Hey y’all. First and foremost, thanks to everyone who came out to the Beat Kitchen on Sunday; it was a totally great time. Everyone was super cool and I think I can say with assurance that it was an unmitigated success. Also, thanks to everyone who’s tirelessly working out there to make #goatfucking a trending topic on Twitter. It’s all pretty amusing. You guys are funny.
As we get older, it’s fascinating how our tastes change. Some of that has to do with the new demands that come from a new stage of life and some of it’s just kind of inexplicably bizarre. Oh, don’t worry. I’ve thought of a few examples:
I used to like to talk to bums. I used to sit and hang out with bums in fact. In FACT, there was a time when I considered a few bums to be legitimate friends of mine. Now, however, I have no interest in talking to bums. It’s not because I’ve grown old and rich and I’ve forgotten my days of sitting on a bucket giving cigarettes to dudes who probably in retrospect didn’t really want to hang out with a dumb skateboarder with a stupid haircut, and it’s not because I’ve become hardened and cruel and I no longer feel the need to interact with the unfortunate or anything like that. It’s much more sweeping than that: It’s that I don’t want to sit around and talk to anyone at all ever, especially if I’m out on the street trying to get somewhere. The bumness has nothing to do with why I no longer talk to bums except to say shit like ‘not today, man’ when they ask me if I can spare any change. It’s that if anyone at all under any circumstances stops me on the street to chat, it’s annoying. I’ve got a limited life here, and I HAVE been around long enough to know that when random folks stop you, nine times out of ten the results are gonna involve them trying to convince you to you do something that furthers their agenda. Now, this doesn’t mean that I hate my friends or that I’ve never met anyone nice and good out there. Hell, I met a pretty good dude in the playground yesterday (even if his kid’s first name was Gorman [!?!?]) and our conversation was pleasant. And on a rare occasion, I’ll even encounter people who are familiar with my music or this dumb blog and they’ll stop me and express appreciation and that’s totally great, and I’d HATE for anyone to think I was implying that I just need to be completely left alone, a la Prince or Cher or something. It’s just that for the most part, the whole ‘interacting with strangers’ thing is irritating and so I’ve just decided, sort of unconsciously until this very moment of articulation, to avoid it, ESPECIALLY when it’s bums.
And, not to put too fine a point on this whole thing, but lest you think this sounds totally shitty I’d like to offer a quick analogy: Let’s say that you don’t like uh…I dunno, falafel. You’ve tried it a bunch and it always tastes mealy and shitty to you. The one exception to this is the time when you were visiting your old college roommates’ parents in Madison and you went to this spot and had the falafel and it was spectacular. It was one of the best things you’ve ever eaten, however that doesn’t change the fact that you generally dislike falafel and that therefore you won’t ever order it, nor will you ever seek it out. That’s how I feel about talking to weirdos: it’s generally unpleasant, so fuck it. Off the list.
Now, that’s pretty understandable. And although I’ve overtly stated otherwise above, I’ll cop to the fact that there’s an element of being beaten down by the world around me that goes into the consideration to never talk to bums, and a lot of shit is like that. I don’t like the feeling of riding a skateboard any more, though it used to be my favorite, FAVORITE thing in the world to do. I also don’t like smoking weed. I also don’t like talking on the phone to teenagers, or listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers or having long hair or wearing medallions or playing Dungeons and Dragons or drawing pictures of Garfield or discussing political theory with half baked communists/anarchists/capitalists/robber-baron types, and these are all things I used to love to do. It’s not weird to understand why we stop doing or enjoying things. Life is a brutal series of swift kicks to the nuts and at a certain point you just want to get out of the boot storm and chill out with the very few people who can stand to be around you and vice versa. When you’re young and have a high threshold for bullshit, you can potentially film a plastic bag caught in an updraft and call it beautiful or listen to someone else drone on about something equally mind numbing, but after a while, it’s just a waste of energy. You’ve seen and done it before and there’s no reason to do it again.
BUT, there are things out there that I used to hate that I now love, and that’s pretty weird. I used to hate to sleep. Sleep used to cause me anxiety and I used to dread the night and in the mornings I’d jump out of bed as soon as my eyes opened. Now, however, the opposite is true. I love being asleep. It’s my favorite thing in the universe. This one is easy to figure out: it’s because I no longer get nearly enough sleep. Something that was once so plentiful that I was able to throw it away is now in short supply and as such, my desire for it has increased by a zillion percent. But why do I like spinach now, and Billy Joel?
I used to think that Billy Joel was the antithesis of good, cool music, but now I think the song “Only the Good Die Young” is one of the most awesome songs ever. I used to gag when I SAW spinach. Now I eat it raw by the handful. What the fuck is that? My tongue changed? My ears changed? I still like most other stuff I used to like that goes in my ears and mouth (yes, yes. It’s a great place for a dick joke. That’s why I phrased it that way…go ahead and zing me), so I don’t think that’s really the case.
Is it that in the excitement to start cutting all the irritating shit out of our lives we, ourselves get cut out of a lot of other people’s lives (the people we’ve been irritating all along) and at the end of the day, when I’m home alone wallowing in the solitude I’ve constructed around myself, just me and my Spinach and my copy of The Stranger, suddenly I’m like “you know what, Billy? You used to seem like a square, white, pussified antidote to all the things I ever thought were cool about music, but as I sit here eating spinach, staring at the clock and waiting until it’s late enough that I can reasonably fall asleep without feeling like a total loser, I’m kind of getting what you’re saying. We’re all the antidote to coolness. That’s what age and youth are. Youth is cool. Age kills youth so therefore age is the opposite and antithesis of coolness.
Unless you’re Willie Nelson, who’s vastly cooler now than he was when he had the pompadour and performed Crazy in a suit. But that shit’s rare. Most of us are like Snoop. No. Actually, most of us don’t start out that cool. Most of us are like our parents.
Hmmm…this wasn’t supposed to be this depressing.