Friday, June 30, 2006

Changing of the Guard

In all honesty, I feel that I should admit that I have been playing around with the notion of posting for quite some time now. I think I waited this long, though, to see if anyone else would post. And now after I put this up, I will wonder if anyone has ever read it. I will, however, still endeavor to focus on aesthetics and the pursuit of beauty.
First, a quick update on the times had since we left the fold and blinking stepped into the sun, if I may so generously borrow from Sir Elton John himself: I skipped the self-reflection process while in the midst of a flurry of packing up my house and moving to a new apartment, saving it instead for the first two long weeks of life in a new neighborhood. I must say that it is quite an enjoyable place over here on the east side. I cook sweet meals, drink cheap wine, listen to artsy music and write scribbles of poetry every now and then to keep busy. The leaves are green, the sun shines, and I sit on my back deck nearly every morning and night. It gives me no small amount of pleasure to both greet the day and bid it goodnight from the same orange chaise lounger that used to grace the porch of my good friends.
I try to use this time to think about life and am lucky now to have a flatmate who is quite capable of holding down her end of a stimulating conversation in a multitude of conversations. I think that this post is veering towards encompassing aspects of one that we had just a few nights ago... I work at the Spar, waiting tables and pouring beer like I was born to do. Fans of irony should note that I am well aware of my situation: freshly graduated english major, aspiring but struggling writer, hopeless romantic, waiting tables to cover my rent money....I appear to be adding new coats of stereotypes to my already shellacked exterior.
Anyway, we happen to have a jukebox containing the general assortment of music that one would expect to find in a dining and drinking establishment. Everything from Modest Mouse to The Killers; Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, The Shins and Wyclef Jean. See, the thing about jukeboxes is that they opperate in a context somewhat akin to a social contract. The bar says 'hey patron, i trust that you have good judgement in music, and i'll let you choose what you want to hear because i believe that you will be happier and thus will drink more.' To which of course the patron responds by oh so eloquently stating 'ho good barkeep, i would very much desire another scrumptious pint of beverage by which to slake my thirst. and then i'm going to play the same song that everyone plays.' That is correct, my dear reader, that is correct. Everyone who plays songs on the jukebox does so under the mistaken assumption that he or she is the only person who has both the desire and the means to hear the same song by the Killers.
Now I transpose that to my discussion with my flatmate in which I wondered if people would ever be praised for their talents rather than be compared to historical counterparts. When will our generation find a talented songwriter who is seen simply as just that, rather than being compared to Bob Dylan? Why do we always attempt to quantify and package bands by saying they sound like the early Van Halen, before Sammy Hagar slid too far down the slope, or like Jethro Tull with a harmonica rather than a flute? My flatmate argued that historical counterparts are the only relevant measuring stick that we have by which to reference music and sports and other such subjective talents. Me? I'm not so sure. I still think that Scott said it best when he mentioned that only when we stop viewing authors by their gender, race, political and social views, and a multitude of other things, and choose instead to judge them by the content of their works, will we truly be able to appreciate them.
Until next time...