12 Replies to “So It Goes”

  1. Isn’t pain — i.e., being hurt — part of what makes one an artist?

    I think we should wish for the strength and the courage to face pain, on the ground that pain is pretty much inevitable — unless we are clever and oblivious dancers.

    Maybe we should actually WISH for pain, at least early in life, when we’re young enough to wire our brains and muscles for adult success and triumph.

    If we avoid pain, or if we aren’t smart enough to feel pain, have we lived?

    I think “Slaughterhouse Five” came from pain. As did “Catch-22.” And “Imagine.” And “It Was a Very Good Year.” And in these days, the poignant lyrics of the rappers, who are dealing openly and courageously with their attitudes toward women, groping painfully and touchingly toward manhood and wisdom.

    I know a very young boy who is autistic. To him, everything is beautiful. He has never cried, he always smiles, and he never says a word. I envy that in a way, but he’ll never be a good writer whose passing we mourn.

    It is sad to learn about Kurt. But I hope his signature experience was feeling the pain and telling it this: “Pain, get fucked! I’m writing a book and I’m gonna make some money and I’m gonna get myself some tight – – – – -.”

  2. Maybe Larry is talking about Kurt’s Last Moment of Life, rather than his preceding 84-plus years.

    I do hope Kurt’s LAST moment of life was one in which he saw beauty and no pain. But I would not wish painlessness on anybody during his or her entire life.

    I hope Abraham Lincoln saw beauty-no-pain in his last moment, that he didn’t say as he died, “Fuck this shit! Look at all the pain I endured, all the work I’ve done with this Civil War crap, the bad pay and the bad sex, and now some asshole shoots me during a play that sucks!”

    I hope Martin Luther King saw beauty-no-pain in his last moment, that he didn’t regret his sacrifice, that he didn’t see forward to 2007, when Al Sharpton would become the arbiter of civil-rights matters.

    I hope John Lennon felt saw beauty-no-pain in his last moment, that he didn’t say as he died, “Fuck this shit! Look at all the stuff and fame and excellent music I piled up, and now some asshole wannabe shoots me when I’m going out to buy a pack of fags.”

    As for me, I know that my last moment of life, were it to occur during the wee hours of the morning to come, will not be one in which everything is beautiful and there is no pain. In fact, it will be the opposite. I will think of the battles I have backed away from; the people I have disappointed; the gifts I have squandered; the workplace assholes who have beat me; the cats whom I have yelled at for jumping on my desk when I was working on something stupid and all they were doing was reminding me of what really mattered: them.

    My guess is that Kurt felt pretty smug and accomplished at his last moment. I bet he said something like, “I kicked some butt. I felt the pain, and I gained. At this moment, my Last Moment, everything is beautiful, and I feel no pain. I took it on, and now I’m gonna see Zip Zero Nada,and that’s cool … OR I’m see some kinda god, and that god is gonna get a PIECE OF MY FUCKING MIND.”

    Who knows? Maybe god, if there is one, gets things better only upon the advice of the dead guys like Kurt and Martin and John and Abraham. Maybe it’s we humans who, once we are dead, make things run a little better. It seems to me that the human condition has improved a bit over the last thousand years, and maybe that’s on account of the dead people being put to work. If that’s the case, I expect to be employed in such an endeavor, and I hope the medical insurance is reasonable.

  3. He used to have a house on Brown Street. I went to a couple “trip parties” there when I was an undergrad but I never saw any acid.

    I don’t know what to say. He was the coolest of cool cats. I was hoping he would live forever.

  4. #1: I think Vonnegut would want you writing again.

    And then I thought…well, maybe Larry’s busy playing music and that’s why he’s not writing. So, I clicked on the Balding Bros link up there – and I can’t play any of the music! I don’t have a plug-in, or whatever.

    I have plenty of plug-ins here at the mansion. But, obviously, not the right kind of plug-ins.

    See? I don’t have everything.

  5. Le Bleu Femme – The link goes to a site called Acid Planet, which was originally a place to showcase music created with a software program called “Acid,” a PC-only application. So I guess they didn’t see a need to make the site accessible to Mac users.

    However, Microsoft has a free download of the Windows Media Player for Macintosh, and (at the same location) you will find info about a free program called Flip4Mac, which lets you listen to Windows Media in Apple’s QuickTime.

    One of these things will probably work for you, and The Blue Girl Estate will be ringing with the sounds of The Balding Brothers!!

  6. Steve – In ten years, we’ll see who remembers Imus and who remembers Vonnegut.

    Michael Bains – I was mostly playing a Strat in those days. The other guitar player had some kind of Japanese guitar, which might have made the Telecaster sound you hear. Also, did you get my email last week?

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