Sunday, January 20, 2008


I saw an article in the news the other day, about a young woman, who lives in my former home province, the fair Alberta, whose favorite music, rap/hip-hop, was giving her instant grand mal epileptic seizures. (It's a very rare condition; there are only 5 known cases in the whole world.) Even more unfortunately for her, the worst offender was her fave artist, a fellow named Sean Paul. She has since had brain surgery, which involved removing the small part of her brain that was causing the seizures. Yikes! Please don't get me wrong, I'm not being flip about this. Epileptic seizures are a serious matter, and I am very happy for her that she is fine, and now able to listen to her music without having them - but it sure made me stop and wonder. What if the music I loved caused me the same kind of dangerous distress? Would I have to do what she did? There is one variable worth considering.

Rap and hip-hop music is everywhere these days. A person is very likely to encounter it frequently out in the world. You hear it all the time on TV; it's blasting from the sound system of practically every other store. Of course, a person could stay away from the malls without too much difficulty, but what if you heard it coming from the car next to you at a red light? And often you can hear the low-frequency boomba boomba boomba coming a half a block away. It would be pretty hard to get away from that. This poor gal was even affected by hearing rap music faintly from some person's iPOD, if they were just sitting near her. I can see why she needed that operation.

Now, as you know, my music is not rap/hip-hop, but vintage oldies. With the exception of a few TV commercials and movie soundtracks, rock and roll oldies are pretty hard to find in the general populace. Occasionally I hear them in the background while grocery shopping. Other than that, I think I'd really have to seek them out to hear any. But then...I couldn't safely do that, could I. Hmmm. A life without Buddy and Del and Shangri-Las. No "California Girls" and no "White Rabbit"'s unthinkable! It wouldn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that I'd want my name on a brain surgeon's "to do" list. (This is definitely no DIY project). So, in conclusion, let this be a lesson to us all, never to take our good health, or our music - whatever kind it may be - for granted. And to that young woman in Alberta - rap on!

Sean Paul

Jefferson Airplane

No comments: