Fake Plastic Trees

Posted: September 6, 2006 in Uncategorized

42121319willie.jpe

One of my favourite albums is ‘The Bends’ by Radiohead.

This is high praise, as I am a hardcore U2 fan closely followed by ‘The Waterboys’. So I love this album, ’The Bends’ and in particular the song ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, which has many associations for me.

And tonight I was reminded of it again. For tea tonight I headed towards Burger King, I’m not a fast food guy normally, but this evening convenience won out.

While sitting there chewing on an Ex-clucker in a roll I noticed in the corner a palm tree. Upon closer inspection I noticed that the trunk of the tree was originally in two parts now put together but not aligned properly so that part of the trunk made a flat ledge .It was a fake plastic tree. Fake fronds, fake trunk and fake soil.

All that would be needed was for a BK employee to try and water the palm.

Why have plastic trees in a restaurant? What does it say about BK? More importantly what does it say about how Customers are seen?

What attitude are customers supposed to have, that prompts plastic palms to be poorly constructed and dotted about a restaurant?What kind of customers enjoy the plastic palm ,what is the ground of the plastic plant industry,how does it make the world better ?Why is it there?Someone needs to find this stuff out!

I hazard a guess; is it gullibility, stupidity, appreciative of plastic, haters of chlorophyll, haters of Oxygen, lovers of polymers?

What advantage does a plastic tree have over the real deal, how much maintenance can a palm need… really? Even plastic palms gather dust.

Am I meant to be convinced its real, if that’s the case at least put it together so that no straight edges are shown.

Give me the real palm tree, its beauty and complexity, its changing appearance growing and dieing –good grief!

I have another association with Radioheads song ‘Fake plastic trees ‘in 2003 on January 16th I was working a night duty shift, and watching Nasa TV.

At the end of the shift I went to bed and awoke at about midday, I fired up my pc and checked out Nasa TV to see how the crew of the Columbia mission were doing, I logged on in real time just as telemetry disappeared .The crew of STS-107 was lost as the shuttle was torn apart at mach 18 upon re-entry.

Commander Willie McCool was part of that crew and each crew team was woken daily by ground control sending up music that had personal meaning for someone on the crew, for Willie it was Fake Plastic Trees (see here) .Watching the loss of telemetry that lunchtime was emotional as I had watched the crew during that week’s night duty it was the last thing anyone expected.

Whenever I hear ‘The bends’ I think of Willie and Rick, K.C, Ilan, Laurel, Mike and David and those they left behind.

Finally the song itself, made all the better by Thom York’s amazing voice, is a comment on the false, mass produced, uninspired ,ill fitting lives that we live with.

Here’s a sample:

She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns.
He used to do surgery
For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins.
And it wears him out, it wears him out
It wears him out, it wears him out.
She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love.
But I cant help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run
And it wears me out, it wears me out
It wears me out, it wears me out.

Nuff said!

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Comments
  1. ANDY says:

    HI I JUST HAVE TO SAY THAT THERE NOT BEING A REAL PALM TREE IN A FAST FOOD DOESNT REALLY WORRY ME.YOU SEE WHEN YOU ARE EATING IN A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT IT ISNT MEANT TO BE SPECIAL ITS JUST MEANT TO BE A QUICK BURGER JUST FOR YOUR OWN LEISURE. I THINK I SPEAK FOR MOST PEOPLE WHEN I SAY THAT THEY REALLY WOULDNT LOOK AROUND THE SHOP AND LOOK AT PLANTS.WHILE I AM EATING I WOULD TALK, IF I WAS ON MY OWN I WOULD PROBABLY READ A PAPER OR STARE THOUGHTFULLY IONTO SPACE, BUT REALLY ITS NOT STUPID TO PUT DECORATION AROUND EVEN IF IT IS FAKE ITS STILL NICE TO SEE IT AT FIRST GLANCE.ITS NOT A BIG DEAL.COULD I JUST SAY I DONT REALLY UNDERSTAND THE BIT WHERE YOU SAY THAT WE LIVE IN ILL MANERED LIVES WHEN YOU HAVE ONLY COPMMENTED ON A PLASTIC TREE BEING IN A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT.BUT NONETHELESS ITS SAME FOR ME WHEN I HEART THAT SONG IT DOES REMIND ME OF THE CREW WITH NASA. CHEERS ANDY

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