Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I recently purchased a new telecaster highway series and a Vox AC30 2x12. It's really the first investment I've made in decent gear. When I was in high school, my best friend Paul and his dad took me to Elderly once a month or so. We never really bought anything, we just went there to drool over the undeniable beauty of well crafted instruments. On one particular visit Paul grabbed a used Lespaul of the wall and plugged it in to a little Vox 10 inch. I was astounded by the sheer power the little thing could muster, not to mention this golden tone that resonated out of it. Ever since then I wanted a Vox. As for the tele, I just have always loved the twang and punch that the telecaster possessed. I just think its a great symbol of early
american rock and roll, and country music. So I finally got both, and I must say it was worth the wait. I hope to be playing out again soon. I've got a hankering for free beer, smoky bars, and loud rock and roll.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
In pre-school we had a class pet, a gerbil named Buckwheat. Buckwheat was fairly content gerbil. He was soft and fuzzy, everything a pre-school pet should be. But I remember that Buckwheat had decided he needed a break from his hard day to day, so he went on vacation. When he decided to come back to work, there was something different about our friendly fuzzball. It didn't matter, we were just glad to have him back.
Not long after Buckwheat came home, apparently he decided that he needed more R and R, our teacher told us that he went on another vacation. I was being had. "Blasphemy!" I cried in protest. "Buckwheat isn't on vacation, Buckwheats dead." As my classmates burst into tears my teacher took me into time out. Thats when I learned death is not a suitable topic for the dinner table. It is not something we are comfortable being around. Nor is Death acceptable for a class of pre-schoolers to be aware of, and should be at most considered as a very, very long vacation.
In the western world we have continually decomposed our connection with the inevitable, becoming so removed from our own mortality that the very idea itself is considered macabre.
In contrast, it seems in contemporary society we have had a resurgence of interest in what lies behind our physiognomy. Our timely friend the skull has made a triumphant return in popular culture. One can even find baby clothing with little skulls on them.
The question is, does it still carry its connotative connection to mortality, or has it's allegorical and symbolic nature been executed (pun intended) in the name of fashion?
In ancient Rome, during a celebration of triumph a general would parade through the streets in his moment of victory. Behind the general was a man that would remind him "Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento!" meaning "Look behind you! Remember that you are but a man!" or saying "Memento Mori!" meaning "Remember you are mortal!" To remind him that though he was on top today, tomorrow was in fact another day.
I want to explore the various avenues of Memento Mori. It's symbols, the communication of those symbols, their ability to ignite an inward reflection of mortality, and what it means to contemplate mortality. Then perhaps I can understand the current trend of the skull in the present day; as well as participate more thoroughly in the consideration of my own morality.