Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody and Me

I saw Bohemian Rhapsody. 

This was analogous to when I first clicked on Michael Jackson's Thriller video shortly after his death, and got totally hooked on him. I had been vaguely aware of Michael Jackson before, but suddenly I was immersed in him. 

I wasn't even vaguely aware of Queen, tho I recognized some of the songs in the movie. 

What was I doing in the late seventies and early eighties. First, I was at Dartmouth. At th that time, there was no TV there. It was too rural to get more than one very fuzzy channel. Cable hasn't really come in yet. 

I decided I liked being free of video material. I felt it was addictive. I didn't watch TV for twenty or thirty years after that. 

I generally hated popular music on the radio. I still do. I usually turn it off fairly quickly. Classics is not a whole lot better. 

I had magazine and newspaper subscriptions, but popular music was a topic I generally avoided. After all, I hated it. 

I sang classical music in choirs, which I enjoyed. Singing was different from listening. 

I went religious services, usually Quaker. I did volunteer work for some groups, including a suicide prevention hotline and some newsletters. 

Then I went to law school, which was pretty all consuming. Then I worked. Then I got married. Then I had kids. 

I was pretty busy. 

YouTube changed things for me. I was unemployed and on the internet reading news when suddenly links to videos came up. My video addiction was triggered. 

Also, suddenly, music I might have heard once or twice on the radio was suddenly available in video form. I could learn the names of the performers and see them perform.  They stopped being anonymous. 

The short videos were even more addictive than TV, actually. 

I heard the name Queen. I heard of Freddie Mercury, but I didn't watch many of his videos. 

The movie changed that. Mostly, because the movie took me back to a time when I lost at least seven friends and acquaintances to AIDS.  It was such a painful time. I was desperately in love with one of those guys, even though he was gay. His death was shattering. 

I read about Freddie online. There was a Quora post saying he caught aids in NYC around 1982, around the same time and place Freddie got it. Maybe one or more of them had sex with him, who knows?

I relocated the AIDS quilt project online. I searched for my friends. Three of them weren't there. Why? Didn't their families make panels for them? These people were hugely important to me. Weren't they important to others? I guess those other people died or were numb wth shock. 

I've got a homework assignment. 

Wow. I've got to make some panels. Why didn't I notice before? Guilt. 

P.S. I bought some materials for one panel Sunday.  Will I get it done?