Friday, May 30, 2008
I love the Cubs and have since I picked up my first WGN broadcast way back in the day. Cubs fans are usually just delusional enough to believe that every year is "our year". We always feel as if we are just a few outs from winning the World Series. You say optimistic, I say delusional. Why? Simply because we feel this excitement and joy in every game despite the fact that our beloved Cubs have not won a World Series in 99 1/2 years. In fact, even on a regular Wednesday night in the midst of this almost 100 year Championship drought, you'll find the Friendly Confines in Chicago jam packed with rabid fans.
This past Wednesday was one such night. A school night. A night when there's not many things to get very excited about. The Dodgers came dragging into town with their less than stellar year so far and the Cubs had taken the first two games of a three game series. This game turned out to be a pitchers' duel and went by rather quickly with very little action. The Cubs were down 1-0 in the 9th inning and just 3 outs away from a loss. This is usually the time when fans begin thinking about the commute home and the list of things they must do before going to bed. Some even begin to make their way to the gates to get a head start on their peers. But this time they stayed.
Not only did they stay, they cheered. They were on their feet in the 8th and 9th innings chanting the names of Cubs players and screaming at the tops of their lungs. All those people with different jobs, different political and religious beliefs, and different lives were unified even if for just a couple of hours. Unified over a game. It was amazing to watch, even if I had to watch from a remote living room location. The players noticed as well and responded by scoring once in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The crowd volume intensified and again the players responded with a run scoring walk-off single in the 10th inning.
The cameras showed the fans immediately following the game winning play. Many of them put their arms around the folks to their left and right and swayed back and forth while singing to "Go Cubs, Go" as it played over the loudspeakers. They shared smiles and bear hugs and most of them acted as if they had no other place to be for quite a while. They were consumed by the moment. A moment shared in common with thousands of other people.
Why is it that we seek out community as humans? What part of our DNA causes us to gravitate toward other humans and look for things we share in common? Why would a hermit like me want to join that crowd?
Maybe I'm just drunk on the current 4 game winning streak. Go Cubs, go.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The top two albums you would be listening to if you were really a good person:
"Langhorne Slim" (self titled, 2008)
The songs are short but filled with energy and charm. I admit the cover art is a little 1970's sleaze, but you're not going to be listening to the cover art."Lose Big" by Eef Barzelay, 2008
Speaking of cover art, this one gets my vote for best album cover so far this year. As great as that may be, the music is better. Eef was the lead singer/writer for Clem Snide and is now on his own...with the help of a new band on several of the songs. This is a great collection of performances and the writing is top notch. I do prefer him with just a guitar and no backup band (and you can listen to free downloads of that on daytrotter.com) but then, I may or may not be a minimalist.
Looking forward to the release of a new Avett Brothers EP in July and a new Weezer full length in June. Yes, Weezer. Hey, I don't make fun of your Avril Lavigne CDs, don't make fun of the Weez.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Picasso said, "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." But to be fair, he was fond of saying all sorts of outlandish things while playing up his media persona...so who knows if he really believed that or not.
While there are all sorts of different definitions of "truth", I think the illustrious (Dr.) Stanley was getting at one of the less scientific ones. Or maybe that's not the correct word to use. Perhaps I should say I think he was talking about a "truth" that is difficult to vocalize. Something we know/feel to be truth even when we do not possess the words that might begin to describe it to other sentient beings.
That guy up there with the hair, that's Thomas Aquinas. He was a philosopher and theologian who believed something similar to the Correspondence Theory of Truth. This theory basically revolves around the idea that truth is a matter of copying reality and then trying to find ways to portray that reality in thoughts, words, and symbols. This sounds an awful lot like the job description of an artist. Aquinas believed that since we are created beings and therefore descending from "Truth" that our human intellect gives us the ability to reach the essence and existence of things.
Aquinas also believed that faith and reason should be used together, instead of separated, because together they help provide a path to truth.
I'm not saying I get it. But I am on the way.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
You know that crap you hear on the mainstream radio? That empty, cold, paint-by-numbers garbage? Well, this is not that. Instead, these are the jarringly honest admissions of a troubled guy set to some great music. Some of it is brutal. Some of it is beautiful. All of it feels honest.
Listeners may like it or they may not, but the writer doesnt seem to care. It sounds like Duritz has decided to be true to himself again....something he's accomplished on occasion with great success. The result gives the listener a few odd glimpses into the writer's mind and his way of seeing the world around him.
The moments of real connection between writer and listener are successful not because the listener knows specific details of Mr. Duritz's life, but because Mr. Duritz finds ways of tapping into those shared experiences as a human being.
In other words, there's enough space left within this personal narrative for us to see ourselves.