A Shout Out to the Rudolphs

August 6, 2011



One of my great joys in life is discovering that people are not necessarily what they first appear to be. For me, this may work a little different than most. I mean, breaking stereotypes is generally a wonderful thing to me, but there is a specific flavor of it that always appeals to my palette. I find it just delicious when someone who gives every initial outward appearance of being a polished professional, and/or boyscout/girlscout, offers some little revealing phrase or affectation, or bends a body part in such a way as to reveal some little taboo tattoo tucked away under the smart creases. Or an honorable elder states-person drops a personal, appropriate f-bomb. I tend to instantly like this person more. Have honest life stories of tough life lessons learned firsthand? I simply love you.

Regardless of the shells we adopt, I’ve come to believe that we are all wonderful misfit toys. Something that has stuck with me is once seeing a George Michael interview (Yes, George Michael. His recordings sit quite nicely in the alphabetized collection, somewhere between Metallica and Van Morrison). When the interviewer asked him what he thought he possessed that enabled him to be successful, Michael replied that he felt it is more the reverse. It is more about being driven by something you feel you are lacking and trying to fulfill. Some missing piece that “normal” people better possess a balance of. I can dig it.

People that present some polished, perfect life are just 2-dimensional and boring to me. And if it is all actually true, I respect you more than the ones who are just fronting, but you wouldn’t give a damn what I think anyway. In a good way. My tribe folk are the ones fully aware that we are walking contradictions. That we are vast. We contain multitudes. As Whitman would say… Embracing and balancing the multitudes is what keeps life more than mundane. A little pepper, a little paprika, a little patchouli. All good when allowed to blend into the unique dish that is each of us.

So give me music with a vocal that isn’t perfectly tuned, with instruments that have grit, warble, and any sort of unique imperfection about them, especially the electronics. Please stop polishing in search of the lowest common denominator. Give me instances of running into my son’s elementary school teacher at the corner Gas & Sip on a Friday night, dressed to the 9’s and ready for an evening of shaking her booty…vertically, horizontally, whatever. Give me getting high with the high school cheerleader that you imagined so pure on the last day of school, and you’ll probably never see her again. Give me leaders with life records that reflect going through some tough shit and learning hard lessons that bring wisdom. The kind of record that prevents more actually representative folks from being able to officially represent, these days. These talking mannequins give me the willies far more, frankly.

So here’s to the freaks, geeks, weirdos, naughties, misfit toys that we all really are. And I’m not talking about tipping the balance such that we are deliberately or thoughtlessly bringing harm upon ourselves or others. I’m just talking about remembering to dance naked in the moonlight. Letting the cosmic child out to play, when it asks. There is a belief that the Universe created us so that it could experience itself…

The Hollow Men – T.S. Eliot


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us — if at all — not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer —

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

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2 Comments on “A Shout Out to the Rudolphs”

  1. Andra Watkins Says:

    Brett, I think people who hold up the veneer of normalcy are the most boring people in the world. Variances are more engaging. I agree.


    • Brett Myers Says:

      Well, then I hope you won’t mind me mentioning that regularly reading your blog was a part of the inspiration for this. I think you offer a good example, in your personal way. I respectfully bow to you, Ms. Watkins… 🙂


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