Friday, May 24, 2024

We Fri Harder.



It's Friday.

As in "Thank george it's Friday."

Not too many minutes ago, I was wandering lonely as a cloud, taking a walk along the waters of the Long Island Sound, during a sunny rainy day in my little Gingham Coast town just two-hours or four (depending on traffic) north of Manhattan.

I had a post written for tomorrow, but then this song, by Thelonious Monk came into my head, "Brilliant Corners." Actually, the song didn't come into my head at all. The first ten bars or so did. And they made all the difference.

I stopped the music after those ten bars and wrote this post.

In fact, I order you to stop what you're doing now and listen to those bars. Listen to Brilliant Corners. 

It's important to.


Because everything Monk does in this piece is wrong. I'm not going all Julliard-y on you. Just listen. Everything is:

A mistake.





Done in error.


And perfect.

We live in a world and work in a profession and work for putative MBAs and group creative heads who strive for a ridiculous conceit of perfection and precision in a world where there is none. 

They think there's a perfect grin shot, a perfect pharmaceutical dance move, a perfect pizza cheese-pull. There's a perfect ping accompanying a logo. The perfect sixteen lines of legal copy for their auto-lease ad. There's perfect 26-seconds of shouting at you during a :30.

There's a perfect deck. A perfect 728x90 banner ad. The perfect IG post and about 29-thousand other contrivances of purported perfection, that really do nothing but perfectly fuck-up your sense of self.

Dashiell Hammett said it like this, of his great character Flitcraft, in "The Maltese Falcon." (The only part of the novel that didn't make it into John Huston's movie version.)

The life he knew was a clean orderly sane responsible affair. Now a falling beam had shown him that life was fundamentally none of these things. He, the good citizen-husband-father, could be wiped out between office and restaurant by the accident of a falling beam. He knew then that men died at haphazard like that, and lived only while blind chance spared them. It was not, primarily, the injustice of it that disturbed him: he accepted that after the first shock. What disturbed him was the discovery that in sensibly ordering his affairs he had got out of step, and not into step, with life.

I'm afraid we've all got out of step, and not into step, with life. 

That's what perfection has done to us.

The Navaho, I'm told, put a weaving error in every blanket they made. Because only their gods are perfect.

But we are souls ruled by hubris. And perfectionism is the reverberation from our own crushing echo-chambers. 

Like I said 300 words ago.

It's Friday.

Listen to Brilliant Corners above. Listen twice maybe.

Then close your laptop. Take a walk around the block. And have a perfectly wonderful imperfect weekend.

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