Don't look now, but here come the '80s!

Posted On: Saturday - June 11th 2022 7:51PM MST
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Make that the anything-but-roaring '20s instead. That's 40 years of Borrowed Time that has passed since Dennis DeYoung warned us about the 1980s at the beginning of this Styx song. Well, the band was one of many who liked long introductions back then, so there is 50 seconds of mellow keyboards, then another 30 seconds of hard-rock intro first...

From Wiki:
According to DeYoung, the theme of the song is "America in trouble." News Record writer Rex Rutkoski said that the song "examines an America living on "Borrowed Time", wearing blinders to the possibility of its own decline.
Yeah, OK, like Paul Simon, Neil Young, and Merle Haggard, with 3 great old songs, sometimes you're just 40 or 50 years early with your prescience. As Yogi Berra said ...

I guess we have used that borrowed time up. Now we owe principal, interest, and penalties.

Borrowed Time was from this keyboard-oriented rock band's 1979 album Cornerstone*, but the song was on the record charts in April of '80. It's not really one of their better songs, but Peak Stupidity has others we'll put up and a couple here already (will link to 'em later).


Dennis DeYoung - lead vocals, keyboards.
Tommy Shaw - lead guitar, backing vocals.
James Young - rhythm guitar, backing vocals.
Chuck Panozzo - bass guitar.
John Panozzo - drums, percussion.

We'll get that Georgia Guidestones post in (speaking of those*), and now posts are building up left and right for next week. They'll be more on the acceleration of immigration stupidity, the real reasons behind it, IMO, probably more Kung Flu stupidity, and more. Have a happy Sunday, Peakers! Thank you all for reading and writing.

* Not related to the Georgia Guidestones, I reckon. These guys were from Chicago. What would they know about them?

Sam J.
Thursday - June 16th 2022 2:21AM MST

The 300 was done in such a way as to make the Spartans look like a bunch of roided out yahoos who screamed and yelled a lot like Women. I know enough about real Spartans to know their way of behaving was much different.

A large part of it was to degrade the memory of the Spartans. They made the Ephors look like a bunch of old perverts who kept young girls trapped and drugged. When in fact the Ephors were very old warriors that had been around for ever and were the conscience of the government to keep them from doing something stupid.
Monday - June 13th 2022 8:50PM MST
PS: Yeah, Mr. Hail, I don't know how many Americans equate Persia with Iran even, much less noting the difference between the Persia of antiquity and the modern country. I guess the guy could have just refrained from going to the movie himself. Better yet, he could have gone back to Persia, errr, Iran, and protest it there!
Monday - June 13th 2022 8:24PM MST

"He's a real piece of work to get upset about "300". I did not see one, but I'm not sure how he related it to Iran either - more importantly, how stupid is this guy to think Americans would."

The "bad guys" as I recall, wee Emperor Xerxes and his vast slave armies, well seasoned with degenerates or wackos of the kind which end up attracted to any wealthy empire and percolate up. They represented the Persian Empire of 480 BC. The Persian Empire were, as I recall it, both cruel and effeminate, while the Greek three hundred were depicted heroically, a civilizational contrast.

Anyway, the idea was Persia = Iran. The movie was, as I say, based on a comic book (I think), though of course originally based on the actual historical battle. I saw it twice and remember seeing it as a representation of European Mankind vs Imperial Multiculturalism, not some nefarious plot to attack and belittle modern-day Iranians.
Monday - June 13th 2022 8:07PM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, I didn't catch your 6:49 PM comment on Guns and Roses, as my comment was posted within a minute. About your Iranian acquaintance: He's a real piece of work to get upset about "300". I did not see one, but I'm not sure how he related it to Iran either - more importantly, how stupid is this guy to think Americans would. (Lots of us don't know beans about history.)

On that song, I really can't argue much with what Axel Rose had to say. I especially LIKE the mini-Iran part - assimilation is important.

Joe Biden's approval rating reflects the fact that our economic problems now are 70 malaise on steroids with even less hope of it getting better. I just read Ron Paul's latest column. While I agree, as usual, with the gist of it, he ends up calling out the FED (as I have) but acting like we can actually do something about the problem now. Sure, eliminate the FED alright, but we're not getting out of this situation without much financial pain. There's no solution, per se, but just a getting ready to start over right, if at all possible.
Monday - June 13th 2022 7:53PM MST

Re: Carter Stagflation, gas price spike of late 1970s, and polling

I hear today that Joe Biden's approval rating has hit a new low in one major poll, and he is now consistently under 40% Approve and over 55% Disapprove, most polls most the time showing this range of results and outliers not far off (i.e., it's a good day if he can squeak above 40% in a favorable poll which includes generous portions of Low-Info'ers, "All Adults").

According to the "Five Thirty Eight" poll tracking page, Biden has been below Carter's approval level for his entire presidency so far.

Even when Carter's real problems began (measured by polling) in spring 1978, Biden is still much worse off.
Monday - June 13th 2022 6:50PM MST
PS: I meant to add, Mr. G., I hope you greatly enjoy the hockey games!
Monday - June 13th 2022 6:49PM MST
PS: Mr. Ganderson, "Lady" is not so good for the vocals, but it does rock pretty good. That doesn't take away from any humor from The Simpsons - I'm a fan, of making fun of everything!

I remember when I first saw gas UNDER a dollar after that, in the early '80s. Then, as I did a drive across the country in 1999, I thought that it was just location, but gas was going up above a dollar again... and only hit it again for a short time during the early months of the PanicFest. No, we'll never see $1/Gallon again, but then our $4.60 or so is still less expensive with general inflation taken into account than it was (also for just a very short time) in '08 or so, when it got to this same nominal price. However, diesel now is as expensive as 100 low-lead aviation fuel. What the??
Monday - June 13th 2022 6:49PM MST

Moderator wrote: "Do you have any recollection of radio stations playing ('One in a Million' by Guns N Roses), even in the late 1980s, Mr. Hail?"

I'm afraid I have no recollection of any radio in the late 1980s, owing to the insufficiency of my age at the time. That band's hits are staples of US radio, as far as I can tell. How many times have I heard "Paradise City" on radio? Quite many, even so many years later. But I'd be surprised if this song ever aired much on the airwaves. If it did, of course it would have had to be heavily "bleeped-out."

I don't remember how I learned about "One in a Million." I think it was in the late 2000s, and possibly connected to the following:

An Iranian-origin US-resident (I think US-born) male of my acquaintance at the time, who was heavily into politics, called my attention to it. This guy had, a year or two earlier, talked himself into a fury over the movie "300," which was a comic-style action movie about the ancient Greeks at Thermopylae. "300" was supposedly 'anti-Iranian,' he believed (or claimed to believe). He told me he had encouraged people to boycott it. (Myself, I thought "300" was a great movie, a by-then-rare case of an almost purely Pro-European heroic movie, of a kind that became almost impossible just a few years later in the increasingly gloomy 2010s. I did not connect the villains to modern Iran.) I remember this person pointing to "One in a Million" as another piece of damning evidence of the long and persistent anti-Iranianism that supposedly permeates US culture, pointing to this charming verse:

... Immigrants and f**gots
... They make no sense to me;
... They come to our country,
... And think they'll do as they please.
... Like start some Mini Iran!
... Or spread some f**king disease...
Monday - June 13th 2022 3:34PM MST

Mister Moderator- the Styx thing could be a problem in our relationship- my attitude toward them could be summed up by Homer Simpson- he gets to the River Styx, and the band is playing “Lady”- Homer’s comment is “This really IS hell!”

Someone, somewhere, (here?) posted “Monster” by Steppenwolf- although cloyingly preachy it seems relevant for today.

Mr. Blanc can back me up on this, but I remember how shocking it was when gas went over a dollar/gallon in 1978. Not sure the inflation calculator works for today- nationwide average over $5 today.

Oh well. I’m going to retreat into sportsball ( sports puck?) for the next week or so- the two best teams in the NHL, Colorado and Tampa, made it through to the finals. Watch if you have any desire to see the best player in the world, Cale Makar of the Avs (formerly of the University of Massachusetts)
Monday - June 13th 2022 4:24AM MST
PS: "Surprisingly, he is openly critical of the Left. But, overall, he does sound a lot an aged version of the guy who penned "Borrowed Time," a young man who "had no clue what the real underlying problems were" circa 1980, or who wanted to depict himself that way, as a happy-go-lucky reasonable centrist."

I think that was a great summation of the interview excerpt that follows.
Monday - June 13th 2022 4:20AM MST
PS: For Mr. Hail I just listened to GnR's "One in a Million". No kidding, that could not play on the air today! It's got a great sound from my first listen, but that might be that I'm partial to Axle Rose's unique voice bringing me back good memories*

I guess I did not listen to the whole album that the song was on. Do you have any recollection of radio stations playing this song, even in the late 1980s, Mr. Hail? This goes far beyond "funky shit in the city", the cussword having been changed to "kicks" in the Steve Miller Band single ("Jet Airliner"). However, that was a decade and a half earlier, when even the one bad word being on the air was a big deal. Now, bad words are de rigueur - hey that could rhyme nicely! - but anything not with the woke narrative of the times is far far worse than the "funky shits in the city" of 1977. I don't know if this one is a criticism of the direction of the whole country rather than, yes, white kid goes to Los Angeles and can't believe the shitshow of diversity he runs into, even 30-odd years ago!

I will listen to Kid Rock's "Let's go Brandon", but I think, as was the case with you, that I won't like the sound.

Yeah, after reading the lyrics you posted, "they" in "Borrowed Time" could be the Iranians indeed. Criticism and name calling of those "A-rabs" was pretty big, with no calls for being PC back then. There was a song by the "novelty song" singer Ray Stevens called "Ahab the Arab". I suppose it wasn't as hard-core as "One in a Million" lyrically, though ...

* "Sweet Child of Mine" had such a great sound and tune, IMO. I can remember the first time I heard it - it was up on some TV in a bar - a video of the song.
Sunday - June 12th 2022 9:16PM MST

Interesting comments from Dennis De Young, two years ago, in an interview by ROLLING STONE, I post below.

Surprisingly, he is openly critical of the Left. But, overall, he does sound a lot an aged version of the guy who penned "Borrowed Time," a young man who "had no clue what the real underlying problems were" circa 1980, or who wanted to depict himself that way, as a happy-go-lucky reasonable centrist.


(excerpted from interview with ROLLING STONE, March 2020)

DE YOUNG: What’s happened is that over the past 30 years we have slowly taken this ugly march that confuses entertainment with news.

And so now what do we have? We have all these mooks realizing that if we put these polar opposites to represent the extremes in a room, like the WWF, eyes and ears and clicks start happening.

It becomes spectacle. It becomes entertainment. It’s dangerous. It’s killing democracy. It’s going to ruin us because they just want to sell you beer under the guise of ruining the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

ROLLING STONE: Do you think the Left and Right are equally guilty here?

DE YOUNG: No. The Left is more guilty. You want to know why? Because they have all the outlets! Here’s the thing that gripes me. I find myself to be, always have been, Center-Right. Now, if you write that, they’re going to hate me. What I mean by Center-Right is--I’m Right for two reasons.

One, I believe tonight there are people that are willing and able to come into your house, kill you and take everything you have if you give them the opportunity. I believe that because as much as I like human beings, I’m suspicious.

Two, I would like to keep as much of the money that I make for my family, knowing full well that there is a common good and a common wealth that must be addressed, so tax me a good amount of money. I’m not against it. But at some point, you know, I want them to act like parents.

ROLLING STONE: Are you a Trump supporter?

DE YOUNG: No! No! Are you kidding me? I voted for Obama. Imagine that! I listened to what he said. I’ve voted for Republicans and Democrats all my life. I try to judge the man or the woman knowing full well that as a collective we’re imbeciles. To look at these individuals and think they’ve got the answer — they’re morons just like you and me and making it up as they go along. Everybody, wake up! These people are not saviors. They are humans.

In the last election, I couldn’t vote. I just couldn’t. I wanted to, but I couldn’t vote for either of them for obvious reasons. Politically, I am the guy who is sick and tired of the extremes who have suddenly started running our country. I don’t want these people. I want them to try and come to … dare I say middle ground? And I’m pissed at these people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Both sides now claim that neither side has ever had a good idea ever, which we know is historically untrue.

Look, liberals imagine the world the way it should be, not the way it’s gonna be or the way it is. I applaud that. Without liberal thought, we’re lost. I believe that. But when you ask me, it’s not a level playing field. The Left screams about Fox. Do you know whey they’re so successful? The same way Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow were so successful. Not a lot of options for those people! It’s not like me. I’m competing against 10,000 bands just like me. When Fox came out, you can’t beat them because there’s only one.


Interview published March 19, 2020 as "Dennis DeYoung: ‘Styx Should Do One Last Tour for the Fans’: The Styx founder breaks down his new solo album, delves into politics, and explains why he wants the group to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" / interview by Andy Greene.
Sunday - June 12th 2022 9:11PM MST

RE: the line "They can go to hell"

Who is the 'they'?

Re-reading and re-listening, it's really not clear by that point in the song who a "they" could be.

The only thing that comes to mind is "they" could be the people driving fuel prices to 3x the former price. It seems too much a stretch to guess that the "they" specifically means the Iranians, whose unfortunate Islamic revolution and associated disruptions of 1978-81 caused (?) the oil crisis.
Sunday - June 12th 2022 8:53PM MST

Mr Moderator,

Am surprised to learn that you've never heard "One in a Million,"

But, then, that song was so unlikely to get any publicity for its repeated attacks on the LGBTQGK!&XQWMEOW lifestyle and other Oppressed Minority Groups.

The band and lyricist claims "One in a Million" was through the persona of an angry young white man and did not represent the lyricist or the band's own views--despite later revelations that it was based entirely on his own experiences.

Artistic license was a shield that worked in the 1980s, but definitely did NOT work any more by the 2010s. Needless to say, a White group that had a song anything "One in a Million" in our time would simply be crushed and destroyed in a way that wasn't supposed to be possible in the Internet era but somehow seems more powerful, not less.

Established figure "Kid Rock" did release an angry and successful Anti-Biden "Let's Go Brandon" song (uncensored version: but he is already famous and can't be Canceled easily. Kid Rock was a little late to this game, though, as this guy had an earlier and more-successful Let's Go Brandon song: I regret that both of these songs reflect a decadent age in the style of music and the overall tone and the way both these guys present themselves.
Sunday - June 12th 2022 8:36PM MST
PS: I'll write more back to you later on the gas prices in dollars adjusted for general inflation, but since you mentioned "Running on Empty":

To me this one was just another bit of bitching about life on the road for a rock star (Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" was the worst that I have in my mind.) Lots of us would have LOVED to have been one of these guys, so I have no sympathy whatsoever.

That's not to say I don't like the whole album "Running on Empty", as it's one of my favorites. It's a concept album, the concept simply being, IMO, that is, that his road life is empty of meaning. One of the songs - I think I featured it on the site, but yeah, I know, searching here is ridiculous - was recorded on the bus: "Nothing but Time" is the name, I think. "I don't know how to tell you just how crazy this life feels..." was in the title cut that was a hit due to, well it just being a great tune. I don't think lyrics matter so much.

I do agree with you on your take on this Styx song. I believe the young band members, or whoever wrote this one (DeYoung?) really had no clue what the real underlying problems were. He just knew that it was being said that Americans couldn't make quality stuff anymore, one couldn't drive around at will with no worries about "no gasoline", etc. That malaise was real, indeed. Notice he says "well, they can go to hell." He refers to those saying Americans were lazy and sloppy and all that. Telling them that they can go to hell was no solution - these were just young - DeYoung, haha - guys going with the feeling of the times.

Thanks for pasting in the lyrics, BTW.
Sunday - June 12th 2022 7:50PM MST

"that song was written right after (maybe during) the 2nd 'oil crisis'..."

The usual meaning of "borrowed time," as I understand it or have heard it used, is as a euphemism referring to someone (or possibly something) with a terminal diagnosis for some disease who is kind of waiting to die and with worse luck would be dead already.

If we interpret the term as used by Styx in that way, we might think the pessimism of the Jimmy 'Malaise' Carter Stagflation led people to believe America was doomed and that it would enter major decline in the 1980s and everyone would have to adjust downward. (Incidentally, I don't think that attitude is necessarily a bad thing, if channeled right, but that's a long sidebar I won't go down here.)

The "Blade Runner" movie, artistically conceived and plotted out around the same time (filmed and produced in 1981; released summer 1982) has a similarly deeply pessimistic near-future prediction for our time, although more like techno-dystopian than a straight-line projection of a Stagflation Forever situation.

It feels to me like Styx mean "borrowed time" to mean something less political, and something more like this: the world they were living in, by 1979/80, was not the real world anymore. The real world, they imply, was circa-1965, and this new world they'd slipped into felt somehow farcical, a surreal world. This circa-1980 surreal-like world was like living in suspended-animation (borrowed time, poetically). No longer real people interacting with the real world.

So I come back to my idea that a big part of this looks like a product of getting older. (I wonder how all of these guys feel now, still active in their seventies. They were worried about age in their thirties!)

I'd compare Styx's "Borrowed Time" directly to the much bigger hit of around the same era, "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne. Very similar in some themes (the car-driving metaphor vs. the gasoline prices references and Oil Shock / Carter Stagflation background of "Borrowed Time"), era (late 1970s), and points of reference (nostalgia and loss of direction)---Jackson Browne (b.1948) also refers explicitly to his age in the mid-1960s in that song.

Interesting that the Jackson Browne song used a car-driving metaphor with 1977/78 song "Running on Empty," which predates the (second) Oil Shock of 1979.

There is a guy out there tracking US gas price inflation whose graph, using smoothed-averages, says the current gasoline price spike is considerably worse than the 1973 or 1979-81 spikes. See:
Sunday - June 12th 2022 4:08PM MST
PS: Mr. Hail, that song was written write after (maybe during) the 2nd "oil crisis". Prices had gone from 60 cents a gallon or so up to $1.50 and higher. Yeah, the word "stagflation" was in use. We can only wish we had an economy that could support a few years of that stagflation now. Unlike 42 years ago, now things can't recover with the help of a Paul Volcker II, as my ZH reading (see previous post) and thinking have taught me.
Sunday - June 12th 2022 4:05PM MST
PS: Haha, SafeNow, so either Mr. MacLean didn't want to explain, or there was really no meaning in it. I know the song is about the death of Buddy Holly, of course, but I don't get all the references. Some songs have more meaning to the listener than the ever had for the writer.

Mr. Hail, I gotta admit that I don't even know that Guns n Roses song. I have heard only the songs from that big album with "Sweet Child of Mine" on it. It is definitely not on Peak Stupidity, and you are quite right that searching is well nigh impossible some time. (I keep threatening to start working on the software ... someday.)
Sunday - June 12th 2022 2:14PM MST

The lyrics, for reference:


By "Styx" (1979/80)

Don't look now, but here come the Eighties!

I was so cool back in '65
I had it made 'cause I understood what to do to survive
I had my car, and I made the scene
Didn't give a damn about no gasoline!
No, no,
They can go to hell

My friend, we never thought about the world
And its realities!
The promised land was ours,
We were the Great Society!

I'm so confused by the things I read,
I need the truth
But the truth is,
I don't know who to believe...

The Left say yes, and the Right says no
I'm in between and the more I learn
Well, the less that I know...

I got to make a show
Because I'm:

Livin' high...
living fine...
Livin' high....
On borrowed time


The song is political, superficially, but doesn't really make itself very clear, does it, and seems more like a nostalgia-song for someone remembering their youthful period of the 1960s (lyric-writer seems b.1947?), looking back from the gloomy point in 1979 of Stagflation.


A much more overtly political song with resonance today is the Guns N Roses song "One in a Million." Said to be based closely on their lead man's arrival in Los Angeles in late 1982 and experiences on arrival and early on, at which time he dramatically encountered fast-creeping decadence and the de-Americanization process, processes which have now come to fruition ("Happy LGBTQQIP2SAA PRIDE MONTH!!"--signed, all US institutions and Good People). California itself lost total-population on the last census, after net-losing Whites almost ever year since about 1990.

Not sure if Peak Stupidity has 'reviewed' that song ("One in a Million"). Lacking a good way to do a full-search on the Peak Stupidity archives I cannot confirm with certainty, but nothing turns up under category-tag "Music."

The "One in a Million" recording is said to be from 1988, but the visceral memories in the song date to circa-1982/83 when the lead-man arrived in "LA."

The song is said to be a musical re-creation of his first days and weeks in "LA" after arriving by Greyhound bus, encountering swarms of degenerates, "immigrants and f*ggots," "police and n*ggers," a "mini-Iran" and all the rest, the whole scene amounting to a kind of ongoing nightmare for a "small town White boy," a culture-shock in one's own land not based around a regional identity per se but around degeneracy and foreigners, mostly.
Sunday - June 12th 2022 11:34AM MST

As an ancient one, I naturally tried to come-up with earlier “America coming apart” songs. Alas, my mental processor was not good at sorting songs by theme. But wait..I’ve got one….”Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.” That’s an iconic one, so I don’t feel totally inept. (By the way, someone once asked Don Maclean what the heck his cryptic song lyrics mean. He replied: “They mean I will never have to work again.”)
Sunday - June 12th 2022 6:39AM MST
PS: Haha, Deep Thoughts, nobody's stopping you. (There's just a small parking lot for ~ 8 cars, and no fence or anything.) After the Mexican buffet, Ex-lax may not required.

This Mayorakas guy is one of those that deserves being put up against the wall. How is he in any way "serving" the US public?

I like the older stuff, from Grand Illusion, etc. I thought "Mr. Roboto" came out after the band's prime. It beats Milly Cyrus, I'm sure. (Well, I can't be positive that I've every actually heard her so...)

Deep Thots With Handy Jack
Saturday - June 11th 2022 10:39PM MST
PS I wish to visit the Globalist Guidestones but would like to stop by an all can eat Mexican buffet after loading up on Ex-Lax to leave an impression on the site.

All kidding aside, heads up Das Heimat Schutze (DHS) and the fabulous comrade commissar Mayorakas is warning of a "mass casualty" event after the Roe v Wade decision.
My Monkeypox LARP decorations are still up and the Alien Invasion LARP is so much more fun.
Mr. Roboto isn't that bad and the Grand Illusion is what we are living through under the drooling dotard of disaster JoJo Brandon.
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