A Crop Duster, a Banjo and YouTube


It always starts so innocently. A friend suggests a new webpage for you.

“Check out Gmail! You’ll totally leave Hotmail behind.”

Now I have both.

“Have you seen the Mr. Roboto cat on YouTube?”

Yes, and because I went there, I now have an even better appreciation for why Styx kicked out lead singer, Dennis DeYoung.

I suppose they meant well when they heard I liked kitties, but once you’ve seen catsthatlooklikehitler.com, you can’t un-see it!

It’s hard to believe I had my doubts about Facebook when in came along. It sounded a lot like MySpace, and I found that site unworkable for me. But five years years on, I’m as addicted as anybody. I log on and leave it going all day.

Facebook IS entertainment in 2011. It’s made going to the Movies or Theatre take on an old world charm where people, in groups(!), to gather and watch something. Radio and TV disseminate the official word about what’s worth knowing but on a truly personal level, none of these media platforms will tell me if Denele is enjoying the shooting range or what Rob thinks about sno-cones.

But what does Donna think about the new song by Adele? OMG! Robin just totally thought of Corey Hart for the first time in years. Music dominates any format, media or information portal is comes in contact with. For most people in North America, our music tastes fall into something called Western popular music. It can range from jazzy things, to twangy things, to pop and rock things, and most of it has words attached, but those words are almost always in English.

So, when I feel like I’m running out of new music to discover, along comes a posting on Facebook. A recent one involves a 1978 video from a Czech folk group, Ivan Mladek and Banjo Band. Ivan and his mates were doing a number called Jozin z Bozin in a visually arresting parade of plaid and brown suits, with an array of tubas and curious dance moves. I couldn’t understand the words but I had found a new song friend.

Eventually, YouTube coughed up a version with English subtitles and I discovered that “Jozin z Bozin” translates as Joey The Swampthing. Joey lives in Moravia and only eats people from Prague. The hero of the song meets the town mayor who tells him that if he can fly a crop duster and cover Joey with poison, he’ll hand over his daughter’s hand in marriage as gratitude. Our hero complies, and sells the carcus of Joey to a local zoo.

Not exactly Dancing in the Dark, is it?

But I love it. I can’t explain precisely why, but that’s music for you. I’m addicted to the tune and I keep it in a prominent place on my Facebook profile, and I play it everyday. It makes me smile and that keeps me social, online and off.


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