Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Déjà Vu All Over Again




















IN A TEXTBOOK CASE
of Groundhog Day -- and not the good kind -- we find ourselves in almost the exact same position as when we started this epic blog, as it's almost four years to the day of the first ever Warden's World post, and once again we're out of work, fast running out of unemployment benefits, down-shifting into panic mode. Freelancing itself has totally dried up over the last year, after I had built up a nice stable of clients over a 3-year period, only to see them drop off one by one. That's right, boys and girls, your Uncle Warden needs a job (along with something like 14 million other out-of-work Americans!!), ideally in the field he's put 20+ years in (publishing) -- but at this point how can he possibly get too picky? (Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question.) But please, no pity parties; we've been there, you've done that. We the people need jobs, as "The System" fails us yet again.

Before the Big Layoff Of '05, I had only been on unemployment one time in my entire existence; now I'm finishing my third such bout in the last 4+ years. One of the only bright spots if you will is all the time it leaves for reading, which in my case is mostly history, although I recently went on a fairly big Shakespeare run to my surprise, finishing the likes of Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, the Henry's (IV, V, VI), which were my favorites, and also a great bio of Willie the Shake called "Will in the World."

Then after watching a PBS special on early Christianity around Christmas, I was really intrigued by the Gnostic movement, the recently discovered Gospel of Judas and other so-called Lost Gospels, as well as choice books of the New Testament, which I had never felt compelled to read before. And who among us without a dental plan can't relate to lines like, "And verily, there shall be great weeping and gnashing of teeth..." Fascinating stuff all around, but the Gnostic use of numerology really had me intrigued -- and when I found out its message of achieving a kind of personal divinity via gnosis, or self-knowledge -- “Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death” (Gospel of Thomas) -- had roots predating Christianity, going back to my ancient Greek homies Socrates and Plato, I was and still am hooked, so to speak.





ONE MORE THING and then we'll let each other go. Just got back from the supermarket, Key Food if you must know and why else would you have read this far, and in the time it took for me to collect my 12 items in a basket, I heard four songs over their in-store system that could have formed the heart of any one of my classic mixtapes. I mean, I walk into the store and David Bowie's Hang on to Yourself is playing! Not nearly loud enough, but it was early in the morning. This is followed by the weakest of the 4 songs, but it's still an AM nugget from my youth that I never mind hearing and usually end up singing all day when I do: Come and Get Your Love, by Redbone. Again, you probably had to be there, both this morning and back in the early '70s when that song was all over the airwaves, but Song 3 was another unexpected gem, one of my absolute favorite Bob Marley songs: Roots, Rock, Reggae with the great shuffling refrain of "Dis-a reggae music" after every line. And last, as I was leaving, another classic: the Kinks' Jukebox Music. When the day starts like that, it's usually a good omen. I'll keep you posted...
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5 comments:

jimithegreek said...

What? Nothing about football, cowboys?? Love the tune at Key food!

The Warden said...

Jim, it's still too painful to bring up the Cowboys right now. Maybe when I see Favre get his ass kicked in N'Orleans I can get some needed closure.

Nazz Nomad said...

Grew up in Forest Hills patronizing the local Key Food. Out here in Pussyville (aka Lawn Guyland) it's all Pathmark and Stop And Shops.

Hey, if you don't mind me asking, what do you do in publishing. As you might be aware, I am also a Publishing un-employee

Mustard Relics said...

Nice to see you over at MR so I thought I'd see what you've been up to. You had me spoiled with your regular posts so it's nice to see something new here. Just edited a buddy of mine's resume as he is a struggling professional that is considering work outside of his desired field. Sucks man, I hope you get a job. Did my thesis on early Christian history so that Gnostic stuff is something I enjoy getting into. PBS did a good job with the stuff I've seen in the past. If I could recommend a good starting point, Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels". As far as those tunes man, you reminded me that you're about ten years older than me. :-)

The Warden said...

>Nazz, I'm a proofreader/copy editor -- portraits a specialty. No offense, but as you know, Long Island sucks if you were born in the City. What part of publishing are you in? I thought you had something lined recently. We should meet in the City sometime and exchange resumes and bitch a little.

>Mustard, got you pegged for early 40's; I'm gonna turn the big 5-0 this year, so that's probably got me thinking long and hard about mortality itself, which I don't know maybe led me into the whole Gnostic stuff. I'd love to read your thesis sometime. I just read a book by Elaine Pagels about the Judas Gospel and really liked it. Another brilliant writer in the field but one who writes accessible books is Bart Ehrman, who you probably heard of. He wrote Misquoting Jesus, which is next on my list. Thanks for reading.

Oh yeah, used to love The Clash song Bankrobber as well. My dad in later years actually became a bookie, so I used to change the words around to "My Daddy was a book-maker, but he never hurt no one," which of course was only partly true...