Barack Roll, courtesy of Mr Sullivan.
I had the pleasure of culminating my undergraduate career in the Program of Liberal Studies in the spring of 2006 with a thesis, “Third Way Distributive Economics: Catholicism, Democracy, and the Good Life”, some sixty pages in length, introductory items and bibliography included. Quite pleased with it, I nevertheless over the time since I finished it had come to believe that I had written something sub-par. About a month ago, reading some of my old papers over the course of an all-nighter in which I managed not to be all too productive, I realized that, although my writing has since improved and I would have done some things differently, it actually turned out to be a pretty good attempt. I regained the pride I had initially taken in it.
As proud as I am, though, of my thesis, the amazement at my own abilities (this time in coalescence with the skills of three of my best friends) vis-à-vis my (on-indefinite-hiatus-)band’s forthcoming c.d. completely overshadows all self-esteem I derive from those sixty pages. I’ll be the first to concede that the enjoyment I reap from listening to any of my past bands is so great (and self-absorbed) that it borders on narcissistic: So I tried, to the best of my limited ability, to detach myself and listen to the almost-final cuts of the tracks as an outsider (although my air-drumming, rather than safely driving, probably indicates how poorly I actually played the role of hitherto disinterested listener). And I realized something: We were really good; good enough, at least, that I continue to contend that, even though no more than two of us have even been in the same state at the same time since May 2007, we remain on indefinite hiatus, rather than admitting that we are no more. Perhaps ever too much the optimist, I believe that we will play again for an audience (perchance for multiple audiences) no later than May 2009.
I should like to think that in my quarter of a century I have done reasonably well for myself: I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the world’s premier Catholic University, turned out to be an awesometastic grocery store night manager with many adoring customers, and have started work on my (first) Master’s degree. None of these accomplishments, however, have left me with quite the feeling that the presently untitled Somersaults c.d. has, not because they’re less impressive, but because this is the one thing in which I have taken part as a craftsman. No, it’s not craftsmanship in the sense of building home-made furniture, or even, maybe, as Sennett more broadly defines it, but it’s creation, it’s our creative gift to the world.
I wanted to post one of the tracks, “Jasper Beach”, here, but that requires paying money that I should prefer to keep. So I direct you to the above-linked MySpace page. Listen to your heart’s content!