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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #239
Quintessential Inconsequentiality
David Gunn

The time: a little past 11 o'clock in the morning. The date: a recent Wednesday. The place: the intersection of a class 3 road and a major north-south macadamed state artery. The event: a near death experience. The particulars: a thrilling almost collision between a small, underinsured vehicle, mine, that chose a most inopportune moment to stall in the middle of said intersection and a large, onrushing multi-axled log truck. Fortunately, the Law of Physics that gets a round of applause when two opposing forces collide would have to await another similarly hair-raising incident to confirm the hypothesis, because at the last moment the truck swerved and the car rolled backwards just enough to avert disaster, also mine. The adventure did, however, stimulate that part of my cerebral cortex that causes ones life to flash before ones eyes. It was a life, I was surprised and disappointed to discover, that was completely bereft of any musical influence.

Compressed into one action-satiated nanomoment, my life more closely resembled a litany of dreary administrative detail tinged with the gloomily mundane than it did a life of the artistic or the absurd. Creative content was nil. I looked for inspired moments but instead saw hand-crank pencil sharpeners, clogged sinks full of soiled saucers, a still life of a box of weeds, an immobile car with its hood up. Then, as the dull reveries were concluding, I got rapid images of walruses hovering over fields of clover sipping nitroglycerin, an underwater neon hockey game, a raft of breadboxes that really were bigger than breadboxes, a hyperbole dirigible with a skin of liquid titanium, fogdogs sitting around a table playing fog-poker, the aroma of a sizable tax refund -- not mine, of course -- a stubble of whiskers growing unchecked out of a deck of bunyip playing cards. Just no music.

As the truck bore down upon me with all of the forgiveness of gristle, I did hear, however, the sound of a thousand synchronized chainsaws, whose slightly out of phase cadence provided a hellish logger rhythmic counterpoint to the impending catastrophe. I heard a pyromaniac reciting arson doggerel, a stick of chalk pulverized in a meat grinder, a freshly waxed kitchen floor giving birth to linoleum splinters, atoms in a Parcheesi game piece arguing about snow clowns, Beano Bengaze's cufflink drawer abruptly close on his index finger. But again: no music.

Perhaps that truck needed to loom a little closer, leave a little less margin for error, in order for the truly meaningful bits of life's salient moments -- some musical ones, for instance -- to register on my consciousness. Or maybe the file isn't finished, and the ampersands of time that have been dispassionately wedging themselves through the hourglass on the IBM-clone monitor screen one after another after another still have data to load.

So, while quintessential inconsequentiality seems to be my legacy for now, there's always tomorrow, starting with today's 239th episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, which I promise to take more seriously than I had originally intended, unless, of course, it fails to live up to its highfalutin billing, but we won’t know that for sure until we hear from the not yet negligible Kalvos.