Monday, January 28, 2008

Same Old Same Old

The other night the kids were watching the movie Patch Adams, the popular film starring Robin Williams as the incorrigible Dr. Hunter Adams, founder of the Gezuntheit Institute. When Adams' exceptional grades are contested, his room mate, played by the brilliant Phillip Seymour Hoffman, declares that at the end of the day, being a prick is ok if you save a life or get the job done. Patch's response is that this perspective reminds him of how young his room mate is, " think that being a prick to get ahead is a new idea."

There really aren't very many new ideas, certainly including being a prick to get one's way. But it would be a neat world if only more people really decided that, for one day, being a prick is the exception. I'm not holding my breath, that's for sure.

When my kids and I went to The Kent Stage the other night to enjoy the AMAZING show with Bill Evans, I was struck by how many people mentioned to me what a great thing it was to bring my children to the show. It was genuine! Some folks were amazed that anyone would think to do such a thing, expose kids to the likes of the bluegrassjazz jam fusion we enjoyed from the second row. Some were young Kent State students, addressing my kids with how they wish their parents had been cool and taken them to concerts. (Hey, my mother took me to see the Doobie Brothers when I was like, twelve. I learned from the best.) And as we emerged from the auditorium, Evans, fiddler Christian Howe, and bass magnus Richard Bona all came right up behind us and greeted us as they sprinted for their merch table. It was all like being on another planet for a few minutes.

I wish the world could be like that all the time. Ironically, I find that when I ignore the pricks things do tend to improve on the surface, but I know I'm only fooling myself. Obama seems to be running against Hillary AND Bill, my electric company is raising my rates six bucks a month just for laughs, and banks are still trying to sell subprime loans. The world is just a prick-filled jungle.

But when has it ever been any different?

As I sat and sang along with all my heart to this tune the other night during this incredible jam session with some of the most fantastic musicians ever assembled two rows hence, it hit me just how true it all is.

Same old moon, same old sun, same old race that we've always run.

Same Ol' River

I wish that I cold be an Indian
On a painted pony so fast
No one could ever catch me
I get caught up in my past
I’d ride across many rivers
Too many moons to tell the times
Then I’d tell all the young Warriors
Many moons ago this was mine, all mine!

(Chorus) Same ol’ river
Same ol’ Sea!
Same ol’ water rushing over me
Same ol’ moon Same ol’ sun!
Same ol’ race that we’ve always run
Same ol’ race that we’ve always run

I wish that I could be a Pirate
I’d sail the ocean blue
Way before the big liners
Started sailing them too
I’d bury most of my treasures
So I would leave a big hole
And the only real sense of pleasure (that I’d get)
Is to sail free of my soul!!!!

(repeat Chorus)
I wish that I could be a Slave
It doesn’t matter what kind
I’d sing a song for fallen angels
Try and be free in my mind
Then when no one wasn’t lookin’
I’d drop my heartless plow
I’d find my own contemporarys
And I’d wipe the shame from their brow!!!!

(repeat chorus)
I wish that I could be an outlaw
Runnin’ from the law sometimes
No vigilantle against the seasons
But I can’t help but read whyI’d always keep my revolver
Steady and fast at my side and I’d rob a train bound for glory
Cuz I thought I needed a ride!!!!(repeat chorus)(add once more)
Same ol race that we’ve always run
So many things I ain’t never done


At January 29, 2008 11:36 AM, Blogger Blueberry said...

I always try NOT to be a prick (or something more specific to my gender), but then I never was that successful in my career. I have a clearer conscience, but can't put that in the bank.

At January 29, 2008 1:01 PM, Blogger DrDon said...

I think it's great that you expose your kids to these concerts. More kids should have their horizons broadened, so to speak.

What I think is scary is that you expose them to movies like Patch Adams. Has Robin Williams ever made a good movie? He's like Julia Roberts or Freddy Prinze Jr. These people keep making crap but keep getting paychecks. You may not have to be a prick to be successful but you obviously don't have to be talented either.

Obviously I'm having fun with you, though I do think Robin Williams stinks. I wish I was more exposed to music as a kid and that my parents made me take lessons of some kind. If I would have started playing guitar when I was younger, I might actually know how to play and could've been in a band and scored some chicks. Oh well. Now I just have to be happy with not hearing any pops or cracks when I get out of bed in the morning.

At January 29, 2008 9:41 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Blueberry, you and most of the creative types I am fortunate to know almost always err on the side of prick-less. Creativity doesn't pay unless it's part of a white-collar crime scheme. I consider myself to be a pretty smart person, love my job, and am constantly amazed at the cool people I get to "hang out" with all over the place. And yet, today I dreamed of hitting the lotto. If I do, I could pay all of the amazing creative people I've met to do something really big and crazy, because even if nobody else cared, we'd all have fun and we'd be well taken care of. So I'll keep you posted on that. And remind me to buy a lotto ticket.

Well, Don, no hard feelings. You raise a point that actually ties a lot of things together. While we know that the real Hunter Adams has a wonderful story that my son especially loves, sadly, we know that Robin Williams is in real life a bit of a prick. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, whom I absolutely adore in almost everything he's done (and he's like in TWO movies right now and I haven't seen either one), almost always plays a prick. And oddly enough, the third year med student who is murdered in the movie looks a lot like Julia Roberts. Spooky.

It's never too late to pick up an instrument to score chicks -- or to spend some quality time with yourself. And who knows, you might actually have some fun playing music. If I were you I'd dust off that gee-tar and see what happens.


At January 30, 2008 11:30 AM, Blogger DrDon said...

Mando- well I did but the new acoustic with a guitar center gift card the missus got me for Christmas. I have been playing that thing quite a bit. It's just hard to not fall into ruts of playing what you know. I need to get some chord charts and just invent some stuff.


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