Call me cynical.
I believe people reside on a personal spectrum of being fucked up. Where you appear to reside depends on several factors:
- Your self-awareness;
- Others’ awareness and acknowledgement;
- Your attitude toward being fucked up;
- The desperation level.
You can be aware that you’re fucked up, but then your attitude kicks in. You can decide:
- You’re not fucked up; it’s the world that’s fucked up;
- You’re fucked up, but who cares? Just make it work for you.
Of course, some people lie to themselves about anyone or anything being fucked up. They’re the scary ones.
This song reminds me of being fucked up. I’d just returned to America after a four year plus tour of Germany for the U.S. Air Force. The evil Soviet empire had ended its reign, so much of what my military career was about, launching nukes against the evil empire and spying on them, was no longer a factor. While others turned their attention to Southwest Asia and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, I wasn’t allowed to participate, being deemed as mission critical for the now defunct mission of spying on the Soviets. I couldn’t participate in local activities to help the ‘war effort’, either; while my company grade officers who were pilots and navigators and junior NCOs and airmen were busy helping to erect tent city in the mud of Rhein-Mein Air Base, or working in the post office or chow hall, it wasn’t acceptable for me as a senior NCO to do such menial tasks. My offers to help were denied, then I was rotated back to America.
This all left me feeling pretty isolated and frustrated. I remember listening to this song in nineteen ninety-one while sitting in traffic in Peninsula traffic on Highway 101 in the SF Bay Area during a rain storm and having a mini-breakdown. The song is an introspective ode to self-pity, loss, realization and acceptance, so it was perfect for that era of my life. Although outwardly, I was fine by all the normal social measurements, I was an internal mess, drinking too much and having marital problems.
All the factors and your attitude about being fucked up are usually fluctuating. I’m still pretty fucked up, but I know I can shift my attitude a few points in either direction with fluids such as beer, wine and coffee, and activities like writing and walking. I’ve never been so desperate, angry and frustrated about being fucked up that I’ve contemplated suicide or killing others to make everything better, nor have hard drugs or an outlaw life attracted me. That doesn’t change my basic issues of being an arrogant, cynical, egotistical asshole with emotional problems, but it does adjust my attitude toward myself and the world.
Yet, I love this song. Here’s Gary Moore with “Still Got the Blues (For Your),” from nineteen ninety. He was such a talented guy. R.I.P.