Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crooning, unto our layers

Shrek said ogres are like onions. The other day, at lunch, I was given pause to wonder at if maybe that applies to people, thinking creatures (thereby capable of dreaming and lying), in general. A former co-worker and scholar, called me, called both of us, "theoriticians." I didn't so much ask him what it meant as try to decipher its meaning from context. And just in case he was waiting to publish that word in his thesis on educational theological philosophy, my bad Rufus.

Something else he said is how I got to thinking about onions, making references to Disney movies, then switching to doctoral theses. He said to me: "When poor people say they want money, what they mean is infrastructure," and went on to describe why. I believed him, because money in and of itself will do nothing for you. It's a place holder for what we want to buy with the money. We want enough to buy everything we want and need, and enough beyond that to purchase anything we might want or need in the future. And that's the dollar amount for how much money people generally want. Ironically, a lot of people cannot accept that it's a means to an end (lying to themselves).

Recently, I bought a car, and that car has no CD player, which is the typical way people my age, in this era, listen to music (dating myself, I'm just old enough for CDs to be king, and not quite young enough that plugging an MP3 player into my refridgerator for music is normal). It's been some months since I totaled my last one, so I've been really working on being appreciative. Thus, I've been listening to a lot of radio. I miss that experience, even the yammering and traffic reports concerning parts of town I'm nowhere near. The other day, a song came on that I'd heard before (another reason I like the radio: the potential for new music). Briefly, I will admit that I watched "that" episode of the Sing-Off, where the song was sung.

And I smiled; I thought: that's cool, those guys had their A Capella group, believed in their dream, and somebody finally made a television show that they could perform on and touch masses of people (read: the new American dream). Then, a sad chord trebled up at me from the speakers. There was something about the song, something about the singer, singular. I thought about fame splitting people apart, or even them selling their music for money, or worse, their music just being taken. Later, I discovered that it had been the middle case. There was even a video for the song; Lil Wayne was in it. I wondered if the originators were poor, or rich, happy or sad.

I wondered why they had done it in the first place. I myself am trying to do something similar, I imagine. I write, and I wish to be able to make a living off of that passion of mind, rather, I wish to be able to just do what I love and not have to worry about the pedestrian details of living. That's it. So, because our sakes were intertwined (read: narcissism), I wondered after their happiness. Is their song being sung, their words without their voices, enough to make them happy (because I'm reasonably certain it provided a comfortable windfall). The lyrics of their song imply the ideal; but like I said, sometimes people lie, even to themselves.

1 comment:

  1. 15 minutes of fame can be plenty. It's true that this success always could have been a dream of theirs (everyone will say so on TV), but maybe it was really just a hobby or something they did in their spare time.

    I'm sure there are lots of people who would be completely satisfied going back to their day jobs with a nice windfall and a really cool story to tell people at parties and family gatherings.