TEMPORARY SECRETARY, PAUL MCCARTNEY, 1980…

November 4th, 2016

Yesterday one of my students, a young man with a musical bent, asked me if I knew this song. I wasn’t paying a great deal of attention to music in 1980—I didn’t even know the origin of the phrase I have become comfortably numb on a fellow university student’s t-shirt that year—having just left active duty in the Navy, entered Ohio University, and become a sergeant in the Ohio Army National Guard.

This is another example of a twist in I continue ponder about adolescents in America. Why is a student born at the end of the last millennium interested in a fairly obscure techno song written nearly twenty years before he was born?

As I write this I’m listening to Pink Floyd, a major influence during my own adolescence—I watched Wizard of OZ while listening to Dark Side Of The Moon way too many times—and thinking about how very, very different Comfortably Numb is from Temporary Secretary.

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