The hype on Dead and Company, the latest Grateful Dead side project, is befuddling to say the least, although the success of 50th anniversary shows have certainly led us hereThe truth is, however, that the fall tour of this hodgepodge and questionably-named band has little to do with the concerts in Chicago. Not only is founding member Phil Lesh nowhere to be seen – indeed he is concurrently playing in his eponymous band – but neither were Bruce Hornsby and Trey Anastasio included.
This group lacks the soul of earlier post-Jerry Garcia incarnations, The Dead and Furthur, neither of which were bedazzled by all the hype.This band, headlined by pop guitarist John Mayer who has nothing whatsoever to do with the music of the Grateful Dead, is a dubious path for Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann and, if they are not careful, could lead to moments they might regret.
“Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.” So begins Albert Camus’ first-person account of a man who murders without reason in his existentialist work, The Stranger. The novel is peppered with absurd moments documenting a man, Meursault, doomed to die. “On my way out I was even going to shake the magistrate’s hand, but just in time, I remembered that I had killed a man.” (64)
Meursault describes “the odd impression of being watched by myself.” (87) And then, once convicted, on the inevitable end shared by all: “What really counted was the possibility of escape, a leap to freedom, out of the implacable ritual, a wild run for it would give whatever chance for hope there was.” (109) “Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. Throughout the whole absurd life I’d lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across the years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living.” (121)
When I know something, I think I own something.This is about getting what I want, not a phone ringing for me nor the sound of a motorboat in the deep of night, but a sound from my childhood. It is lazy and pure, like stepping off a ledge, and is held, just above my memory that I have nothing at all.
It appears that all of Toronto have fallen madly in love with Price, Donaldson, Encarnancion and the rest of the Toronto Blue Jays. Understood that it has been more than twenty years since the Blue Jays have made the playoffs, the longest streak in major league sports, but I still find this sudden blind adoration too much. Where were all of these Torontonians over the past twenty years, when the likes of Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green and Roy Halladay were wearing the good old BJ?This notion of supporting a team only when it wins is superficial to say the least. It’s not that I don’t like the Blue Jays – I remember their first game against the White Sox like it was yesterday – but I do not jibe with this fanaticism. Because it’s not just the winning, not in the least. It’s the hard grind of building, the many long seasons, the many downs….yes, that’s where true fans are born. Go Leafs Go.
Ms. Lamott’s advice to get started in writing, as offered in her book Bird by Bird, is to sit down and write. “Put a piece of paper in the typewriter, stare at it, and eventually you will write.” (6, Bird by Bird) As a rank amateur, I must disagree. Driving oneself through unnecessary anxiety is not only foolish, it is only also detrimental to the process.
Instead, I would recommend that one just relax, do whatever it is that gets the mind on a path – be this through walking, staring, drinking, watching nature videos – and when the idea comes, as it must, it must be noted however it can be set, through pen and paper or text messaging, and then set aside for a starting point. And later, with that in hand, is where to begin.
DAVIS smokes a joint behind The Morrissey Bar with ERDLEY and SUE ANN.
SUE ANN (Smoking the joint): My brother Andy isn’t so bad. You know why he’s so angry? He saw our father drown. All of it right in front of his eyes.
ERDLEY: No shit?
SUE ANN: We were in the Caribbean, snorkeling, and he, like, swam off, looking for buried treasure or something. And then just sunk. (Pause) He had a seizure. That’s what they said. Dead. The guide went after him. He drowned too.
ERDLEY (Stunned): No.
SUE ANN: My brother was floating on the surface. He saw the guy grab my father’s leg. Saw both of them sink into the darkness. (Continues to smoke the joint) Little Andy saw everything. We came back with our father in a casket.
ERDLEY: Holy fuck.
DAVIS: Were you close to him?
SUE ANN gives the end of the joint – with barely anything left – to DAVIS.
SUE ANN: The worst part was seeing the moray eels bite off his head.
ERDLEY: An eel? What?
SUE ANN: (Going back inside The Morrissey): Jesus, you fuckwits, you believed me?