Something About David

New Releases in New Zealand, 6 August 1989

U2 – All I Want Is You

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David Berman died.

Friends are warmer than gold when you’re old
And keeping them is harder than you might suppose
Lately, I tend to make strangers wherever I go
Some of them were once people I was happy to know

All My Happiness Is Gone – Purple Mountains

i

All I Want Is You ended up being a kind of the funereal finale to U2 as I knew them growing up.  I’m judgmental and definitive like that.  Black and white.  I know they wrote some good songs after Rattle and Hum but to me their career became more like a stuttering bi-plane coming off the top of its upward arc after that album.  Everything is descent  from then on with only a few burps and farts of creativity turning the rotor over occasionally.

ii

Into my mind, the thought begins to seep
If no one’s fond of fucking me
Maybe no one’s fucking fond of me

Maybe I’m the Only One For Me – Purple Mountains

I’ve been watching things like Atlanta and Bojack.

Who is Bojack?  A badly damaged, combustible individual in a highly flammable environment addicted to smoking?  Metaphorically.  Something like that.  But if you draw him as a horse and throw in a bunch of animal gags you can fail to notice that for awhile.  Aside from being funny, the animals make the entire visual of the show absurd which fits nicely with the basic moral premise of the show: Bojack’s life is utterly devoid of meaning or human connection and is therefore absurd.

Atlanta also makes its characters deal with the absurd.  People external to the core characters are often full of shit, dangerous or a liability.  Racism lurches up suddenly like a drunk snapping awake out of his chair and shouting a profanity.  The main character is probably Earn, and his main flaw is not knowing what the hell he wants to do with his life possibly because most of the options seem stupid.  Some of the options aren’t stupid though and he can’t seem to take them either.

Bojack and Earn are paralysed.  The things that happen in their lives are funny, degrading, rewarding, pointless preambles to a book that no one can seem to be bothered starting to write.

iii

How long can a world go on under such a subtle god?
How long can a world go on with no new word from God?
See the plod of the flawed individual looking for a nod from God
Trodding the sod of the visible with no new word from God

Margaritas At The Mall – Purple Mountains

I listened to The Butterfly Effect a few years ago.  It is a podcast series about how the internet undermined the porn industry.  The “sequel” is The Last Days of August.  It’s about a young porn star who committed suicide.

While The Butterfly Effect contained a lot of unusual stories it was only occasionally sad.  It was actually just as frequently heartwarming and funny.  The Last Days of August is only sad.  It’s more what you would expect to hear about the porn industry.  That a lot of the young women involved are dealing with past abuse and mental health issues and have difficulty forming relationships.

iv

Course I’ve been humbled by the void
Much of my faith has been destroyed
I’ve been forced to watch my foes enjoy
Ceaseless feasts of schadenfreude
And as the pace of life keeps quickening
Beneath the bitching and the bickering
When I try to drown my thoughts in gin
I find my worst ideas know how to swim

 

I only just started with him.  I heard Purple Mountains and I loved it.  I thought about listening to the Silver Jews but didn’t before he died.  No one seems to be saying how he died but he was 52 and depressed and had attempted suicide in the past so I suppose it’s safe to assume it wasn’t an accident.

The woman in The Last Days of August had attempted suicide once before she succeeded.  The news in New Zealand asks if we can solve our mental health crisis.  Unlikely.  We have evolved a society that is short of breath and high on fat.  A high anxiety competition; a bargain in one place and a holocaust in another.  What should we do?  Chase it?  Opt out?  Bojack it? David Berman it?

Say when.

New Releases in New Zealand, 6 August 1989

  • U2 – All I Want Is You
  • LL Cool J – I’m That Type of Guy
  • Malcolm McLaren and the Bootzilla Orchestra – Waltz Darling
  • Netherworld Dancing Toys – American Dream
  • Dave Dobbyn – Space Junk
  • Kate Ceberano – Bedroom Eyes
  • Martika – Toy Soldiers
  • Waterfront – Cry
  • Jody Watley with Eric B. & Rakim – Friends

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John-Paul

I wrote a book called Kaitiaki o te Pō

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