Tuesday, August 28

Lessons from Elvis Presley's Underwear

Rolling Stone released an article today that Elvis Presley's underwear are on auction, and are estimated to sell for as much as $15,000. 

Also, there are still homeless people in this world.  Countries that have been torn apart by natural disasters, wars, economic collapses, famines, and evil dictatorships.  People who can't even fathom $15,000, and people who have never worn underwear.

This isn't a greedy Americans post like I see crawling on Tumblr from whiny hypocritical hipsters who spend their time counting the blessings of others and remain oblivious to their own.  But what the hell is someone going to do with a $15,000 pair of underwear?

They're not going to wear it.  Hang it on your wall? Put it in a display case?  I'm not even sure what kind of conversation starter that's supposed to be, though I'm positive it's supposed to be one.  About Elvis? Rock music?  How much money you spend on complete bullshit while I'm still debating the practicality of a monthly Metrocard?

More bothersome than the impracticality of Elvis undies is the failure to recognize that he was just a person.  Did he make outstanding contributions to music?  Absolutely. 

But when he woke up in the morning, he cringed at the light the same way you did, waiting for his eyes to adjust to what his were about to take on for the day.  And after he woke up, he put on his pants, one leg at a time, just like you.  His were just a bit more sparkly.

I've never been fascinated with fame, but I am moved by inspiration.  It's why I'd rather see Richie Cannata on a Monday night than Justin Bieber at MSG, or an "unknown" comic at a bar show working out material instead of Carlos Mencia glue his jokes together by calling everyone "beaners" and exclaiming the comedic genius of "duhn-duhn-duuuuhn."  It's why I watch the mediocre stories entangled by the WWE instead of Glee, and why I'd rather put in 12 hour days for less money than work a 9-to-5 in a cushy finance job where cubicles are an acceptable thing.  What inspires me about these things IS the human connection; the things we've said before with a different perspective, the feelings we've never had a way to say before, and the ugliness that we try to avoid being thrust intp our faces to deal with, and sometimes, even laughed at.  Maybe it's because I sniff out the human aspect that I've never felt compelled to purchase their underwear.  Nobody's willing to pay me 15k for mine.  At least I don't think that's the case.

I understand that there are people genuinely inspired by Justin Bieber, and Carlos Mencia, and love their daily grind lives, and really connect to Glee, and that's great.  But the culture of fandom can be a dangerous terrain, and you maybe find yourself tripping over rocks of fame or grenades of false perception.  Identifying the genuine isn't always easy.  But every great song, movement, joke, riot, and change started with a person behind it.

Let's all die in our underwear, shall we?

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