Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It was getting kind of long
I could have said it was in my way
But I didn’t and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
And I feel like I owe it to someone
Must be because I had the flu for Christmas
And I’m not feeling up to par
It increases my paranoia
Like looking into a mirror and seeing a police car
But I’m not giving in an inch to fear
Cos I promised myself this year
I feel like I owe it to someone
When I finally get myself together
I’m gonna get down in some of that sweet summer weather
I’m going to find a space inside to laugh
Separate the wheat from the chaff
Cos I feel like I owe it, yeah
Said I feel like I owe it, yeah
You know I feel—- like I owe it yeah to someone
– David Crosby, ‘Almost cut my hair’
I couldn’t decide what part of that to include. There’s the whole fucking thing, it’s only disk space and network bandwidth, right?
I almost killed my orkut account today.
I don’t know why really. Oh, and when I say my orkut account, I mean that one and all the other ones. I had this sudden and almost overpowering desire to be finished with it.
I dunno. I felt a little bummed. I took my daughter to see a hockey game, thinking, playoff hockey, this is gonna be – forgive me but I’ve been wanting to use this word — the shiznit (Now shoot me if I use that again). Figured this would be a rollicking good time no matter who won. So the bright side is that she had a great time, face painted in team colors, wearing a feather boa in team colors (and when did feather boas become sports apparel? Is it just ’cause I’m 50 miles from SF? or do they do this in Green Bay now too?), yelling when they say “make some noise”, scarfing down stadium food, and once in a while asking “what happened?” because she’s really not paying any attention to anything but the fights and checks. But the game sucked balls. Just horrible. Which isn’t what I expected — I mean, in the NFL, even when one team gets spanked, you’re seeing good play. I dunno what it was, maybe this is just hockey, or maybe the sharks are schitzo.
But I’ve been struggling with the whole time and over-commitment issue, and seeing a cost to my own ability to be creative. And more and more lately, I’ve had the feeling that, while I was being entertained, I was also somehow losing something, that Orkut was in effect a deal with the devil, and the fun came at some sort of soul cost.
That’s over-blown. But it sort of captures the issue I’m having. Things in my life are all feeling rushed and over-strained.
So for one moment this morning, I said – fuck this, it’s bad mojo, it’s got to go.
Maybe it’s the jail thing. I can’t do anything without getting jailed now, and the fuckwads who run orkut are still lying to me even when I write heart-felt email, claiming they’re trying to fix the problem when they’re clearly not, they’re clearly doing something else. Maybe the frustration beat out the fun.
I didn’t click the terminate account button though. I don’t know why. Maybe it just felt like leaving a party where all my friends where still drinking and dancing. Whatever it was I didn’t click the button. I have not logged on all day though. I see that as a small victory. I know I will log on later; but I will write this first, and talk to people in real life, and send email that’s been wanting to be sent.
Now, since we started this off with an old musical quote, let’s go on with that thread and wander vaguely away from orkut; even though the thread starts with orkut.
We were joking on some community about how I was a prog-rock head when I was a kid. Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Horslips, Rush, Camel, FM, King Crimson, ELP, oh hell, a bunch more. I lived for that shit. You could not be too pretentious. Your songs could not be too long or too heavy. Dance? Music wasn’t for dancing, music was for bong hits and laying on the floor with your head between the speakers. That went on quite a long time, though gradually I started to replace the prog bands with heavy metal bands, and then punk/new wave bands, and then other forms of music with more vague labels. I just sort of quit listening to the prog bands. The albums, the favorites, would come out now and then, sure, a Yes album or something. Some never went away, like King Crimson, or Genesis, some went away forever (Ewww, do I still own Saga and Styx and Asia? Quick, wash my hands!).
But suddenly I am finding myself entertained by prog bands.
This comes back to Jeff again. Jeff, whose music library has been available to me recently, and who’s been helping me get some vinyl ripped to MP3. So I’ve been listening to stuff that’s been out of rotation in my life for years, maybe decades.
I started with King Crimson, and Jethro Tull, bands that never really got put away. But I listened to Thick as a Brick a few times and realized, damn, though it’s too long, this is damned good music. I listed to my KC collections and found the ranges of excess and brilliance they represent. I pulled out Yes CD’s.
But today, here’s what I’ve listened to:
FM — City of Fear. No, you’ve never heard of this band. This one is mine, ripped from vinyl. And you know, this album is good, I wasn’t sure.
Gryphon — Red queen something. Silly, but sort of cool. Not one you need to own, but it takes me to the era.
Gentle Giant — octopus. I can’t believe I never owned this, it’s like the quintessential prog album. Seriously, this one nails it.
And I’m finding other stuff in the lists. Bands I need to pull out again. Because everything I’ve ever thought about prog is still true; some of it’s absolutely brilliant, and some of is is simply appalling, and sometimes that’s one album.
It’s funny to delve back into your musical past. I wish I had space to set up a turntable and get all this stuff going, listen to it all, rip the good stuff. I don’t have the space or the time, really, but I’m attacking the vinyl still, get the special picks out and get them ripped, just to see. But it takes me back.
Fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, something like that. Hair halfway to my belt, weasley little mustache, gold earring (Yeah, I had my ear pierced before anyone else I knew, 1973 or so), bad attitude, arrogant and insecure. Stoned all the time, bong almost welded to my hand. I was reading Tolkien and ER Burroughs and Lin Carter and the Dray Prescott series, Kurtz Deryni chronicles and Zelazny’s Amber, trying to struggle through Ghormenghast. And Comic books – collecting with the obsession of a true zealot, Marvel’s finest, Xmen and Shang Chi and Iron Man and Avengers and Conan the Barbarian and — everything Marvel printed and many others besides, back issues. all my money spent as fast as I could make it.
I wore a goofy hat. I need to post pictures. I wore army surplus jackets and hiking boots and sneered at anyone who thought I was odd looking. I was odd-looking. I’d come home with my stash of books and comics a couple times a month, put on whatever my prog-rock du jour was, and nose into spider man or iron fist or doctor strange or etrigan, the demon. I’d do bong hits, flip the record over, and then feed my munchies with ho-hos.
Man. What a caricature I was. I needed a girlfriend, didn’t I?
But you know, that music wasn’t as lame as some people will say it is. Damn, some of it’s fucking brilliant. And that’s not the pot talking, I don’t smoke that shit anymore, it gives me a headache.