Lately, the sunshine jen pieces haven’t been rolling off the assembly line with their usual efficiency. At first, I didn’t worry. After all, I was busy working on my great epic novel. Then I got a little worried and started to wonder where the holdup was on the line. Was I waiting for parts from the warehouse? Had one of the robots broken down?
I soon figured that the reason was very simple. Lately, I’ve been distracted.
In the last week or so, I learned that a president had been born, then a prince got married, then a terrorist got killed. Birth, marriage, death. That’s a lot of stuff to process.
I’ve also been reading a lot of musician/rock star autobiographies. I don’t know why. I’m not a musician nor a rock star, yet there’s something about them. . .
Keith Richards’ Life is 547 pages long, and I highly recommend it. In fact, if he wants to go on for another 547 pages, I’ll be happy to read it. Yes, he did a lot of drugs, but he’s at his highest when he talks about five string open tuning. I read his book with wicked glee.
I also recently read Patti Smith’s Just Kids which focuses on her early adult life and relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in New York City. Even though I wasn’t poor in New York City in the early seventies, I enjoyed the nostalgia trip back to creative youth. This book has so much love in it.
Finally, I finish the holy trilogy with Jay-Z’s Decoded. His book was the most ambitious. He not only wrote about his life story, but he also breaks down his rhymes to give the reader an intro textbook to rap.
Actually, I think Jay-Z summed up all three writers the best when he wrote about rap:
. . .one of the things that makes rap at its best so human. It doesn’t force you to pretend to be only one thing or another, to be a saint or a sinner. It recognizes that you can be true to yourself and still have unexpected dimensions and opposing ideas. Having the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other is the most common thing in the world. The real bullshit is when you act like you don’t have contradictions inside you, that you’re so dull and unimaginative that your mind never changes or wanders into strange, unexpected places. . .