I was working in the office the other day and the television was tuned to WTTW. It was pledge week. Most of the time that’s a pretty okay thing. Lots of Monty Python and other special programming. But there is a dark side. NPR often has self-help “gurus” (when did that become an expression?).
I vaguely heard this man talking about his son listening to hip hop and he conducted an experiment. He asked his son to hold that hip-hop CD close to his heart and he would try to move the son’s arm (sorry I am very vague here but remember, this was all going on at the fringe of my cognitive space). He could not move his son’s arm or he could, oh, whatever, it was weird. He was saying that the CD held negative “energy” (essence) that prevented the son from realizing his potential. Okay, you’re right, I should not be trying to talk about something I hardly heard and barely understand. But it bugs me. First of all, the guy bugged me. You know the type, big, big white teeth, receding hairline, wardrobed like the affluent midle class about to go slumming in the inner city, smiles too much, refers to his wife as the “light of his life” (wonder if she’s energy efficient), says “here’s what you should do to be a complete person” a lot, too. I’m getting to the point, don’t rush me. Is a hip hop CD that powerful? Can it intercede between a young man and his potential? I was intrigued and somehow horrified. A few singed pages of Fahrenheit 451 fluttered through my memory. Will there be a CD Squahing Event where all the power of all the young men is then bonded back to their future plans. I think that’s just spooky. I’m not giving up my Tom Waits “Alice” CD. Don’t even ask me. I’ll take the cut in power. I wasn’t going to raise my arm anyway.