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Big Yellow Taxi (1970) - Joni Mitchell
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I Grew Up Again...

When They Paved Paradise

by Joey

What's up with Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" song?  Why does every borkerline doosh bag artist have to cover it?  The Counting Crows, Pinhead Gunpowder, and Amy Grant all had to rehash their version of the tune.


Is it really that profound?  What's the hook there?  I think we'd all be better off if everyone just let it begin and end with Mitchie's version.  (...And maybe Dylan's 1973 version...)


Anyway, one way or another, "Big Yellow Taxi" became my theme song when I visited my alma mater a year or so ago.  (...Not that I got a degree from there, but I paid tuition for two semesters :))


Here's the scenario:  For my freshman year in the dorms at the University of Rochester, I often lit up a joint and then headed across the large green area on my way to class, lunch, or what have you.  Other students sprawled out to nap, chill, or study, and it was one of those quintessential momentz of peace that I would often recollect to in my life since.  It was a paradise I didn't know I had.  The memory of that large green lawn gradually became the epitome of paradise to my mind.

Joey's Back 

When I returned to the New York last year and made a few nostalgic runz around the state, I stopped in and noticed that a new parking garage was erected directly where I used to walk in paradise.  I could hear Joni Mitchell's sweet voice weeping: "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."  I teared up a bit and answered the song playing in my head: "Doooo bop bop bop bop."


I'd planned to roll around in the grass and have a picnic with my girlfriend -- the whole nine yardz.  Now my only optionz were to park my car and pay a toll for my 8 by 10 foot rectangle of concrete.


I grew up again.  Why, oh, why must our spacez of majestic, natural beauty be tarred over for such mundane purposez?


Alex Inkeles studied the modernization of individuals in various countries during the early 1960s for the American Journal Of Sociology.  Inkeles (1969) writes: "Industrialization is a kind of plague which disrupts social organization, destroys cultural cohesion, and uniformly routinely produces personal demoralization and even disintegration."


Now Inkeles' survey research actually disputes this charge and says that demoralization is random and not causally linked to modernization.  But, Inkeles can go suck a dick.

I was personally demoralized by that fuckin' parking lot, and the parking lot is the perfect example of the desolate nature of the industrialized world! 


If it wasn't for the amount of random makeoutz and/or free drugz I've scored in parking lotz, I'd never step foot into another one as long as I lived!

March 2021

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