Don’t be like Mike/Object fetishism


Well, there we have it.  Thus ends – probably – the career of Mike Vick, professional football player and dogfighter.  In my estimation he’s more likely to return to dogfighting than to pro football quarterbacking.

Early next week, Vick is expected to enter a guilty plea and sit quietly to take his medicine.  General expectations set that medicine at a year or two in prison and then a subsequent NFL suspension (probably a season, possibly lifetime).  Best case scenario for Vick means about two years in which he cannot re-enter the NFL, even if he and some idiot team owner wants him to – and the Falcons, by the way, will most likely cut him.  It could end up twice that long though.  Following this period Vick will be older, rustier, and fresh out of what has been one of the ugliest, most high profile, and most widely condemned sports scandals ever.  It’s hard to imagine a team taking him on as their starting quarterback after that.  (The Bengals might have, pre-Carson Palmer.)  In all probability, Mike is done playing pro football.

And it’s not breaking my heart.

One other thing that has been on my mind is object fetishism as a facilitator of the creative process.  I bought this little notebook, about 6″ x 8″ with a flexible cover that sort of resembles black snakeskin.  The notebook’s right side corners are rounded off, and the paper is lined on one side only.  I’ve been carrying this around with a Uniball Vision Micro pen, the kind that scratches out thin, neat lines in heavy black ink. 

This notebook makes me want to write.  I’m not in a writing mode though – no poetry or fiction is flowing from my Uniball* at the moment – but it does inspire me to scribble endlessly about my latest musical project.  I have written out a projected track list, mixing notes, rhythm notations (for flamenco palmas and nyabinghi drums if you’re curious), and exquisitely detailed thoughts about a dozen spaghetti western soundtracks that I am planning to sample.  I’ve spent about half as much time writing about this project as actually doing it.  And I love it.  I think it’s inspiring me; I think the music has benefited greatly from how much thought has gone into it.

Objects we love can inspire us creatively at any time.  I remember the first electric guitar I owned that I truly loved – I still have it of course.  It’s a cobalt blue G&L stratocaster (not actually a Strat, since Fender the company still owns that brand name while Fender the man does not**… but close enough) with a birdseye maple neck and brushed silver hardware.  It’s a feast for the eyes and the fingertips.  I used to sit with that guitar and not play, just run my hand along the neck and daydream.  That guitar elevated my playing (from crappy to only kind of crappy) and wrote a hundred songs that I later claimed credit for.  It’s the object, you see.

* Har!

** A bit of explanation for non-gearhead musician types: G&L stands for George and Leo, two electric guitar pioneers.  Leo is actually Leo Fender, formerly of the renowned Fender corporation that made those legendary Stratocasters and Telecasters.  After Leo was bought out, he went and started G&L and made a lot of gorgeous, quality instruments, while Fender pumped out cheap Mexican Strat knockoffs for beginner players.  Yes, I’m a partisan.


2 Responses to Don’t be like Mike/Object fetishism

  1. Ryan says:

    He will play on, in the control pads and dreams of many Madden players. And many bad jokes will be made. It might be worth it to fire up a game against the Falcons just to see how many times you can sack him.

    Oh, and you’re going to need a bassist.

  2. kit-chen says:

    my fetish objects:

    the cast iron pot i use in the kitchen. it has made batches of apple butter, hot sauce, home-made tomato sauce, a million stews, strawberry jelly, cornbread, etc etc etc. and it will make a million more. it is so well seasoned that it is like teflon.

    my old martin acoustic. it has taken so much abuse. it is developing cracks in the top, and i’m wearing a hole in the wood just below the bridge. i know these things can be repaired… but i wouldn’t feel the same about it. i fear that it would loose some of its essential nature.

    my parents still have the same upright piano that i learned how to play on, and i still play it occasionally when i visit. it came with me to several college-era apartments (to the chagrin of the friends who had to move it). but eventually sanity prevailed and i got a digital that i like very much, but don’t play nearly as often.

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