Friday, March 02, 2007

Does Vector Prime Say, "My Way"?

This little kitten makes three! No, not that, please. No baby kittens. I have a little kitten, she is eight months old, white stripes around her eyes, Church-Yard is her name. I love the little beast. What a purr! Disturbingly, about a week before the appointment at the vet, she made serious eye-contact with me, burst into a luscious cackle and purr, and raised her ass as high as it would go. The beast was in heat. Anyways, all that's over, except for a big swollen cut on her belly and a cone around her head. Thing is, the vet gave me some pills, pills for the pain, and these little syringe-like devices for the inflammation. I CANNOT GET HER TO TAKE THE PILLS. She keeps spitting them back out. Pills pop out of her jaws, roll out of her back teeth, spill between her canines. You would not believe what I have to go through. There's the kicking, the grunts, the screams! Plus there's the noises the kitten makes herself, godsake!


"My Way" + Frank Sinatra Sinatra's flagship song, I always disliked it, that one. Humanism, yes, humanity, no. Paul Anka's words always seemed selfish to me. And the singer is so sure, so undoubting, of what he has accomplished, each charted course. His focus is so pure upon his own measure ("To think I did all that"), where is his measure of another man? He favourably compares himself only to those who were unlike him, those who kneeled, those who did not say what they felt. This is the singer's final curtain, the moment of judgement. This is for The Big All Time. And what does his song come down to? Not exactly an I-could-have-done-it-better—"Regrets, I've had a few / But then again, too few to mention / I did what I had to do". More of a Piss-off-then, isn't it? Not exactly an I-wish-I-had-done-more, because "I faced it all". Really there, guy? Everything out there? Nothing smoothed down or not-faced up to? And whenever the singer might have had a doubt or an idea that something different could have been done, well, "When there was doubt /I ate it up and spit it out". This is the boasting and the bragging ("And may I say, not in a shy way"), the anthem of a satisfied god, a being who through refusal to entertain self-doubt or consideration for others, achieves what he clearly considers to be the destiny, the perfection, of a life well-lived. And a lonely life, too. For the singer is singing his own praises, isn't he? No else seems to be around to sing them. This friend he addresses seems to be more of a judge than a companion, more a drawer, it seems, of the final curtain. The song's declared paen is to be true to oneself—"For what is a man, what has he got? / If not himself, then he has naught" but the implied sub-text of the song is that a man who so securely possesses himself possesses little else. Pure onanism.

As for the music itself, there's little wrong with it, certainly not to my untrained ear. If you like souffle and rich cranberry cake, you'll probably like the lush orchestration of this song. Sinatra's voice is strong and confident, of course. Not that he himself thought the song was all that hot.

"My Way" + Aaron Pritchett Saw this guy play at The Rainmaker Rodeo three summers back. Pouring rain, of course, and he sang this song, and it was good. Good not as in subjective—though I won't go so far as to say it was GOOD, as in ultimate truth and goodness—but good as in a well-written song well-sung. Country is not everybody's taste, certainly not acceptable to the indie or hipster crowd, and country like this is not even okay by the alt-country crowd. But that's an entirely different diatribe, isn't it? What I'm saying is that this song is the opposite of the song I wrote about above: this song is not about a man, but about a man worthily loving a worthy woman. Songs like this, on the edge of hot country, are what keep me listening to mainstream radio. Songs like this (did you hear that little bit of organ-sounding-ness, there), with their open hearts and firm handshakes, a strong glance in the street, and people opening umbrellas for each other in the rain, are what keep me favouriting the country song-list on a summer's night or while I do three days of dishes. Good songs, strong songs, unselfish.