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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
Culture Notes: Random unremembered unremembereds

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:51 PM (Eastern)

Perhaps a quote from Donald Rumsfeld is in order.

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

On the basis of that quote alone, it would appear Mr. Rumsfeld would have made a far better computer programmer than, say, a Secretary of Defense or some such thing. It makes perfect sense to me.

I've been experiencing a similar phenomenon lately, only it's unremembered unremembereds rather than unknown unknowns. Unremembered unremembereds are things you don't remember you don't remember, and only upon recalling them, do you recall you'd forgotten them in the first place.

Take Urgh! A Music War. Urgh! was a movie released in 1981, when I was sixteen. It featured various punk and new wave acts, some of which went on to greater fame, some of which became even less visible after the film was shown, if that were possible.

How I stumbled upon this unremembered unremembered...I was looking for a video for Oingo Boingo's "Weird Science." It's not a very good song, has even been described as the band's least favorite as it was a rush production. Oingo Boingo was a terrific band...not my favorite of the era, yet an interesting blend of their roots as a performance art group, the odd things Danny Elfman did with his voice, and the fact that much of their hit songs were woven into films. They were intrinsically theatrical, and very Los Angeles (if you can imagine anything more exotic to a native Virginian).

My favorite Oingo Boingo song is probably Stay, or even Just Another Day. Visually though, it's hard to beat "Dead Man's Party":

Oingo Boingo Dead Man's Party

Once I delved into the Oingo Boingo "thread" (what do they call that Google thing in Youtube, where they read your mind?), I glimpsed their song on Urgh!: Ain't This the Life?

Urgh! had some wonderful songs. Take "Total Eclipse," the late Klaus Nomi's part-cabaret, part-opera, all-entertaining song about a nuclear attack:

Klaus Nomi - Total Eclipse (live)

(I had seen Nomi prior to that on Saturday Night Live with David Bowie and a gentleman in a red dress.)

In the same prevailing Cold War groove, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark:

OMD - Enola Gay (live)

For every Pere Ubu (I'm not linking to that; even by the standards of the day, it was odd), there were The Go-Go's, Devo, Steel Pulse, UB40...oh, let's let The Police roll through the lineup:

the Police - outro 'So Lonely'

I haven't heard many of these songs easily in twenty years, or at least since I stopped playing them (I had the record). Funny to go back eh?

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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