Thursday, October 16, 2008

Forget that Forrest Gump Crap.

Forget that Forrest Gump Crap...
Category: Life

No, life is NOT like a box of chocolates.

My son had an astute observation today.

Thus said Lucas.....

"God is the best graphic designer ever. I mean, look at the detail in the world around us. Life is like a video game, with the best graphics and the best action. But you only get one life...if you die, you don't get a bunch of chances to start the game over."

(At this point, I decided against dampening his profundity by explaining that some folks believe in reincarnation, whereby you would be entitled to innumerable chances to get things right.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Well, Hallelujah!

This weekend, I attended the wedding of and reception for my 2nd cousin and his new bride. It's amazing how wedding ceremonies and receptions simmer on through the 21st century, foregoing originality or progression for blanket banality, archaic rituals and an obligatory impetus for line dancing. ("It's electric!!!")

Prior to dinner being served, the guests were entertained (??) with a series of three Power Point slideshows put to song: one of pictures of the bride, one of pictures of the groom and one of pictures of the bride AND groom, with a collective running time of about 14 hours. In between hunger fantasies of chomping on the centerpiece, I noted the decision of the couple to use Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as the song for the bride/groom slideshow.

A point in favor of the couple was choosing this song over tired standards, such as "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack, or "Unforgettable" by Natalie and Nat King Cole, or anything by Celine Dion. But I had to wonder if the couple paid even a modicum of attention to the lyrics of "Hallelujah" prior to having it musically complement photographic evidence of their overwhelming lovey-doveyness and mutual affinity for Miller Lite Beer.

"Hallelujah" is a reasonably dark interpretation of passion, sorrow, love and loss with complex Biblical mingling paralleled to the life of King David. One of two competing theories, then, must be true. Either my cousin and his wife just dig it as a pretty tune and really like how they keep saying "Hallelujah!" over and over again, or I've grossly underestimated their intellect and capacity to illustrate the ebb and flow of emotion within human existence by contrasting vapid, positive imagery with contemporary lyrical melodrama. Knowing this couple, however, I will stick with the former.

That got me thinking about other songs that similarly smitten couples often choose as "The Wedding Song," and how often such songs are erroneously interpreted as being loving or sentimental, when in actuality, they are bitter, hostile and downright unpleasant.

The list includes:

"Every Breath You Take," by The Police. Please. You must be a rank life amateur if you missed the memo on how this song is a frightening ode to obsession and stalking.

"Wonderful Tonight," by Eric Clapton. The story goes that he got so tired of waiting for his wife, Pattie Boyd, to get her ass coiffed and makeup slathered for a dinner party that he had time to pen this classic as he pumped down whiskey and chain smoked cigarettes.

"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)," by Green Day. Kids. Kids, kids, kids. Stop using this as your prom theme, your graduation song, blah blah. Really.

"(I Love You) Just the Way You Are," by Billy Joel. Joel wrote this as a ginormous musical bitch slap to his first wife, who had also been his manager, who's brother conned Joel out of like a bazillion dollars worth of songwriting and publishing royalties. Plus, Mrs. Joel #1 was wicked fugly. Don't go changin!

My list is by no means exhaustive, so I'd certainly welcome other additions I might have overlooked....