The Count

I don’t remember precisely at what point I figured out how to count, but I do remember one very early memory from my childhood involving Sesame Street.

I was young as hell. I was sitting Indian style in front of the family television. And I remember seeing that creepy counting vampire counting things, and being happy as hell about it, laughing after every number. He helped teach me what 1 represented and what 2 represented, and I’m pretty sure lil’ toddler me was nodding my lil’ toddler head all like ‘oh I get it.’

Actually now that I’m recalling it better I’m pretty sure he was counting in Spanish. Basically I’m saying Sesame Street played a strong role in my early childhood education. A period of relative purity for me. And seeing this video and its strong contrast with the purity of my childhood with its vulgarity, it was just too much for me to bear.

I’m pretty sure I cried laughing the first time I saw it.

You may have seen this all ready, I watched this video a while ago, but I just saw an episode of Sesame Street while I was perusing the airwaves and it jogged my memory of this video and I felt like I needed to just jog the collective blogosphere’s consciousness about how funny this video was. It’s a PSA from the Count concerning his trouble with a strong impulse of his. It delves into the Count’s dark journey and battle with addiction, and he relays in song just what specifically he’s addicted to.

Laughter is the best medicine, but it doesn’t seem to cure The Count of his addiction. In my opinion this is one of the greatest implementations of unnecessary censorship for the sake of comedic value in the history of unnecessary censorship. Everything works. Every line damn, nothing even feels like a stretch. It sounds ridiculous, but each one sounds like an actual plotted joke.

The original “Song of the Count” video is great standing on its own. The way he just goes up to everything in his house, smiling at the camera and running off numbers like counting was his own personal fetish, and how he sings the song with such conviction damn, it’s just the best. He truly means it, that’s what kills me about it. It was the easiest possible thing for somebody to dub to add a new twist on it, but it took a keen eye to see an opportunity for making this so damn funny.

Damn all this thinking about Sesame Street is just reminding me how awesome Sesame Street is, and what type of impact it probably has on millions of random kids all over the planet. I’m pretty OCD about numbers now, and have been for years. I blame The Count, and to a lesser degree my paranoia. I wonder how many adults now have early memories of learning random things from Sesame Street.

I know I do.

Jackie Kennedy

Within the last year I have developed a steep fascination with Jackie Kennedy.

I’m thinking about this again today because I just saw a documentary yesterday talking about how LBJ swore into office on Air Force One and I saw that iconic image of Jackie Kennedy next to him. It jogged my memory of a strange experience I had involving her, and then reminded me that we were on the eve of the anniversary of her passing away. And the only reason I know that now is because I had a really curious experience a year ago.

I had a weird dream in which I was at a cousin’s house, and then somehow or other I fell down a flight of steps and ended up in some downstairs exhibit with a bunch of expensive art. I fell down because I’m a klutz I guess, or I don’t know I just fell. Then a few minutes passed, and then I noticed somebody else falling down the steps wearing a blue dress. Then she got up and started talking with me, and it was then I realized she was actually Jackie Kennedy. She kept saying her husband was upstairs, and we had this long conversation, and at the end of it she gave me a really nice hug and was just really kind to me. Then she told me she knew people who would be interested in me, but it didn’t really feel like she was talking about relationships.

I do tend to think that most dreams don’t mean anything, but that one felt more vivid than life to me. I truly don’t understand what is happening when we dream. For one thing, I don’t really understand what life itself is all about, and I guess none of us are really for sure what exactly is going on. But it’s experiences like that which make me believe that there is some type of spiritual world or some collective consciousness or something, whatever it is there’s something beneath the surface of existence which we aren’t meant to understand. Most people won’t believe me, that’s all right. I’m not really trying to convince anybody but it really just was a strange experience for me. Maybe somewhere in my sub-conscious a year ago I recalled that it was the anniversary of her passing. But I know for a fact I hadn’t thought about Jackie Kennedy in depth prior to that dream. Then I just woke up, read her Wikipedia page, saw that, and tripped out.

Aside from all that, Jackie Kennedy lived a very fulfilling life outside the few years that JFK was in power. She was actually a very accomplished horse rider, and won several championships as a child. She studied history, literature, art, and French in college. She worked for the Washington Times-Herald newspaper as a journalist and photographer, where she got the opportunity to interview the likes of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Everybody knows about her impact during the Kennedy era, but in her later years she even worked as an editor. She was big on saving and renovating historical buildings, and led the charge in restoring Grand Central Station in New York City. It looks amazing now, damn. Basically she was a boss.

All in all few people have put their intelligence and grace to such productive use in a singular lifetime, and she’ll forever remain an icon of the best of what American culture has to offer. It would be a general plus for society if more people like her came into the world.

Commencement

There’s something bittersweet about commencement.

It’s funny how, now that I sit down to write, I don’t quite know how I feel about it all. I’m a few days removed from commencement now. And I’m realizing just how many confusing emotions graduation brings out. It’s a bittersweet event. Within the moment it didn’t feel quite so for me, but in retrospect it kind of does. Just a little.

So much pomp and circumstance and symbolism. We move the tassels I suppose to symbolize our moving from one place to another. I think. I actually don’t have any idea why we do that, but it’s got some meaning. It must. But it’s just funny how we see our classmates walk, we walk, we shake hands and get our diplomas, we all take pictures holding our diplomas, we all celebrate our getting our degrees, but it’s an empty diploma holder. We all ready have the diploma, so we only walk for the symbolism of it all and for the sake of the moment.

It goes to show you the importance of symbolism in our culture, and how much society actively celebrates academics and strives to recognize that it’s something of value and importance. I’m not really disagreeing with any of it, but there is something funny about there being no actual diploma in the ceremony.

Every graduation is a whole sea of caps and gowns, and a sea of faces as well. Hundreds of people, sometimes thousands, some of whom you’ve never even seen prior to that moment where you realize you’re all graduating from the same institution. It’s strange knowing that you have shared the independent experience of going to the same school, yet you never really feel that sense of connect with all those other people until that final moment where you realize you’re all graduating together.

Some of my classmates I’m likely to see again here and there, but the majority I’m likely to never see again. At least for a very long while, until some distant day where we might cross paths again somewhere down the line.

I had all ready graduated in December, but there was this curious finality about going to the ceremony itself. It drew a line in the sand for me, and made it more tangible that a period of time was officially done in my life. Something I was all ready good with. But it’s just a different feeling to have it ended with an elaborate celebration instead of having it ended by just not going there anymore. I was debating whether or not I should in the weeks leading up considering I didn’t feel much of an urge to celebrate, but I’m glad I walked.

It’s over, my undergrad career is a wrap. It’s been a wrap. My right contact just suddenly rolled up into my eye and burns like hellfire, so I’ll take that as a sign from God that I’m rambling too much. I’ll wrap up the post commenting on how they call it “commencement” instead of just graduation. I’m now reminded of a saying I’ve recently heard, which is something to the effect that it’s called commencement because it’s not an end, it’s a beginning. As something good is about to commence within your life.

I like that paradigm. Hopefully this is the start of something positive for all of us.

Best wishes to all the other graduates out there!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I want to spend this post talking about how I wish I could forget how Mayweather beat Pacquiao on Saturday.

That’s a musical montage of clips from Eternal Sunshine. Beautiful video. Somewhat unrelated to my train of thought, but this video conveys my mood after the fight. So many memories of great Pacquiao fights ;(

For those who have not yet seen this movie, watch it. It’s a master piece of a film with its own unique heart-breaking ambiance and dream like feel. It’s not for the faint of heart. I was reminded of it as I drove home for an hour after watching the fight through the types of back roads that trigger introspection and daydreaming, and I thought about how I wanted to just forget that Pacquiao lost the biggest fight of his career. Shouldn’t affect me but it does as a fan. He’s still a Hall of Famer, but his legacy will always be he was the guy who everybody thought could beat Mayweather, but who could not. More hugging and defensive fighting than I would like, but that’s Mayweather he knows how to score points win rounds and box smart. He deserved the win.

My viewing experience of Pacquiao Mayweather was negative on a few levels, but it was nice watching it with a lot of people. I tend to enter an unexpected emotional maelstrom every time I watch a live Pacquiao fight, which overall clouds my judgment. I just love that guy too much. They’re both rich though so really nobody loses besides the boxing fans for not getting as much action as would have been nice. It all really doesn’t matter in a few days. People all ready don’t care anymore since the fight was so boring. And nobody wants to talk about it, almost like nobody has an opinion about it anymore. And why does nobody have an opinion about it anymore? Is it really just because everybody was so insulted by the fight getting so hyped up and then not living up to that hype at all and being so boring? Or is it something else entirely?

My mind was in conspiracy mode on Saturday night as Pacquiao was fighting. I thought the ref Kenny Bayless was letting Mayweather hug too much, and Bayless really was especially early on that dick. And I’ve all ready accepted he lost, after watching the fight again and watching him get jabbed in the face once or twice every ten seconds, perfectly countered here and there. Mayweather doesn’t knock people out he just pisses people off because nobody can hit him clean and he throws precise counters without brawling. It makes for a dull fight. But dammit why won’t anybody talk about the fight? Nobody wants to talk about it, oh my God.

Oh my God. It’s almost like the doctor from this movie who erases memories just went by everybody’s homes in the night with his creepy assistants (basically creepy alternate universe versions of The Hulk and Frodo) and took our every recollection of the fight. Nobody remembers there was a fight anymore. Maybe that guy could get to every house in one night, maybe. If Santa can do it that guy can do it.

Maybe Santa did. Maybe that guy’s Santa. Could it be oh my God.

I’m all ready forgetting what I’m really trying to say with this post. I’m all ready forgetting, what’s happening oh my goodness.

Oh my God maybe that guy just came by and erased my memory mid-type, set me back in my chair, and made me forget what the hell I was saying. Holy shit.

=O