Monday, December 31, 2012

Daddy on the Edge of a New Year

The Mayans were wrong.

Cool, 'cuz Daddy had a full Saturday planned and a Friday end of the world would have really futzed thangs up, ya feel me?  But it's cool, because they were wrong.  We're still here.  Glad I didn't tell people what I really thought about them.  ;)

Still though, plenty of people bought into the whole Mayan calendar thing - We're a people that likes to buy into things, don'tcha think?  It's like we groove on the danger - "Y2K!!!  End of the world!!"  "Rapture coming 'cuz some Baptist Minister said so!   End of the world!!"  "Snookie's having a baby!!  End of the world!!!!!!!"  Any excuse for us to stock up on bibles, guns and canned goods - we're in.

And we play that damned REM song 'til it can't play no mo'.

You know the one.  I know the one.  I think even my mother knows the one I'm talking about, and my mother still thinks that Jim Nabors is a great contemporary artist.  The song is "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I feel Fine)" -

From Wiki"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" is a song by the rock band R.E.M. which appeared on their 1987 album Document, the 1988 compilation Eponymous, and the 2006 compilation And I Feel Fine...The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987. It was released as a single in November 1987, reaching No. 69 US Billboard Hot 100 and later reaching No. 39 in the UK singles chart on its re-release in December 1991.
The song originated from a previously unreleased R.E.M. song called "PSA" ("Public Service Announcement"); the two songs are very similar in melody and tempo. "PSA" was itself later released as a single in 2003, under the title "Bad Day". In an interview with Guitar World magazine published in November 1996, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck agreed that "End of the World" was in the tradition of Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues
The music video was directed by James Herbert, who worked with the band on several other videos in the late 1980s. It depicts a young skateboarder, Noah Ray, rifling through an abandoned, collapsing farmhouse and displaying the relics that he finds to the camera.
Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the song was placed on the list of post 9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel.

It's a fun song; I'm sure it's a favorite at karaoke bars, and it's probably the only reason you will hear entire rooms of adults shout out in unison, "LEONARD BERNSTEIN!!"  But I think there's a little more to it than that...

The lyric is, "It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine".  Prepositional phrases are such important things, don'tcha think?  The end of the  Did you know that the world as we know it ceases to be, completely and utterly, in the half of a half of a nanosecond after we've known it?  Human beings, the planet that we live on, the animals that share it with us and the atmosphere and the stratosphere and the universe - we are all in a constant state of regeneration.  Life in transition.  Life is transition. The atoms that make up your body once made up the body of Christ.  I didn't say that - Deepak Chopra did. We are ever changing, living in a universe that is never the exact same from one millisecond to the next - matter and energy ever changing, ever transitioning, ever Becoming.  That's the good news - we are always becoming something new, something different; often times, something wonderful.  But only if we allow it.

Y'see, the universe is simple, in a way.  It listens, and gives us what we want; kinda like a cosmic McDonald's counter person.  If we see ourselves as a standard hamburger, and believe ourselves to be a standard hamburger, then when the Cosmic Counter Person asks us what we would like, we confidently (and all too routinely) answer, "hamburger, please."


And why wouldn't we?  It's what we've known; it's all we've known.  It's what our family and teachers and friends and work associates know us to be, so it must be true, and therefore must be continued.  But, what if we ignored our history, our daily adherence and belief in what we are, and all the evidence it provides to our senses that we are merely - the standard burger.  What if we allowed ourselves to dream for a moment, to go wild in our fantasizing, and imagine ourselves to be... the Number 1 Combo Meal - the Big Mac, large fries and your choice of an icy soft drink!  What if you ordered that from the Cosmic Counter Person?  Hell - why limit yourself to the McDonald's menu?  Why not order the Mascarpone Enriched Chestnut Agnolotti from Per Se?  Why not embody Del Posto's delightful Pumpkin Cappellacci with brown butter and biscotti?  Or Amber's Hokaiddo Diver Scallop with Jerusalem Artichokes, green apple, 56 month old Patanegrade bellota ham & white alba truffles (which I understand pairs magnificently with the 2003 Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion Blanc,  Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux) ??

Or a banana?

My point is; change is inevitable.  Why do we not take active control of that change, instead of leaving the choice of who we are to be made by the powers around us?  A rudderless ship will still be carried by the ocean's currents, and will find itself arriving at a destination that it had no say in choosing, or worse yet, may just become lost at sea, never finding it's home, it's true's destiny.

We have a rudder.  We have a wheel.  We have a choice.  The Status Quo was built and is powered by people and organizations that profit from The Status Quo remaining as it is - unchanged.  Since we have established that everything changes, then the only thing that maintains The Status our belief in it.  Our belief that we are what they say we are, and that we are powerless to change it.  Such myths are the stuff of fairy tales.  We have had, and always will have, the power to change our worlds in an instant.  What we have lost is the desire to do so, and the belief that we are able.

Tonight marks the beginning of a new year. My wish is that it truly is a "New" Year for us all; unlike the old years of compliance, complacency and acceptance of the unacceptable.  In 2013, may we be unconventional in the face of conventional wisdom, may we rise up and challenge inane notions that we can be categorized by percentages, or antiquated belief systems; may we see the dronings and squawkings of Television News Puppets as the silly, nonsensical noise that they are and not for a second take them seriously; may we begin this day to become something completely new, something superior to what we have ever allowed ourselves to be before.  In 2013, may we be Magnificent.  It is the End of the World as We Know It...and I Do Feel Fine.  How 'bout you?

Happy New Year,