Friday, December 5, 2008

Being Green (and brown)

The Dave Matthews band has been prominent in the past year, for some reason, in politics and in performances. Matthews is, he insists almost endlessly, very "green." And he supports green causes. He worships Al Gore. A couple of years ago Matthews' and his band appeared in Chicago. They had come on their own bus to the Windy City. One night, thinking no one was watching, the bus was driven to one of the bridges across the Chicago river and the sewage valve was opened an all of the band's shit was dumped over the side of the bridge and into the Chicago River. This might have gone unnoticed except for the sad fact that a dinner cruise was passing under the bridge at that very moment and all the sewage came down on the heads and tables of the diners. The police were called and the bus and its passengers detained.

Dave Letterman, a few nights later, said in his opening monologue, that a spokesman for Dave Matthews said it wasn't as bad as it seemed. It was, in fact, a political statement.  They were only trying, he said, to let tourists know what it felt like to be Cubs fans.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Private Person

I try to be a private person.  Writing, especially writing long narratives as I do, requires solitude.  And so out of necessity I pursue and embrace solitude.  This is ironic and paradoxical for a person so naturally gregarious.  Perhaps it is unusual for any individual.  But it is a necessity.  Finding the necessary balance between togetherness and loneliness I suppose is the key to happiness.  Or perhaps a key to happiness.  I do not know.  Who does?  I only know I have been happy.  And I have been unhappy.  Being happy is better.  As for breaking out of my solitude of writing my current book, Bad Moon Rising, I saw that a dear and sentimental friend had posted a blog here and I thought, what the hell.  Can't hurt can it?  So far, I've been correct.  But then again I am new to this site and this pursuit.  Let time prove me wise or unwise here.

I live in the heart of suburbia.  The one question friends ask me when they read my books and articles and see how I work is, Why do you live where you live?  Good question.  I am often unsure.  It did lead me of course to the book I am now writing on events in the Santa Clara Valley between 1969 and 1971, a twenty month period that saw several similiar homocides that were, at the time, blamed on Zodiac and on the Manson family.  Neither individual or group were responsible.  it's a good story.

On the other hand, I travel and I like to stay abroad. I am happy when I am leaving home and I am equally happy when returning home.  I fall into a groove here too easily.  This is a vast valley of emptiness.  Too much money.  Too few scholars.  An abundance of blandness.  And so I leave.  And so I return.

Why do I live where I live?  It is quiet.  Well, it was quiet until several months ago.  Quiet as a cemetery on a Thursday morning.  So quiet that friends who stay here sometimes comment that they cannot sleep because it is too quiet.  Go figure.  When you get here, there is no here, here. This is a place where high-tech companies give their in-house techies the afternoon off so everyone can shuffle off together to the newest Indiana Jones or Star Wars movie.  The hills around me are alive with McMansions inhabited by McPeople with lots and lots of McMoney. But quiet McPeople, all the same. McPeople who work, as the local news insists, "25 hours a day."  No doubt, they also give 110 percent on the job.  Quiet McPeople in frantic pursuit of a killer App. In the localspeak oxymoron: adult gamers!

Anyway, it is Tuesday.  It is cool. It is quiet.  Back to work.  Now where was I?