:::this is the way the world ends:::

Elvis Ate America


"Overman would be proud," I mumbled to myself after hearing the second Elvis song in a row at 8:05 yesterday morning.

Yup, he would be ecstatic that if there was one thing carried over from my high school education, that I could recall Elvis Presley’s birthday with minimal prompting would be it. So I thought about Elvis, quite a bit, in fact. He was hard to escape yesterday, his music on the agency’s sound system all day. I think I may have been growing a bouffant hairdo during this barrage on my sanity.

I also found myself considering Michael Jackson and the similarities between the two. The wealth, the development of alternative realities, the loss of their essence, before dying, in unforeseen, unrespectable drug-induced manners. Ah, the drugs, a symptom I think of the whole loss of reality bit. A way to be in outer space, isolated, and not have to come back down.

I saw a really great PBS program this week- 6 hours of "This Emotional Life", with the net result being: Human Relationships Are THE Most Important variable in mental health and well-being. Elvis and MJ lost this. Their wealth and fame separated themselves out. They became obsessed with themselves, building their realities, suspicious of the intentions of others, partially out of real concerns. Other people want what wealthy people have.

Then a chilling thought occurred to me. Elvis and MJ are a pair of the most recognizable symbols of America to the world. Nay, it is worse, they are icons because they represent America to the world. America is the wealthy, build our own reality rock star whose fame keeps us from being truly aware of the rest of the worlds problems. this has partially been fed by the world’s grandiose view of us.

But now, I really hope at some point soon we develop a grounding, a reconnection, before we end up dried up and deceased of our own over-consumption. The analogy really goes deeper, because there are so many countries/companies willing to continue to to give us our prescription and illicit drugs as long as they can be hangers-on. These were my thoughts on Elvis Presley’s Birthday.

I heard someone say he would have been seventy-five this week.


  1. Ned

    NIce blog entry Pete. I wish I could have seen the program. On a side note, Sara was doing some reading along similar lines that expressed how important human touch is too all humans but particularly babies.

  2. J.E.

    I’m glad you saw This Emotional Life, Petes. My ass is still sore form spending that much time in front of the TV. Why can’t PBS break up their programs into weekly episodes like everyone else?

    This Emotional Life was televised at a sychronistic time for Liz and I as we have been doing a lot of reading lately about adoption and particularly attachment in adoption. (Yes for those of you who don’t know, Liz and I are planning to adopt and/or foster parent in the coming months.)

    Re: Elvis and MJ. I doubt I will ever feel the kind of connection that many people have with pop stars and celebrities. Which I guess is sort of sad. Yet another part of American culture that I will only observe but not participate in. But it is troubling that not only do these celebrities represent American culture but also that being a celebrity in American culture is apparently so unhealthy for people.

  3. Ned

    Glad to hear you guys will be making this step. There is alot more information out there now about adoption than when my parents went through the process. Please keep us posted about this. I am excited.

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