Thursday, April 21, 2011


I thought I would go out of my mind at lunch today. The same co-worker who informed me last week that Black 47 blows has now informed me that my life is out of balance. Why? Apparently, for the simple reason that I do not watch enough TV to know who Ryan Seacrest is.

To (sort of) paraphrase Ayn Rand and add my own withering commentary:

Who is Ryan Seacrest? And why the f* ck do I care?

It is very bad, I was told, to be so uninformed as I in regard to current events (which includes American Idol, of course). Why, the end of the world could be coming, or the Revolution, or the Bilderberg Group is about to really take over the world for once and for all, and I, who can't abide television and never watch the news, would have no idea.

I am out of touch with reality. I need balance in my life. I need to watch television every minute I am not at work.

It seems to me that someone else's life is just as far out of balance in a direction completely the opposite of mine. Too much television, too much paranoia, too many conspiracy theories, and too much belief in American Idol being the litmus test for true talent.

Oh, puh-LEEZE!

I don't even want to get into any of the political discussions that go on at my lunch table.

I'm annoyed with myself, because I'm too nice to be rude and just up and leave. I have no wish to offend anyone, but the offenders feel no such obligation to me. Shouldn't that nullify my obligation to them?

I suppose if I did not bring knitting to do, I would get up and walk out, but...I have my knitting, and the latest project is one for which I must follow a chart, and pay close attention row by row. It helps me shut out some of the bullsh*t. Not all, but some, which I suppose is better than nothing.

I am weary of being called "Mrs. Hüsker Dü" every time I walk into the cafeteria. It's really getting a bit tedious, especially since I am merely a friend/fan of Grant Hart's, and I delved into Hüsker Dü because I wanted to hear more of Grant's work. That I dig all the music of Hüsker Dü is simply icing on the cake. I wish I could find a really abrasive video of them doing Grant's fabulous-but-short song "What Do I Want?" Instead, here are two videos from Grant's recent concerts in Europe. The first is "Awake, Arise," which is from his upcoming "Paradise Lost" project. This is easily the most powerful version of this song I've ever heard him do. If I had to guess, I'd say this is the prologue to the work, but I could be wrong. Still, it's an amazing performance. He just looks like he's calling down some kind of Power from Above, and I love his fleeting little smirk at the end, when he's through with the words and the guitar is just sustaining on and on with that final chord. He done good, and knew it, or more likely, he reached the high standard he set for himself that night, and was pleased with that accomplishment.

Next up is "Remains to Be Seen," another favorite of mine, and once again, an amazing and passionate performance.
American Idol? Feh. If one likes cookie-cutter music, fine. I guess it serves a purpose. Not everyone can be as intense a music geek as I am. I overanalyze absolutely everything I listen to, with the possible exception of songs like this next one. Romanian Disco at its finest, and one of the happiest, funniest songs I know, even if I haven't a clue what the words mean.
For something a little deeper, here's one that has been haunting me for awhile now. I "won" a copy of this CD by making a donation to WNHU. I wanted to help keep Mr. Tent's Wild Ride going strong, and for a $20 contribution, I got two CDs from their archives. Mr. Tent chose this XTC album for me, along with Devo's latest. I've been enjoying both, but this song, "Rook," really tweaked the old melancholia in a good way, especially: "If I die and I find that I had a soul inside, promise me that you'll take it up on its final ride." God, how that moves me!
None of these songs would make it on American Idol, no matter who sang them. "Numa Numa" is just silly fun, but Grant's songs and the XTC song have way too much substance for diehard American Idol fans to digest.

Don't get me wrong. American Idol serves a purpose, and lots of people enjoy it. But why am I made to feel like I'm suffering from some sort of deficiency because it fails to speak to me? Ever heard the expression, "To each his own?"

I would rather hear Grant while he's fighting laryngitis than an American Idol singer at his or her peak.

Or Jello Biafra ad-libbing his amusing tale, "Night of the Living Redneck."

Or Larry Kirwan chanting about Bridie and the "Funky Ceili."

Or Rory Gallagher wailing out "I Fall Apart."

Or Joe Bonamassa oozing pain and loneliness with "Sloe Gin."

Why have a Fluffernutter when you can have a good, hearty bowl of stew? The stew will keep you going longer. The Fluffernutter? Well, doesn't it leave you feeling hungry again in fifteen minutes?

I rest my case.

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