Friday, June 17, 2011

Eating cars, literally

The one benefit of the whole Harold Camping brouhaha that occurred recently (and may or may not recur in October - we'll see if people are tired of him) is that it gave a lot of us an opportunity to revisit an old Blondie song. Of course, when Harold Camping is talking about the rapture, he's probably not envisioning the rapture as sung and rapped by Deborah Harry.

Now if you were to ask me to choose exactly two words from the lyrics, I know which two words I'd choose. I've chosen them before:

First, "Heart of Glass" was the first Blondie song that I ever heard, which is probably true of many people, so most people probably assumed that Blondie had been a disco band all along. Second, as time went on, it became more and more apparent that Blondie did not have a single musical style. And that they were into eating cars.

I know that there are a bunch of nonsensical lyrics in Harry's rap, but those two words "eating cars" have stuck with me, because obviously no one from Earth, Mars, or any other planet would actually eat cars.

Well, thanks to Jake Kuramoto, I stand corrected.

Back in the late 90s, I worked on a project at a metals reclamation plant in urban Detroit. They bought truckloads of shredded cars, sorted out the recyclable materials (aluminum, copper, etc.), and resold them to the automakers.

The machine in this video must be the guts of that glorious machine that eats cars and spits out pieces no bigger than a hardbound book.

To see the referenced video, go to Jake's post. And no, the video doesn't show any cars being crushed, although the machine makes quick work of pallets, blankets, cans, and (for some inexplicable reason) tampons.

Kuramoto's post also comments on the retro background music in the video, "which of course [wasn't] retro at the time this video was made." It's probably true that you can identify the production date of a video by its background music. Today, people are more likely to license (or not license) a current song for a video.
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