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Led Zeppelin in August

A few years ago, I found I liked listening to Led Zeppelin in August. Today, I caught this feeling of listening to Led Zeppelin again as I drove around in the late afternoon after work. North Carolina’s August. That time when it’s like summer can’t take any more of itself. The active, joyful months of June and July are done, and the heat and humidity builds while the sunlight starts to slant. There is a feeling of falling and growing darkness. And rot and decay. For me, the work of summer is often not done by August, but I don’t have the natural impetus for it anymore. But from the best years that I remember, I wonder if August is when the beauty of summer, if you have risen up to it and worked for it, rewards you. Listening to Led Zeppelin’s lyricism in the heat of August is amazing. But that’s not really fair to a band, is it? Who says that a band can only be listened to during one month out of …

American Dream

The conventional wisdom used to be that there was a “First World” and a “Third World,” a “New World” and an “Old World.” Your home culture was also supposed to be thought of as what you leave behind. Perhaps decadent, perhaps repressive, but always undesirable in some way and that was supposed to be the emphasis. It was what you needed to grow away from. Your home culture was considered to be in the past. Certain countries, certain places also were considered to be backward, to lag behind. But in recent years, this attitude changed. People have begun to realize that we have been in the same time all along, and there was no “First World” or “Third World.” This is true when you think about. While the more modern, technologically advanced countries provided better infrastructure, the “Third World” and the “Old World” countries still had those ancient things, old ways, that provided the balance to sterility, over-emphasis on progress, over-reliance on technology. For me, personally, the American Dream is no longer the aspirational, prosperity-based …