Monday, January 29, 2007

Music, the blues, and Donald Trump

Recognizing that at times music profoundly impacts my mood, I recently googled whether music can treat depression and came upon an interesting article about research into creating a perfect “brain music” based upon algorithms of the personal music emitted by one’s brain. Supposedly the conversion of certain brain waves into music can be used to treat insomnia, depression and anxiety. The cost for the process: $500 (beats the cost of therapy!)

So January is just about finito, and the black cloud that hovered over my creativity (and mood in general) for the past few weeks has abated like the incessant drizzle and chill that characterizes Nov.-June in this capricious Portland, OR. I was born in the dark north of Germany, but my genes must have favored the Mexican half of my ancestry because when weeks go by without sunshine, I wither. In a November Vanity Fair article by
James Wolcott—centering around a red state/blue state comparison on crime, incarceration, etc.—Wolcott noted that Oregon was the only blue state represented in the 15 states with the highest suicide rates. Go figure.

Like many of us here (apparently), I undoubtedly suffer from
seasonal affective disorder, which spells the appropriate anachronism of "SAD." I had never heard of a SAD therapy lamp until I moved to the PNW—they should issue all those crossing the border from the south one of these lamps upon entry, although I suspect the natives prefer that transplants feel the full effects, and hopefully return home! (No love is lost between the Californian and the native Oregonian)

Maintaining the theme of winter blues ... what was all that going on between Trump and Rosie O’Donnell? What an ugly fiasco. I wish I could merely say that Trump hit a new low by publicly eviscerating Rosie’s physical components and be done with it, but both of these media giants used their public clout to sling arrows the like of which I haven’t seen since my days in a High School Girl’s locker room. I admire Rosie’s willingness to be forthright about her opinions, after all she’s a comedian and paid commentator, but I think she may have made a better case for herself after the fact by taking a higher road—perhaps by suggesting her personal self-esteem is not dictated by Donald Trump’s assessment of her attractiveness quotient. Instead I found the volley of insults sadly indicative of the kinds of lows that public figures in this new millennium will stoop to.

And speaking of Trump, does anyone else wonder how Trump seems to completely miss the irony of using the O’Jay’s song “For the Love of Money” as a theme song of The Apprentice? A show in which young, successful individuals happily allow Donald Trump to shout at them, treat them like dirt, and judge them based on a series of unrealistic tasks--which generally involve a giant commercial for one of his products, or media placement for some national brand (can you say Ed TV?). Recently Trump and his two offspring, who were "board" members, reamed a woman who politely quit the show, calling her a “loser,” a “quitter,” and disgustedly indicating (after she QUIT) that "quitters" weren’t what they were looking for. In other words, "you can't quit," we'd have fired you once we found out you were a quitter, ha ha.

The O’Jay’s song is so counter to the project of The Apprentice, specifically lamenting the effects of accumulating capital at the cost of core human values and dignity--a word that seems to have completely disappeared from our current culture. Here are some excerpts from the song (thank you

For the love of money

People will lie,
Lord, they will cheat
For the love of money
People don't care who they hurt or beat


Don't let,

don't let, don't let money rule you
For the love of money
Money can change people sometimes
Don't let, don't let, don't let money fool you

Final thought: On a recent promo for Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County (how are they real?!?) one of the wives (who is actually a not, at the moment, a wife) who has just hooked up with a loaded land developer whose character is defined by what he buys her, notes that having lots of money is "just easier." Mull that one over ...

In the meantime, I'm going to find a way to make some money so that I can purchase some brain music!


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