Thursday, February 16, 2012

teenage danger activity

All it takes is a lava lamp and a spooky tree to reveal the true nature of a place.

Various Artists, John Cage at Summerstage
Kraftwerk, Radio-Activity 
and The Man-Machine
Jean Michel Jarre, Oxygene
Yello, Solid Pleasure

Yello, "Bostich"  - I've been trying to find this song for decades. Not trying all that hard, mind you, but still, effort was put toward it, and I just happened upon it. I remember sitting on the floor in my cousin's boyfriends's apartment while they made out or did drugs or engaged in some kind of teenage danger activity behind a screen as the 12" of this played on the record player.

Also, did you know that one of the guys from Yello was a Swiss millionaire industrialist, gambler and national golf pro? I'm resisting the urge to make some sort of "oh yeah" comment.


Wednesday, I was invited to talk about my work at a local Catholic girls' school. Lately, my work is talking about bars, which is a perhaps dicey thing to be doing in a chapel with  reasonably bored teenage girls assembled before me, Jesus Christ bowing his head on the wall behind. I tried to pick the least salacious piece from Louisiana Saturday Night that made my point about writing, a bit about the Cajun barn dances at Lakeview Park and Beach RV park in Eunice. It was derived from this Country Roads article from two years ago, and it wasn't until I was reading it aloud did I remember it had this bit about an RV park in Colorado
The same in which, in the post campfire dark, among the din of tree frogs and cicadas, I managed my first real kiss off a girl from Denton, Texas, whose dad also had a taste for the mountains
They (students + staff) took it in stride; either they weren't listening or their resolve is strong enough to weather the regaling of teenage urges. Right before the talk, I asked if there was wi-fi in the chapel. "No Internet here," the event organizer said. "The only connection you can get in here is to God."

That point about writing: you go to a place or do a thing, real or not, and write all the facts down and then later arrange them in a way that a Truth emerges.  Thanks to St. Joseph's for having me and the Advocate's  Danny Heitman and Corinne Cook for being such great company on the panel.


Another point about writing I said somewhere else and I'll stop: "Place" is everything that isn't you. It's why everyone experiences a place a little differently; they are all peering at it through a differently-shaped missing chunk.


Edited to add: any discussion mentioning teenage urges and/or Denton, TX is remiss if this is not included.

The Mountain Goats, "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton"

1 comment:

  1. C'mon Man! Entertaining bored Catholic school teenage girls via juke joints while the boss folk are "bowing and looking(the other/a)way" are the 'reasonably' implied pre-conditions and manifestation of living through the trinity...unless Cajun Catholics are not as devoted to the slate-clearing virtues of the sacrement of absolution... but that's what catholic life by the Ohiya does to ya!