Sometimes I have a few ideas in my head and I don’t know why they’re in there together but I figure there’s a reason that will eventually present itself. This weekend I was thinking about Adam Yauch and then I was thinking, randomly, about morale. I was thinking about morale because I saw The Avengers, and one of the characters, Captain America, the old-timey superhero, said something about not being able to speak disparagingly about a leader because it was bad for morale. It makes sense that the old fashioned super-hero said that, because most of us don't think that way anymore. I'm not saying we are not kind or supportive or moved by sweetness and light, but it seems like we don't care about thinking like a group. Not only are we not concerned about not thinking like a group but if someone says something we disagree with, we don't just leave it at that, we also have to think he is a fucking stupid moron who deserves to get hit by a bus. Look at any online comment section, especially if the article has to do with a politician or celebrity, and you'll see (sometimes thousands of) letters filled with so much hatred and bile that it's hard not to feel pissed off after reading it. A person writes an article about Obama, then someone reads it and writes in about how Obama is like Hitler, then I read it and think that person is an insane kook. The bile grows and multiplies like, well like unhealthy cells. No one is immune, not Rush Limbaugh or the Kardashians or the people who hate them. It's just a big swirling cesspool of anger and disgust.
Until someone dies.
I'm not about to say that suddenly everyone recognizes the sadness and then starts hugging and saying I'm sorry, or even that the outpouring of love stops the flow of anger temporarily. (People still said: Who the fuck is he? Everyone dies. I hate the Beastie Boys. Why the fuck is Coldplay singing one of their songs, they're just riding the death coat-tails...etc.) But most of us were sad, sad because he was so young, because it was cancer (again) and because the Beastie Boys represented a time and sound that we weren't ready to say goodbye to yet.
I didn't know Adam but I have friends and family members who did. If you lived in New York, a small town, in the late 80's or 90's chances are you knew someone who knew one of the Beastie Boys or you hung out where they did, or you saw one of them on the subway. They were like your brothers or cousins, and depending on whether or not you liked their music, they were either annoying and immature or amazing and fun. If you lived in New York, you knew who they were, you knew their style, you knew their sound. You probably could recite at least one line of one song.
I still don't know exactly why I was thinking so much about Adam and morale at the same time, I mean other than that the death of each had to do with cancer, but remembering Adam and his music reminded me of when I first started walking around New York with a walkman. My life was changed! It was so different from just listening at home. Before, walking was a chore, something you wanted to rush through to get where you were going. Suddenly it was an experience and you saw yourself separately from yourself. I felt like I was in a movie and when I walked to work I had my own soundtrack. This was one of the songs I'd listen to, rewind, and listen to again and again.
It reminded me that when someone dies, we think about the things we will miss, we let go of expectations because we have to, which is maybe how we should think all of the time.