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SocietyFringePodcast's podcast

Through this podcast SFP is creating an extended universe through the use of guitar based pop songs. The tale is both episodic and serial. As of the COVID lock down the SFPeeniverse consisted of 7 Broadway style musicals. This is ambitious stuff. The conceit is that an '84 Chevy El Camino acts as a TARDIS catalyst connecting the characters to unlimited story telling opportunities.
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Jun 5, 2019

1993 Essay May 2, 2019


When I was in my twenties I decided to conduct an experiment meant to test randomness and if randomness led to any noticeable patterns. I took all of my t-shirts and threw them into a gigantic pile in the middle of the cedar closet at my Mom's house. She was gracious enough to let me stay there after I stopped going to college. Every day I would close my eyes and root around the pile of literally hundreds of shirts and that'd be my shirt for the day. Once at a party my random shirt happened to be an old hospital shirt. A friend said something along the lines of "look at Tude. Most people go to the hospital and wear a shirt out. When they get home they throw it away or use it as a rag. Tude wears it to a party." That still gives me a chuckle. 

What did I learn? Randomness is random. It led down a deconstructionist path that was essential in putting together the pieces for the never ending opera. Everything is arbitrary if you go back far enough. When I was a kid I read rock and roll biographies. Dave Marsh was my favorite. Later Lester Bangs was a god to me. Leg's McNeil writing for Spin was a golden age of magazine journalism. But I realized eventually, tracing the music I love back further and further, that rock and roll itself was a lie shouted by narcissistic Baby Boomers who had the good fortune of never having to face down an existential threat to their comfort. The 'Nam draftees  are not included in my vitriol. They faced two enemies, Ho Chi Minn and Nixon. Hah! Where was I? Rock and roll was, is, and always will be a lie. The fact of the matter is that it's the same stuff that folk musicians had been doing for millennia. It wasn't special. Nothing is special. When you are born is arbitrary. The music of your youth is not special. You are not special.

What's this got to do with the song 1993? Wouldn't YOU like to know! I'll tell you. Remember a while back when the Hubble telescope was pointed at empty space and eventually it photographed a gazillion galaxies? That's the existential angst of arbitrary randomness right there. I fixed point in time and space, unassuming, nothing special about it (just like you) and yet, focus on it for an instant and it's the most spectacular thing ever in the cosmos. Just a tiny instant of focus and that specific reality is transformed, nothing into everything. Did it lose it's tag of nothingness when the discovery of everything was made? Does the discovery define that point in space? Did it even exist before the Hubble pointed at it? Deconstruct it further. To paraphrase Sam Kinison "we've hit another vein, mine deeper." 

1993 is an arbitrary year picked at random with the specific idea of deconstructing it month by month and season by season to see what stories are told. The song birthed the concept with this'n. I wrote it for Doom Cookie. As a matter of fact the only reason this entry into the Never Ending Opera isn't under the name of Doom Cookie is that I made Brian promise that he would never let me stray from the Society Fringe Player name with future projects. He said it was smarter to be like my buddy Andrew Grimm, aka June Star, and keep the name forever whilst changing up the players.

Musically this song, through Paul's mixing, really accentuates the riff. In me pea-brain I always heard a fiddle playing the riff. I even borrowed one with the intent that I'd learn it enough to play the part when we recorded it but ALAS nyet!

I really want to hammer home the arbitrary underpinnings of all existence. It's arbitrary where you are born. It's arbitrary to what nation you owe allegiance. It's arbitrary which god was foisted upon you as a child. It's arbitrary if you dig your own gender. It's arbitrary if you get cancer. It's arbitrary if you have fun playing the guitar. Nothing is according to any plan. Keep deconstructing everything, eventually you'll get to a point of vacant nothingness and in a moment of mental anti-obliteration you'll realize that the entire everything was there the whole fucking time.

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