|ABBA, ME, and WILLIAM JAMES: Mamma Mia In Context
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|Author:||RonPrice [ Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:18 pm ]|
|Post subject:||ABBA, ME, and WILLIAM JAMES: Mamma Mia In Context|
ABBA: Bang a Boomerang(1) tells the inside story of Australia's colossal 70s crush on the Swedish supergroup ABBA and their music. It’s the story of how this unequalled and enduring fan-worship changed them, Australia, and Australians, forever. My wife and two step-daughters loved ABBA. From 1972 to 1982, when they were a phenomenon in Australia, I was busy: (i) with my teaching career working 60+ hours a week, (ii) with my work as a Baha’i in Whyalla, Gawler, Launceston, Melbourne, Ballarat, Smithton, Zeehan, and Katherine, (iii) going through a divorce, remarrying, and raising a family of 3 children, as well as (iv) dealing with episodes of bipolar 1 disorder.
ABC's innovative music program Countdown and its host Molly Meldrum were instrumental in bringing ABBA to a burgeoning mid-70s television audience. It was due to Countdown that Mamma Mia(2) was released as a single, first in Australia and then the world. With this, the ABBA phenomenon was born.
This TV doco, ABBA: Bang a Boomerang, digs deep into the heartfelt memories of Australians with its cardboard cartons of memorabilia, its face-to-face encounters, its local pop-icon recounts, its lavish personal and public ABBA museums and Australia's rich media archives. It relives a moment of collective national 'craziness' when Australia literally went ABBA mad. The result of that experience is a warm, bright, captivating engagement with ABBA's time Downunder. The open-hearted embrace of all things ABBA would eventually, in part at least, define Australia.
One in three Australian households owned an ABBA record, from the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, to eight year olds around the nation. One of those 8 year-olds, Angela, lived in my home in 1978. That 8-year old girl now has a successful public relations career and is 42 years old. In 1979 my first and only son was born with ABBA somewhere out on the periphery. Australians, like Angela, were hooked even if some didn't want to admit it back then. It would appear, at least this is the view presented in this video, that the crush was for keeps.-Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1 TV, 30/1/’13, 8:30-9:30 p.m.; and (2)Mamma Mia! is also a stage musical.
2 This musical was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. The title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia". Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, who composed the original music for ABBA, were involved in the development of the show from the beginning. worldwide since its 1999 debut. I retired from a 50 year teaching and student life in 1999 and was busy relocating my life in Tasmania at the time. A film adaptation starring: Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters was released in July 2008, but other interests and pursuits, activities and enthusiasms, enterprises and involvements prevented me from seeing that film.
When you are up to your eye-balls
in life’s trilogy of responsibilities:
job, community, and family, those
things in the electronic-media are at
best peripheral to the mainstream of
your life.1 After 80 to 90 hours in an
immersion in those life-demands all
you can do is try to get the sleep you
need to do it all again tomorrow, and
tomorrow. ABBA were, for me, like
a shooting star in some distant galaxy.
That star repeated itself off-and-on for
10 years in my life while I was as busy
as that proverbial beaver just surviving
and making as much out of my life as I
possibly could with William James’s
booming-buzzing confusion always at
the core of it all, as it is for everyone.2
1 Even after I had retired in 1999, and spent 40 to 50 hours a week in the several roles which represented a reinvention of myself as: writer and author, poet and publisher, editor and researcher, online journalist and blogger---there was so much in the print and electronic media that I could not take-in: like this musical as well as the film adaptation for reasons associated with my new roles and life’s many activities which are the result, for me at least, of serendipity.
2 William James(1842-1901), an American philosopher and psychologist who had trained as a physician, was the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. In his Principles of Psychology (1890) he refers to this booming and buzzing confusion in the following passage:
The baby is assailed by eyes, ears, nose, skin, and entrails all at once. It feels it all as one great blooming, buzzing confusion, and to the very end of its life the location of all things in one space is due to the fact that the original extent or bigness of all the sensations, which came to its notice, at once coalesced together into one and the same space.
The above passage comes in the middle of James' chapter titled, "discrimination and comparison." James began the chapter with a massive direct quote from John Locke(1632-1704) the Father of Classical Liberalism. I leave it to readers to google Locke and James, if they are interested in the many questions involved in our perception and analysis, our dealing with the great coalescence of what we see and what we think.
James used the quotation from Locke to dive into a discussion of how a mind can make discrete parts out of the wholeness of the world. The problem of how to deal with the real world was a serious drawback to the ideas of previous thinkers like Locke who supposed that the mind operated by recording associations between concepts and perceptions as follows:
Experience, from the very first, presents us with concretized objects, vaguely continuous with the rest of the world. The person envelops these objects in space and time; they are potentially divisible into inward elements and parts. These objects we separate, break asunder and reunite. We must separate them and unite them for our knowledge of them to grow; and it is hard to say, on the whole, which way preponderates, separation or synthesis. But simple sensations are all products of discrimination carried to a high pitch. For more go to this link: http://johnhawks.net/weblog/topics/mind ... -2010.html
1/2/'13 to 8/2/'13
|Author:||RonPrice [ Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:14 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: ABBA, ME, and WILLIAM JAMES: Mamma Mia In Context|
Take your time, l-e-v-a-n; I am now retired and on a pension so have lots of time to write. I might add another piece on some music below---and you can take lots of time to read it.-Ron Price, Australia
BACK ON THE MUSICAL RAILS
While I’ve been writing poetry during the years of the fourth epoch in the Formative Age of the Baha’i Faith: 1986 to 2000, a world of music was being born utilizing the new format known as the disc. After accepting the invitation by the Launceston Baha’i community to present their half hour program on the community station, City Park Radio, I was given a box of cassette tapes and discs. Some twenty of the discs I had never seen or heard before. It was a wonderful world of sound produced in the U.K., Canada, United States and Australia.
I would have my first program at the end of the Ridvan period at the end of April and at the outset of a new One Year Plan aimed at “concentrating the forces, the capacities and the insights that (had) so strongly emerged”1 in recent years. -Ron Price with appreciation to The Universal House of Justice, Letter, 26 November 1999.
I inherited a world,
some fifteen years of sound
organized by: Brenda Lake,
Noel Broomhall and Dave Purcell.1
It was yet another part of that coming
out of obscurity. Such sweet sounds
brought me up-to-date after my life
got disconnected in the seventies
and early eighties from the music
produced by Baha’is. After a dozen
years of connection I’d gone off the
musical rails for, what, twenty-five.2
Now I was getting back on track
with old songs and new: jazz, blues,
folk, music for meditation, choral,
musical drama, indigenous(Indian),
South American, African and more:
soulful, tuneful, heartful and for me:
water-on-a-desert after all these years.
1 the three presenters from the inception of the Baha’i community’s involvement with City Park Radio:1985(ca) to 2000.
2 music seemed to be less a part of the centre of my life from about 1975 for many reasons: a second marriage and children, illness, a burgeoning musical world, a gradual loss of intensity and enthusiasm in the day-to-day round, a quietening-down of my personality.
14 April 2000
|Author:||RonPrice [ Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:15 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: ABBA, ME, and WILLIAM JAMES: Mamma Mia In Context|
Most of my writing now in the evening of my life is strongly autobiographical. Readers without the interest need to simply stop reading when they find their interest lagging.-Ron
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