Do you remember where you were when you heard that R.E.M. broke up? I was right here, at my desk, panning through my Twitter feed for news nuggets, when someone tweeted something like, "Wow. REM sure is taking this new Facebook thing hard." Which made me think, "Um, what now?" And I had to sift backward through the timeline to find the original news that Buck, Mills, Stipe, and Whoever Plays Drums Now had hung 'em up. This is the nature of news dissemination now. Too often, we get the commentary before we even get the news.
Today, I am digesting the demise of R.E.M. by wearing my "Green" tour t-shirt, which I sincerely hope is the oldest garment I own. I wasn't surprised to see them finally pull the plug, because they've seemed mostly rudderless since Bill Berry's brain blew up and he decided he'd rather spend his days hauling things around his farm. The band still means a helluva lot to me, though, since its rise corresponded almost directly with my college years, starting when my first-year roommate (Hello, Diddly!) used Murmur to slap me out of my Billy Joel obsession, right up until fourth year, when my friend Kermit let me work stage security at an R.E.M. show, and Peter Buck almost stepped on my hand. So for those keeping track of my life's accomplishments, you can add "Nearly maimed by Guitar Magazine's Guitarist of the Year 1985 and 1987." *
* Plausibly. Dude got a LOT of superlative press in the 80s.
I'll also always remember where I was when I learned that fatherhood is turning me into Cinderella. Or at least, that seems to be the over-reaction from fathers who were distressed to learn that their testosterone levels might be dropping. The study is chock-full of flaws, but its headlines make great clickfodder. And despite all that, I hope a lot of it is true, anyway. I wrote a piece about it on Babble Voices here.
And since my plans for Sunday include 1) watching football and 2) sewing badges on my kids' new Cub Scout uniforms, it's quite possible that my testosterone is going to have a stroke.
Then there was the piece I read in Huffington Post's Divorce section, about women who cave into pressures and walk down the aisle toward the man they know is Mr. Wrong. I sent it to my ex-wife, and she wrote this, which I characterized as the Bull Durham of posts: it knocks you down, but then it helps you up and buys you a beer afterward.
And men: Did you know that Bull Durham is a chick flick? If you don't tell your testicles, I won't tell mine.