Friday, November 16, 2007

Bring Me Drugs and Dysfunction, Stat!

Hopefully the playlist below will work. You should just have to click the play symbol and you can listen while reading. I advise you to do this, unless you're at work. If you're at work, stop reading my blog and wait until you get home. I spent two hours sifting through songs and setting up the playlist, so you better damn well listen to at least part of it. If it doesn't work for you, open up my page on in another window or tab and play it from there.

I have to say that I've been jealous of the junkies, drunks, and people with crappy families my whole life. I mean, while I went through high school, college, and my adult life so far with no drug or alcohol problems (and even below average drug usage), other people were out creating painful experiences through their abuse of chemicals that became the fertilizer for amazingly creative output. Look at literature. Ernest Hemingway was a drunk and ended up shooting himself after collecting six toed cats. He's considered a genius of literature. Van Gogh was known to set free the green fairy on a regular basis and he cut off his ear to win a girl's heart. Of course there are always those whose pain came from their childhood with horrible parents or other trying experiences. And their are those who suffer from mental illness like depression that fuels their creativity. I'm okay having a good relationship with my parents, sister and wife. (You can't really call what you have with a six-month-old baby a relationship, really.) I grew up middle class in a small town in a house my great-grandfather built. I didn't suffer from hunger, abuse, or neglect. I've never even broken a bone or gotten a cavity, for that matter. I'm actually okay with that, surprisingly enough. That only leaves me the drugs as the only possible way to reach my creative potential.
Think about the musicians you know and if you have good taste, you probably know a good many who've struggled with drugs or alcohol (or came from a really rough upbringing if they've been clean). If you're into Country, there are all the guys singing from the heart about their excessive drinking. Johnny Cash had issues with drugs for much of his adult life. Willie Nelson was still getting busted for pot when he was an old man. Charlie Daniels, despite "finding God" and ruining his songs by changing the drug references, was a big druggie in his day. If you're rock-n-roll, it's not even worth listing. Hell, Keith Richards even snorted his own father's ashes. And how many great films are there that deal with drugs, alcohol, and the pain they cause the abusers and their loved ones. Because, seriously, comedy is a worthless art form, or at least what it seems like. When's the last time a really funny movie won the Oscar for Best Picture? Okay, when's the last time two have won it back to back?
See, I can do comedy. You don't have to be tortured to be funny. You just have to be fat, or at least have an effeminate face, and have a decent grasp of the more delicate aspects of the language. I've got that covered. I can't do pain and suffering. I've never been dumped by a girl (or dumped one). I've only dated K for more than one date. I've never caused myself or anyone else any problems with my drinking, and my usage of other not-from-the-pharmacy drugs involved two separate events of something very low on the totem pole, both years ago. How am I going to write about someone whose gone through these things without it sounding cheesy and forced like most modern country singers or the blonde pop girls trying to sing about any serious emotion?
Of course I could turn my lack of pain and suffering into my own pain and suffering (believe me, I've tried), but who's going to want to read about a guy who's all depressed because his life doesn't suck. Oh, wait, you are reading about that. Suckers.
I'm not going to make this all resolve with some grand tale of my maturing and realizing what a sham all of this is and that it's better to be happy, healthy, and normal than to be drugged up and live a hard, short life for the sake of art. It's not true. I may be gradually coming to terms with the fact that it's just not my lot, but I don't have to be happy about it. So the next time you see me bouncing my baby boy on my knee, giggling and making faces, or walking hand-in-hand with my wife, know that under that happy exterior is my inner artist pining away for a heroin spoon or something.

1 comment:

Mickey said...

I had to comment because no one else had, yet. I'll listen to the music and get back to you.