Dating myself here with the memory of a song from my lost youth, the one when Olivia Newton-John asked if we have ever been mellow? Seventies music like that was syrupy, a bathtub full of honey and KY jelly. If there was a message or meaning behind the song, it never stuck to me like AC/DC or Foghat did when they’re screamed lyrics of youthful discontent.
Today I’m not so mellow like Olivia hopes, but I’m a little more content with my life than in the past. My profession and the paycheck don’t suck like they did twenty years ago, my immediate family is cancer free and they are thriving, and my overall physical fitness is improving, one kilometer at a time.
This is a bad thing because contentment is dangerous in the arts. It makes us forget the struggle for the best we can be or the need for change. It allows us accept the status quo and, worse, it takes away our courage to be agents of change. Our creations become acceptable to Mainstream America, taken for granted, another bleached brick in the wall called the Greater Good.
Or as my doctor told me: “Normal people don’t change the world.”
There’s a lot of shit wrong with this Big Blue Marble and in our country in particular, and it needs writers to lead the clarion call for change. Most movie stars, singers, and politicians can’t find their ass in the dark until someone hands them a script. That would be your job and my job. We need to define, publish, and shine a bright light in those dark corners.
Content? Mellow? Hell, no. I’ve just begun to change the world. How about you?