Life on the Bus

So we went down to Paipa where the hot springs bubble up. It is a small town of immense skies. Seems there is always a storm brewing toward the south, but the day manages to alternate clouds and sunshine. A sleepy bit of the highlands, Paipa, as long as you’re not there on a weekend.

Anytime we travel, not having a car, not wanting a car anyway, we go on the bus. And on the bus you get everything. For example, my wife thinks that by now she knows this song.

Those Tigers of the North apparently first set that one up with a chap singing, and then got smart and brought in Paula Rubio. Not that it matters greatly for the quality–you can probably get enough of it without wondering about the sex of the person singing (and with Mexican vocalists, sometimes you have to wonder hard). It is one of the more tolerable things they play on the buses, actually. I don’t know why of all the stuff they do get from Mexico, they usually seem to get the boringest dinky stuff they put out. Still, when it comes to Latin American popular music, it is usually more interesting to get Mexican stuff, like the one about the drug runners who dressed up like nuns and gunned down the cops at a checkpoint.

But the indignation of the song, however clearly it is or is not expressed, does provoke a thought. It is not fitting for a man, but it is for a woman and that has to do with what the feminine represents. The feminine, like matter, represents potential, as opposed, to hark back to physics in high school, kinetic energy, which is what the masculine represents.

I came across the thought after breakfast in the hotel, with a view onto the lake and excellent service. They do the service well and thoroughly, but unfortunately also got the idea muzac is part of that. I heard Amazing Grace as easy listening and Hotel California likewise. I’m not sure which was worse, though if you’re going to bowdlerize, even though I don’t like Amazing Grace that much, I think I’d rather you did Hotel California. Speaking of potential, it is like taking all the potential out of the music, whatever it was originally, when you reduce it to easy listening, it seems. But in the morning they did Bach, Mozart and Handel, so I tarried on after my Spanish tortilla and two cups of coffee under the kinetic influence reading.

And Lewis was explaining William’s symbolism and his use of the ancient view of the feminine as potential and associated with matter and the masculine as active and associated with forms. It made me wonder if that wasn’t part of the distress that women in the OT seem to feel when they can’t have children, that they remain unfulfilled potential and they’re awfully aware of it.

Which is why Paula Rubio’s rather artless indignation seems effective. (No, I don’t expect you to analyze it, but when you ride the buses like we do, you end up becoming familiar or doing permanent damage to your hearing blasting Beethoven through headphones/earbuds). Tu, que me has dado? Falsas promesas de amor. Mocking her, leaving her as unfulfilled potential. And that is why it sounds bad when a Tiger of the North chap sings it: it’s whiny. He has no call to recriminate in that way because it’s just pathetic in a chap.

Let the chaps stick to the accordion stuff. I like the accordion bits, actually. And, they’re much more suitable to their role. Plus it gives me less to worry about, because it is curious that out of everything there is to listen to, this should be the one my wife seems to have memorized. I need to get her out of this country. It is, after all, in the USA where my accordion lies, and I’d rather have a dozen accordions than one kid.

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