Blog Archives

Toto: There’s No Place Like Its African Home. There’s No Place Like Its African Home…

Just a reminder that Toto’s hit single “Africa” is still playing non-stop in a mysterious spot in the Namib Desert, which was the focus of a Jimmy’s Daily Planet blog post back on January 17 of this year.

Most “Throwback Thursdays” are considered timeless because of the subject’s nostalgic value. However, in this case, the everlasting staying power of Toto’s “Africa” is more literal than most in this category of beloved nostalgia.

Upon further thinking, would this specific blog post qualify as a “Music Ditty Miracle”? After all, its legacy is up there with other musical titans.

(Bonus points–well, six points and an extra one–for those who get the reference) 

Toto’s “Africa” Sun Set Is a Timeless Encore

Weezer’s cover is great, but Namibian-German multimedia artist Max Siedentopf took it to an entirely new level.

More on him in a minute.

Toto’s 1982 smash hit “Africa” continues to reign supreme well into the second decade of the 21st century as a defining, shining example of ’80s music nostalgia. How can someone not like this song? It’s relaxing yet an undeniably powerful anthem for many things, depending on the listener/car or shower singer. One listen to the popular song and it’s easy to discern why we–and by “we” I mean the world–still love this song from back in the pre-Internet era.

So why should the song ever stop playing?

Here’s where the aforementioned multimedia artist Max Siedentopf comes into play.

You’ll see what I did there in another minute.

Max Siedentopf–a fellow “Africa” and Toto fan–visualized the ultimate tribute to this glorious song. In an undisclosed part of the Namib Desert, which is located in southern Africa (the continent, not the song), Mr. Siedentopf installed an art installation of sorts. Similar to the genius simplicity of Randy’s Donuts in Los Angeles, there are six normal looking desktop speakers placed on six white boxes. In the middle is a taller white box with a digital music player that is connected to all six speakers via wires (like the ’80s).

The genius part of multimedia artist Max Siedentopf–aside from the clever idea–is that it’s all powered by solar energy with extreme weather elements in place for technology in a relentlessly sunny desert. So that means, you’ve got that right, Toto’s “Africa” will supposedly play on repeat in this mysterious location in Africa FOREVER.

This is Toto’s “Africa” in 2019:

Max Siedentopf said that this spectacular tribute to Toto is located where “…only the most loyal of Toto fans can find.”

This is damn near brilliant. It’s creatively fitting (except for the Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, and rain parts) with literal staying power for generations and hopefully lifetimes. The grand mystery as to where it’s located, serving as a veritable treasure hunt, mostly makes up for these ommissions.

If you think about it, this tribute to Toto’s “Africa” is a living time capsule. And if you think more about it, this mysteriously placed speaker system proves the power of music as the soundtrack to our lives and our surroundings sans introverted cocooning via technology.

Perhaps part of the purpose of this art installation is asking us to take off our headphones–or introverted nature–and engage with the world again in a more openly joyful, extroverted way like 1980s-something?

Hey, we’ve seen stranger things these days inspired by the 1980s.

P.S. 

This is Toto’s “Africa” music video from 1982. 

And this is Toto’s “Africa” performed by Weezer (with a special guest) in 2018. 

Are you tired of listening to Toto’s “Africa”? Of course not! Thank you for this all-time musical masterpiece, Toto. 

Buddy’s March for Survival

An African penguin is on the march of (and for) its life right now.

An African penguin on a beach in South Africa

(African Penguin, stock image)

Buddy, an African penguin, was recently discovered stolen by two recklessly misguided students from a South African marine park. A news report from the BBC states that the two students took Buddy as a demonstration, in which the guilty party concocted their high-minded statement to promote animals being reunited back into their natural habitat.

There’s just one minor issue: How high-minded is it to potentially kill the very animal they attempted to save?

“But Buddy was born in the park, and has no idea how to survive in the wild.

Experts say the penguin could last for just two more weeks before he will starve to death.”
–BBC News Online

There’s a significant problem with protestors, which is that the macro cause may be worthy of discussion and debate, but a critical question far too often remains unanswered: “What happens the next day?” This introspective of the micro, a necessary cognitive exercise, is rarely contemplated with any degree of seriousness or consequence within the exhilarating spirit of protest. It needs to be said that protests can be a great, powerful force for good. On the other hand, protests can equally translate into a powerfully reckless and dangerous force for evil. In this situation, there’s no doubt the two students made a statement. Yes, the academic scholars made a declaration akin to animal malpractice that has the heart-wrenching probability of marching an innocent penguin (and its family) to its death.

Buddy was part of a breeding pair, and was looking after his two new chicks with mate Francis when he was stolen.

Since his disappearance, one of the chicks has died, although park officials do not know if this was related. Francis is also now unable to leave the nest, as Buddy is not there to take over from her.
–BBC News Online

Dr. Ian Malcolm famously said, “Life…finds a way.”

Let’s pray Buddy safely finds his way back to his home and family in the coming days.

What Day is it Again?

Within this rhyming poem are the clues that reveal my specific location.

So many options, which one did I choose?
Of course, it’s the place with the golden views
An adventure for sure, there is no doubt,
the wonderful destination is at the end of the route
The weather is not cold, I will give you that,
the ride may get bumpy, so keep hold of your hat
The deliberate paths don’t ease the confusion,
of fearing the worst: eternal seclusion
Those before you had to do the same,
which is crouching down like the Hunchback of Notre Dame
The darkness proves to be no friend at all,
so be sure to keep your hand on the wall…

And now, without further adieu, I am…

in the Great Pyramid of Giza!