Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What is cool and how I never figured that out!

Pop culture, the mainstream, the cool or uncool (depending on how cool you are). It has boggled my mind, satiated and infuriated me as long as I can remember. As a kid, since my family was uber conservative, I barely saw TV. My family was strict to the point that I was worried about even listening to pop radio stations for fear of getting in trouble. So I listened to oldies and country. My favorite show was Sunday evening when Mad Man Moskowitz would play zany and hilarious songs during his "Funny Farm" show, and classic country during the "Nostalgia Bin." My other touch point with society at large was playing video games with the neighbors for a limited time each week, and reading. Yes, I used to get in trouble for reading. In fact when my books would get taken away I would be forced to read pamphlets (I am NOT joking). The worst kind of pamphlets would trick you into thinking it was a comic, but it was really an ad for soap!
This here could even make Ziggy look interesting!
Needless to say, during school I had to fake my way through a lot of conversations about what happened on Beverly Hills 90210. I am pretty sure they mostly had to do with hair cuts or something. Either way, it wasn't until after high school that I got comfortable in the world. That is, that my devil may care attitude took full control, and I fully didn't care. I enjoyed listening to Willie Nelson, and I didn't care who knew. Around this time I started writing and playing music, so I had to deal with a lot of people who were happy to tell me I was no good. Being fully aware of that fact, I soldiered on. I knew for a damn fact that if I didn't play there was no way I would ever be good. Plus, I still didn't have a TV.

During that time I got interested in writing humor. I was reading as much Mark Twain as possible, perhaps because I was too cheap to buy new books. I also started studying The Marx Brothers. I was watching old movies because hell, how could I watch the new ones without a solid understanding of the history of modern humor. Of course this did not serve me too well with my peers, they never seemed to pick up on the historic relevance of my mime with horn routine (it was a tribute).

Harpo is where Oprah got her name! True fact!
To me, it was very normal to write songs about passing trains and escaped prisoners. My comedy evolved from parodies of business networking (my version is called "notworking") to a treatise about how clowns should be kept on reservations. If I were smart I would have had someone pummeled relentlessly in the genitals, but alas. This was all a hobby of course. Though I knew I could write, I thought my true calling was to teach high school metal shop class. In due time I transferred from South Seattle Community College to Central Washington University do do just that. One of the first things I noticed was that the professor who was also my advisor, was in fact an asshole psychopath, who routinely gave out 95 page course outlines. It was a good thing I took weight training and basketball class, otherwise he would have driven me insane the first quarter.

It was in my weight training class that I realized how far adrift I had grown from the rest of the world. In my class I had very few friends. In fact, I don't remember ever talking to anyone. It was early in the morning, and to be honest, I do not find weight rooms the best place for engaging in conversation. Also, when you are bench pressing 45 pounds, you try to avoid looking directly at anyone. Of course it all must end sometime, and there came a day when we were required to work in teams. Of course I got the young jocks. Now they were nice enough, except I could not understand what they were talking about. I knew it was video games, but I was still blissfully ignoring them when suddenly one of them asked me if I played it. Startled, I just said 'no' at which point he nearly jumped back 6 inches! "What kind of games do you play?" Now I was screwed! "I don't play any games." I answered ruefully. "YOU DON'T PLAY VIDEO GAMES?!! What do you do then?!" "I read books" was all I could think of. "YOU READ BOOKS?????!!!!" was the last thing I remember him saying to me during the class.
These are the cool kids. I should not have to tell you what is going to happen on the Zebra skin rug as soon as they finish.
I guess it seems normal really. Computers are the way of the future. And now you can get books on the computer. It is all growing so convenient. Me personally, I like my books printed on paper. The other night I dropped a book in the bathtub while dozing off. I would have got out, put on my pants, and crapped in them if it had been my computer! Also I love to throw bad books against the wall, use them as door stops, and occasionally burn them. I am too cheap to do so with a computer.

That is all. And for the record, I started this with full intention of making fun of how people think actors and actresses A) have an important job or B) are qualified to do anything but act (if they are even qualified for that!). Love ya! Just kidding! Buzzsaw

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