In high school, there was an album about Andy Warhol I really liked. It’s called “Songs for Drella” and I have unsuccessfully tried to get my friends to like it. They just find it kind of annoying. It was done by John Cale and Lou Reed and has a lot of Lou Reed talk-singing from the perspective of Andy Warhol and John Cale doing a lot of repetitive melody on the piano. There are some strings, but all the accompaniment is pretty sparse and gives the entire album a kind of empty, hollow sound like you’re sitting inside Andy Warhol’s brain. And the lyrics would count as stream-of-consciousness, if they weren’t so coherent. The main benefit of Lou Reed’s talk-singing is that you can understand all the lyrics.
Anyway, I think the reason I like the album so much is because of my empathy for Andy Warhol. Or, my wished-for empathy. I have tried reading myself into Andy Warhol to relative failure. Andy Warhol was far more interesting and broken. He had a much sadder life.
“Give people presents so they remember me, but don’t kiss hello–and please don’t touch. Open house…someone bring vegetables…someone please bring heat…my mother showed up yesterday: we need something to eat. I think I got a job today, they want me to draw shoes. The ones I draw are old and used, they told me draw something new. Fly me to the moon, fly me to a star. But there are no stars in the New York sky: they’re all on the ground. You scared yourself with music, I scared myself with paint. I drew five hundred fifty shoes today, it almost made me faint…”
One of my enduring frustrations with friends (in certain contexts) is their inability to sit still and be quiet and to talk when they have something to say and not talk when there is nothing to say. Often, the conversations are far too short and they always have some place to be. Why not just spend three hours in one place, instead of one hour in three placeS? Let things grow.
Conversely, I sometimes get into a mode where I feel like I am “zoning into reality” and it basically just makes me an unresponsive vegetable, where I will just sit and be quiet for three hours. In these moments, I feel deeply calm but also a bit like I am trapped inside the calm. My answers to questions are lacking and I will not have questions for others. Worse, while this mood might be best suited to solidarity, I find that I get it most often in large groups where I am content to listen–or not even to listen. Heck, I’m not listening. I’m just sensing. This mood is one of the biggest hurdles to get over if I am going to get anything productive done. It is like a wet cloth hanging over my head that I can’t shake. And it happens to me without the encouragement of any outside stimuli: a glass of wine or scotch has in the past broken that serene surface and made me more talkative.
I have this idea that if I am going to be doing public journal entries like this more often (which I am not going to do), then I would intersperse them with prophetic journal entries, where I try to get myself into the headspace of myself twenty years from now. I have even considered throwing around doing journal entries of other people twenty, thirty years from now. I suppose they would be pretty “inaccurate”, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t be precise in my details. And there is the whole breach of privacy thing.
Litigations can be such a drag: perhaps this is why most prophets keep it to themselves.
“Goodnight, Andy” sings Lou Reed.
“Goodnight, Lou,” David Bowie Said.
“Love U guyz,” said Prince.
“I’ll miss UR kids,” Michael Jackson said.
“Bye guys, I respected you all,” said Glenn Frey.
“No one invited you to this party, Glenn.”