Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Songs from the Cold War #3: Wearing sunglasses
Wouldn't you just love to actually see a real nuclear explosion? No? Well, I would – if I could be safe and it wasn't blowing up a city full of people, of course! But I find myself fascinated by the descriptions of those who have seen it: the sky changing and flashing all different colors, the mushroom cloud, the sight and feel of the shockwave... it must be an awesome – if perverse – sight. A song that's more often associated with happy graduations than a terrifying end-of-the-world is "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" by Timbuk 3. And yet the song came from a comment Barbara MacDonald made to her husband Pat (both members of the band) as she reflected on the grim future their children might face in a tense nuclear world, and Pat spun it into a hit (although this has to be one of the dumbest videos ever made). Maybe he was singing to students graduating with degrees in nuclear science?