Thursday, March 13, 2014

Catchin' the Sun

There was a vinyl LP that my father would play on the weekends, it was called Catchin' the Sun – an instrumental jazz-funk-pop-fusion album that seemed to have whole worlds in its catchy sax refrains and synth solos.

I must have been about eleven or so.  The songs rolled one into another, weaving complete complexity.  This was nearly an unfairness that those of us who grew up in the late 20th century have to deal with... ...this hermetic perfection of near-perfect pop music.  Emotional experiences triggered by slick production that could make your own attempts feel so clumsy in comparison. Younger and older generations ran in, where Gen-Xer's feared to tread.

Still, we're all trying to be that compiler, that artist, that writer who is – Catchin' the Sun.

The self-publishing we've got at our fingertips retrieves the essence of those 18th century pamphleteers who caught ideas, re-molded them to fit changing times, used a messy technology, a gossip-network, and changed the world.

All energy comes from that Sun of ours.  Energy from tens of millions of years ago burst from that star, fell on some plants on the surface of our world, those plants soon died, and spent eons below ground turning from funk to slime to gunk to thicker gunk, to gas.  That gas pulled from the ground, burned, and electrified, passes through a near-incomprehensible grid of power, and into the battery of a slim, glowing tablet — on which I write, and you read — and if our ideas line up with each other's, and if our electrons line up from sun to funk to gas to light again.  Maybe we can change the world.

Then maybe, just maybe, you and I are – Catchin' the Sun.