Rites of Passage
Dear Don Schrader,
I remember the first time I threw the I Ching. It was a rainy late fall in Montana, 1976. I was with a woman named Sharon. One weekend she and I borrowed a secluded cabin on Petty Creek, west of Missoula. I had never heard of the I Ching. I was in the beginning stages of new age awareness. I threw the coins. I threw "stagnation" and "conflict." (Damn.)
My friend Lonnie in California just sent me many pages of new age wisdom. The only way I'm going to process 100 pages was one or two paragraphs per day, randomly selected.
I count my Missoula days as the most potent time of my life. Though I enjoyed making fun of the new age, I never resisted it, probably thanks to Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti, a book I read in 1974, along with The Magus and Our Bodies, Ourselves. Thanks to teachings from gurus and friends, I learned to see the many ways I was embracing self-destruction. It was crucial to let go of the blame game. The cure, in whatever amount, is worth it, every time.
I try to keep fear at a distance, away from me, at least 10 car-lengths. I don't like being tailgated by fate and death. As a history major and a reader of the daily news, I am well aware that the hammer can come down, any time, any place.
One of my favorite concepts is “the oneness of all existence.” I am partial to that tribe, the All-That-Is. I am in awe of the molecular and atomic levels. I also believe in inventing one's own rites of passage. Do you recall your favorite rites of passage?
Per the Bob Seger column [Aural Fixation, “Heavy Music,” Jan. 12-18]: Let's not forget the underappreciated classic “2+2=?” Early political commentary ahead of its time. Of course, my Eastside Detroit girlfriend explained what he really meant at the end of “Heavy Music” ... deeper.
Having read a LOT about this film [ Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements, reviewed Jan. 26-Feb. 1], it should be noted that the director never tried to get the band's music, nor did he ever try to interview the band. (Check any of the many many interviews online, or on the film's website.) He set out to make the first rock documentary without music from the very start, in honor of the band who filmed a stereo speaker for four minutes for their first music video. A risky move, but one that worked.
And, for the record, I went with a friend who knew nothing of the band, and I swear he loved the film even more than I did because he couldn't believe the stories! Made him a fan on the spot. So, I would say this is a great film for music fans period. You don't have to love the Mats! You just have to love rock and roll.
The best music doc I've seen since the one on Daniel Johnston.
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