Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Questions After Seeing Star Wars: Rogue One

Can any thinking person leave the theater believing that the United States is the Rebel Alliance and not the Empire? I write this as a Mac-owning American who has shopped at Whole Foods at least four times in his life. In other words, I am awake but careless.  

Why does the Empire want to control the universe? Is it based on our acceptance that they are simply evil people? I think so. But evil is a pop culture fantasy. Why not just make it about money or fear or loneliness.  

Why should storm troopers bother with their armor if it cannot protect them from a simple blaster?
Reddit: “Not everyone can afford a blaster, and a lot of underground thugs and stuff have projectile-based weapons, which the armor is effective against. Also a weapon of psychological terror.”

Spoiler alert.

Via Text:
Me: “Did everyone really need to die at the end of Rogue One?

Vicky: “It seemed more accurate given that it’s a Death Star.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How often have I lain on a dirty floor, thinking of Paul Simon

A thought: how did Paul Simon write such fun songs? I mean “Kodachrome.”

At Barbara's Books in 2008, Steve, my coworker, asks me if I know The Beatles' song "Hey Jude." I nod. Then he asks--"Do you think that they realized they were writing the greatest song ever made when they sat around making that chorus?"

A show I didn't go to, Brianna and Paul did. A guy strums his acoustic and says, "I'm now about to play the greatest song ever written." He played it slowly. What song did he play slowly? "Take It Easy" by The Eagles.

I co-wrote lyrics for a pretty good song with my friend, Bobby. It once played on Q101. A year later that station went under. I called all my friends the night we knew it would play. “You keep that radio on,” I told them. Our song played around midnight on a Sunday.

Two of my coworkers, who I’ll even go ahead and say friends, because they are cool, why not, went to see Stevie Nicks the other night. She played well, but she talked a lot, too. One friend thought it was a bit much. The other was diplomatic.
“When you show up to Tom Petty’s house with your guitar and hot chocolate mix in the 70s and write a bad-ass song after an all-nighter, you just have to tell that story.” That’s what my coworker’s verdict.

I agree. I’m also sensitive to this issue because I have talked so much on stage, yelled actually. Frankly I can't remember a lot of it. A stranger reminded me of this last week at a tutoring space, and I blushed. There we were, working with children, and he reminded me of this desperate time in my life.

There is a steamer trunk crowded with sentimental detritus a room over. It has over 100 records with what are probably the best songs I will ever write, a good deal of them completed with my friends’ help. I wonder if this is going to bother me, the best of aspect, but it doesn't. 

An artist I met in Bloomington at Pizza Hut said they studied pictures of the Rolling Stones to see if any secrets might be revealed by the band's posture, body language, what have you.  

I’m listening to Bob Seger and sitting on the floor and drinking Pabst, so I know I've still got it.