Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An Unpleasant Personal Revelation

I just finished watching the Who Killed Amanda Palmer DVD. Tucked at the end are a couple of concert videos. Here, is the video for "Have to Drive."

The ending of the video tore me up even more than the "Sound of Music" video I shared back in April. I was absolutely bawling.

And I have to ask myself, "Why does that happen?"

I don't cry much. It's not a "tough guy" thing. I cry if I feel like it. The thing is, I rarely feel like it, and the instances that do make me cry are generally beautiful rather than tragic. I speculated before that beauty makes me cry because in general, the universe is just not a beautiful place.

Upon further reflection, I've come to a radically different conclusion.


I look at people bringing joy to total strangers, and it stabs me in the heart. It makes me say, "What the fuck am I doing with my life?"

And the answer to that question is not pleasant.

I make better bombs.

When the hell did that happen?

How the hell did that happen?

I never thought I would be the sort of person who would question the direction of his life, because I've been judicious in how I've spent it. If life is a path, then at every fork in the road, I picked the steeper ascent. My assumption has been that "up" is an intrinsically good direction.

But I'm beginning to sense a dissonance between my values and myself, and, at the age of 37, I'm looking down at the four decades I spent clambering to this summit and aside from the vertigo, I'm concerned that maybe, just maybe, I climbed the wrong mountain.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This New Chick I'm Seeing

The new thing making me happy is Amanda Palmer.

You may remember that I killed her. (Don't blame me—she started it, and besides, I wouldn't have done it if Neil hadn't told me to.)

The first step to becoming an Amanda Palmer fan is to watch the videos. (I fell in love at "Ampersand." You might have to wait until "Strength through Music," or hell, the opening credits might do you. Then again her pop song about rape and abortion might make you feel so oogie (kendra's word) that you need to read this essay.)

Then you'll get the album. (If you order a real-life CD from (aka Lakeshore Record Exchange, aka my local music store), then they'll throw in a free DVD of videos while supplies last.)

Then you'll read the liner notes and be all, "Holy shit, she's got Zoƫ Keating (formerly of Rasputina) on cello and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) singing back up. That's even cooler than Neil Freakin' Gaiman writing her liner notes."

And then you'll be an Amanda Palmer fan.

Oh, and welcome to the blog, Ventilator. I'm not sure how you ended up here, but thanks for reading.
And farewell, Donigan. Thanks for following for as long as you did. Glad we could share a happy music experience!