I follow this guy’s blog called Thoughts On The Dead, because he seems to be stuck in his Nana’s basement with a computer and no ambition just like me, and of course he writes about my favorite subject. The other day he looked through his web log to see what his visitors were searching for to arrive at his blog, and he discovered the search term, ‘scabies fetishes.’ Needless to say he has in fact decided not to internet anymore. But I decided I want some of that.
You see, I am a devoted follower, and something like that isn’t going to scare me away (although if you have had scabies, it’s best to apply the lotion, incinerate your clothes and don’t tell anyone you have it). And I think my family has been hoping it would go away like poison ivy, or that rabid dog that stops by on the Fourth of July because the fireworks are scaring it, or… scabies. They encourage me in that familial way, but I know deep inside…
ME: I’m writing a book on the Grateful Dead. It’s a think piece about the Dead’s studio efforts and all the symbolism in the album cover art and the meaning of life.
MY FATHER: Oh. Good!
ME: It’s Jerry Week, baby! I want to tell you about the scabies fetish guy and discuss the transition into I Know You Rider when the Dead played the Carrier Dome in ’83. Now, baby, what’s the name of this song here?
MY WIFE: Uh, Walking along in the Mission? (Everything is Mission in the Rain to her, dear readers)
I was supposed to be writing today about some form of self-improvement strategy and the way to find salvation and true happiness in life, all the while positioning myself as an expert in the field of tantric abundance manifestation empowerment (these are all words we use in California and expect to be taken seriously—thank you Anne Lamott), because, you see, I am going to become a post-techno age Tony Robbins, complete with a compound where people will come to hear me speak and buy my Program and do yoga and shit—so I need to publish publish publish. But the only thing I could think of was that sound bite where Garcia says ‘yeah I had that green stuff, so what’s all the hassle?’
You see, as devotees, we are basically drawing from the well of our religion all the time. There may not be any shows anymore, and by the way TOTD guy in Nana’s basement, I don’t want hologram Jerry either. So we write about it, and talk about it, and listen to it and drive our families crazy with it. It rolls around our minds like those wave machines with the blue windex shit in it—back and forth, up and down, flowing in and flowing out. And there almost seems no way to make it relevant to today, but we try. I wanted to do like this whole thing about Dead shows that coincide with major historical events, and like try and get you to listen to the shows and listen for some insight. Like the show after John Lennon died, where everyone says Jerry wept during He’s Gone, but I listened and I couldn’t hear. But you weren’t there, you don’t know. I mean, how could it not be on everyone’s mind that day? I remember the state of the collective that week. Nothing else was happening. And how He’s Gone isn’t about a guy dying, but it’s about Mickey’s Dad stealing all their money and he’s not coming back. And how that song turned into a death song.
BOBBY: This goes out to Bobby Sands.
RAMROD: Uh, Weir, I don’t think he’s dead yet.
BILLY: How long can a man not eat?
BOBBY: In case you didn’t notice, this was for Steve Jobs.
HOLOGRAM JERRY: Er, grumphggchtt. Is Kahn here?
ME: You see, Dad, it’s all about the chariot of the sun, and how the Dead were like these cosmic Egyptian gods…
BOBBY: I say, my dog has no nose…
PIGPEN: How does he smell?
MY DAD: Bloomin’ awful.
And then there’s this I discovered today. John Perry Barlow, who may be one of the smartest guys on the planet, and just happened to write a bunch of Grateful Dead songs—is reminding us of what’s happening now. Toilet cameras from the NSA, because, I suppose our business is their business. I realize that this will attract a strange visitor to my site, but they’re gonna have to live with the disappointment, along with the scabies fetish people.