A friend of mine said a goal of his was “to live so badass that when Bob Seger’s, ‘Turn the Page’ is played at my funeral, the attendees begin to nod and mutter things like, ‘yeah, that about sums it up.’ “
I then reminded him that he needed to get working on that mullet so people can be publicly vocal about their uncertainty as to his gender in Waffle Houses and Denny’s restaurants across the interstates of this great land of ours. And also to not forget to start the chain smoking.
Points were given, though, for giving the reference to Seiger and not Metallica.
He attempted to “deduct points” for taking the lyrics literally from what was his, let’s be honest, ill-thought-out comment. He said the enjoyed the allegory about the ambiguous “journey” more.
First of all, I didn’t know what points he had the right or ability to deduct from me, and then I felt the red rage take me.
I said that if you’re gonna invoke the figurative journey, do not neglect the inherent hollowness of the destinationless voyage alluded to in Seger’s said quixotic mission; the anomic quest for meaning in the solipsistic search for the adulation of others.
Yet it is in Seger’s lyric “there I go, playing the star again” that the singer betrays his begrudging knowledge that he himself recognizes the artificial facade of his pursuit for meaning in a cold, hostile, and chaotic world populated by denizens whose approval he craves through his performances despite their constant mockery. Perhaps it is Seger’s professed persistence in this unforgiving world which gives meaning to his life, the continuance of the journey being an end unto itself, and the dual conquering of the antagonistic forces without and within the main demons for him to slay. He must banish the thoughts that his pursuits are meaningless alongside banishing the bemulleted, meth-addled Waffle House patrons who question his gender (and by extension, his virility). It is the constant decapitation of the hydra of these besieging negative forces with the axe of rock and roll that Bob finds redemption in his life.
And as Sir Robert drifts off to let the purple cloak of Morpheus enshroud him yet again in the reverie of dreams of perhaps a quiet life at peace with the world, the quiet ringing of his slide guitar in the ballad’s hook provides the perfect audible metaphor for this peripatetic Beckett play that runs on an endless loop in Bob’s Sisyphean life. Again he must, as the man says, turn the page.
Plus, it sounds really cool.
Then I reminded him to never provoke an English major and asked if I could I have my friggin’ points back now.
Tomorrow, we tackle “Don’t Fear the Reaper!”