"I was alone, I took a ride,
I didn't know what I would find there...
Another road where maybe I
could see another kind of mind there..."
Got To Get You Into My Life
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something in the wayBy RageBoy®
I should have been a rock star. Laugh if you want to but I know it's true. I got close enough once to know what it feels like. There's a place where you're singing into the microphone -- and "singing" doesn't hardly cover it -- where breath catches fire and goes free, totally over the edge: music wrapping words in a resonant synesthetic blur like the birth of some dangerous and different animal, clawing at the walls and looking wildly to break out. Singer audience band and soundspace welded into the shock of ancient eyes awakening again. There's nothing quite like it, but I missed my calling. Bummer.
In case you're wondering, this is about content on the Internet. Hang in; we'll get there.
The last arena-rock show I caught was about 4,000 years ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Peter Gabriel opened with Shock the Monkey, a killer band and a light show that made it clear something entrirely Else was going down. By the end of the night, he had the crowd on its feet and chanting -- no, more like howling -- to a little number titled Biko. The energy in the hall was tangible, terrifying, joyous, angry, powerful, transporting. Ostensibly, the song was about Stephen Biko, Nelson Mandela and apartheid in South Africa -- subjects about which, I can tell you from living for five years in that city, very few of the participants really gave much of a shit about. Nonetheless, everybody was tripping on the vibe, out of control, headed somewhere critically important, gone. Look around kids: at your humanity. They don't teach you this in school.
As you may be able to tell from the Beatles quote, I am a child of the Sixties. For better or worse, it's a fact I live with every day. And it's mostly a feeling of loss. We were on the brink of waking up the world. Never mind all the silly shit -- and there was plenty of that too -- something was about to happen. Things would never be the same again. And then -- blackout, crashing -- we were back in the Fifties somehow. Only worse. Ex-freaks were working Wall Street. Gone from the streets, the cops were suddenly inside our heads. Overnight, volunteer slavery had become the new red badge of courage.
For the longe