Jack is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. We're at the Afro-man, yes, Afro-man Concert at some bar in Flagstaff complete with a thirteen dollar cover, awkward bartenders, and a whole barrel full of underaged, wrangled up idiots and completely misunderstood drinks. I recommend the Maker's and Cranberry. Afro-man. He's the famed rapper of mid nineties funny weed rap fame with albums in cluding A Colt .45 Christmas, Fro-Bama Head of state and the infamous Beacuse I Got High with the hit single, "Because I Got High" being the pinnacle of his heavenly precipice of success. You may remember all of this. Your parents probably don't. Many may argue "Colt .45 and Two Zig Zags" is the better tune, but which one is more timely iconic of the mid to late nineties? We will never know. Now, they're headlining half empty college bars, its spring break' you know, in Northern A.Z. where he lets all of his buddies perform opening concerts for hours and hours. No Afro-man.
After a few Gin and Milks A.J. is in the front row heckling some wacked performer wearing pajama pants, a basketball jersey, some bling and the harlem globe trotters hair to match. His contorted white face glimmering in the faded stage light sing/rapping his lungs out in this scraggly high pitched comedic I don't know what. Oh and there is no band or D.J. Or any real music. Just this clown and his pre-school beats resembling Oscar The Grouch Dissing his homies and slamming down J's, blasting over the speaker system. It's bizarre and bad and amazing all at once, quite literally the worst thing I have ever seen. Do you know how incredible it is to see something that bad? Chance of a lifetime. Wow, Flagstaff.
So while A.J. continues heckling and begging this Vanilla Nice not to do another song, the sea of underaged beer zombies are cheering ferociously for this youtube famous I don't know what. In the doorway five bouncers are arguing with a guy who is getting thrown out because he complained to the management that he wanted his money back.
"I paid thirteen dollars and this ain't even a five dollar show!"
Jack is in disbelief of this Generation gratuitously prancing around the bar in full support of this atrocity. I am too. His face turns pale as "one of the best rap songs of all time" as he put it, is playing between two terrible sets and not one person in the crowd knows it. Jack looks nauseus and it's not from the Rum and Pickle juice. See, we're not too many years away from that generation. These children scurrying half bagged, drinking whatever is in their face and wearing froofy shirts and tiny skirts, collars popped and pants dropped, mutating every form of fashion some starlet sports in O.K. Magazine oblivious to themselves. Its hilarious, and frustrating. I sound like an old man.
This increase in technology, the rapid travel of communication, babble here to babble there like that and the power of knowing whatever you want right at your finger tips. It is breeding unearned knowledge and not being treated with the responsibility it deserves. I guess it's a lot like money. We are getting smarter and dumber all at once, with each generation, constructing these amazing tools just to master them. It is not an open loop. And with it comes the kids, just five, seven years younger than myself and I cant even recognize them.
So how do we balance this? How do we live with such easy incredible communication
devices the likes of which are widening the generation gap in human interaction and closing it in on years between? I remember the first time I ever called a girl I was in high school, it was on a Wednesday at 9:15pm, I know because I planned it that way, and her dad answered. Holy Crap! Imagine that? On a home phone nonetheless. I really nailed it too, left a message with him and everything. And before phones? I guess the letter. Before the letter? I can't imagine. That's probably why we learn to talk before we learn to write...
The earth is quaking, shaking us from everyday life into a chaotic reality of our own constructions, the consequence of which slaps us in the face when these tides of our planet erupt. Imagine this, Waves crash, not networks, Waves, speeding from a turbulent epicenter which we cannot predict and in an instant, a nation gone. Power erupted. Power corrupted. Total meltdown. And it isn't bombs or wars or outbreak that is the cause. So who is to blame? Not a game worth playing, let the media and churches sink their fangs into that one.
It Must be a great age to be a journalist now a days. Dictatorships falling, wars erupting, A Black President in America, Natural disasters contesting coverage against man made, Football cancelled, Its getting colder not hotter, Our Banks bankrupt, Our Towers fell, our paranoia grows, Twitter, Myspace and all the rest are real and getting bigger by the day, there's online video, online College, instant celebrities, live streaming up to the second coverage of every horrible thing to strike upon us, bam, right in front of our eyes with an advertisement next to it to help fix something I don't have or need. And the more we think it, believe it, there it is and will be, happening just as we thought. All we see is all we see no matter if your awake or in a dream. What we have been blinded by is real experience.
Out on the road the rules of life remain as constant as the clock. Not in Arizona of course where they don't participate in Daylight Savings thus furthering my curiosity as to "What's the Dam Time?" My stay in Arizona is slowly becoming an episode of the Twighlight Zone. But as confused as I will continue to be there are still no need for any questions to one another, just respect me and I'll respect you. That has held true as we pass 500 miles of walking so far.
The elevation of Northern Arizona makes it tighter to breathe, lowers your blood pressure and makes your body work harder. It's a workout just to try to sleep. In these hidden snow capped mountains spring has finally arrived. The sky is clear, the weather tepid and the KOA park we are in is a private forest at the base of a mountain. It's a short world away from the Mojave just weeks ago and a life time from New York.. I think how good it feels, how timeless those hidden Arizona peaks seem in the early spring mornings, How without my computer, the papers and phones, without the luxury of it all contrasting the evergreens that hang over my restful head, I would never know Japan even existed. I would just be here, smiling, not a care in the world.