Take the blue mask down from my face and look me in the eye.
That silence thing, ever so important to the inner peace crowd, doesn't come easy. I find concentrating on much of anything (particularly reading and writing) difficult without music playing. That's due to what, if I were in grade school nowadays, would be diagnosed as ADD. The music is controlled noise that blocks out uncontrolled noise—both external and internal. Certainly, it's a symptom of our modern world (written with the caveat that I really don't think any other world is without its problems, either. Interesting how so many in the yoga crowd talk so much about the here and now, yet romanticize every there and then they can think of. I mean, Stephen Cope, early on in Yoga and the Quest for the True Self—a book that’s mostly great, by the way, much as it irritates me in places—talks about breaking up with his boyfriend, then later idealizes such famously gay-friendly milieus as traditional Hindu villages and pre-modern Europe.
What was I talking about? My inability to concentrate? Right. And I’ve even got music playing now—Lou Reed’s Blue Mask album—which reminds me...a couple of posts ago, I mentioned my top ten list of Lou Reed lines, as kind of a throwaway joke, though I really do have such a list. The thing is, I’ve gotten nothing but derision when telling friends about it. Mention it here however, and what happens? People, with, apparently, some of the same personal problems as I, come out of the woodwork and say they wanna see it. So:
Top Ten (partially annotated) Lou Reed Lines:
#1 How do you think it feels, and when do you think it stops? The Berlin album's so fucked up, you’ve gotta have something seriously wrong with you to actually enjoy it. I love the Berlin album.
#2 You made me forget myself. I thought I was someone else, someone good. Most people think “Perfect Day” is a lovely song about a lovely day in the park with a loved one. I wouldn’t want to disillusion them.
#3 I’m set free, to find a new illusion. Oh, Lou, how can you manage to describe such a positive sentiment, while being so utterly nihilistic at the same time?
#4 Won’t you recognize us? We’re everything you hate. Love that pain body.
# 5 The fact that you are married only means you’re my best friend, but it’s truly truly a sin. I have no idea what this one’s about.
#6 Taste the whip, in love not given lightly. Corporal punishment should only be between consenting adults.
#7 Between thought and expression lies a lifetime.
#8 Some kinds of love are mistaken for vision.
#9 There’s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out. People tend to see Magic and Loss as Lou’s darkest album, as it deals with cancer and death (and, yeah, it has that lighthearted song about the guy cutting himself up with a razor blade). And yet, this song is probably the most positive thing he’s ever written, dealing with walking through the "fire" of pain and trauma and finding when the past makes you laugh and you can savor the magic that lets you survive your own war, you find that that fire is passion, and there’s a door up ahead, not a wall.
#10 Put a fork in their ass and turn ‘em over, they’re done.