“you okay brother?”

There are several great moments in this video, which is the fifth time I’m featuring in a blog post because everything that needed to be said about it, hasn’t been said yet. First, starting at 2:10. Guitarist Jeff Ament walks up to Eddie Vedder, as though he were checking to see if he’s all right. He’s got that “you okay brother?” look. Ament comes into the frame, then steps out, and then leans in again a moment later. Why? [Update/correction: the guitarist who walks up to Vedder is Stone Gossard. Jeff Ament is the bassist.]

Gossard has interesting eyes. He and Vedder both have a strong facial structure. Contrast that with Vedder’s posture the performance. Strong face, vulnerable body language, an anguished lion’s roar in the outtro. Look at his eyes at 4:19.

The lyrics to “Black” are worth looking up, what-with Vedder’s unusual pronunciation. how quick the sun can drop away

Open thread. Also, other great moments:

  • An aesthetic visual at 3:30 – a closeup of guitarist’s and bassist’s hands at work, with plaintive Vedder in line with them. This camera angle repeats twice shortly after.
  • The drummer at 4:35 – an intense low-weight, high-rep set.
  • There is an effort-post to be made about the White Energy in this performance.

Pearl Jam’s “Black” is a Requiem. It has grandeur. The artist is a conduit between the metaphysical and the material plane, which is why he has to be very careful with what he opens himself to. He rarely understands his own work. Sometimes, neither does his audience until at least a generation later.

Click on the video’s title, not the arrow in the center, to be able to play it from a WordPress page.

61 thoughts on ““you okay brother?”

  1. Pingback: “you okay brother?” | Reaction Times

  2. Trump in Wisconsin surrounded by a sea of White middle-class Americans who love him. Happening right now and it’s making me tear up. That he can get WISCONSIN to remember our roots is among the best examples of out renaissance.

    (PA, I’ll stay on topic when our presidency is safe)

  3. “I’m saving the suburbs! Unless you want a project living near you….”

    “Low Income, and it’s been a lot of crime….”

    CH for Prez 2024

  4. I’ve seen a number of Trump’s recent rallies and you can always tell when some “canned” dialog from his speech falls flat. Which is to say that most of his “teleprompting” talk is garbage as opposed to when he’s riffing. In fact, in a rally he gave either in PA or OH, he said as much: that he prefers to just go up there and talk about what’s on his mind, which is his best strength, where people like him the most since he’s not in that politician-by-numbers mode.

    If he can get those Minnesotans to remember their roots, that’ll be quite a feat. (Fellow MN commenters excluded.)

    He rarely understands his own work.

    I find that that’s usually the case with most great artists. They capture the zeitgeist of a “moment”, in whatever method it manifests itself, filled with all the externalities in their life, which by extension and indirectly occurs to all of us, and is able to distill all of that into something lasting and great. Almost being in a trance at the time of creation, not fully comprehending the impact of what you’re creating because you’re so involved and in tune.

    My film professor once stated that when you make the art about yourself, it always falls flat; it’s egotistical and empty. He had a better way of phrasing it but it stayed with me. He absolutely loathed Barbara Streisand.

  5. The livestreamer Franssen said on DLive last night, that the scuttlebutt [i hate this word] on Tom Cruise, among the people who follow this stuff, is that his vice is sadism.

    The larger theme of Hollywood’s Satanic corruption, and that EVERYONE who is an anybody, in that world, is corrupted and has a vice (beyond the usual vices of ice cream and coffee).

    I guess sadism is better than fucking kids, but otoh they are both bad things. Should it be kept in mind, that these (allegations) are NOT established facts; or is that blue pill?

  6. I have a sorta bitchy meta about DLive itself, and the chatrooms. Here’s the meat of it: I don’t like to be modded.

    As a chatter in those America First rooms, which is to say the Zoomer Dissident Right — you aren’t allowed dissent or more specifically, impropriety. You will get modded quick; or at least that has been my experience. Last night I got into a brief argument and drew some heat for saying that I could understand being “money hungry” but was pointed out, that “greed is a sin.”

    That sorta moralistic talk, to me comes over as Puritanical style virtue signaling. It’s right in a way, but in another way it’s not. Who isn’t money hungry? R u kidding?

    It’s the old dilemma of having to live in the world, I guess. As with everything, there’s a balance, but no one is a plaster cast saint, to use the words they used to say in the colonies (of Africa).

  7. These days there’s not much in the way of “great artists” tho. Honest to God who could even be suggested?

    There has to be a medium that is accepted as a working medium. What now would that be?

    Blog commenting
    Live streaming

    Those are the only two available mediums that sorta fit the bill, that allow for some open source access, iow that isn’t strangled out by the levers of power that have their tentacles on everything else.


    In what’s left of my meager life I might like to sing songs with “other people” but who and in what venue?

    Computer networked music is gay af. If it’s not live it doesn’t even count, in my book at least. I also have very strong prejudices against all forms of computer assisted techno-style stuff; but admittedly some of it sounds good.

  8. There’s a huge opportunity, as in the demand is totally unmet, for the NARRATIVE ARTS, which for a long time now has been mostly film.

    What story would u like to hear?

    Did u ever hear the one about the Three Bears?

    In all seriousness tho, I used to want to tell stories, and now it’s like: get a grip. But were there time and energy to make a screenplay, it would flashback to an undetermined time and location in the Paleolithic and somewhere in Central Asia, and it would be like clan of the cave bear except something else. But the idea would be to convey how that part of our distant past was a struggle which all those people had to endure, to get us here; and which somehow now has to be incorporated into where we are going. So it would be like a mix of two perspectives, then and now. Ancestral memory would be the emergent idea (come to think of it).

    I actually had a vision in a dream state, not so long ago, and it was my last best one of those (there may not be anymore), where I was the character in that Paleolithic scene, looking out over the valley, all the while enduring with great fortitude and humor, the precariousness of it. My peeps were with me and I had a leadership role.

  9. As for the Pearl Jam video, although I was never a fan at the time, I’ll give it this: it sounds like the 90s, and listening to it gives me a vague sense that I wish I had enjoyed that decade better.

  10. On the previous thread, Ruth Frumper Ginsburg reads kinda like GunslingerGregei.

    I hope Gunny is doing well.

    I sure do miss his reports from the trenches.

  11. — wish I had enjoyed that decade better

    There was that rock song in ’91, “Right Here Right Now.” I was indifferent to it at the time but understood its point about here-and-now being the time, this is when things are happening — “no, you missed nothing, it’s happening now” was the song’s message. The lyrics were about some neohippie of the early 90s who was unhappy that she missed out on the Sixties.

    Right here right now, in 2020, pretty wild year, eh? One for the epic stories to be written later.

    The German language has a compound word for everything, maybe they have one for this, which English doesn’t: “the self-reminder that nostalgia is happening right now.” In other words, what you’re doing right now is something you’ll look back on in sepia tones of memory, no matter how unworthy and sucky the present time feels for you right now.

    I’ve been conscious of this [possible German compound word] since the early 90s. I turned 20 at the start of that decade, and had a flash of thought that “hey, the good times are now all behind me, the parties, the camaraderie, the belonging, the memory-making…” — right here right now was commonplace, dull, a mere shadow of the innocent in-the-moment joy of the late 80s that had just passed.

    “LOL dummy,” I told myself then — “give right here right now its fair shake — in thirty years when you’re unimaginably old in year 2020 you’ll look back at the boring-present 1991 as a mythical era. You might visit the site of a restaurant you’re working at right now, young man, which is going to be razed and turned into an Exxon station, and you might listen hard to pick up the voices of the ghosts of your work-buddies right now, who will disappear into the mist of oblivion by sci-fi year 2020, you won’t even remember their names, just their eternally young faces and personalities.”

    Of course, I didn’t think of this [possible German compound word] at that clarity in 1991. Poetic license. But I did find it a consolation that the meaningful, satisfying energy of life isn’t something that passed me by — it’s here right now.

    Fast forward to 2014, as just one example, there was a great social dynamic where I worked, I look back on it fondly. Nostalgia for a dead moment. There was this time I recall with great warmth from 2016, when I first got involved with youth athletics, how things are so different now, that moment is dead. The faces have changed, that old moment is now just ghosts in the infrastructure. But the 2020 moment, occurring in the month of October, is a vital. living [possible German compound word] that will take on a mythic quality in the year 2050. Going by my four grandparents’ lifespans, I ought to be alive and healthy in 2050.

    Also, specific nostalgia we all can relate to: the halcyon days of this or that blog comments threads seven or 12 years ago. Or just four years ago, the comments thread right here on election night Nov. 8, 2016, the post was titled “Gameday.”

    The 90s hadn’t happened yet in 1991, when those thoughts started crystalizing. Value every moment of your life, good or bad, is the logic of this [possible German compound word].

  12. I was horribly depressed, in my post college years, as a young man in the 90s. Looking back, I don’t see why or how I couldn’t make better (and different) choices. But at the time they seemed impossible. The choices I am thinking of, would be like, uh, more responsible ones. At the time tho, it (they) seemed impossible. When I get down I consider it a personal failing; but that’s not a nuanced view of things, or really in any way helpful.

    Somewhat relatedly I have a dilemma re work tomorrow, which job is the temp assignment that has otherwise been going well, as far as these things go. I have a moderate head cold, which just came on this afternoon. If I don’t go in, it’s likely they will cancel my contract; but if I do and presuming my symptoms aren’t abated w/i the next 12 hours, I will be “that guy.”

    I won’t go in and be “that guy” even if it is just a moderate head cold with showing symptoms; people would resent it. It’s an easy choice but it sucks. Maybe they will understand. But the sick don’t get sympathy. The world goes on w/o them.

    My struggle in life, has been to Enter the Dragon. Truth be told, I never saw the movie and don’t know that I am accurately using this meme. What it means to me, is to enter the struggle of life, rather than the alternative which is to lay back. The other side of that coin, is that it’s a risky business and u have to evaluate how much, if and what, u r good for.

    I used to have an unrealistic self conception, about being a risk taking adventurer. Now these are more the hobbit years.

  13. I might not have made my previous post, had I read PA’s comment..

    Not to trivialize, but it’s not obscure trivia to point out that song was done by the very pretentiously titled Jesus Jones. Otoh it’s a pretentious name; otoh it’s a great name, for what they were. Another song from that era, that gets nominated for the worst song of all time, is Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, which group i forget but which video still lingers on, in the more painful recesses of memory.

    Those were for me, the last days of collegeville, which was not about achievement but about slacking off. Being a “slacker.” Sitting in a rental with other fellow slackers, on a nice day, and watching the shitty stupid boob tube videos, like good little mind slaves??

    I remember those characters with whom I lived, shared that rental, and have commented about them, at length. Most of them, of the 5 or 10 of us, failed out of college or graduated with shitty marks. I was in the latter category, but only because my parents put the screws to me, and made me finish; which decision on their part I respect now.

    A random memory from that house, was taking out the garbage from the back, which was, quite literally, 20 or 25 full-sized hefty bags, from the 3 floor-sized rentals, in that shit house, which garbage bags had been for God knows how long. It’s amazing we didn’t have (more) rats. To my amazement, the garbage picked them all up. There were maybe 12 able-bodied college kids in that house, and yet only one of them (me) was willing and able to take on that community service. The girls in the floor above or below us, were too good for us, for some reason. They were getting banged out by a higher status class of slacker?

  14. The memories from that stage of life, are the most vivid. They are at a sweet spot. Your brain is transitioning into full maturity, and your body is raring to go.

    I could write about that stuff at length, but not necessarily hold your interest. Two quick anecdotes, from that house. It was a typical college rental: 3 stories and each was rented out “jointly and severally” to 3 or 4 specimens of Big Ten. We were on the middle floor. The house itself was, at one time, beautiful. Craftsman architecture, from the 30s or whenever tf.

    One of our roommates was a jew from Boston. He wasn’t a skinny little passive aggressive twerp, he was actually like 6 foot 4 almost and could kick your ass, and in fact on one occasion had my back when it mattered. But he “jewed” me hard (passive aggressive after all) for the phone bill to the tune of 200 dollars or so, which at the time was a lot of money. (still is) Hilariously tho, I contacted his parents and got reimbursed. He failed out of school and left us to lease out his room; or in the alternative, cover his share.

    We would have parties, on our floor, with literally 12 or 15 sixteen-gallon kegs — and go through every last one of them. Without even talking to the other renters, on the other floors, and giving them a heads up! Or at least I didn’t (talk to them); the other one of us four who didn’t fail out, was a solid guy who may have done them the courtesy. He is local boy who moved back to the same town where we are now, and with whom I sorta maintain amicability.

    This was before I got more into my problems; one time he busted out some coke and offered me a line and I said no. It wasn’t on my radar as something to do, then.

  15. I try and I try and I try to cast off my own opinions formed years ago of Toe [sic] Jam, and every time, I find the music sucks today more than I remember it as a young adult.

    I’ll give the band this: “Black” was the most appropriately named song. No light escapes its darkness. This is suicide in a song. How can anyone feel a scintilla of comfort from listening to this, I will never know. Perhaps it was vibing with some of our youthful nihilism? I suppose I can get that. But damn, son, if you’re going to go emo, pick a better anthem.

    Compare and contrast “White” by The Cult. Contemporaneously, it sucked about as much. Very depressing. But at least it didn’t suck musically, and it made you wonder what the singer was thinking, rather than making you want to off yourself to make the annoying sound stop. It made you want to go create something expressive. To find the missing piece. U2-esque, for better or for worse.

    Would enjoy a real conversation. I’ve often typed drunken sh!t in PA’s comment section, but this is not such a time.

  16. I try and I try and I try to cast off my own opinions formed years ago of Toe [sic] Jam, and every time, I find the music sucks today more than I remember it as a young adult.

    Hahaha, as I said before, I don’t enjoy insulting others’ musical tastes (mostly because of the way that music is a deeply personal element of our formative years for so many of us), but I agree with you, up to and including the hilarious Toe Jam exposition.

    what you’re doing right now is something you’ll look back on in sepia tones of memory

    Tfw I tell my grandkids about reading PA

    I don’t know though, man. I *don’t* look back on my teens and 20s with rose-(sepia?) coloured glasses. I did not enjoy a large chunk of them, recalling them as a stressful, anxiety-plagued time.

    I did find it a consolation that the meaningful, satisfying energy of life isn’t something that passed me by — it’s here right now.

    Notwithstanding that On The Internet, No One Knows You’re a Dog, on the internet, you do get the odd contribution from some unbelievably ancient codger, which I say in order to say this: that I was reading some thread recently, elsewhere, in which there contributed a man purporting to be in his 80s, who said that when he got to his 50s, he found them as they happened to be the most enjoyable decade of life yet.

    On this note, I wish to return to the erstwhile topic of the High School Reunion and sundry related questions.

    AskReddit: how did you know you were getting old?

    My answer: when I became fascinated with crap like catching up with old friends / acquaintances / peers instead of getting ahead myself.

    As I mentioned previously, I was not terribly interested in a 10-year high school reunion. At that age, a person is still full of hopes and dreams yet to be realized. 20 years out (where I am now), by contrast, the shape of everyone’s life is more or less fixed. And I find that very frequently, when you find out where people are at, it is exactly what one might have predicted based on knowing them in high school or university.

    This weekend, we went to a museum exhibit in The City; they were hosting a special traveling exhibition which I didn’t want to miss. For some strange reason, this reminded me of an episode 15 years ago, when the same museum was hosting a different traveling exhibit. I don’t even remember what the theme was. But what I do remember is – the experience I (nearly) had with a girl at that time.

    This was two years before I had my first hard encounter with Roissy and the Redpill, which makes it the year 2 B.G (Before Game). There was a female coworker whom I would drive home from time to time. I had a slightly higher position at our workplace than she, and in retrospect it’s clear that she would have liked to have dated me. I drove her to her place one night after work, asked her casually what she was doing that weekend, and she said, “Oh, I’d really like to go down and see the exhibit at the museum.” Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

    I also wanted to go see the exhibit. So I paused, trying to figure out whether, and how, to ask her out.

    And paused.

    And paused.

    And paused.

    And paused.

    It was getting awkward.

    I paused some more.

    You could practically visualize an extreme slow-motion capture of her vagina, initially wide, ever soooo sloooowly clenching disappointedly shut as it became clear that I was not going to ask her out.

    In fact, although the episode was cringey on my part, I must aver, partly for the purpose of the argument I’m going to make in a minute, that it was not entirely owing to a lack of game, self-awareness, or courage. Even at the time I sort of knew she was hoping I was going to ask her out. But I knew she wasn’t Christian and moreover I had heard some (to me, being in a state of considerable naivete on these matters) uncomfortable sexual allusions exit her mouth, that made me question her character and fitness for dateability.

    Anyway. This week I FaceCreeped her, to see where she’s at in the world. And it’s interesting, she appears to have hit the Wall since I last met her. I am actually not a big believer in the Wall, meaning that I think women can age quite gracefully if they take care of themselves, but nevertheless the Wall is “real” in the sense that at minimum everyone loses the rosy glow of their 20s.

    More importantly, she also appears to be a single mom, leastways, my understanding is, if a woman’s FaceBook features nothing but photos of herself and her child, no man in sight, she’s single, yes?

    If I had gone on that date with her, I probably would have ended up marrying her. The point being, I guess, to underscore the importance of making good choices when young. If she had managed to portray herself as a little more wholesome, she would probably have married me instead of finding herself a single mom at mid-30s.

  17. That’s a witty riposte JJ, especially considering the song titles. We all acknowledge this. It’s a cool video, those guys were passionate, big dogs. Pearl Jam, the actors therein, probably woulda felt a little bit intimidated by them. (obv just speculation but)

    As a point of style tho, this is how the kids would say it —

    But damn, son, if you’re going to go emo, pick a better anthem.

  18. If I could go back I would put extra care into my appearance and demeanor. Then I would enjoy every look I got from every man. I do really miss that.
    There really is a lot of joy in just being young, healthy and hopefully having many years of life ahead of you.

  19. I came across this passage from a ConservativeTreehouse article:

    “Remember Poland circa early ’80’s when it was said: “we took to the streets and realized for the first time there were more of us than them”?… and thus the government control over the Polish people almost immediately started to collapse. Well, the control of the manipulative narrative engineers is suffering a similar fate in this election as the MAGA coalition assembles in astonishing scale.”

    It’s a good, quick read. What I gleaned from it is that the Meme Army of 2016 that slowly got neutered afterwards has manifested itself on-the-streets patriotism that cannot be ignored.


  20. @SJ, can relate. The Ghost of Poontang Past. Every pair of loose lips you let slip … kept you from sinking your ship.

    Each of us has two notch counts: one counts the times we chose honor, another dishonor. In the end, only one count counts.

    The ones we let get away (I’m mixing metaphors) make the one we netted all the more valuable.

  21. I’m four decades in and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

    I’ll take it as a sign, that when I buy beer I still get carded, as preservation of my yoof. Or maybe in some attic of a New England mansion there’s a portrait of me getting older. Mendorian Gray!

  22. @elk I appreciate your teaching me emo is used as a verb.

    The contrast in song titles, when it came to such similarly depressing songs from about the same time, was pure fortuity. Glad it amused at least two of us.

  23. Every pair of loose lips you let slip … kept you from sinking your ship.

    Yeah, I was thinking of such, though not as eloquently stated, while reading SJ’s comment. There were some that cam vividly to mind and even now and then, they’ll creep up in my pattern of thoughts. Apropos, I thank having discovered Game for having dodged a MOAB.

  24. I can relate to elements of Elk’s and SJ’s reflections.

    A panic that youth is short: having about Junior-worth amount of college credits, I decided to go into active duty Army. Tough circumstances in 1992, in a comment not long ago there were more specifics. The idea was to sign up for a two-year enlistment, get out at 24 years old, wrap up college and on with the grand plan. But as I learned at the two-day military in-processing/testing event, after you take your intellectual and physical tests, there are no two-year enlistments available. Three years is the shortest they have, the MEPS sergeant who handles contracts told me. During a recession, the military doesn’t have to sweeten the deal.

    It was a tough decision to make on the spot. Sign the contract or go home. I went for it. It was exciting, in the sense that once a fork in the road is taken and onward. But, there was this panic. “I’ll be out at 25, I’ll miss so much during the next three years.” But the thought was chased away. And I missed nothing, youth-wise.

    In fact, the government put all of us up in local motels during the two-day event. They gave us a choice for roommate, smoker or non-smoker. I chose “smoker,” which is what I was in my twenties. So I got paired with this guy my age. A long-haired redneck, but we clicked instantly. In the motel room that evening, after getting sandwiches from a nearby Subway store and beer, we smoked and talked pretty much until the morning. What was memorable, is that he and I were laughing the entire night. He was hilarious, and his sense of humor worked perfectly with mine.

    I ran in to him at a training site about a year later. We were both armed. He carried an M-60 and I had an M-16. I asked a third person to take a photo of us posing with our weapons, with my film-camera and I still have that photo. No-dox, but I’d post it here right now with his face blurred, I look so cool in it.

    Army was fun. Like college but without the boring classes. And then I got out to finish my Bachelors at 26… a good year that was, youth-memories-wise. Also its own share of frustrations, which simply meant, that there is another fork in the road to be taken, the decision to head up north at 28, which was a goodbye to my youth once again but then, … I’ll stop now.

  25. Something about firepower, isn’t there? My European father-in-law visited recently in our infamously American state. I took him to the sporting goods store, where he expected to find only, you know, sports stuff. I caused him to wander the aisles with me, innocently and “unaware,” until we popped out at the gun counter. Almost wall-to-wall black rifles and hi-cap handguns. He was stunned.

    I asked to see an AR-style rifle and showed him how to work the T-handle, bolt release, forward assist, fire selector (aka “safety” for civvies), even the takedown pins. He was afraid to touch it but when I put it in his hands I could tell he was having an endorphin overload. I took a photo of him holding the rifle and the first thing he wanted to do was share it with his old friends, the caption: “Let me know if you have a problem that needs taking care of.”

    I think I reversed a couple decades of Testosterone decline in those few minutes.

  26. “Mendorian Gray!”

    Okay, that’s awesome.

    @mendo, few commenters, if any, come across to me as earnest, affable, and empathetic as you. Accordingly, knowing your introspective and honest nature, I just want to try one last time (I will try to avoid ever mentioning this again–I think I did once already) to encourage you to look at the following link and see if any of these applies (I’d pick #5 as my first guess):


    To paraphrase Fast Eddie, glad you’re our bro.

  27. I appreciate the kind words, JJ. You’ll have to excuse if I never came across or glossed over the first time you posted the link. Yeah, I’d say #5 is right on the money. Throughout my 20s I was definitely in that mix. Right around mid-30s, when I got to exercising in earnest, knew my worth—as it were—the more negative elements to #5 weren’t as pervasive. They still like to rear their ugly heads, much like a phantom limb, which I dubbed phantom habits—wherein we know better and have acted better, but there’s still that lingering aspect of our old ways.

    I have taken several of the supplements they listed for the other numbers. I found some to do just that—supplement—both a change in mindset, diet and activity. The latter being most key for me. Idle hands and all . . .

  28. Totally off-topic, and I don’t mean to be cruel, but the teenaged girls, whom Hunter Biden hangs out with, are hideously ugly boo-hawgs compared to the teenaged girls I hang out with*.

    Also, I feel for that niece of Hunter’s – Natalie, or Nattie – she’s got tragic eyes in every picture I’ve seen of her.

    Muh EvoPsych eval of her physiognomy concludes that she has already suffered horribly in her as yet very short life.

    Weaponized Autism here: https://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/284844107

    *Muh teenaged posse starts at HB8; HB7s need not apply.

  29. > I’m four decades in and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

    Recently you indicated that you took some film classes in college.

    Do you have a big stack of movie scripts that you’ve written but haven’t submitted to anyone?

  30. > I think I reversed a couple decades of Testosterone decline in those few minutes.

    PRO-TIP: Chicks LOVE to sh00t G10cks.

    Take her to the sh00ting range for some nether-regions-moistening 9mm/10mm explosive action, and have a couple of bottles of Chardonnay [or Champagne] on ice for afterwards.

    Bang bang bang bang.

  31. PRO-TIP#2: After you’ve been sh00ting at the range, and after you’ve got a half a bottle of Chardonnay [or Champagne] in her, play this video for her on your iPhag; she’ll start laughing so hard that you’ll have her undressed in 30 seconds flat:

  32. Nothing about Hunter Biden is legitimately going to attract top notch women. I imagine he does not come across well after getting to know him. Plus he’s too old for teenage girls. A teenage boy or early 20’s young man, who has his act together, is going to seem like a better option than Hunter.

  33. A comment from the yutub:

    “The girl who broke his heart should get a Nobel Prize for giving him the opportunity for writing the best song ever written”


  34. I had one of those moments, PA, in which life changed completely and there was no going back. It wasn’t my time in the Army, which is what I would have expected. No, I’d decided to move to Europe and job-hop around the Old World. When I left, despite everything I’d done up to that point, I was still a kid. When I got back, I was not.

    I would hazard that it was the difficulty found myself in, combined with the total lack of a safety net. I was going to sink or swim (eat or go hungry) based upon my own actions, and had to think through every problem with a nod both to that moment in time and where it was going to take me.

    To bring it back to the thread; I was interesting in my 20’s. I could afford to be; plenty of youthful energy and no enviousness/covetousness. Just a desire to explore and learn, without a second thought to the poverty I was subjecting myself to. I wouldn’t trade any of it away, but I wouldn’t want to repeat it either. Wild times; lessons learned.

  35. Same concert:

    At about 32 minutes in, Vedder climbs onto a camera boom and has them swing him out over the crowd and jumps, then crowdsurfs until they collapse under him, and a sea of pinkish white arms pull/pass him back to the stage so he can keep going.

    That’s the type of energy that made me love that band so much. Fuck, that was a great time to be alive.

  36. PA, I offer this correction only because this is one of the best-written blogs on the internet, and you will no doubt want it right for posterity: the guitarist who walks up to Vedder at 2:10 is Stone Gossard. Jeff Ament is the bassist.

    OT: Very belated thanks to you and Elk for your responses to my request for advice six months ago.

  37. Thanks a lot! Corrected. Btw, the name Jeff Ament has always had this ultra-chad ring to me. The exact opposite of Nathan Schnerdling* (for those who get the classic Heartiste reference)

    PS: I didn’t notice this until a youtube comment pointed it out: Vedder gives a subtle thumbs-up when Gossard checks on him at the originally-described moment.

  38. Pearl Jammy sounds like you are dating these guys PA . They don’t hold a candle to Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Robin Trower, Hendrix, Deep Purple, Cream, Megadeth to name just a few

  39. Both online and in real life, there is a lot of strong negative attitude toward Pearl Jam from people who obviously don’t care for their music. That’s in contrast with acts from that same time that people don’t get aggressive about “hating”, such as Black Crowes, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and a number of others.

    “Black” is a Requiem, it has grandeur, as asserted in the original post. Can people who don’t like Pearl Jam point to another rock Requiem of similar heft, pathos, relevance and majesty?

  40. “similar heft, pathos, relevance and majesty”

    That’s like pointing to the world’s most finely-formed Sub-Saharan woman and daring us to find another woman who can match her coal-colored eyes, steatopygous ass, breathtaking muscularity and plump lips.

    Black (no pun intended) possibly has the qualities you state, but the fact remains that it is just so damn whiney that it greatly exceeds the amount of cringe most humans can handle while sober.

  41. I suspect your and my opinions of Pearl Jam are largely situational, PA. You found them, I assume, when you were having the time of your life in the army, surrounded by some of the best guys you ever met. Or perhaps it was before your military days when you were new to the country and found a sense of freshness to everything, including music. Could your love be mostly nostalgia?

    As for me, I was listening almost exclusively to thrash metal when PJ came out, and I found their music exceedingly weak. That plus the guys I knew who were in love with the band were brutally gamma douchebags.

  42. To draw the conclusion in case it isn’t obvious: even the world’s most beautiful black woman can never be attractive to me.

    Likewise, Pearl Jam might be unmatched in musicality, but I can’t listen to them.

  43. “To draw the conclusion in case it isn’t obvious: even the world’s most beautiful black woman can never be attractive to me.”

    to this you could add: latinas, hinduesses and the female equivalent of muslims

  44. — That’s like pointing to the world’s most finely-formed Sub-Saharan woman and daring us to find another woman who can match her coal-colored eyes, steatopygous ass, breathtaking muscularity and plump lips.

    That’s grade-A rhetoric, JJ. Respect.

  45. I disagree, of course, with JJ’s premise regarding Pearl Jam. “Ten” is on my all-time top 3 rock albums list. Their performances of Black, even as late as 2018, are magnificent. Theirs must be one of those polarizing sounds. Love it or hate it.

  46. “Achtung Baby” distinctly and clearly reminds me of the 90s. That album blew up and it made U2 more than just a household name. I had just started high school and later in the year, they’d be visiting my hometown to tour. I could have gone to the concert, but was beyond a goober at that age and time and did not go.

    I didn’t really get into music until about junior and/or senior, which was still mainly whatever MTV and/or the radio was playing. As I write this now, I think Napster really awakened me more to different music, since it was more accessible than ever before. I still have some data CDs from music myself and my roommates had all downloaded.

    I prefer U2’s “Joshua Tree” to “Achtung.” The first three songs in Joshua are timeless and well arranged. That’s an album wherein the songs are synergized by listening to it all the way through. Several years ago, I was listening to Fleetwood Mac’s eponymous album for the first time and damn if when “Rhiannon” came on it didn’t give new meaning to a song I had heard hundreds times. That’s another rock solid album. I prefer that album to the more heralded “Rumors.”

    “Dark Side” was the first full Pink Floyd album I had heard and had listened to months after having dropped out of college. I was in a dark place in my life then and once again, as I write this, there is a dark, somber element to that album. “Time” is friggin’ awesome and I’ve yet to hear such a foreboding and powerful intro to a song like that one. Then there’s the maniacal ending to “Great Gig In the Sky”, which I found out via a documentary on the album, they just let the lady run loose and she didn’t think she did well. I can still hear her screaming.

    I was only aware of “Wish You Were Here” via the title song and later, “Have a Cigar” (by the way, which one’s Pink?) that’s got such a great bluesy riff to kick things off. Again, via a Napster clone—either Limewire or Kazaa—I downloaded the rest of those songs and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is untouchable. There’s an entire lifetime in that thirteen minute composition. After that, I appreciated “Wish” more than “Dark.”

  47. — (by the way, which one’s Pink?)

    It’s uncanny that someone I don’t know in-person would recite that line. It’s such an inside joke thing. I shall share.

    Senior year of high school, this new kid joins our school. Math teacher sits him near me and we strike up a conversation, in short order become friends. My early impression is that the guy is a genius. That’s teenage-talk, but he really was very smart. Nearly maxed out his SAT, and could talk a good game. In AP English, we were in the same class, he sent our teacher into tears when he wrote an autobiographical essay, which was full of Tragic Elements. The teacher was a sharp bitch, by the way, not a sap. She hated me. I got a zero and a “see me” on a number of my essays, which I wrote in good faith. But I scored a perfect 5 on the AP Exam, so there is that. He sent her weeping like a little girl. His essay was bullshit, by the way. The guy could talk a good game.

    He showed me his notebook of poetry. It was stunning. There was one he wrote, his conversation with the moon, which seemed profound to me at the time.

    The guy had problems, but it was unclear what they were. He seduced marginal girls in our school, who ended up hating him afterwards.

    We’d listen to Pink Floyd together, at one point he said that “Have a Cigar” is about insincerity, and pointed to that very couplet: “The band is just fantastic that is really what I think / Oh by the way, which one is Pink.” As an inside joke, we’d greet each other with those words.

    He regularly called me “the wisest man at [x high school].” The last time we saw each other in person, which was a few months after HS graduation over 30 years ago, we went out with a group of friends, a mixed guys/girls group. He was an absolute ass the entire day. Everyone was getting tired of his boasting and other behaviors. Later that day, we were dropping him off at a train station. He gets out of the car, and I do too, so it’s a one-on-one conversation. Outside of the car, with others unable to hear us, I looked him in the eyes and said “[name], [a few words about how he needs to cut a particular behavior out].” It really was unacceptable and I felt that as a friend, I should tell him this. I expected hostility or defensiveness back from him, but he looked wounded. He said “okay PA, okay,” and extricated himself from my company, and disappeared into the doors of the train station. That’s the last time any of us saw him. This was over thirty years ago.

    A mutual friend reconnected with him about a decade ago, and handed me the phone. Ah, the familiar voice. Of course, needing no cue, he laughs and says “the band is just fantastic that is really what I think” – and I laughed right back and said “oh by the way which one is Pink.” There are troubled people you might like. After twenty years of no contact, it can be nice to hear from them.

    This same mutual friend, much more recently, again tracked him down. Across the country, as it turns out. And this mutual friend and I learned that our old friend, the poetry writer, the “genius,” the troubled soul who sent our AP English teacher into convulsive weeping, the guy who seduced marginal girls effortlessly but they all hated him afterwards, the guy who has stories I am not disclosing here, this old friend of ours who had a deep resonant masculine voice, is now legally a woman, post-surgery. Same voice on the telephone, but at a much higher octave.

  48. Damn, PA, that’s one helluva story and your epilogue above is hilarious.

    I’d been thinking about your story and the “loose” connotations it conjured:

    —the friend and his poem about the moon with an allusion towards “Dark Side of the Moon” and a further interpretation with the dark side of that man and what he became

    —“which one’s pink” as both a reference that the band thought funny, given that no one in the band was named that and the band name was from two blues musicians they admired; coupled with the feminine reference of pink, both as a girls favorite color and well, you know, downstairs of a female’s anatomy. (I’ve had a few Coors this Hallow’s Eve night.); added to that, if your friend “knew” who he was at that time, which is to say it was a toss up

    —“Have a Cigar” from which the lyric that started all of this is from and all I can think of is old Slick Willie and his use of a cigar and well, yeah. . .

  49. Outside of the car, with others unable to hear us, I looked him in the eyes and said “[name], [a few words about how he needs to cut a particular behavior out].

    It was a great story. He actually transitioned??

    And come to think of it, “transition” is one of those words that needs to be changed into something more realistic.

    I know that the format of the story doesn’t lend to recreating at length, what were the details of his likely passive aggressive behavior, but those might woulda been interesting.

  50. Pink Floyd’s lyrics were so good. The Wall is epic and sad, finally.

    “I sentence you, to be exposed, before your Peers”

    Is that whole drama, the theme of it, adolescent?

    The theme is that someone goes into a hole and can’t get out; but a mature adult man, has gotten out of his hole and is part of something, a community in whatever form he can find / make.

    It’s trite posting to talk about communities. Everyone knows the score on those: they’re good and necessary.

    Which is why the Mask Wars are so cutting edge relevant. The podcaster The Liminalist is not to everyone’s taste — he’s gay (not really gay) — but his most recent podcast is about his personal takes on the dehumanizing experience of everyone submitting to having to wear a mask.

    I really get where he’s coming from, on this stuff. He is the same age as other 50 year olds, and at this age, it’s not fun anymore to be rebellious and get in confrontations. I don’t wear the mask except when going to the grocery; and now am probably going to try and phase that out. Specifically a “compromise approach” will be wearing a bandana, which is falling off or down at the neck.

    Whoever suspected that bandanas, the scourge of the 70s, would again have their place of pride?

  51. The flip side of having to go the grocery (store) — is that actually u don’t have to go. U will not actually be going hungry, if you don’t go to get that milk and eggs.

    That’s the effin thing of it. As often as not, u is going to the store in order to “socialize.” / what a sad commentary

    Even the gay America we used to have, of going to Caribou and shit, is missed.

  52. Here is a quick I wz a great athlete in high school story.

    I was doing a road trip thing 25 years ago and was in rural Montana, and stopped at McDonalds in order to get some hamburgers socialize. And there were these other guys in there who were my age and actual cowboys. There were wearing literal spurs, which detail I am not even making up. I know that it sounds kinda gay, but plz! trust me.

    I think back now, and wish that I coulda gone with them, to work on the ranch, as a hand. I was an honest faced person and used to be able to work hard. But alas, it was not to be.

    There was a Mark Trail cartoon, from literally back in 1975, where Mark would wash up on one of his adventures, and get a job as a short order cook, in a diner out in the country somewhere, and have to figure something out. Literally that happened to Mark Trail over and over again; that was the motif of that strip. —-> to point out the obvious, it means that the people who were reading that cartoon, wanted it to happen to them

  53. I would not have lasted as a cowboy, I woulda been run over by a horse, almost for certain. I was talking to my old man, recently, and he has some stories. For instance he used to fly to work, out in the desert in AZ, every morning, to sheetrock, and then get flown back when the work day was over which was often pretty early because you can’t work when it’s 115 degrees. The point being he was adventurous too, in his younger days. / almost tearing up here, and not even drinking..

    One of his stories, was that we were hanging out with their friends, at their place in very rural MN, which back in the 70s was even more so, and their friends had a Shetland pony that was something of … what’s the word I am looking for … something of a novelty. Let’s just say they weren’t horse people, or breeders, or even pony experts. They had the pony specifically for pony rides.

    And putting me up there, for a pony ride, my dad got head butted (by the pony), seriously but not critically. / that’s the story; that’s it

  54. — what were the details of his likely passive aggressive behavior

    Over-the-top boasting, imperious attitude, and rerouting every subject of conversation to himself. It wasn’t his normal behavior per se, it was a one-off expression of his larger troubled state. There was nothing gay or effeminate about him whatsoever. He had an attractive masculine voice and a sharp mind, pleasant personality when dealing with strangers.

  55. S.J Esquire – Not insulting, or, at the very least, questioning, someone’s musical taste might be doing them a huge disservice. Take, for example, the continued prevalence of rap music: somehow, it hasn’t been recognised for the cheap parlour trick it is, and the impressionable youth still eagerly pollute their ears with it. Repeated exposure to this crime noise garbage will guarantee that the listener (see the vast majority of Americans that live outside of nursing homes) will develop a condition known as retardedjigabooitis, and otherwise healthy brains have been infected en masse.
    Now, wouldn’t it be a very selfless intervention to try and nudge someone towards seeing the error of their ways, rather than allowing them to remain oblivious to their predicament? Merely directing them towards the minuscule portion of that genre that has some artistic merit, may make it difficult for them to stomach the rest of the dogshit. Better yet, refer them to some of the source material that rap music samples. And, of course, there’s always the option of outright mockery and humiliation.

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