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Cultivating Absurdity For Fun and Profit

Sebastian,

Really enjoyed your most recent blog post on quitting things that will kill you. I am curious about this section:

But with training (and not all that much training), I think it’s possible to get all of that without drinking. I do all kinds of idiot absurd shit, and then, as an added bonus, I’m sober in case I’ve got to fix the idiot shit I did. While dead sober, I say the things that most people need to get 5-6 drinks in them to say. And you know what? It’s alright, nothing irreparably bad happens.

What steps/training did you use to remove your inhibitions?

Take Care,

Please Please Me - The Beatles

On More from a 3 Minute Record

This is it. I’m selling out. It's going to get all cliché up in here, so prepare yourselves. This is the obligatory Beatles post. In any discussion of music over the past few centuries, it’s inevitable that you will mention the Beatles. The Beatles are extraordinary for many reasons, of course, but what stands out most to me is their prolificacy. Not only were they churning out some of the most influential music of their time, they were doing so at a breakneck pace. The Fab Four released 13 albums in a span of just 7 years—a rate completely incomprehensible by the iTunes generation’s standards.

I have a theory that if you were to ask any selection of 5 people familiar with the Beatles’ work, “What is your favorite Beatles album?” you are likely to hear 5 different responses. I think this speaks not only to the top-to-bottom quality of their entire discography, but also to what I’ll call (for want of a better term) various points of entry. As ubiquitous as the Beatles are in popular culture, it is very difficult to avoid them.Aside from being an important part of culture as it’s taught in history, I remember singing “Yellow Submarine” in fifth grade music class to learn about melody. Hell, they even invaded one of the most famous scenes in the history of cinema.

One of the really important things to consider when discussing these points of entry is time. The generation of which my parents are a part (at the younger end of that spectrum, admittedly) is responsible for Beatlemania. That generation grew up with the Beatles and witnessed their evolution (Listen to this album and then listen to 1970’s Let it Be, and you will hear a definite difference). My generation grew up with the Beatles as a constant. My generation didn’t experience the Beatles as a phenomenon, as a movement, or as a social wave. My generation never met John Lennon (weird, I just got the sudden urge to write about the Who).

Depending on your perspective, my generation was able to (or forced to) choose to tackle the Beatles monster in our own time, on our own terms, and in any order we wanted, chronology be damned. My childhood, aside from the previously mentioned examples, wasn't overrun by the Beatles’ music. I was exposed, but I don’t recall listening to full albums as a kid. As such, when I was in high school I made the conscious decision to become better acclimated with this band that is almost universally revered as the greatest band to ever pick up instruments.

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