"all roads lead to something"
(the Traveling Wilburys* 1988 -- Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne; photo by Alberto Tolot, from popmatters.com)
"Okay. So we're, like, fucking travelers. Still. Nomads. You know, but nomads capable of doing our nomad shit anywhere now -- even sitting at a desk and listening to five ancient rock-and-rollians, having music fun."
The class laughs, as the Traveling Wilburys' video of "Handle With Care" loop-plays on a screen behind her. Charly Pritchard has just read her 500-word story with video accompaniment "On the Road 'Yo."
"So it's like an appreciation of the kind of creative fun that can exist, beyond the need to define our lives with grading curves?" Thomas Jeffers asks from the back of class. "A way of judging people that was, not surprisingly, designed by a lonely guy to resemble a human breast without a nipple."
The class laughs again. Thirty-seven seniors in Wesley Johnson's version of "English 427 - Creative Writing," an elective class at AUNO-EHO, pronounced "'Oh-No-'E-Ho," which stands for "A University No One's Ever Heard Of."
"So why have you decided on -- what is it, again -- 'Oh-No-'E-Ho'?" Charly Pritchard's mother asked at the dinner table four years ago.
"It's cheap," Charly answered in her best, upbeat salesgirl daughter voice. "I'll get a college education, and you guys can still buy that cabin on Lake Whippin' Saki you've been dreaming of."
"Oh," Ed Pritchard responded, a fork loaded with mashed potatoes stopping halfway between the table and his mouth, as he stared a hundred miles beyond the rear wall of the dining room.
Back in class Blister Nethers offers: "All roads lead to the Sears of rock-and-roll."
"Thanks Blister," Charly replies. "And glad to see the Nethers hands up and resting on the desktop."
"No," Mary Zelder interjects. "Music is the 'road,' not the destination."
"Yeah," Charly continues with the thought, "because the point is in the traveling. Like traveling is just an expression of the continuing to unfold 'evolve' that's dancing in our genes. Not 'getting' somewhere, or arriving, so you can sit and become obsessed with the meme retrospective of your life."
"Okay," Wesley "the Johnson" adds, leaning back against a three-foot width of wall between the windows at the side of class. He's trying to keep the class on topic, which is edu-speak for the same thing teenage guys and girls learn to do by throwing parties that have "themes." He likes to think of schools as just party places for the better hormones of our heads.
"So the romance of the road, then. Traveling. Going somewhere but never totally arriving. Is all about living in -- what?" he asks.
"In the indie life that's living in our heads," Jack Happen says, as four girls and two guys turn their heads in an expression of simultaneous, better-hormone admiration.
"Which is what romance is about?" the Johnson asks.
"Yeah," Charly summarizes. "It's what romance and the Renaissance was, and continues to be, about. Seeing depth in space and time is about seeing individual things existing in, and having, that three-dimension depth, as they link, and don't, to what's around them. Which becomes the big theme movie music, for the indie life that's now going on inside our heads."
20150819 15:11 (552 words)
- * "Handle With Care" from "Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1" 1988, the first song written by the five Traveling Wilburys band members together, lyrics
- "Michigan" by The Milk Carton Kids, from "Prologue" 2011, performed live 2014, - lyrics
- "Misread" by Kings of Convenience, from "Riot on an Empty Street" 2004
- the fully-pimped version of the ICCA 2014 Championship winning routine of Pitch Slapped, a student-run a cappella group at the Berklee College of Music, with song and performance credits on the page below the video
- "Niantic - It's the Town for Me", music by Kelly Eberle, lyrics by Kelly and Kate Eberle
- "Wild Things," "Miss the Way We Used to Say Hello," and "Willows" by Kelly Eberle, beginning at 04:58