Saturday, December 31, 2011

Before I pieces...?

First of all, Happy New Year (slightly in advance) to the SHAMblog community. Gotta be honest, a month or so ago I didn't think I'd see 2012 ring in. (I still haven't quite gotten there yet, but we're within hours, so I'm hopeful.)

I'm posting this older vid
for a few reasons. First of all, my sense is that very few of you saw it when it happened live, back at this time in 2006, at the height of the scandal over Oprah's endorsement of James Frey's blockbuster work of faction, A Million Little Pieces. Second, someone who'd been Googling me uncovered it and asked me if I knew it was "out there." (No, I did not. Or maybe I'd forgotten.) Third, the core tenet of the James Frey defenseit's OK to tell outrageous lies for fun and profit as long as you can claim that your motives are "pure"—has always been the dominant ethic of SHAMland. Fourth, it's been a while since I've posted anything, yet I remain at a loss to know what to write from in jazz circles, this post might be called a vamp.

Fifth and final, though I remember hating the way I looked that night in the studio lighting, it's funny how some added years and further (mis)adventures can change one's point of view. I was never any Brad Pitt, but it's nice in these disquieting days to see myself at a time when i didn't (quite) look 114 years old and/or altogether hairless. A worthy lesson for all of us, maybe?


Anonymous said...

This post sounds rather self-absorbed if I my say so, but I guess you can be forgiven in light of what you've apparently been through. Just remember there's a fine line between reflection and self-pity. The latter wears thin on others pretty quickly, and really does you no good either, Steve. I say that with all due respect as your fan.

Happy New Year. Glad you made it1

Rational Thinking said...

Interesting to see that clip, Steve.

Good to have you with us in 2012 :-)

Steve Salerno said...

Thank you RT, and yes, even you, Roger. ;)

Even before my event I'd begun reading the newspaper obits, and it's amazing how many people 55-65 aren't making it to their so-called golden years. It's just anecotal, I know, but i fear that when the dust settles, my generation will be the first in a long time to fare less well longevity-wise than its predecessor generation.

Anonymous said...

Roger, was that really necessary? No, I thought not.

a/good/lysstener said...

Hi Steve, I hadn't seen this video and you come off quite well as is true of all your TV appearances I've seen. It's rare that people think on their feet as well as you seem to. I'd have more to say about how you look but people already get on my case here about my asides to you so I think I'll keep it to myself. Remember, we're not all lusting after Brad Pitt anyway you know!

Steve Salerno said...

First off, Anon, thank you for looking out for my feelings.

That said, I gotta tell you folks honestly, I'm not terribly happy with myself, either, of late. I'm definitely "stuck," not just in the writerly sense, but in the wider, "getting on with life" sense. This past weekend, waiting for the 2012 ball to drop, I tried to step outside me and give myself a bit of tough-love, too, so I have no real gripe with Roger's candor: I figure he's just articulating what other people (probably including some of those who are closest to me) have been thinking. I may go on to live a decent number of years or I may not--none of us really knows when our time is up till it happens--but what does moping around accomplish in the interim?

Still, Anon, it was kind of you to say that.

Anonymous said...

Anon, point taken even though Steve now agrees with me.

No offense intended.

long time reader 1st comment said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
long time reader 1st comment said...

Roger, whether or not Steve has had a recent wakeup call about his need to turn the page and begin again, your comment was harsh and uncalled for in my opinion. You never did seem to have much sentiment in your views, which i think is characteristic of your political affiliation as well, at least based on your numerous comments. I guess we'll be seeing more of the same now as we move into presidential season.

RT, I have enjoyed your contributions through the years. Has it been years?

Rev Ron, you don't comment here yet but same goes for you. I just love your writing style. And Connie is smart and easy on the eyes.

Listener, damn girl don't you own a vibe? Batteries are on sale now after Christmas, go get some.

Steve, without sounding like Roger, I do wish you'd get back to the proper business of this blog. You've done a lot of good, whether you give yourself credit or not. I would even say you started a movement. Don't let your own movement pass you by. There's still plenty left to do.

Anonymous said...

I'd say that depending on one's emotional make-up, something that might shake one person to the core won't do that for another person. There is no time frame for getting back on one's feet. I think that expecting or pressuring someone to quickly get back to the way things were before a frightening, jolting experience is very unkind, unfair and cold. Experiencing depression or sadness at the losses that inevitably come our way, including the loss of our very life, is extremely normal and human. At least for some of us it is. Shock can be involved if the loss/threat is large enough, and that takes time to absorb. Why the expectation that someone should be the same after experiencing something deeply frightening or traumatic? Life changes us, for better or worse.


RevRon's Rants said...

Steve, we all throw a pity party for ourselves now and then, and given your recent, life-threatening experience, you are entitled. You'll work through it, I have no doubt... and without the "help" of lectures from anyone.

Being an old fart myself, I've grown increasingly cognizant of my own mortality. In my case, however, it is met more with detached curiosity than consternation or regret. But what would you expect of someone who was "redirected" from the path toward Unity ministry because I was - in the Unity board's words - "too laid back?" :-)

Anyway... Happy New Year, and welcome back (at whatever pace seems right to you).

Henriette said...

First, I have to address the "self-absorbed" comment. It's Steve's blog, so there will be that element of absorption. It'perfectly fine and expected.

Second, has it really been six years since the James Frey scandal? Wow, it seems like just yesterday it was happening. Finally, you were right Steve. James Frey did survive and thrived since the pow wow with the Big O.

Don't worry about making through 2012 Steve. Remember we will all be toast at the end of it anyway ;)

Steve Salerno said...

Henriette, so you mean I'm enduring all this self-denial...eating only the right things, taking 9 different kinds of pills...and at best I've got just 11 months left anyway??

Anonymous said...

Steve, I was shocked that you approved the comment by Anon 8:28 yesterday. I guess your policy against personal attacks doesn't apply to me for some reaon? Not to mention Anon's unspeakably crude/vulgar comment about Alyssa. He talks about 'uncalled for." Well that was uncalled for!!

Dimension Skipper said... you mean I'm enduring all this self-denial...eating only the right things, taking 9 different kinds of pills...and at best I've got just 11 months left anyway??Steve

Well then as an alternative (note: pun most definitely intended!), perhaps you should ask your doctor if PlasÄ“bo™ is right for you...

Why Placebos Work Wonders
By ("...And don't call me?") Shirley S. Wang, Wall Street Journal

;-) ... [×3, at least... plus lobbing you a batting practice floater in an effort to help you get your old SHAMbloggian swing back.]

Steve Salerno said...

Roger, I didn't think the comment directed at you was a personal attack; rather, it seemed to me that Anon was proposing a link between your ostensible lack of sympathy and your political views as expressed on this blog. (The accusation of being "unfeeling" is hardly a new charge when applied to political conservatives; we call liberals "bleeding hearts," so I guess conservatives are "bloodless" ones?)

As for Alyssa, OK, that was a close call, but it was playful, clever and (I felt) in keeping with the spirit of things. Others may disagree, and I will concede that had it been a stand-alone comment, without the other context, I might have reacted differently.

RevRon's Rants said...

I'm often amused by the effect that an attractive female can have upon the dynamic of the discourse. Where I saw Alyssa's comment as little more than a supportive aside, our anon apparently felt the need to translate it into an expression of sexual tension. Roger, on the other hand, seemed to consider anon's comment to be an attack on her honor and cast himself as sole defender of her pulchritude (an admittedly quaint and somewhat outmoded phrase, but in this context, I think it appropriate).

Perhaps the dialog would remain more productive if all concerned would leave their penii out of the equation. I can see where a female might find Steve attractive; does that mean I harbor latent homosexual tendencies? I don't see it, but someone else might. All depends upon their own issues and perspective. And if some commenter implied as much, I'd view another's umbrage-laden defense as being as much an attempt to ingratiate themselves to me as an attempt to right some perceived wrong.

And for the record, this is not a "personal attack" directed at anyone, but merely an observation of the ongoing dynamic. Steve seems to be in a place where he could use some encouragement, and looked to a group of online friends for support (or at least perspective). We all find ourselves in such a place from time to time, but most of us are hesitant to divulge what we wrongfully consider to be a "weakness." Perhaps we'd all be better served by displaying the same level of honesty. Who knows... we might actually get the support we need, if only we are able to set aside our own issues, frustrations, and jealousy for a moment. Or at the very least, add some of those miracle bran muffins to our diets before commenting. :-)

Anonymous said...

The zero tolerance for so-called negative feelings that can naturally arise in response to difficulty triggers the f*ck out of me. It was what the lgat-cult I wasted some years in demanded. It is inhuman! We were not supposed to indulge ourselves in anything to do with REAL life if it involved "negative" feelings. We were to "reframe", make negative a positive (wave the magic wand) and get back on your game. Right now! You're more like a machine than a human, and all you have to do to "fix" the taboo feelings/responses is essentially flip a switch: play the reframe mindgame. To me, this is not only unkind to the self, it is downright dishonest.


Kathryn Price said...

I agree with Barbara. It would be inhuman to experience such a major life event and not have feelings about it. Why wouldn't one reflect at such a time?

Henriette said...

I agree with Barbara. I think one of the worst things the self-help industry, and a large segment of American society has done, is take away expression of honest feelings. It has left us disconnected and inauthentic in many ways.

Anonymous said...

Good to have you back Steve, and I'm always ready to join a good "pity party"


Dimension Skipper said...

I hope your recovery is still proceeding well, Steve...

This NYT op-ed piece by Brian Morton is from Aug 29, 2011, but I only just recently came across it. Definitely up the SHAMblog alley:

Falser Words Were Never Spoken

Steve Salerno said...

Thanks, DimSkip. That is a terrific piece, in both concept and execution. Wish I'd written it!

Jenny said...

What? You decide to throw a pity party and didn't invite me?! I'm so hurt!

Actually, it is I who have neglected to swing around here and check on you, Steve. Very glad to find this little conversation going.

My good thoughts on your behalf continue.

I've been reading an interesting book lately, Everyone Loves You When You're Dead, by Neil Strauss. It's mostly transcripts of interviews the author has conducted with vaious celebrities, many of them still living. In one of the interviews, he asks Ozzy Osbourne about someone who claimed to be making a movie about Osbourne's life. In response, he says he wants it (his life story) to be "as it was... there was a lot of excitement. I always equate it to: If you're the strongest man in the world and if you throw a stone as high as you can, it's gotta come down just as far, you know. There's been a lot of highs and a lot of lows."

Such is life, eh?

Be well, Steve. Is nice to hear from so many here in your diverse and vibrant community.