The Pretentiousness Hall of Fame

From a discussion at Jason’s blog, we stumble upon Paula Cole’s home page, in which she don’t want to wait to tell you what she’s been doing the past few years.

A few excerpts:

In all of the honest expression, struggle and painful hard work of “Harbinger”, “This Fire” and “Amen”, I stood outside myself and saw myself running furiously on some giant hampster wheel.

Is a “hampster” a cross between a hamster and a Dumpster? Or maybe a hamster and the Hamptons? (Which, I should point out, I always thought was a mountain range.)

I precipitously chose a charming man with whom I conceived my daughter, Sky.

“Precipitously”? As in “abrupt”? “Steep”?

But really, I knew that a lot of the old infrastructure had to die in order for there to be rebirth in my life. I left at the Vernal Equinox of 2003, while I was studying Kundalini Yoga with a community of Seiks in Los Angeles. I let these worldly trappings fall away. They felt inauthentic.

Technically, the Vernal Equinox is about as “worldly” as you can get. It’s not some spiritual moment. It’s entirely dependent on the spatial relationship of land masses to the sun.

I read Jungian psychology. I mothered my fantastic kid. Somewhere in there I moved back East, to my authentic culture, I separated from my charming man, and miraculously, I desired to sing again.

The “charming man” is African musician Hassan Hakmoun, whose bio basically ‘fesses up to marrying someone to move to America. Given that, perhaps he won’t feel quite so badly that he fares about as well in Paula Cole’s bio as the woman (we think) in R.E.M.’s The One I Love.

Hey, who are we to judge relationships? Splitting with someone after having a child together would be a far more devastating experience to me than living an “inauthentic” lifestyle, even if I weren’t still madly in love with Mrs. MMM after 10 years together. But maybe some people feel differently.

An old acquaintance, Bobby Colomby, saved me. He heard about me languishing so existentially in the crevices, and he appeared in my life and somehow got me a new record deal and started putting the fun back into music.

Can you “languish existentially”? Actually, I like that. At least, I’d like it out of context. In context, it just reinforces the narcissism that drips from her words like ink dripping from a squid’s belly. (Does it drip from the belly? I don’t know, and I don’t care — this is art, damn it! I use big words and read Jung, so up yours!)

I think the basic problem here is something that afflicts all of us. We’re overwhelmed by choice. When I go to the grocery store, I have 30 kinds of overpriced granola from which to choose. In life, as long as we’re financially secure (OK, that doesn’t “afflict” that many of us), we can go in any direction we want. We can go for big bucks in business, we can pursue our artistic dreams, or we can meditate. (Steven Wright: “I really wasn’t that into meditation, and she wasn’t really that into being alive.”)

Cavemen and cavewomen (not the Geico kind) didn’t have this problem.

“Og, we hunt tomorrow. Village need food.”

“Actually, Ek, I need go walk East, toward sunrise. Village no longer authentic to Og. Og stand outside self and see Og run in place, like buffalo in U2 video.”

“Og, wtf? You want starve, you go by self. Village hunt. Village eat.”

And so Ek walked through the forest seeking a way out of his existential despair, only to be eaten by a bear.

Which brings us to Bjork

(I love that video. Had to end this semi-coherent rant on an upbeat note.)


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