful, catchy, intimate video. Their choice to strip the song down and avoid drums left the possibilities of alternative musicianship in performing the song wide open. In 2013, the Angel City Chorale used the summer-camp game of making hand sounds to simulate the sound of a stirring and visceral rain storm in their YouTube performance. Angel City's mission is to promote tolerance and diversity in Los Angeles,  so the colonialist nature of the song was brushed aside in favor of the musicianship of the explosive chorus. The popularity of the song allowed the choir to showcase its strengths, and garner over eleven million views. 

In both cases, what we have here is the use of a popular, simple, song to allow musicians to show their strengths, via re-interpretation. A subreddit was created, challenging musicians to submit their alternative versions of the song.  It's entirely possible that the subreddit may have been created by whatever record company owns the rights to the song. Unlike the Rickroll meme, in which the song "Never Gonna Give You Up" varied minimally, if at all, this meme required variations on a theme. The result was that musicians learned, re-interpreted, recorded, and published their versions of the song, and those publications were shared. People who share memes for the sake of sharing them shared it, along with people who actually care about the musician or the song. It has been popular among more than one generation. Essentially, the song is shared because it's shared. It's popular because it's popular. 

What about the song itself? Does the "sharing to share" of this song mean that there's more racism going around than people would like to admit? Fine. Let's unpack these lyrics. You could go to Geniuslyrics dot com and look up other interpretations, but you're here, and you got this far. So, get yourself a fresh beverage and strap in, folks. Here's my interpretation of "Africa." For the purposes of brevity in this already too-long essay, and because of the song's resonance with young white men, we will refer to the narrator as a "he," though the gender of the narrator is never mentioned in the lyrics. 

I hear the drums echoing tonight

We start with an unreliable narrator. His initial description of the world is drumbeats and darkness. We know that this is an oversimplified, cartoonish version of Africa, the continent. It is possible that the drums could be echoing from a neighbor's stereo system, or blood rushing in his ears from his own heartbeat, or any number of sources. However, at its essence, what we have here is drumbeats, darkness, and mystery. 

But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in, 12:30 flight

The narrator is distanced from a "she." She is separated from him, by gender, flight, by the bubble of an airplane and the safety of quiet conversation. 

The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation

He years for some kind of spiritual fulfillment, reflected in her safe space in the flight, the quiet conversation. I interpret this symbol as the space that feminists and other progressives claim, to debate topics and make progress. It's distant from the narrator, and he knows it. By contrast, he has drumbeats and darkness. But, he wants to join that space. 

I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies

The Magical Negro is a symbol that has infiltrated Western fiction for centuries. The lyrics don't say that this man is African, but we assume he is. In any case, the narrator assumes not only sagacity in the old man, but also that the old man is willing to dispense knowledge, like a vending machine. 

He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you"

The man doesn't say anything. He only turns to him and gives him a look, to get going. The sage doesn't provide a proverb for him. Or does he? is the adminition to shut up, stop overthinking, and get going, a message in itself? The listener is left to wonder. 

It's gonna take a lot to take me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

We get the first version of this chorus. It is unclear if the "you" mentioned here is the aforementioned "she," or the nation of the song's title. Whatever this "you" is, it has become integral to the narrator's quest for knowledge and spirutual satisfaction. 

I bless the rains down in Africa

How does the narrator have power to "bless" rain? He doesn't. He's not a god, his distance from spiritual fulfillment indicates so. Could "bless" be interpreted as a word for the expression of gratitude? If the lyric had been, "I thank the rains down in Africa," it wouldn't have scanned as well. In the 21st century, we experience heat and hurricanes like never before: rain can be a welcome gift, as well as a killer. To say "I thank the rains" oversimplifies the power that rain can have. To use the verb, "bless," rather than "thank," implies the deep spiritual relief that rain can provide, or the epic nature of the power of rain.  

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

The narrator knows that he needs patience and persistence to acheive his goals, but the lyric falls short of resolution. Like what has been called a "feminine ending" in Shakespeare's iambic pentameter, this lack of resolution shows the narrator's unreliability, and powelessness to finish his quest. 

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company

Again, we have another cartoon-metaphor of Savage Africa: wild dogs, to go with the aforementioned drumbeats. However, feral dogs can exist anywhere, coyotes can be heard in Los Angeles. So far the only concrete evidence of the narrator's world is that it has drumbeats, darkness, and wild dogs howling. he described them as restless and lonely, not dangerous or hungry. The dogs are a metaphor for his own loneliness and restlessness. 

I know that I must do what's right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti

Kilimanjaro is nowhere near the Serengeti. Both are located in Tanzania, but they are 100 miles apart. This makes it clear that the narrator has only the thinnest understanding of what Africa is really like, and probably has never been there. He mentions Olympus. Whether he means the mythic, fictional Olympus, or the actual Olympus, in Greece, is unclear, and unimportant. He is taking an African geographic icon and understanding it by applying  his own knowledge of icons important to the Western mind. In this sentence, he shows his own cultural weakness. This leads up to the most important line in this song (highlighted by the harmonizing backing vocals):

I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become

The narrator acknowledges his own weakness, confusion, and unreliability, and wants it to be cured. After this line, the song's chorus repeats, with little change. This concept is as far as the narrator's understanding progresses. he knows that he doesn't like what he is, and wants to change it. He doesn't have a plan, or a totem to grab, just a bad state of mind that he wants to escape. 

The "Africa" in the song is not the literal continent. It is a state of mind, where the narrator is ignorant of other cultures and mindsets, but hungers for understanding. He is in the dark, and can only populate that darkness with a few concepts he has been told about. His conflict remains unresolved. Let's go back to the fact that the narrator's gender is never mentioned: he's not even trying to hang onto a concept of manhood. In the traditional version of this song, the coda is a stripped-down, nearly emotionless version of the drumbeats from the opening of the song, implying that the narrator remains in this dark, lonely state. 

Songwriter David Paich said (in an interview with The Guardian) that the lyrics came out of his childhood desire to see the world. He was fascinated with stories the priests at his Catholic boys' school told about missionary work. The minimal understanding of Africa in the song comes from his childhood's thin understanding of Africa as a continent. He also said that the biggest conflict the priests faced was the loneliness and celibacy. And, of course, sex sells pop records.  The band has stated that they are uncomfortable with the overt meaning of this song's lyrics. As guitarist Steve Luthaker said to Paich, "Are you Jesus, man?" Though Paich didn't intend to write a song about toxic masculinity in conflict with nature and "other"-ness, the conflict is there.

It is entirely possible that young white men embrace this tune out of a desire for validation of colonialistic urges. However, as we see in this lyric breakdown, it could be the story of a guy who wants to break away from a closed-minded, dark, lonely state. The resurgence in popularity of this song can indicate a male desire for multiple interpretations, for participation in culture, and a need to be part of something greater than themselves. Whether or not the people who share this meme are aware of this or not, like the conflict in the song, is still a mystery. 

THANK YOU FOR COMING TO MY TED TALK, AS THE KIDS SAY. I am available for pop-culture-analysis writing gigs upon request. 

The recent surge is, I think, because of some teenager trolling the band Weezer on Twitter, begging them to cover the song. When the request grew legs with followers, Weezer capitulated.

Why Africa in general, though? Your scholarly Ted-talk analysis is as good as any.

My personal memories around this song are... weird. When the song was released, I was in my first year of college. For late winter/early spring break, my boyfriend and I rented a Chrysler K Car and drove down to Florida*, where we stayed with a relative of my mom's.

I never understood the lyrics to Africa; they made ZERO sense to me. Zero. (And from my position of privilege, I never needed to think about them until fairly recently.) But wow that song sounded good on what were, in my limited experience, a bass-heavy souped-up stereo system in the rental car. Because it had soared to the top of the Billboard charts at the time, we had numerous opportunities to hear it on the radio during the drive to FL and back, cranking the volume every time. The sound of the song made my spine tingle. The timber of the voices, the synths, the percussion.

I am, btw, the very opposite of a music head. I'm married to a music head, many of my best friends are music heads... I am not a music head. Where they are moved to tears by a piece of music, I'm thinking, "Oh that's kind of nice; I like that." So for me to remember this song and have such a strong response to it is fairly unusual. I'm sad that the lyrics are as dumb and divisive as they are.

*Remember when you could easily do that? Drive down the coast on 95 and not have it be a parking lot?
Anne Mollo 9/24edited
Yeah, I realize now that I misunderstood the lyrics for a long time. I thought it was, “I miss the rains,” and I thought it was “sure as Kilimanjaro rises like a nimbus above the Serengeti.”

And yes, that tune is powerful with the right sound system.
I love this song. I always thought the line was, "like a leopress" -er, a female leopard- rather than Olympus though. Also, I think that the song was written in the selfish, self-absorbed 80's, and it's a meme because things that the popular opinion believes are terrible- like this song (after it's chart-topping days, it's often trotted out as "omg this song is bad")- become memes in the long run. It's so very earnest and out there, and that makes it rife for mockery and high-concept, trollish lolz.
Rabbit 9/24
True. I like "leopress" better than "nimbus."
Selfish, self-absorbed 80s is right. Also, Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981, so there was that whole "white guy goes to exotic locales, wears lots of cotton, takes what he wants" aesthetic. See: Duran Duran's videos for Hungry Like The Wolf, Save A Prayer.
When it comes up (inevitably) in this circle of friends that I mentioned in your previous post, it seems like the most fun part is everybody singing the chorus. It's loud, even people like me who don't know the lyrics to anything can fake their way through it, and it has a few harmonies for a dozen or so voices to fool around with. So it's fun!

Maybe people are enjoying the terrible lyrics ironically?
I'd be inclined to agree. "I bless the rains down in Africa" is right up there with "and there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime."
WTH was wrong with us in the early 1980s?!
Blame Reagan. He was such a black hole, even people who disagreed with him were spun off into wrong directions.
There is a cycle of cluelessness - catchiness - uncoolness - ironic enjoyment - cluelessness - catchiness. Mostly harmless, until you get "ironic racism" and people who can't tell if Kanye is trolling us or not. (Alas, he's not.)
But when he does figure out trolling, it's going to be NUTS.
wow. nice close reading. I eagerly await the day when Toto's Dune soundtrack gets its day in the sun.
CM Adams 9/27
Thank you! I feel good now.
When I was a kid and the song came along, I knew very little about Africa. I knew the song was talking about going places you don't know and finding something powerful. Being a fantasy nerd this appealed to me.

As an adult, my understanding of the subjects involved is better. I get the problematic elements more, especially in the music video. That said, the original theme of journeying to find yourself still appeals and it is also just damn catchy to listen to. It has an earworm quality to it. I suspect nostalgia also plays a roll. Perfect storm of things to make it appealing to me.
I'm right there with you on the nostalgia thing. You might enjoy this:
I have of course had the song stuck in my head all day.
Now you're just doing it on purpose.

...and some ibuprofen. 

Out of boredom with my piano lessons (which are mostly scales at this point), I (legally) downloaded the sheet music for an Easy Piano arrangement of Little Red Corvette, and spent the last hour teaching myself to play it. 

It's a good thing that His Purple Majesty has passed beyond the veil, because if he had seen how rudimentary this arrangement is, he would have sued for libel ("Nothing I wrote could ever be that simple!"), and if he heard my rendition of it, he'd have turned inside out and disappeared in a column of violet and golden flame. I spent an hour pounding my way through it, grateful that nobody can hear me, trying to stretch-jump from a high E to a regular E with one hand. My whole right arm hurts, which means my form is terrible and I'm doing it wrong. 

But, I can play the opening eight measures now. 

I'll keep you posted. 

Between this and the pickle updates... I don’t know which is my favorite!
Thank you. You keep me going. When I can actually play something listenable, I'll post a video.
Someday your Prince will come ...
...and pontificate about the Jehovah's Witness testimony. And I'll yell, "I REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE FUNKY!"
The “easy piano” sheet music for that is hilarious. I should have gone with that one first.