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04/12/2005 @ 03:15 AM: A couple of weeks ago I wrote a new song for AT/DT called "Pink Is Back." Anyone out and about in the recent present shant have had an issue noticing that pink--the color once subject to excessive ridicule in the fashion world--is once again a trendy color for females and males alike. I am even more apt to exposure of this retro neon trend since I spend several days a week walking the campus of the University of Minnesota.

While pink as a fad (because that is what it is--again) was the original and literal inspiration for the new song, as usual I quickly drifted into the metaphor it represented: A social, as well as political, return to the days that once were. Those fucking 1980s.

I don't know what the deal is with the decade of separation thing. I should actually have a sort of affection for the 80s; I did, after all, grow up in the era of big hair, big rock, British pop music, tight jeans, and brat pack movies. My first concert was in fact the Van Halen Monsters of Rock festival at the Metrodome in 1988 (with the astute lineup of Kingdom Come, Metallica, Scorpions, Dokken, and Van Halen). A modest amount of aging has apparently teachaded me some smarts, however; I often joke with my guitar students that my decade of teenage influence will take a lifetime to undo.

Rosy-cheeked Reagan was quite the all-American president. He looked the part, spoke the part, and... well, looked and spoke the part. He also had some very bold ideas about foreign policy and "evil-doers." It was us against them--good against evil--and with God on our side we could do no wrong. Government benefits, mainly tax cuts, for those at the top would trickle down and positively affect those down below, thus stimulating the economy and generating job growth. Does any of this sound familiar (in a modern context)? Of course it didn't really work, and so we'll give it another try (?).

And here we are in 2005, five years into the 21st Century and nearly four years out from the devastating attack on the U.S. that--for a few brief moments--brought the people of our country together and the world to our side. We have since gone into the worst debt our nation has ever seen (we the citizens of the present and future are responsible for that debt), watched employment rates hit the ground, seen social and political battles flare up that intrinsically make open discrimination okay on the grounds of "values" (when they were essentially planted as a means to mobilize voting bases), routinely paid $2.35 for a gallon of unleaded, lost 1,500-plus troops in Iraq (to make no mention of the astounding loss of life in the region since that war began), and have not yet captured Osama bin Laden (who isn't in Iraq).

When the fuck is the haze going to clear away??

Pink is back, and it is not cool nor trendy. Let's collectively pull our heads out of our collective asses and start paying more attention than the patronizing and ADD-accommodating media will let us. Congregate, listen, open up, and compromise. It's got to happen soon.

thumbnail 001thumbnail 002thumbnail 003thumbnail 004Photo Chronology: 1996 to Today
thumbnail 005thumbnail 006thumbnail 007thumbnail 008Please feel free to peruse these memories from the AT photo archives.

Andrew Thomas