Carpe The @#$%! Out Of The Diem

Marc%20StratLike a lot of people, I watched some of the Summer Olympics in Beijing last summer. And, like a lot of people, I was wowed by the opening ceremony which was quite the spectacle.

This coming out party for the Chinese (as many dubbed it) caused quite a stir among the pundits and prognosticators. There were more than a few people getting the vapors over what they viewed as the first glimpse of coming attractions, a world where China is a superpower.

One morning last week, I read a piece – I think it was in The New York Times – detailing the relationship between the education level of a nation’s citizens and economic stability and growth. It was thought provoking and basically warned that the average high school kid in the US reads at about the same comprehension level as a baked potato (or something like that, it wasn’t encouraging).

Then, a few nights ago, I was writing. The television was on, essentially background noise. A familiar melody caused me to look up. It was a commercial for Cisco – an ad depicting technology coming to an idyllic looking countryside.

It closed with a screen filled with young Chinese school children looking ridiculously eager to carpe the @#$%! out of the diem and throttle anything that might get in their path (but with a gleeful enthusiasm that was disarming).

I’m thinking that our potato children are toast.

Anyhow, the song that caught my attention was a version of T. Rex’ classic Children Of The Revolution. So, if a world where China is a superpower means a T. Rex revival, I’m on board.

I can’t remember exactly when I discover the music of Marc Bolan and T. Rex. I was far too young to have been aware of their years as superstars in the ’70s (not that I would have heard much of their stuff aside from Get It On here in the US).

I think the first time I heard T. Rex was seeing the video for Bang A Gong (Get It On) on MTV. Several years later, Power Station covered the song and, not long after that, Violent Femmes covered Children Of The Revolution.

As I entered college and CDs were beginning to be issued for most titles, I stumbled across a T. Rex compilation (there’ve been a ridiculous number of them). The packaging was quite shoddy, but the music was astounding – all candy-coated primal crunch and sing-song lyrics.

I certainly own more T. Rex than I probably need (courtesy to a multi-set collection in the ’90s which I received as promos), but there are few acts whose music brightens my mood like T. Rex. So, to help everyone in the West relax a bit during breaks from learning Mandarin, here’s a handful of Marc Bolan classics…

T. Rex – Children Of The Revolution
from Great Hits 1972-1977

T. Rex – Hot Love
from The Legend Of T. Rex

T. Rex – Metal Guru
from The Slider

T. Rex – The Slider
from The Slider

T. Rex – Get It On
from Electric Warrior

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One Response to Carpe The @#$%! Out Of The Diem

  1. Perplexio says:

    I’ve dabbled a bit into T Rex. I’ve got Electric Warrior and The Slider. I thoroughly enjoy both, although admittedly I haven’t listened to either in quite awhile.

    I’m not sure why Bolan didn’t enjoy the same level of success stateside that he did in the UK as his music is pretty damned good.

    Then again, I’d say the same for Sweet. They’re the link in the musical evolution between 70s glam and 80s hair metal.

    Def Leppard covered both T-Rex (20th Century Boy) and Sweet (Action on their Retro-Active album and Hellraiser on their Yeah! album) and cite them both T-Rex and Sweet as major influences on their music.

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