We have begun a new year and as I stare at photos of the lead singer known as Stipe, I am noticing that we have another thing in common and that is that we both have beards. His has a fair amount of gray in his; mine is still brown-black saving the gray for my temples. He is balding, I need a haircut. He’s wearing glasses. Mine are in a case somewhere. He is 50. I am 37. We both know the lyrics to Driver 8.
However, the staring is just staring and not any ‘longing’. Staring at him and then a white screen wondering what I am going to write about next.
It is not just any new year but the beginning of another decade (although not technically but that is for another site).
Of course if you have been reading this site in the recent past you would admit that things have been pretty quiet around here. If I was Johnny Rotten I might say, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”
Honestly, I do too although I am not sure you can just sit to write. I do not get paid to be a fan, the home office is not on speed dial; I do not get backstage tickets, no free albums, no gimmes or anything, but rather when I do this it’s my little place.
Hitting submit on an R.E.M. post is knowing that somewhere out there, a bot is looking for it and wants to respond with a Viagra advertisement and that I find pretty humerous that I am probably talking to more “Code” than anything.
Admittedly the site has fallen apart somewhat since it’s inception. Life has changed just a little bit for me.
Lately, I have been hounded by my wife to update the page. She seemed to have been bothered by the fact that the last couple months that this site (My homepage btw) has several sexual references so every time she opens a browser, this seems to be staring her in the face. I figure that this is as good as any to keep up the trend, albeit but it in a larger font.
Keeping this in mind, she very enthusiastic about the premise of me updating the site rather than spend time with her. Of course the title might surprise her somewhat. This might be due to the fact I made a very delicious Chocolate soufflé tonight, or maybe it was that I did about 93% of the stuff I planned to do this weekend, that she was eager for me to do, was actually accomplished. At any rate, I am sitting here writing for you what I think of the last 10 years of Stipe and company.
The Aughts will definitely not be the decade of R.E.M. There is a school that would believe that the 80’s were that decade, another school might believe that the 90s are that decade but definitely not the 00’s.
They are a band that at the beginning of the decade I was high on, became utterly disappointed and feeling manipulated, and regained a level of semblance and hope for the future.
Truth be told, I do not sit here with any high expectations and maybe that is the problem with my lack of writing. They have already provided me with everything that I need for the rest of my life. I do not need another live album, studio album, tour or boxed set. There is nothing that I presently need or could request from them than that what they have already provided.
I really do not need R.E.M., at this point to change my life. I do not need them to come out with the next Murmur or Reckoning. I do not need them to release a song that reminisces like Nightswimming.
I do not need a single to top the charts to boost my ego. I do not need them to be the biggest band on the planet. I do not need to have some desire to get a photo taken with them (Although that is not actually true. The only way that I will get a photo with any of them is if one of them is squirting me with mustard). I do have standards.
(I also think it would be cool to totally pick your nose in front of the band. I mean go really deep up in there and dig around right in front of them. Bonus points if you just say, ‘hold on Michael, I need to pick my nose’.)
If you think that I just don’t care, think again. Of the past month R.E.M. is still played pretty heavily on my Ipod and while those statistics are not available these are which still clearly show R.E.M. in the lead for all-time and the year.
What I have realized throughout all of this is that there is still a story that needs to be told. The Aughts made me realize that the story is not about R.E.M. but more about me. The thoughts and visions became less about what Michael Stipe meant in the lyrics but more what I was thinking about.
What is great about having a website about which you are not paid to do anything is that the expectations completely shift to being whatever you want. You will disappoint everyone but yourself, which is probably the way it should be.
Bring on the teens!