Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hello Future Potential Employers.

A video I made for this song that I posted last week and also made. I don't really like this video. I do think one part of it is funny. This part happens about 5 seconds in. I also think the video is funny if I imagine myself going on a job interview that goes relatively well. Afterwards, the potential employer googles my name while vaguely thinking nostalgically about when Google didn't exist, and he didn't google things, and 'googling' wasn't a word, and was this better for everyone not googling things, and do you have to earn information in order for it to mean anything to you, that seems to make sense until you actually think about it for more than 2 seconds, then it just seems like weird, privileged bullshit, he went to college, he went to college before wikipedia, he wonders if it's easier now, it was actually pretty easy back then, and he ends up watching a video of the young man that was just sitting in front of him wearing a suit and talking about business goals wearing lipstick and mumbling nonsense. Not funny in a way I'd actually laugh at though. Just kinda funny.

I almost started typing about when you make something and you immediately don't really like it (which, for me, happens a lot of the time), or you grow not to like it (which, for me, happens most the time), or you make something and hate it, but other people seem to genuinely like it (which, for me, happens some of the time), and I started thinking about how I heard REM's NIGHTSWIMMING on the radio the other day.

I've been listening to the radio more in the past couple of weeks than I have in the past 15 years. Only because I'm in the car more often and I keep forgetting my iPod in my apartment. The radio's weird. I don't know if it's the programming or because I haven't listened since I was a teenager, but it's like putting on a time capsule from the mid 90s. No matter what station I put on, I almost immediately start thinking about long-forgotten middle school dances I went to. Or at least my car takes on the emotional texture of a 1993 middle school dance. Awkwardness, uncertainty, hormones, Young MC lyrics. The other day I drove to the supermarket and sat in the parking lot for 3 minutes before I went in, mentally reliving the video for PM Dawn's SET ADRIFT ON MEMORY BLISS in its entirety.

I like REM. I listened to REM in middle school. I probably listened to them in high school too. In this millennium, I don't think I've listened to REM without being in a pharmacy, supermarket, or movie theater. When NIGHTSWIMMING came on my car radio I first thought of writing a tweet somehow combining REM and CVS.

NIGHTSWIMMING seems like a song that people could find really 'emotional' or 'connect to' and/or play at their wedding, or after a divorce. It seems like a bittersweet ballad that means something. It also seems weirdly 'half-assed' and 'thrown off' and generally shitty. Halfway through listening to it, I realized what the band probably intended it to sound like was the scene in a musical where the poor showgirl, or poor nightclub singer is rehearsing with her put-upon and also poor piano player and they launch into a small, unaccompanied, fake improvised, emotional ballad in an empty theater. What it started to sound like to me was a guy that always had dreams of becoming a successful lyricist, but ended up being a kindergarten teacher that lives with his Mom, knocking out an improvised tune with a second grade piano prodigy, loosely based on a high school poem he wrote, before the kids come in for play practice.

The word 'Nightswimming' is repeated over 40,000 times.

This led me to wonder if Michael Stipe likes NIGHTSWIMMING. Or any of REM's more embarrassing songs like SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE, or 60% of their catalog. Or if he regrets it. I imagined him not putting out records past GREEN. I imagined him firing that Tiny Tim guy. I imagined him as a kindergarten teacher jamming with a second grade piano prodigy wondering if he shouldn't have broken up REM.

I decided Michael Stipe's cool with his life choices.

Related: I played a lot of SIM CITY 2000 instead of working when I was in college. Remembering this, I searched for and downloaded SIM CITY 2000 a couple of weeks ago. I now play a lot of SIM CITY 2000 instead of working while not in college.

Not related: My friends run this very good literary site called Red Lightbulbs and they're specifically looking for comics submissions.


Stanley Lieber said...

according to an episode of SPACE GHOST i saw recently, michael stipe "hates" the song SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE.

Pete said...

I wonder how Space Ghost feels about that episode.

Roshan said...

Really, sim city 2000? Maybe it's because I played so much of the original sim city as a kid, but sim city 2000's interface just seemed clunky and confusing to me, the graphics less smooth, and I never got into it.

I will submit to red lightbulbs now.

dzima said...

When you time travel back to 1993, do you actually live in the world of The Fugitive. I see you and Tommy Lee Jones having a coffee, Boyz II Men is playing at the cafe, and he tells you about Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes.

Pete said...

Roshan: 15 or so years later Sim City 2000 is probably more clunky and confusing than it seemed before. Though I wonder if that's a design choice that they purposely made because I have most recent Sim City for the Wii and that is also clunky, confusing and doesn't really work. For some reason this in no way detracts from the joy I get naming all the city parks 'Pete Toms Memorial Park' and generally wasting my life with the game.

Dzima: It's more like in Charles Dickens' SCROOGED where I'm a phantom that can't really affect what's happening in '93. I spend most of my time attempting to tell Snipes to pay his taxes so that he can stay out of jail and be in THE EXPENDABLES.