April 20th, 2010

it's a hard life

Puttin' in work

It's the last week of work here at Yellow Rectangular Border Publishing San Antonio; the mood is careering wildly between giddy liberation and prickly depression. Morale is not exactly sky-high, but these are good people who genuinely like working with one another, so there's a lot of comradeship as well as a healthy cynicism in the air. Thursday afternoon, I'll leave the best job I've ever had for the last time, and though I'm looking forward to freelancing full-time and taking my road trip, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a huge sense of loss.

And then Guru had to go and die, three years older than me and he's in the ground from cancer. He was never the most gifted rapper alive, but he found a partner whose style perfectly suited his laid-back, easy flow, and in their heyday they cranked out one classic after another. "Nobody's invincible, no plan is foolproof; we all must meet our moment of truth." RIP, Mr. Guru.

Then again, there's this: in Morocco, where Islamic fundamentalism has been increasingly on the rise, a decisive blow has been struck against the cowardly, lying religious fanatics who always seek to hold back progress in whatever country and whatever culture they appear. Only a few years after metal and rap performers were literally imprisoned for their taste in music, the tide has turned, and the country is organizing festivals that draw in hundreds of thousands of peaceful fans. The king himself has encouraged the growth and development of popular culture. It's nice to be reminded every now and again that the forces of repression and regression don't always win, and you gotta love that kid in the Venom t-shirt.