Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Song for a Crappy Tuesday

"First Tuesday of the New Year" stands at the kitchen sink, staring out the window, the coffee pot handle clasped in its hand as it fills with water. The carafe overflows, but FTotNY doesn't move to turn off the faucet. It just stands there, pajamaed, hair askew, gazing out over the blueish terrain of the backyard.

You stand in the kitchen doorway and watch FTotNY for a moment. Is something wrong? It's only a few days after the New Year...is FTotNY so defeated already? Does the prospect of heading out into the frostbitten morning, waiting for public transportation that may or may not come, into a world where all the hope of 2009 evaporated with the first ring of your cubicle phone, paralyze FTotNY? Is FTotNY trying to recall that loving thing you said? That inane thing you said? That terrible thing you whispered under your breath while its mother was still in town?

You make an audible sniff and "First Tuesday of the New Year" jerks out of its vertical slumber.

"Hey, What's up?" you ask.

"Huh?" FTotNY half smiles and turns off the water,"Nuthin'. Jus' makin' coffee."

"Oh...okay." Relieved, you shuffle on with your day.

Shopping at Borders is a wholly unremarkable experience. People must like it that way - losing themselves in a deluge of books and point of purchase displays. No hardbacks in odd categorizations here. It's either non-fiction or literature. And while the staff knows far less about Robert Lowell than you do, they don't stand behind the counter of their independent (and rapidly deteriorating) book store and dare you to ask.

Borders fills a need for Americans to purchase "Twilight" in judgment free anonymity.

The Borders on the knot of Clark, Broadway, and Diversey here in Chicago is no different from any other Borders anywhere else. The selection is pretty much the same - displays of new fiction and relationship guides clog the entryways. Chocolates and tiny tarot cards line the checkout counter. The ony major distinction it has is its music and movie section, located in the basement.

The idea that physical CDs are purchased seems archaic, yet Borders (and other mega outlet stores) clings to this dying business that will soon go the way of the 8 Track. More and more the selection appears random and desperate, topped with Hannah Montana, James Blunt, and a freak copy of Southern Culture on the Skids. The selection in the basement of the Borders on Clark is no exception. It's the fellas that work this department.

I think there are three of them, two bespectacled, iridescent fleshed geeks and a long haired heavy metal dude. I don't see them often...perhaps they aren't even the same guys from one visit to the next. But whoever they are, they refuse to acknowledge the fact that they work in a Borders. It might as well be Dead Wax.

Amid the multiple copies of Michael Buble' and DVDs of Notting Hill, they blast Serj Tankian, The New York Dolls, and Minor Threat - thrusting their fists against the post of Borders corporate indifference.

I have never been to their basement lair when Norah Jones was playing. The other day I was shopping for a gift and was pleased to hear Jello Biafra's tortured voice through the climate controlled ducts.

Today's song is for them. A tribute from a tribute album to the Dead Kennedys. "Forward to Death" is a terrific pounding anthem. In the hands of Nomeansno, it suddenly becomes a strange amalgam - like the two geeks and a dude in their Borders Hideout. Like Manhattan Transfer took the brown acid.

(No video here, just the song. And note, it's not really work friendly unless you want to further honor our fallen comrades, yoked by menial corporate drudgery. If this is the case, blast it.)

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites