It is a good time to write something, considering I’m feeling particularly empty right now. There’s a reason for that, which I’ll get to in a moment. My goal here is to churn out a few paragraphs, with each one covering entirely different territory. Just littering a small assortment of thoughts on the table, maybe you’ll like some of my wares.
I just completed rewatching HBO and David Simon’s (as well as Ed Burns) ‘The Wire’ — the critically acclaimed masterpiece, and likely the greatest piece of TV yet created. I remember the first time I watched it, I had heard all this talk (read: hype) about how it was the greatest show ever– from sources that I consider credible and respected, to those whose tastes I didn’t much regard to complete strangers. Anytime anything gets “best ever” hype, I’m immediately put off by it, anytime something gets hype from every possible corner of the Earth, then it will pretty much take Jesus’ second coming to sway me into its favors, and even brilliance takes me a while to overcome. This isn’t because I don’t want to like something great, but because the billing is so long it gives it a value that is impossible to amount to– kind of like the National Debt. With that said, it took me about the first episode to have the rug pulled under my feet and get swept under it. From that point on, I knew I was watching something that is a masterpiece on the same level that we call works of DaVinci or Michaelangelo masterpieces. Something that is so brilliantly executed, has an intricate plot that isn’t a labyrinth to follow, characters who stick with you even when you’re far removed from the show and hits so many huge nerves on society and reality– it’s relevant and entertaining. Maybe one day I’ll write some more on The Wire, but I wouldn’t say what hasn’t already been said countless times before by many who can say it better than myself, but the point is, it is the best example of the Television medium being used to its full potential. I feel utterly empty now that I’ve finished on my second time around. I think I even feel more depleted than the first time, and the first time was a catalyst that ultimately led me to quit school in my last semester. Frankly, I feel so many things as a result of this 5 season journey, and most of all, I’m sitting here right now thinking to myself the all these characters are out there in Baltimore right now just continuing the saga of their lives, their bodies splitting their cells for their short stay on earth and existence just barreling on like it always does (which hits more on a Six Feet Under level). I don’t mean to nuthug on HBO or The Wire anymore, but I think the point here is that very very rarely does a film, even a great one, leave me feeling so much emptiness at its end. I love television. If I had an ultimate dream, it wouldn’t be to write and direct movies (which is high on the list), it’d be to create and produce a television series for HBO.
Sorry, that paragraph was really long, but I am trying to hold to my hopping paragraphs promise.
The last week and a half has been an emotional oddity. Yesterday I texted my friend my favorite quote from Minority Report, “dig up the past, all you get is dirty.” It is true though. Sometimes the past digs itself up, though, and like a horror movie, the arm of the undead reaches out from the ground and sucks me in the void. When that happens, I panic. When I panic, I do stupid things. I did something stupid. In a way, you could say I channeled the dead (not literally, if somehow that wasn’t clear enough). I had a conversation with a person that I’m effectively dead to, thus they have to be dead to me, or else there would be too much pain of loss. I was thinking a lot about this conversation, if you can call about 7-8 exchanges of text on Skype a conversation. You (“the dead”) had said something about things (in the past) going wrong, or knowing that you never will know what went wrong. I don’t want to look it up, because that is digging up the past, nor do I want to misconstrue what was said, I just remember what struck me, though. I am pretty sure it was general like that, but in my head, I thought about it and wondered if you really used to wonder what you did wrong. If know you, and even if we don’t exist to each other anymore, it will be a long long time before I can say I don’t know you, then I know that you felt this confounding and bewildering thought before. It makes me sad, because if I could ever get anything across to you, it wouldn’t be how much I loved you, how much you still mean to me, in some weird distant satellite orbiting the Earth kind of way, or how much I often worry about you and hope you’re just doing well– or any of these things. I would just want you to know that there is no question of what did you do wrong. It makes me sad because life is the biggest paradox. It makes less sense than quantum physics, because I can assure you with my entire being, that especially in our last act, you did every possible thing you could have done right. That’s all there is to it, and the only thoughts and feeling on that it is safe to let out. For now, I’m going to pat down the now reburied past unless it comes seeking me out.
I’m listening to an afrobeat song recorded in 1975 right now– Expensive Shit by Fela Kuti and it has got me thinking about a lot of songs I have stumbled upon over the years. I think the best example is that Vanderbilt radio station Robert is obsessed with. Anyone who knows me a little bit knows I hate the radio and if I know you well enough and you listen to the radio, I will chastise you until we are both raw in the loins from it, but this kid always insists on his radio station, especially late at night in the summer, because that is when they let people DJ who play stuff from the farthest reaches of the Earth and time. I gotta admit, I love listening to that station at that time, you got me, Robert. Some of that stuff is the most bizarre and disconcerting stuff I’ve ever heard, to plain bad, to really cool, but more than anything I just think to myself, “People actually recorded this?.. In a studio somewhere?.. At some point in time? What?” There is a certain feeling connected to this, and it is likely fueled by the fact that I always listen to these things at these weird hours, 1 AM, 2:13 AM, 4:25 in the morning and so on. I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten that feeling, where you almost feel like a small part of yourself is not quite aligned with the rest of your body and you’re kind of pulled out of yourself, but that is one ingredient. As the music plays, I just get this vibe that at some unimaginable time in a non-existent place, a group of people got together at an hour that nobody else on the planet is awake (never mind time zones and Earth’s rotation) and recorded this music that only 247 other people on the planet have heard, and now I’m the 248th. Then, while I listen to it and process that, I think to myself that none of it mattered, yet it still was created. Whether it was a good creation or bad, it didn’t matter, it just happened. Now I’ve been given this little capsule of time, bundled with energy, emotions and fragments of the persons’ lives who created it, and when the song finishes it, I will be one of the few people who is now carrying the small piece of life and culture— all the while the sun hides and the rest of the planet sleeps. About thirty minutes after I listen to anything like this at hours like this, the feelings finally completely fade and I feel like my being is again entirely one. Maybe nobody else has ever felt this but me, but I’m just throwing it out there. I’m repeating this song and feeling it right now.
It beats feeling completely empty.
I’m glad I wrote this.