Friday, February 02, 2007

Today is Candlemas, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Groundhogs Day, and probably some other day as well.


I feel very restless today.
I have to get out of this apartment.
Which is difficult to do whilst typing. Hmm.

Selfish Wish #1.

I wish I could sit down and drink a cup of coffee with Billy Corgan.
And I don't just say that in an idle, fanfreak sort of way.
For starters, It would help my thesis project immeasurably, to lay out the case I'm making, to also clarify my own intentions, and then hear his response, straight from his mouth. That would be a beautiful thing.

Maybe more importantly, though, we could just talk. I've always felt that getting to know someone is a highly compromised task... that in some ways, we barely know the people closest to us. Do I what you were seeing and feeling at 9:57 this morning? No. Or what music am I listening to right now? What is my full response to it, not simply a sense of approval or disapproval. How does it resonate or alienate?


All that aside, there has to be a highly constrained ability to empathize through a limited medium. In the case of Mr. Corgan, this would have to be the amount of time involved (I've been following his career for thirteen years now), his statements and actions in public, and his body of work. It is offset by the fact that he is inconsistently but purposefully and persistently obfuscating. Which leaves me with, I think, a region of empathy with indistinct boundaries.

He wants to transform institutions. He realizes that he cannot to this in strict opposition; numerically his efforts would be canceled. At the same time, he does not want to conform. He has to be like Andy Kaufman or Loki about it.

Why do I believe this? Because it's absolutely consistent with his statements and actions, his body of work, and most of all, because it is the most compelling explanation I can supply for inconsistent but purposeful obfuscating.

This is the relationship he has established with the press, with the music industry, with God and mysticism (if his statements are to be taken at face value...). This is the relationship he has formed with a fan base that adores him but does not trust him and is often frustrated with him. This is evidently the relationship he has had with most of his collaborators. It goes a long way, in fact, to justify their admiration for the man despite a ten-page resume of personality conflicts.

So yes, I would very much like to speak with him about all this.

Think of it like this. I adore and am obsessed by Andy Kaufman.

But Billy Corgan is Andy Kaufman raised one exponential level.

Andy Kaufman was caught in the act a few times, and betrayed by those he confided in. As a result the world has recognized his genius and given credit.

But Billy Corgan has kept up the act for twenty years now, a full half of his life, and if he's chosen to confide in anyone, they're not coming forward.

It's a very rare, silent type of genius from someone who is not particularly silent.

These are the lyrics to a Smashing Pumpkins rarity I have fallen in love with.


Be yourself, don't be yourself.
Speak your mind, don't speak your mind.
Stand alone, don't stand alone.
Be on your own, be all alone.

As the bells ring the graces
of a newborn day,
the voices sing the praises
of your promised youth, promised whenever.

No one can see you so do what you want to.
You're invisible next to forever.

Be yourself, don't be yourself.
Speak your mind, don't speak your mind.
Stand alone, don't stand alone.
Be on your own, be all alone.

Take some time to thank the souls
for all their emptiness,
upon the fever dreams of distant sons
and daughters dressed for ransoms, for never.

Nobody knows you even if they pretend to.
They all sure that they're all so clever.
Truth is rare as ivory.
The truth is in their pure deceit.
Blessed in your naivete.
I thank you all.



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