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06:13:2005 Entry: "Ann : How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Admit I was an Asshole"

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Admit I was an Asshole

I'm not too proud to say that I really like this handy dandy Widget on my Tiger dash that lets you know what shows are on cable. I know it's so utterly cool to say one hates tv and never watches it, but that's not true in my case. I happen to be glad I have cable, and although there really usually is nothing on to watch, I do usually find some interesting documentary/science show or even a movie once in a while.

Sunday I happened to see that there was a movie on that Stan and I had said we'd wanted to see several years ago...Year of the Horse. It was a concert documentary with Neil Young and Crazy Horse. I like the movies director Jim Jarmusch has made (Dead Man with Johnny Depp --and Iggy Pop as a cannibal in old woman drag!-- being one of my faves), so I decided to watch it. When this movie first came out, I was aware of it via Siskel and Ebert...I guess they didn't like it, but Stan suggested, and I agreed, that we should see it some time for fun. I guess by the late 90s I was finally getting over my contempt for my old pre-punk music collection. Trust me, ten years before that there was no way in hell Stan would've talked me into a "we should see that sometime just for fun." Of course, seeing something "just for fun" is sort of an ironic reason to do something, but I'll leave my rant against irony for later.

Bear with me, my rock and roll history is a strange one with twists and turns. Back many, many years ago in high school I was a pretty typical Classic Rock lover...all the music I had discovered myself without the aid of the stereotypical older brother to assist in my selection ("Your musical taste isn't like a teenage girl....do you have an older brother?" was a question I got asked a bit...so I made up an older brother). But although I was pretty headstrong, independent and rebelious in terms of saying no to certain cultural pressures, for some reason I succumbed to a certain punk ethos that was going around campus in the early 80s valued by a friend of mine, Ms. Whale. Said ethos disallowed certain items from the "classic rock catalogue" from being held in the same collection that contained Sex Pistols, Clash et. al, lest they contaminate the punk purity of the collection. I was at a crossroads, and I had to choose one or the other. Before I could buy "Dark Side of the Moon" (something that haunted me until 2002), I chose punk. Trips to Wax Trax to trade in old records were common in the summer of 1981.

I honestly don't know if I really couldn't enjoy both, had Ms. Whale not been my closest friend at the time. Was it her influence on me, or was it something in myself that had to go through a change, shed a skin, and in doing so, reject part of my past? I truly do not know the answer to this. Don't get me wrong, in getting in touch with my inner punk, I discovered some really good stuff that I was really enthused about. And my enthusiasm naturally had to spread itself and infect others, and the most natural victim was Stan.

The year was 1982, I believe. Stan and I were casual acquaintances, painting studio friends. We were in the studio and he was listening to a Neil Young tape. No, I could not bear this (although just 3 years earlier that would've made me warm up to Stan much quicker than I did without having to do a music makeover on him first)...either the tape or I had to go. "Here, try this instead," I gave him a tape of Pistols, Clash, Jam, maybe some Joy Division. It was the scene right out of the movie Salt Lake City Punk: Punk Rock Mix Tape Enlightens Old Schooler Classic Rocker with Hippie Leanings.

I had a book at the time called "The Book of Rock and Roll Quotations" or something similar. One of the quotations that has stuck with me my whole life since was from Ray Davies, "Eventually, we all become what we hate." I loved Ray Davies, but the quote frightened me because I feared it was true. (Which is why I only try to hate beautiful, wealthy, intelligent, happy people, which is really hard because do you know anyone like that worth hating? I mean think about it, it's easy to hate Donald Trump, for example, but he's not exactly beautiful....and who knows if he's actually happy?) We all become what we hate. Although my contempt, disgust, and eventually hatred for Ms. Whale wouldn't manifest for several years more, I had become her. I had denigrated someone's taste in music because I felt mine was superior.

I gave Stan a musical makeover. Trips to Wax Trax to trade in his old records were common in the summer of 1983.

For practically the entire decade of the 80s and several years into the 90s I had this secret past that I didn't let anyone know about: back in late high school and early college I had Neil Young records. A lot of them. And I liked them. No, I was this post-punk gother artist who was too good for that, had always been too good for that. Don't like it, nope, won't even give a listen to the Meat Puppets because I heard they sound like "Neil Young being strangled" as a friend put it once.

1994: I didn't want to admit it at the time, but there was obviously *something* Neil Young influenced about Nirvana...and it wasn't just the plaid flannel. (Which I had also become an opponent of in my early '80s punk days...not plaid flannel as much as yuppie pastel plaid that all the preppies in the Greek system were wearing on campus. It was insidious....argyle too. I had made prints and drawings entitled "Plaid Massacre" which depicted my friends and I overcoming the onslaught of Stepford Plaid Yuppies, and painted "The Fourth Reich" with preppie jocks as neo-Hitler youths sporting argyle-morphing-into-swasticas armbands. No, plaid flannel was pretty benign compared to the preppie polyester pastel permanent press plaid, but it still was emblematic for something that I wasn't at the time, the black fishnet and lace wearer that I was. Yet, I digress.) My sense of music as a non-musician was confirmed when I read in multiple sources that Neil Young was considered the godfather of grunge. So I wasn't hearing things. But it was still hard to admit it was part of my past and that there was no need to be embarrassed of it.

I guess with time or age, we become more forgiving of our stupid mess-ups or youthful indescretions, or maybe don't even see them as mistakes, but rather the thinking of them as mistakes as a mistake in and of itself. Whatever. In the early part of this milennium I was able to find a Roxy Music CD with a cover of "Like a Hurricaine." :::side note...isn't it weird when you google something to research it, and lo and behold, it brings up your own site?:::: Although some of Bryan Ferry's solo forays into covers of standards from the 30s and 40s needs a bit of ironic nostalgia in order to appreciate as someone from my generation, I'm sure Bryan Ferry wasn't covering that song to be ironic. I'm sure he genuinely liked the song (although I'm sure Ms. Whale would tell you to the contrary). And of course, ever since I first heard Roxy's cover back in 1983 or so, I've preferred it to the original.

But that's not to say the original's bad. Not anymore. In fact, while watching the movie the other evening (I think it was the last song they played) it suddenly hit me...that's a great song! Roxy/Bryan's cover or Neil's original. Hey, I admit it....I love the song. And it felt good to hear it.

Whoah, that's a big admission for me. But here goes a bigger one: I was an Asshole to Stan by giving him the musical makeover back in 82/83. I'm sure Stan would've weeded out certain things in his record collection eventually (i.e., something with the initials "M.P."...no need to go there...that admittedly was bad) just as I would've mine had I not met up with Ms. Whale.

I guess we all lived in fear of having our musical taste scrutinized by musical snobs...we all know one, and some of us are one, some more than others. To this day, a certain friend of ours still doesn't know to what extent a Pink Floyd fan I am, for fear of his very knowledgeable intellectual musical criticism of anything Floyd post-Syd Barrett. But that doesn't matter now. Ideally, we like what we like regardless of what others may say. Unfortunately, when we're younger and more impressionable and more concerned about our "image," that's not always the case.

So I'm sorry, Stan, I was an Asshole. I'm sorry I told you to turn off the tape in the painting studio. I could've brought you over to my music just as easily without doing that. I was being Ms. Whale. I became what I would eventually hate. Maybe now I can be myself again, whatever that me is.


I loved the tapes you made for me, and I learned a lot about music from you. Most of my record collection was bland and I the British music you introduced me to was great. I have no regrets, and I also enjoyed the Crazy Horse documentary. It is odvious that there is a lot of people in music who influence each other and perhaps musicians themselves aren't as exclusive about what they like as their fans are. It's good to be a fan and there a good fan is selective, so I don't see any sins here.

Anyway, I'm an asshole and I'm comfortable with this. Basicly 90% of the people I deal with treat me like a child - including strangers in the grocery stores - so I have no guilt from the respect I fail to give them on a daily basis. I think most people treat me this way because I'm short, and most people have hang ups about short men.

A tall male co-worker can say something really stupid and I can say something intelegent to my supervisors at work and my supervisors will nod their heads yes to the tall (nameless) male and ignore me.

Oh, Well that's life and I'm happy to be an asshole too. If you were an asshole to me I don't mind, because I'm glad you love me even though I'm a shameless asshole.

Posted by Stan @ 05:26:2005:10:10 PM CST

So you don't regret what I did to you back...23 or more years ago?

So maybe you need to go Pesci on some of your coworkers...show them you won't take their crap...

...and then again, maybe not.

Posted by Ann @ 05:26:2005:10:13 PM CST

Very funny! Basicly I tell them 'We all have to live with the concequences of our beliefs', but because they see me as a child they ignore my words. I think it would be bad karma for me to insist that they listen, and I'm better off letting them believe the misguided things that fill their heads

I do sort of go Pesci on them when they cross lines and do things like make false accusations, but we all have to defend ourselves aginst malice.

Basicly it's a trade off - if it's too difficult to get people to hear or listen with care - I have every right to conduct myself as an asshole and be as offensive as I please.

A general use Pesci might be too much though and if it's possible to be nonverbal and get dirty looks that pleases me the most.

Posted by Stan @ 05:26:2005:10:27 PM CST

I'm not worried about you having been or ever being an asshole to me. After all you put up with a guy who dips his peanut butter sandwiches in soy sauce.

Posted by Stan @ 05:27:2005:08:49 PM CST

Are those the peanut butter sandwiches with dried, crushed hot peppers?

Posted by Ann @ 05:27:2005:08:56 PM CST

No peppers in this case, but it's good using whole grain bread.

Posted by Stan @ 05:27:2005:09:01 PM CST

By Ann @ 17:20 PM CST:06:13:05 ..::Link::..

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