Month: September 2017

[dispatch] 20170905.1749

September 05, 2017 at 05:49PM
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[a few words on] Steely Dan

With the passing of Walter Becker, let’s resurrect a piece of mine on Steely Dan, for whom I had conflicting feelings but also heavy sentimental attachment, their inescapable songs stamped on many pivotal moments through my halcyon teenage daydream years. I didn’t choose to write about them – the piece was an assignment.

Back in 2013, I jumped into in a meme game, on a whim, against character and habit. That it was a Facebook meme made it even rarer for me, since I spend maybe 5 minutes a month in eff-space (another post for the future, perhaps). Courtesy of Scott Faulkner (http://www.vinylsaurus.com), the game was if you “liked” Scott’s Facebook post, he assigned you a band/act and you would write on them in the same format. The assignments would then cascade through every generation of likes. Marc Weidenbaum (https://disquiet.com) liked Scott’s post and was assigned The Residents. I, in turn, liked Marc’s post about The Residents, so he assigned me… drum roll… Steely Dan.

[dream journal] Drones For Leanne: A Recurring Nightmare

It’s 2061. Shunted off in the corner of the rec room at Elysian City: A Home For The Aged, I spend my days staring out a 2nd-story window at a leafy City neighborhood in a vain attempt to cancel out my immediate surroundings. I am 90 years old. My money is gone, my companionship is long over, I have no savings. The government will not approve me for a phone or any sort of connection to the Internet (by that time, access to the virtual world is age restricted for over-85s the same as drivers licenses). I don’t have a guitar. All my instruments and vinyl collection were sold to pay for a hybrid pig heart I needed when I was 83. Elysian also forbids personal music playback devices and headphones, so I can’t seek comfort in the albums I released decades ago in my highwire days.

The other patients create an absurd, inescapable, Cuckoo’s Nest din. I am there because I lost my money, but most are there because they lost their minds. Phillip, a former tenured NYU Comparative Literature professor, screams all day, every day in the same seat, about Donald Trump’s “Kalashnikov eyes” the “god damned Pension Police in the walls!” Every time he tries to eat, he hallucinates himself into the same Thanksgiving dinner simulation where he’s arguing with his brother Mitch about the 2016 election. By the end of every exchange (of which we only get his side), Phillip will slam his plate up and down, sending most of his meal in all directions.…

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