Microbus’ microburn

A few hundred people gathered Saturday night at Claremont’s Bixby Plaza to watch a replica microbus (made of papier-mache) burn as part of Pomona College’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA art show.

The bus was pulled into place, then fireworks began going off at ground level. Recorded sounds of gunfire, breaking glass and shouted Spanish were played, the better to replicate the chaos of drug cartel violence in Mexico. It was eerie and slightly disturbing.

At the end, the “It’s a Small World After All” song played, perhaps to puncture the tension, perhaps to remind us that such scenes take place in our hemisphere, or perhaps to stick that song in our heads and drive us up the wall. (I was still catching myself humming it the next day.)

The bus was largely still intact, which I don’t think was the plan. We were all directed to repair to Frary Dining Hall for refreshments and a look at the “Prometheus” mural. When we left Frary, the bus was down to a skeletal frame. Hmm, what did we miss?

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  • DebB

    Just a silly FYI…..

    Your mention of getting “Small World” stuck in your head reminded me that I recently heard on some game show that there is a name for that phenomenon, so I Googled it. It’s called INMI – involuntary musical imagery – also called earworms, and there have been a number of studies done about it.

    I read the article below, and a couple others, and there are certain characteristics common to earworm songs, like their melodic structure. Reasons for getting an earworm include having recently heard the song, which applies in your case. In one survey, Lady Gaga had 3 of the top 9 earworm songs!

    In my case, I sometimes wake up with a song in my head from decades ago, and have no memory of having heard it recently. One article suggested three possibilities for getting rid of the song: listen to it all the way through, distract yourself with a different song, or chew a piece of gum!


    • davidallen909

      Generally I don’t mind earworms, i.e., having a song come to mind or stick there, as long as it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Usually I take the approach of playing it in full, which scratches that itch.

      When I listen to a new CD, my routine is to play it five times over the course of a week or two before shelving it. If around the time of the fourth or fifth play a riff or phrase surfaces in my mind while at work, say, that’s a sign the music is burrowing itself into my subconsciousness, which to me is a good sign — it’s become more than just background music.

      But It’s a Small World is in a different category! At least it’s inoffensive, and it faded away later that day — unless your comment revives it (it’s playing again in my head as I type this).

      • DebB

        Ooops – sorry!