( Saturday, May 12, 2007 )

Kilo Yankee Lima Echo

Something interesting--at least to me--occurred to me the other day: it's more difficult to open your eyes than it is to close them. Think about waking up in the morning, or when someone flicks on the light in your room after you've fallen asleep: it's painful, at least uncomfortable, to open them, to suddenly go from darkness to light, from nothing to something. Yet falling asleep requires no effort at all. Your eyes shut and more often than not it feels good.

I could pull about twenty different analogies from that, but I think the most obvious (at least, when the thought first crossed my mind) was that it's always more difficult, requires more effort to face truth than to run from it. In the same way it doesn't hurt to keep your eyes open and processing once they've adjusted to the light, so it becomes much easier, even satisfying, to live with truth once you've come to terms with it.

On Thursday and Friday nights last week, on my hour-long drive home from work, the radio station I listen to was at some kind of club and was playing all the music on the air that they were playing for the people on the dance floor. It was kinda of nice because during the entire hour there were no commercials -- just straight music. But it was kind of strange to me how they managed to make every song blend in with each other. They had remixed every one of them to share a similar, pretty standard beat. And for the most part, they did a pretty good job.

And then I was thinking, why is it people react to beats pretty much the same way, whether it's tapping our fingers, air-drumming, or pretending to be members of Riverdance? We're creatures of rhythm. It's actually kind of incredible the way we're wired. It's not just the beat either--it's music in general. I can't think of a single person I know or have heard of that didn't like music. Sure, different types for different people, but it's all music nonetheless. And we all like it. I think it would be interesting to find out just how much music we listen to/hear in a single day. I seem to always have music playing, one way or another. I think most people do. It's amazing, actually, how basic it is to us, our need for that rhythm and sound and melody.

Speaking of music, do you ever notice how at least a majority of music is about girls (or boys, if it's a girl singing)? Kinda crazy, if you think about it. One topic talked about a million different ways. And it never really gets old. Unless it's Avril Lavigne singing it. Sweet mother of fortune cookies, her new single has to got to be the dumbest song ever written (not that any of her other songs were finely tuned masterpieces, but this one is pushing it). No, no, I take that back. I kid you not, I heard this song the other day that went like this: "If you want to be somebody, put your hands in the air. If you want to move your body, put your hands in the air." WHAT?!

Again, speaking of music, I think everyone needs a friend who's into indie music. I had a friend at school this past year who did a great job keeping me in the loop. We had kind of an exchange program going on, where we'd share with the other whatever new band we discovered. It blows me away every time I discover a new band just how great all this music is that no one (and by no one I just mean less than the majority) has heard. I'm not one of those hardcore anti-pop music guys who thinks anything popular is bad, but I do think at least 83.4% of it isn't very good. When you start to hear these bands who aren't played much on radios or had their songs covered on American Idol (*shudder*), you realize that there is an entire universe of incredible, unique, thoughtful, and good music out there. So find a friend who will do the hard work of finding this stuff for you. It could be the beginning of a new chapter of your life. Or just add some enjoyment to it, if you want me to be less dramatic about it.

How in the world do so many people who clearly have no business driving powerful, heavy, and very pretty automobiles at speeds high enough to disintegrate small pets, children, and little old ladies, get their licenses?

Drive-thru's are funny. Here's a typical run-down of what happens between me and the Voice.

Voice: Welcome to Tim Hortons. What can I get for you?
Me: Yeah, uh, I'll get a large coffee, two cream, two sweetner.
Voice: Sorry, a large coffee and...?
Me: Two cream, two sweetner.
Voice: Two cream, three sweetner?
Me: No, two sweetner.
Voice: Three cream, one sweetner?
Me: TWO cream, TWO sweetner. A large coffee. TWO CREAM, TWO SWEETNER.
Voice: *Suddenly Lots of Static* Hello?
Me: Hello.
Voice: Can you repeat that?
Me: Hello.
Voice: No, I mean, sorry, your order.
Me: A large double-double, with sweetner.
Voice: A large double-double. Is that all?
Me: That's with sweetner. And yeah, that's it.
Voice: How many sweetner?
Me: Fortheloveof...

This is funny.

So is this.

Hard music isn't just good for rocking out; I've also discovered it's perfect introspection music. I never could put my finger on it until tonight, listening to the new Chasing Victory CD, "Fiend," and thinking to myself, "Boy, I really am a screw up." It's good for the soul, I think.

It's kind of scary to me how few people are content with their lives. I almost don't even notice it anymore, partly because I tend to be in that group more often than not and get caught up in my own wishfulness, and partly because it's so pervasive it's become commonplace. It doesn't take a rocket scientist (ok, is it just me or that expression a little dated? What can we use instead? A geneticist?) to see that every marketing campaign in existence is designed to make you feel unhappy unless you succumb to the product being paraded in front of you. But it's deeper than just materialism. It seems to me people in general take a great deal of pleasure in seeing successful/famous people fail/fall, and suffer a great deal of jealousy when others that they know make it big (as far as wealth or fame are concerned).

That topic deserves more than a few short sentences, but I'd ask you this for now: are you content? And if not, why?

I've concluded that a lot of times my discontent is rooted not so much in the idea that I have high hopes that I have yet to reach, as much as that I have low self-esteem and am easily jealous of people who seem happy or have exciting things happening in their own lives. I think, too, that realizing that has actually helped me stop reacting that way, and to start living my own version of the here and now. I also think it's something that will take a concentrated effort to avoid feeling from now until the day I die.

Thanks to Wikipedia for helping me out with my military-speak.


Blogger Rougette said...

Kyle Stewart, you are a star. A great big beautiful frickin STAR! *jazz hands and open-mouthed grin*

No seriously. I love laughing. Ergo, I love hearing whatever you have to say.

12:45 AM  

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