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“It’s Hard to Explain, but ‘What I Got’ Made it Alright”

This is just a little post I’m throwing together about the power of music. Well, I call it a “power.” But you might notice something about the “power” of music. It’s not hamhanded aggression it wields, like we’re used to valuing in our society. It’s not a move-over, there’s only one sheriff in town, only room for one of us in this spatial realm type of “reaction” or “process.” Really, it’s hard to explain what it’s like, although if one phenomenological event can equate Sublime’s “What I Got” with The Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man,” you’ve gotta admit, it’s got some serious sociological versatility.

Anyway, we were at work a couple weeks ago and the floor started flooding. This nasty, putrid water started coming up to the sewers, reminding us all of the biologically regrettable underbelly of our modern lives and how lucky we are to have expediting technology, under normal circumstances.

We all tried and no one could fix it. Most of us restaurant workers, though, we’re used to stress – we’re used to the unexpected, to flailing tempers, to flailing egos… in fact, we almost thrive on it. Well, I for one personally most definitely do not thrive on it, but I pretend to, and it seems lots of times like the adversity actually does make some people around me stronger.

Well, it was starting to wear on my coworker I think how he couldn’t get it fixed and we even called in the owner who was oddly, ironically, relative hardassed in getting the shop vac fixed and knowing the exact procedures to initial (dumping hot water down the drain, et. al.) A slow night like this in the restaurant should have been relaxing but with this muddle it was turning into a complete nightmare, a foul-smelling game of tiptoe-around-the-diseased water which nobody had certainly expected when they came in.

At some point, “What I Got” came on on the person’s Bluetooth. To be honest, I didn’t notice when it came on. It strutted in like so many other mass-assembled “products” we’re used to ingesting, from the Whopper, to IKEA chairs, to mainstream Hollywood cinema. I get used to doing what I normally do, putting my head down and imitating certain poker-faced expressions I see people making and just trying to get through it, until life seems fresh and rewarding again.

Well, I was at work in the sewage lagoon, so that wasn’t likely to happen anytime soon. Meanwhile,“What I Got” had got about a minute through, and was grooving along unassumingly. There was still no intersection of its components and my will but I think at some point midway through, when my WILL actually dissipated and I was able to connect with the music on a level of sangfroid, on a level of letting things be and purely absorbing and experiencing, I was, as I think were everyone, able to surrender my feelings of frustration and hopelessness before the atrocity of what was going on and enter that realm once again in which “One good thing about music (is) / When it hits you you feel no pain”. The “love”Bradley Nowell is prescribing in this song, what’s more, is an un-romantic, un-conquering, all-inclusive type of humanistic kind of love, the hardest, and most sacrificial, what’s more, to truly successfully express.

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