Wise Czar

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

I love learning and writing about the past. It should come as no surprise then, that one of my favorite emotions is nostalgia, or a sentimental longing for the past. This emotion is bittersweet. On one hand, it can elicit sadness by causing you to long for events and people that are long gone. On the other hand, it can resurrect cherished memories and experiences that make you feel wonderful.

A major avenue for experiencing nostalgia is music. With its melodies and lyrics, music can bring out nostalgic emotions like nothing else. Below I have compiled a list of what I believe to be the 10 most nostalgic songs in existence. I have also added links to all the lyrics to give you a fuller experience. Of course, there’s millions of songs I haven’t heard. If you think that different songs should be on the list, please share your suggestions in the comments. But for now, sit back, relax and maybe grab a tissue before experiencing this massive dose of nostalgia.


10. Asia-Heat of the Moment (1982)

Do you remember when we used to dance? That line seals this song as a nostalgic hit. It’s about recalling a time, long in the past, when you lived in the moment. Time had no meaning for you because you were young and had years of life ahead of you…


9. Buggles-Video Killed the Radio Star (1979)


Many people think this song is annoying. I can understand that, but I also believe that it depicts how fleeting technology is, and how things that seem so new today will eventually seem old. This music video launched MTV back in 1981 and reflected a technological breakthrough. No longer was music exclusively to be heard. Now it could be seen on your television set! The sounds and images seemed very futuristic and hip back in the 1980s. Now they seem campy and old. Back then, video had killed the radio star. Today, advances in digital technology are killing traditional video. But this too shall pass…


8. Del Shannon-Runaway (1961)


Despite the people dancing in the video, this song is chilling. It’s a man reminiscing about a woman who he loved that left long ago. His sadness and confusion reach across space and time and relate to people today whose loved ones “have run away.” Indeed, the haunting melody makes this song sound timeless, even though it is quite old. Remember, those young people dancing in the video are now probably in their seventies…


7. Bryan Adams-Summer of 69 (1984)


This is another song where a man is reminiscing about the glory days of his youth—his friendships, romances, rebelliousness, etc. “Those were the best days of [his] life.” It makes you think how quickly your teenage years fly by. Everybody will reach that point when they’ll be lying down (though maybe not on a hammock) and realizing that their youth is gone forever. If you were a teenager in 1969, you are now in your sixties…


6. Judy Garland-Somewhere Over the Rainbow (1939)


Everybody recognizes this as the famous song from The Wizard of Oz. The music is dreamlike. Judy Garland is young and innocent, beautifully staring into the infinite distance. Toto the dog is absolutely lovable. It seems so relatable. Then you remember that this video was filmed nearly seventy years ago. Judy Garland died in 1969 of a drug addiction. Could she have known this in 1939? Of course not.  She was so young there. So many people were young before us, and where are they now? Perhaps somewhere over the rainbow…


5. Bruce Springsteen-The River (1980)


The River in this song represents a place of innocence, long buried in the past, that is capable of bringing forth haunting memories from one’s youth. The singer recalls how the river brought him and his girl together long ago and gave them some wonderful experiences. Now, years later, the cruelties of life have washed that innocence away. The river has become part of a past that can never be returned to, and instead it brings forth painfully nostalgic memories. Indeed, the river is dry…


4. Cyndi Lauper-Time After Time (1983)


This song’s lyrics are brimming with nostalgic language—time, memories, fading—that extols love’s permanence, reaching across time. The girl in the music video has multiple flashbacks where she recalls falling in love, experiencing disappointment and her mother’s comforting embrace. She’s thinking about all the things that led up to her being in that cabin with her man. As we watch her nostalgia trip, we are tempted to go on one of our own. What led us to where we are today, and will we someday look back on today with that same sense of nostalgia?…


3. Cliff Edwards-When You Wish Upon a Star (1940)


Disney’s most famous song survives through the decades as a rhapsody celebrating the innocent dreams of childhood. It connects children in 1940 with those of today, joining past, present and future in the wonderful message that dreams can come true. While listening to this song, you cannot help but get swept away by the hauntingly calm sound of the chorus. Close your eyes as you listen to this song, and think about yourself when you heard it for the first time all those years ago…


2. Alphaville-Forever Young (1984)


As the video opens with the screen zooming into the infinite recesses of space, it’s easy to think of how short our lives are compared to the life of the universe. Those of us who are young now will be old in a heartbeat, and the universe will have hardly aged. The singers in the video themselves are all middle aged now, and they were so young back then. At the video’s end, we see all the people, clearly from various points in history, walking together into the light. Where are they headed? Where are any of us headed? The present will soon become the past as we move toward an infinitely vast and unknown future…


1. Celine Dion-My Heart Will Go On (1997)


The most nostalgic song ever written is fittingly the theme song of one of the most nostalgic movies ever made—Titanic. An old, old women recalls memories of youth, romance and tragedy on the ill-fated ship nearly a century ago. Life is so short and the emotions we experience today are the same ones countless individuals have experienced stretching back to the beginning of time. You cannot watch this video and listen to this music without a shiver running through your spine. You cannot help but think of yourself as an old man or woman looking back upon your youth and reliving the memories that are now the present. One day we will long for today, but it will be nothing but history…


Ever go on a job interview where the interviewer is doing everything possible to trip you up with “gotcha” questions? Worse yet, ever get weeded out from the employee candidate pool by one of those online compatibility tests that the company gives? One article in Forbes Magazine (see Sources) is entitled “Watch Out! 10 Interview Questions Designed to Trick You,” and it revealed how employers often develop questions which, no matter how you answer them, you lose.
job interview

To me, this practice is not only a testament to the vile ruthlessness present in the working world but also an opportunity for cheaters and liars to get ahead, while honest people get left in the dust. One of several interview questions on the article’s list was: “Why have you been out of work so long, and how many others were laid off?” The author explained that employers know that many employees are being let go due to budget cuts caused by the recession.

Instead of trying to help these laid-off employees, who probably need the job more than anybody to feed their families, many employers figure that those who were fired due to budget cuts must have been “second-string employees” at their old companies and should be avoided. This creates a double whammy for the laid-off worker. Not only was he or she fired due to the recession, something that cannot be controlled, but now he or she is stigmatized for it. This is despicable, and employers who operate in such a way should be ashamed of themselves.

Such employers, however, are potentially setting themselves up for poetic justice. Their cruel connivance can easily backfire if they interview a seasoned liar who paints the perfect picture of himself or herself and turns out to be the opposite in reality. In fact, the tricky interview questions that many employers ask are an invitation for the world’s cheating scoundrels to surpass the honest working person.

For example, one question the article listed that employers like to ask was: “Where would you really like to work?” According to the article, the perfect answer is: “This is where I want to work, and this job is what I want to do.”
First of all, the fact that there is a “perfect” or “right” answer that the employer wants to hear speaks to the phoniness of the entire interview process. Instead of giving the perfect answer, why not give the truth? And the truth is that someone unemployed during a recession is probably willing to apply for a job anywhere, not out of some great personal love for the company, but out of a need to survive or support his or her family. But truthfully, many employers are not interested in the truth; they want interviewees to suck up to them. Well, liars are excellent at sucking up while honest people fail.

The liar, before he or she goes on an interview or answers one of those online compatibility surveys, will research what the perfect answers are. He or she will then present themselves as a flawless celestial being, while the honest man will tell the truth and present himself as a flawed human being. The result? More often then not, the self absorbed employer will buy into the liar, who will probably act very friendly and make himself seem like the perfect fit for the company, while ignoring the honest person who may not possess those same theatrical skills.

Some people might call this theatricality “selling yourself.” Well, just like false television advertisements can trick you into wasting money on a worthless product, so too can people misrepresent themselves just to get hired.

Now, the employer may argue that this is exactly the reason why trick questions are necessary—to trip up the liar. Although some may get tripped up, there are savvy swindlers out there who will convince you that grass is blue. So, I would suggest that those employers develop a greater appetite for the truth and view someone with rehearsed, seemingly perfect answers, with suspicion and a skeptical eye. Also, they should grow a heart and stop with those “A Ha!’ questions. Instead, ask about concrete experiences and skills.

Check if prospective employees have the knowledge set to work at your company. After all, job skill and merit should be what matters in hiring someone. It is OK if the new employee is flawed in other areas. All humans are. As for the people who make themselves out to be perfect, they should take up acting.


[This is the article I refer to] http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2012/02/23/watch-out-ten-interview-questions-designed-to-trick-you/