Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Can You Tell I’m Off The Meds? or: Tune Out, Turn Off, Drop In

Speaking from the vantage point of someone who enjoys prescribed pharmaceuticals on a regular basis, I have discovered that (as with any drug) the effects gradually become less and less noticeable. This being the case, I discovered that if I wanted to somehow reproduce that initial “rush” or “buzz,” the only way to do it was to stop taking drugs for a while.

Something of a paradox, of course, but true nevertheless. It had seemed like ages since I had last experienced any sense of connection with the rest of the universe, or any insight into the nature of Life or Being and so, recently, I decided it was once again time to simply stop using drugs as a crutch and sit back to await what the forces of Intelligent Design had to tell me.

This time, however, I decided to take notes so as not to lose any of these revelations once I had concluded my “trip.” After two and a half weeks, I found I had accumulated the following:

The more one deals with aging and the aged, the more Life seems to narrow itself down into a series of modest kindnesses, concluding with our attempts to help each other into our appointed graves as painlessly as possible, an antlike procession of oldest through youngest being passed gingerly over our heads towards their final home.

I have infinite longing for infinite lives.

I look at most of my fellow humans as if they belong to a different part of the caste system entirely. I do not understand how we are related and, apparently, neither do they.

With each day, I despair more and more at the extent to which humanity makes its decisions and builds its landmarks for reasons that have less and less to do with freedom and everything to do with greed and self-importance.

Why is it that the same names and artwork that were used for herbal cigarettes 30 years ago seem to have been recycled now for those temporary phone cards?

What would have happened in that movie about the crazy old man baby if he’d just stayed a baby while everyone else grew old? Wouldn’t people get tired of changing him?

It does disturb me slightly that there will be so little trace of me left after the fact.

Why is it always the guy who orders the most expensive meal that insists that the check be split evenly?

I cannot blame other people for those moments when I become someone that I do not like, but I can blame them for giving me bad directions.

As you can see, the initial rush of the anti-drug trip lasts about as long as the regular drug trip, and both of them tend to dribble away into profundities that would probably look better on black light posters than in the cold, clear light of day. Still, I find it a great way to “clean out the system” from time to time and I find myself better prepared now as I once again dash to the medicine cabinet to resume my sorry cycle of preventive health measures by going what we call “hot turkey.”

I don’t like to appear normal, but it’s the drugs talking, you understand…not me.

One For The Corporal

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Walking Into Eternity

"See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end."

Happy Bloomsday 2009.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

30 Years Of Zing!

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Beat Time! magazine, we thought it would be interesting to see if we could try and track down the notoriously reclusive Zing Crowbar, jazz composer and father of the modern avant-garde. Crowbar does not normally grant interviews, accept dinner invitations, or speak in complete sentences, so we were overjoyed when he agreed to talk with us about his 30 years of experience in the music business:

Do you have a time you set aside for your creative work?

Man, you’re like that guy who called me from the census bureau the other day! So he’s all like “So, like, when do you work?” and I’m all like “Well, like, everything is work, man,” you know what I mean? When I’m running around the block with a giant bee’s head on reciting the Gettysburg Address, I’m working, you know? When I’m making some tuna fish salad, it’s like I’m composing, all right? When I put my pants on, it’s like I’m stuffing a huge rear end into a piano sonata. What’s not to get?

I thought it was interesting when we were speaking previously about television and I made a reference to that popular comedy show…

I don’t watch that program!


No TV, no magazines, no newspapers. They’re distractions, man! They’re ways that the Bush administration tries to distract you from –

You know that Bush isn’t the President any more, right?

What do you mean? Since when?

Last year.



Well, how would I be expected to know that? Seriously! I mean, I spend every waking moment on my compositions or, as I like to think of them, my children. I don’t have time to absorb every little bit of gossip like some kind of media sponge!

Could you expand on this idea of your compositions as ‘your children’?

Well, some of them misbehave, some of them borrow the car without asking and others never call. I mean, ever.

You always have so many different projects going on at the same time, some critics have accused you of having a short attention span.

Well, that’s just a line that the critics and record companies liked to haul out about me because it was easier than…easier than…what was the question again?

What are you working on now?

It’s an opera entitled Mzzz(owww!)xxxx! We have nurse’s stations available at every performance, just in case the sheer intensity of my music causes them to stand up and applaud me until they’re dead.

Has that happened?

More times than I really would have expected.

Well, thank you, Mr. Crowbar, for this intimate glimpse into your creative process. We wish you every success.

No, no, you should be thanking me! I am the greatest gift I could ever have given to you.