Wednesday, December 07, 2011

One of the things I truly love in life is getting rid of stuff and not replacing it. Although unrealistic, I would love to have my life fit into a studio apartment. Any even braver goal would be to be able to fit my life into a suitcase and be able to hit the road like a character a hundred years ago that is heading west to the frontier or heading east to college. In either case that person is moving their life semi permanently and all they have is 4-5 changes of clothing.

It's a goal. Chiseling towards this goal finds me glancing at my bookshelves and stacks of cd's asking "Do I need that? Will I ever pick that up again?" It means that old music gets another spin and old loves get another look.

I have always loved Henry Rollins spoken word, whether live or on cd. Over the past few years I've found his material redundant and a bit predictable as the topics fall into one of three categories: attacking political straw men (one of my huge pet peeves in arguing a point), name dropping tales that are often humorous, and listing the most recent set of visited foreign countries. Foreign travel is almost always inherently good, though presenting it in a way to make you feel like a rube if you don't do it very often due to scheduling or money is annoying. I'm a sucker for a funny story about a famous person, but taken alongside his latest straw man political rant and  brow beating of the untraveled masses, the whole becomes more annoying than the charm of its parts. It's all the more annoying because he is obviously smarter than that. But what of his plethora of cd's from the late 80's through the mid 90's?

They're wonderful. You can easily hear a young man reaching for art in every story, thought, and poem he stumbles into. His stories are not about politics or travel, but about people and experiences that may or may not have political overtones. In short, they are striving for bigger things. If you tell a real and true story about an experience you have a chance at striking a universal chord that may well resonate years and years into the future. That's why people reread great books. If you rant about Bush or FoxNews, you'll get some cheers and immediately begin the sprint towards staleness as the months and years begin ticking away.

I don't care that I agree or disagree with his points of view, I care that he's getting boring. However, I am truly enjoying revisiting Sweatbox, Big Ugly Mouth, and Human Butt (these cd's are staying in my place for sure). Last week his website had a sale where all spoken word cd's and dvd's were going for $5. What a deal! For less than 30 bucks I could have had all the stuff my collection was missing. I took a pass.

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