Tag Archives: The Edge of America

Movement is Unstoppable. Welcome to the Edge

The Edge of America

This is a song that has always sent shivers (the good kind) down my spine, as I consider each word.  The words and music are as robust now as they were when written. Up until today, there’s been no video for the song.  I’ve always wondered if it was a missed opportunity.

I don’t need to consider that possibility any longer. Today, Duran Duran released the video for The Edge of America. A song that was included on their 1988 album, Big Thing. Some things need very few words, and little fanfare to make them powerful. They simply stand on their own, creating their own energy.

In today’s world of music videos, very few have the kind of power to change or challenge someone’s thinking. I just don’t feel there’s that same positive push of boundaries as there might have been in the past. This video for The Edge of America is remarkably different. It is not one that folks might cheer over in the same way they would for The Reflex, or even All You Need is Now—after all, the band does not even make an appearance in it—but it absolutely should make one think.  David Medina, the genius behind the work, should be incredibly proud.

There is so much I could make commentary on, but there was one thing – well, two things really – that blew me away when I watched the video. The first was that this song is hundreds of times more powerful and timely now than it was when the album was released – even without a video, and now – we even have that. The second is how incredibly proud I am of them.

I am well-aware that the video does have its implications, and that there are likely some who have plenty to say in response. In this moment, talking is OK. Listening is even better. Some might say it is time to do more listening.

Purity is impossible. Movement is unstoppable.”

-R

 

30 years of Big Thing!

It is amazing how quickly life can take a turn. In 24-hours, I went from feeling happy and content to worried and insecure. The charter school where my youngest attends suddenly closed down. There is much more to the story – as there always is – but the bottom line is that we had to say goodbye this morning. It was emotional, and I still feel pretty raw.

I worked there for the past two years, and quit at the end of May in order to move….which hasn’t happened quite yet. It was very hard watching my colleagues and friends be treated as though they were criminals by the executive administration. Even more difficult was watching the kids faces as they looked anxiously to their parents this morning while being told by someone they had never met that they couldn’t go into the center. I was on a short list of people not allowed in the learning center at all, for any reason – which makes me laugh. I don’t even think I’m on Duran Duran’s short list for that kind of thing yet!

Those of us who worked there gave it our all. Blood, sweat and even tears went into each school year, and I am very proud of the work I did there. To this day, I can’t sneak into the learning center without small (and smallish) children running to give me hugs and tell me they miss me, which I cherish.  I miss being a part of their world each week. Sometimes though, regardless of how much heart, joy, love and affection someone puts into something, it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes things fall apart, no matter how much we work at them to succeed.

This is just one reason why I am thrilled to think about the 30th Anniversary of Big Thing today. Many fans talk consider the front side as the real genius of the album, but I believe the real gems are on the back!

The trifecta of “Palomino”, “Land”, and “The Edge of America” continue to rock my world to this day. Any one of the three could be entered into direct evidence for why Duran Duran should be in the Hall of Fame. Combined, they become the cornerstone of why I, along with so many others, are fans of this band.  Heartfelt, personal, poignant,  ground breaking are all words I would use to describe the project. Big Thing may be one of Duran Duran’s most underrated albums, but it is also among their best. Coincidence?

Sometimes, no matter how much heart and soul you put into something – the work goes unsung by the masses. Those losses are often the hardest to overcome, but they’re also teachable moments.

I’m hoping the same for my family in the coming weeks.

-R