The the rolling layers of fat that protect the poor fellow with the receding hairline and gently sloping forehead can no longer be preceded by the word “baby.” The fat, like the man sporting it, is quite old.
I stare at the guy who in turn stares back at me. I scratch my head and the guy across the room follows my lead. It takes me a minute to realize that the guy isn’t some unknown loser… hell, it’s me, reflected on the mirrored surface of the window.
It’s 3 PM and I’m in the Starbucks on South Kihei Road. The bane of socially conscious whiners who value commitment to a cause over consistency of production, Starbucks often gets a bad rap from people. I like it and pity those who find fault with its success. Today though, I’m not here to argue the merits of a perfectly made latte, but to write two articles for MSN. My trusty laptop, SpongeBob, is performing double-duty: Typewriter and Jukebox.
Quite frankly, I can’t write without music playing, but more importantly, I have the hardest time making connections with people who aren’t passionate about music. Well, let me rephrase that. I have a difficult time finding common ground with people who listen to crap. While I can appreciate the vocal range of Christina Aguilera, the marketing behind Britney Spears, and the lunchbox sex appeal of pre-packaged bands like N’Sync, I don’t consider their output to be music. Background noise maybe, but music? No.
I won’t fault you for liking that crap, but I won’t respect you if the preponderance of album collection consists of bubble gum pop. A few mistakes here and there are ok. Even my vast music collection has ’em: Poison, Escape Club, Fine Young Cannibals, Janet Jackson, etc), but those mistakes are few and far between. The easiest way I know to avoid buying into something that is crap is to stick to the classics: Stones, Who, Elvis, U2, Journey… er, scratch that last one. Of course, playing it safe means you’re less likely to discover music that is worthwhile.
I digress. Music is an essential component to my ability to truthfully observe the world around me. I don’t need it to make sense of what I see, but it does inspire me to accurately interpret and share it. Whether I’m writing an article about pursuing a MBA for my publisher or a blog post for the Monkey Diaries about the failures of my mother as a primary care giver, chances are there is music gave it life, clarified my message, and ultimately, produced whatever value the piece has.
I honestly can’t write without music. I’ve tried and usually fail. A few days ago, feeling melancholy and slightly down after a discussion about my mother, I wrote the previous post under the influence of Working Hour by Tears for Fears. This missive is being directed under the direction of Bucket by Kings of Leon, specifically the lyrics, “eighteen balding star.” Granted, eighteen was twenty-one years and 100 lbs ago, but there was a time when my fellow students and teachers predicted great things from me. Sadly, none of those things came true, atleast not yet. If I ever do write something worthy of praise, you can be sure you’ll read it long before anyone else does… consider that my gift to you for putting up with me.
So, here’s to the music we love and the greatness it inspires. What are you listening to?