Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dan Auerbach Makes Me Wanna

   I have recently rediscovered The Black Keys.  More specifically, I have newly discovered the deliciousness that is their album Brothers, and which makes me want to sit out on my balcony in black lace lingerie at three a.m. and put out cigarettes in my Jack Daniel's after I use them to light the next one and then drink it anyway.
   I haven't felt like this, sincerely, since I got back from The Road Trip and called up my old Irish Catholic not-boyfriend and had an epic one-up war involving Smirnoff, his girlfriend I didn't know about, Sharpie pens, a stripper, and his best friend's truck bed; or at least I haven't felt like this since the last time I read some Bukowski.
   Now, I am a very serious proponent of long-distance running and fluffy kittens and sunshine, but The Black Keys have me thinking about the deconstructive urge and its validity--and specifically, the dualism of the human experience and its effect on happiness.
    Because there are two halves to human life: living, and dying.  And it's good to invest in living--it's good to eat well and exercise and do your dishes and build things, long-lasting things like love and happiness and family and positive social structure and all of the constructs that are allowed only by the existence of human rationality, of communication, of order.
    And very little breaks my heart harder than those people who forgo all of those things to chase the romance of their destructive side; who spend all the time and energy and talents they have trying to escape the permanence and risk of choosing which investments are worthwhile. I think everyone knows someone like that.  I have probably dated him. 
    But I do think (and Arizona's economy will totally have my back on this one) that there's such a thing as too much construction. (Zing). 
    We don't talk about dying in this country.  We don't talk about destruction in a healthy way, even when it comes to the economy (Dear Lord! We can't let the car companies go out of business! Forget that they haven't made a relevant or improved product in thirty years--DYING IS BAD), and especially when it comes to ourselves.  We have this weird mentality that insists on a hybrid of growth and immortality, which, as far as I'm concerned, are mutually exclusive concepts.  You can't grow without pruning, at least not into something worth being; and the only things that withstand time are those which change very little.  Want to know what both grows infinitely and lives forever?  A cancer cell.  Yeah.  Not very healthy or useful.  Infinite growth + immortality= giant blob of parasitic mutant. 
     Sometimes, however, the constructs of rationality go stale.  You could go your whole life getting up at 6 a.m., running, eating right, working hard, cleaning up, taking care of your family, getting enough sleep, and never actually do anything at all.
     I don't think that the answer to this is a weekend in Vegas, or any of the other prescribed methods offered us for "having fun."  I do think the answer is in deconstruction, in taking apart your own life a little bit to let in the more animalistic pieces of your nature, to remember the fact that one day you will not be here anymore and that every day is crap shoot in terms of survival.  However you deconstruct is okay, as long as you do it.  Getting drunk is the traditional way, and rightfully so, because nothing dulls human rationality like liquor.  But that one's dicey, because sometimes it also allows you to forgo the processing part of the breakdown--it can make it harder to connect to yourself, and allow you to continue to ignore the gentle pressure of the darker, lustful parts of your being.  Sex works, and so does dancing, and so does cliff diving, and so does anything that lets you into your body, into transience and risk, and out of the mathematics of construction.
    I'm just saying--there's a reason you can't name a gritty blues band The White Keys.

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