I Took Prince & My Life for Granted

No. A night’s sleep didn’t help.
I feel like a locomotive ran over me.
I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m disgusted with how much of my life I’ve wasted on formal education, jobs, religion, and pleasing people. I took for granted that someday perhaps I’d see Prince in concert, maybe even meet him. I took for granted that Prince was available, alive in the culture, occasionally in Hollywood. Maybe I’d stroll down to the W jazz night or some music venue or someone’s living room or patio. Then suddenly I might experience him. There would be that moment.
The truth is I have experienced Prince my entire life. Through his music. Through his performance. Through his delightfully signature subversion. A subversion he elevated to an art form. Perhaps that is enough. But instead of thoroughly enjoying “Cream” when he released it, I was busy insisting an Animal House “college” deserved my newspaper. Instead of enjoying “1999” I was returning to California to waste 7 more years seeing “The Big Short” to its conclusion.
Maybe it’s that I resent wasting so much of my life trying to chase money and please moronic clowns clutching employee manuals or diplomas or Bibles they can’t even read. I’m too nice. I listen to vaguely plausible people too much. I’m too generous with my life. Had I woken up a bit sooner, gotten a bit more impatient and angry, perhaps right now I could recall “I remember when I saw Prince and he …”

Beasts of Catharsis

The two stories that jump out at me this morning fit the binary math of broadcast news: rubberneck and feel good.

  1. Teenager Stabs Himself to Death on Stage

Fellow humans have taught me I’m supposed to experience “catharsis”, the Greek word meaning, as my high school Shakespeare teacher Mr. Duda taught me, “glad that ain’t me”.  I should judge this teenager for being selfish.  It wasn’t about him.  The people he “left behind” are more important.  Look at all they did for him … before he took his life.  Our “world class” health care system did its part.  He probably didn’t even pay his bill, so serves him right.  Why was he an artist?  It was just an open mic.  Looks like the music career he “tried” didn’t work out.  Why didn’t he go get a “good job”?  You know, as a salesperson or a lawyer.  Or a doctor.

2. UCLA Signs 9-Year Old Battling Brain Tumor

What do you mean hospitals like UCLA and USC follow a policy of patient dumping at Hollywood Bowl (after they got caught dumping downtown)?  My alma mater would NEVER do something like that!  Look, UCLA just signed a cancer kid!  What concussion?  Sports heals!  Especially if I get my spread this weekend!  What are you gonna tell me next, that my church rapes children?  That the electronics I’m using this very moment are built from raw materials stolen by child soldiers?  That our entire banking system is built on lies, fraud and crime?  Why can’t I just enjoy my $5 morning coffee and pretend everyone who feels the sun like I do now hasn’t a care in the world?  Why is that so wrong?