Thursday, December 07, 2006
Gary Indiana Is Beautiful At Night
I'm drawn to stories of violent self-transformation, the kind of thing that makes you both cringe and admire in the same breath, but I'm even more drawn to stories about people who cannot escape themselves, the ones whose identities are set early and morph as they may over time, never really change. This thought came to mind the other day as I was listening to the Jackson Five singing "Merry Christmas, Baby," Michael's voice the truest in every sense, more adult than an adult, more child than any child, and I could see his dismal future forecast over time, the heart-wrenching abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, his adoration by white people whom he did not threaten, the betrayal he experienced at those same hands, the probably all true accusations about the ill-conceived Neverland and his special friends, and finally his self-imposed exile. I suppose these thoughts seem grim with given the happy nature of the song, but the song itself is sad, holiday wishes from an insular family with a tyrant at the helm, and I liked the song more for its depth and did not change the channel as I am wont to do with Christmas music, except for any Karen Carpenter Christmas tune (same reason), and "Feed the World." (I cannot help it; I am a child of the eighties as much as it pains me to admit this fact.)
Of course, the nature of hell is to perpetuate itself, to keep you drawn in and reciting the same script, each act played out with the talent of a high school drama club, but alas played out all the same. Once I was considering something stupid (ha -- I could start every story with that line), and my friend Hank asked me if I really enjoyed being a cliche or did I think I could surprise myself with something else. I'd already experienced a fair degree of shame over the thought and now I was also a cliche?! If nothing else, this snapped me back into what I considered a more prudent course of action. I once saw a tape of Michael Jackson rehearsing as a young boy -- he looked like and had the moves of Al Green. In the background, his father was screaming at him to do it one more time, to get it right. I suppose, that, like most nights, was a long one.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"This is hell,/ but I planned it, I sawed it,/ I nailed it, and I/ will live in it until it kills me." Alan Dugan, "Love Song: I and Thou"
Drinking music suggestion: Shinebox The Gourds
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy snowy Thursday!