The Friday Morning Listen: The Who – Who Are You (1978)

Do you have something you’d like to be remembered for? Something you wrote? A song that you composed. Maybe your longtime involvement in charity?

I often wonder about this. Until I started writing, the topic never really crossed my mind. That’s mostly because I don’t have much of an ego so…I mean…how could it be possible that somebody might remember me after I’m gone? I was born, I did some stuff, and that was it. Isn’t that how most people feel?

Of course, I don’t really know. It possible that people yearn for a lasting legacy in the same way they yearn for fame and fortune, though I’d be willing to bet that most folks could stop at just the fortune part of that. Yeah, count me in there too. Fame? No thanks. But isn’t fame a part of having a legacy the endures?

Still, I guess I’d have to figure out a way to deal with the celebrity if I could be lucky enough to write something so good that it would be remembered long after I’m gone. It would be something to be proud of, as they say.

So I’m sitting around the night after the election, watching a documentary on The Who. Not long into the movie, there’s a cut to Noel Gallagher, talking about that iconic bass solo during “My Generation.” Gallagher makes a great point. Those lines form a unique piece of art. Something to be proud of.

It’s amazing, that bass solo in ‘My Generation’. If you could write that into words, that’s what you’d have on your gravestone wouldn’t it? – Noel Gallagher

And then I’m thinking about all that has gone on during the campaign: the name-calling and the deceit. It’s quite amazing that leadership must necessarily involve making stuff up about your opponent. Maybe that shows skill with tactical thinking. Yeah, that’s it. And then there’s the candidate’s “deep faith,” which must be so deep that a special dispensation is being applied to the half-truths, omisions, straight-up lies. It’s a sad way to elect a president.

Apparently, nobody is interested in behavior that will result — much like Entwistle’s solo — in a truly sublime moment. They say that these races are much more about power than anything else. It makes me want to ask those running how they feel about the whole process…and their inner drives. Are they concerned that their actions are forgettable?

I’m hoping that this realization will be made soon, so that when somebody says “American Exceptionalism,” there aren’t so many snickers and giggles from the back row.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he writes several weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.