Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Geek Power

What must it be like to come up a geek and find yourself in fashion? When I was young we struggled, and then came Revenge of the Nerds, which I think was a big turning point. Decades later Napoleon Dynamite comes out and the point is driven further into the general consciousness: it’s cool to be geeky. Do the dorky kids of today even recognize the sacrifices, the challenges, of those of us who paved the way for them? I doubt it. One of the charming things about geeks is their lack of awareness of current trends. Well, as someone who spent his formative years around Ham radios and early home computers, let me tell you this victory was fairly easily won. Of course, I didn’t fit neatly into any one category. Sure, I was a geeky nerd sort, but I was also a member of the “slacker” crowd, being generally dirty and stoned, and I was also overlapping the border of “heavy metaller” or whatever they were called, with my Judas Priest t-shirt and my long-ish hair. I wasn’t trying to not fit in, I just wasn’t trying to. The only crowd I was trying to fit in with was that of my brother and his friends. That was the heavy metal part. The slacker thing was all my own. I really just didn’t care. Plus I have a certain amount of dirty hippie in me. But perhaps that's another post.

Midol, neat (3/16/12)

I’m feeling really melancholy today. I don’t know why. I don’t think it’s any single thing in particular, but a variety of things weighing on me. Maybe it’s partly the downer of having so much band activity concentrated in a short time, to suddenly having none. I know part of it is my being overwhelmed by the room project at home and the hurdles associated with that. I have nothing to look forward to this weekend except house cleaning. That wouldn’t be so bad if I knew where to put all this stuff that needs to find a place to go. A little of it is a feeling of powerlessness, as my desires seem to have little influence over my course of action. Even my actions seem to be powerless. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels to no effect. People seem to be treating me with an indifference or even mild distaste lately. I must be doing something wrong, but I don’t seem to have too many options of what I can do. I’m trying to make a difference in the life I live with my wife and daughter, yet I feel like every day is just a replay of the days before. I don’t seem to be accomplishing anything, my efforts repeatedly go unrewarded. I know things are no worse in my life than they were even a week or two ago, but I guess I feel like I should have advanced somehow, should have improved our situation a little. But everything is exactly the same. That’s not it though. I think maybe I’m just manstruating. It’s about that time for the lady; I guess I’ve synched up with her.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Music for Schmucks

What is less than a flash in a pan? A spark? In this metaphor, what causes the flash? Is it a grease fire? Is it oxygen suddenly being allowed into an enclosed space which has burned away its available store of it? In either of these scenarios, where would a spark come from? Maybe I’m delving too deeply into the logistics of the metaphor. Let’s say a spark is a significant step down from the flash. What would be smaller than the spark? What would be the next step down? A pop? A sizzle? Even that seems too much to describe what I’m thinking of, considering the size of the pan. Maybe a little bit of a hiss. The things I hope would make a permanent dent in the pan create little more than a noticeable change in the temperature for a brief second. If that.

If we do what we do because we love it, does that predicate that somebody else will love it also? Will the love we feel for what we do be enough of a thing for someone else to love, even if what we’re doing is not? The example that comes to mind is Steve Carell’s character in Dinner for Schmucks. His passion for creating dioramas featuring taxidermied mice is creepy and odd, but his love for his characters and their “lives” is enough to make it endearing and sweet. It makes you sad to see him sweep all his hard work into the trash, not because we care about the mice or their remains, but because we know how much effort and care he put into making them what they are in their afterlife. I hope my music can be at least as endearing as a bunch of dead mice.