Friday, December 10, 2010
Birthday wishes go out today to Paul Hardcastle, the British-born DJ and keyboards whiz who scored a hit worldwide in 1985 with 19 - a tribute, really, to the much-maligned Vietnam veterans whose sacrifices were only then (a dozen years after the last of them had returned Stateside) being recognized.
Featuring the sampled vocals of narrator Peter Thomas - who initially didn't want his vocals to be used in the song; fortunately he later relented - the song was also among the first to highlight the tragedy of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or what used to be called* shell-shock. Inasmuch as the Vietnam War was a disaster for the American Empire diplomatically, its aftermath has been an even greater disaster at home, filling American streets with men who should have been treated like heroes but who, having served their purpose, were thereafter discarded like so much trash.
*Far more poetically and therefore far more effectively, in my opinion...
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