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Country: North America, CA, Canada
City: Montreal, Quebec
The Wall is neither Pink Floyd's greatest nor their most popular album, but it is without a doubt one of the most misunderstood and brilliant albums of all time. Representing a number of paradoxes that the average music listener never takes into account before listening, The Wall has been transformed from a mainstream billboard topping release into a most cherished underground album.
In order to fully comprehend the album it is a necessity to take into account a number of factors not on the album. Of chief importance were the socio-political issues of the 1970s, and the vast transformation mainstream music was taking from the more serious rock `n roll into the mindless disco beats. Conceptually The Wall is about conformity, and yet at the same time it's about not conforming. Proposing the first of many paradoxes contained within the album.
Upon release it was immediately hailed as a classic by society at large, to paraphrase another reviewer, it was the album to have. The well-received greeting the album had can almost entirely be attributed to the songs Another Brick in the Wall (part2), and Comfortably Numb. In fact to this day they probably comprise ninety percent of the total airplay The Wall receives. And over the course of the following decades the majority of the remaining twenty-four songs faded into near complete obscurity with few exceptions. This can be mostly attributed to two reasons: The morass of the album as a whole, and the depressing tone of the rest of the album.
Another reviewer said it best, "It's very difficult to sit through a complete listening, not only because the album is so long, but also because it's so miserable in tone." Yet his statement brings about another paradox, while the album is long, and decidedly miserable its also very difficult not to sit through a complete listening because its almost impossible to fragment the album, listen to the fragments and take from them any kind of understanding.
While the tone The Wall takes is miserable it's also necessary. Not a single aspect of the plot is something light, casual, or cheerful. Although its overwhelming depression, The Wall still manages to momentarily coalesce into something joyous even if the subject matter is revolting. Most notably the songs One of My Turns, Bring the Boys Back Home, Waiting For the Worms, and The Trial.
The plot of the album can be viewed two ways. Some prefer to think it's a good look into the psychology of the human mind, especially when confronted with being excluded. While others prefer to think of the album as a very imaginative and creative story. Regardless of which stance you take, the plot is a startlingly vivid and disturbing look at the dangers of conformity, and mass media propaganda.
In the end the most important thing to remember before listening to The Wall is that while yes it is depressing, and that yes it's subject matter is shocking, its designed to be. Nothing about the albums contents are to be taken lightly, this is not an album that can provide background music at a party. It is however an extremely creative and thought provoking album, unique in more ways then one. Highly recommended for anyone who looks to get more out of music then just simple thrills.
Well, I'd always wanted to try one of these and when Amazon.com had a sale, I talked my husband into it.
So far, I have to say all is well and the product looks nice and is performing just as advertised. Every herb plant (from the Gourmet Herb seed pod kit that came with it) came up and before the full time allotted ran out. Most were nicely ahead of schedule. I am just about to the end of the first two week germination period, so we'll see if the "add nutrient" lights come on properly.
The unit has been through several short power failures and nothing has disrupted the scheduling of the lights going on and off at the proper times. The light is bright, yes... but not so bright as a sunny window. My unit is in a finished basement room where I can keep it shut away from my plant-destroying young cats. Were it not for the cats, it *would* be on my kitchen counter! However, before you buy one, you should be sure you have a good place to keep it and won't be bothered by the light. It is on 17 hours a day during the herb cycle. Me, I like light.
We did have one scare, when my husband smelled a burning smell coming from the unit one night. The smell was completely gone by morning when he told me about it and I checked the unit but I called Customer Service anyway. I was pleasantly surprised not to have to wait on hold. They said that sometimes there is a coating on the plastic that burns off within the first 3-4 days. OK... this happened perhaps just past that point, at about 4-5 days, so I assume it was just what they said. No further instances of strange smells since. Still, it was quite worrisome at the time, so I could wish the company might mention this possible occurrence in the manual so one might be prepared! They did give me a quick way to check and be sure it wasn't my pump burnt out... and it clearly wasn't. So I felt safe continuing to run the unit and appreciated the quick help. The pump has so far been VERY quiet, almost silent, actually.
I'm looking forward to seeing how my herbs grow. If they do well, I think I'll start looking for a place to put a secondary and possibly a third unit. Perhaps using one of those accessory wall stands. The one drawback of course is that you get hooked into needing to buy their seed or master gardener kits, their nutrient tablets and their grow bulbs (which are supposed to be replaced at six month intervals). So this is probably NOT the most cost effective way to grow. OTOH... I can look forward to basil that is not half-destroyed by earwigs! And FRESH herbs when all is frozen and brown outside. It's surely an EASY way to garden!
Update: April 2010
Still using my Aerogarden Classic! That first herb garden was wildly successful! In fact, I've bought more and currently have NINE assorted Aerogardens! On the cat issue, I've found that the cats don't go after my herbs, just lettuce. So I *do* have an Aerogarden growing herbs in the kitchen now. Any gardens the cats might bother or where I might be growing a plant that is toxic for cats stays in my basement room. I'm harvesting abundant basil, dill, thyme and cilantro at the moment.
I mostly do my own seeds now, using Park Seed bio-sponges, General Hydroponics Flora series liquid nutrients and making my own labels. I save and reuse all the plastic pod baskets I have received with various seed kits. It's more economic than buying extra Aerogarden supplies. At any rate, this first Classic garden is continuing to function beautifully, no pump failures or any issues, though I do keep a spare pump on hand. I replace the bulbs once a year. I have a mixed romaine/endive/arugula/chervil garden that has recently sprouted and growing right now. I've also used this original garden with the Aerogarden Seed Starter Tray and that works very well too. I'm a happy Aerogardener!
My favorite Aerogardens are the tall gardens AeroGarden 900380-1200 VeggiePro for Full-Sized Vegetables, but I'm also fond of the little 3-pod gardens, which are super for flowers. I've grown tomatoes, green beans, chard, lettuce, greens, baby bok choy, petunias and various herbs in my gardens so far. I'm trying baby bell peppers right now, though those have just sprouted. For those needing help or ideas for their gardens, I highly recommend the Aerogarden Growers Community Forum.
Update: May 2010
On harvests... don't expect a single Aerogarden to provide for a large family. However, if I harvest heavily, I can usually get about 100g of lettuce (enough to fill two large pasta bowls or make 3-4 smaller side salads) about every 5 days or so. I get even larger amounts of chard weekly and it is fresh and tender and mild enough to eat raw. Herb gardens do provide fairly abundant harvests, it's difficult sometimes for hubby and I to keep up with the garden! However, the fact that it produces so well does encourage me to use a lot of fresh herbs! Overall, I definitely feel my Aerogardens contribute to healthier eating! And I use the extra spillover light to help start other plants for outdoors. And grow cat grass.
Being a woman, I find I have difficulty remembering important information for even short periods of time. I can't be expected to recall silly things like presidential election days or how to drive well when I have more important things to do like ironing my husband's shirts! Thanks to BIC Pens for Her, I finally have a way to write down all of the really critical things to remember! I'll never forget how to make a sandwich again. Thanks BIC!