In his article “It Happened One Day in the Garden” Michael Gallileo concludes that the apple of Eden was meat. He considers the possibility that when the formerly vegetarian humanoid apes ate meat consciousness started to evolve, which he associates with choice, as a liberation from the more basic instincts. Something rang very true to me about this, so I took it from there. This something, however, had to do less with genetics and more with the psychological impact the combination of choice and death may have on consciousness. Choosing to kill may be very different from killing on instinct.
When I first cleaned up I chose not to eat meat. It was an extra buffer of isolation that kept me away from booze, drugs and too much fun. The Smiths had an album called “Meat is Murder.” Before getting clean I was a carnivore. Before listening to The Smiths I told people there was nothing wrong with me.
My weapon of choice was my parents’ liquor cabinet when I was very, very young and my victim was this overwhelming electricity contact with other people seemed to cause. Other people became characters, communication became distance, growing up in a small Jersey town became an apple tree, from which some of us fell.
Ole Koretsky, a good friend who kept choosing (intoxicatingly sweet) apples with me and fell from the tree back in the day has started a band called Jetlag with one of our childhood rock heroes, none other than the bassist of The Smiths, Andy Rourke… Many of us from those days reunited in the so-called Big Apple last weekend, at Mercury Lounge, to see Jetlag play out for the first time.
I almost didn’t go because in the last six years I’ve been in the habit of avoiding choice. I work at night, and I had been missing sleep, it was already late… As I was about to turn in, an electric charge woke me up and I was out the door, in the rain, with no umbrella and no time to go back for it. I couldn’t believe I had considered not going.
When Ole Koretsky took the stage, I knew he had done the impossible. He had taken a fantasy from our teenage imaginations decades ago and made it real. He proceeded to provide heart-felt vocals and display songwriting skills that lived up to his association with our bass-hero, Andy Rourke.
“I’m the most American member and that feels strange,” he told when I asked him to introduce the rest of the band. “Joe Hertenstein is the German drummer, he also plays with Nublu Orchestra, he knows a lot about jazz. Rob Ritchie is from Nova Scotia. Keeping it international.” Ole is in charge of vocals, guitar and samples.
So let’s get back to the humanoid apes in the pre-missing link days… Just like the apes in 2001 Space Odyssey, only vegetarian. Our teeth are weaker than the other apes (I read that in National Geographic), we are starving, staring at the bones of those who have met the fate we ourselves are about to meet, and someone sees a snake. We recognize the shape and our instinct to flee kicks in. Someone sticks around to find out that the snake is only interested in eating a mouse, and watches how it suffocates one.
The snake leaves, and our Eve does to another mouse what the snake did to the first one. Before she eats it she sees the death around her as an extension of her body wearing down and regenerating – things bumping into each other, nails breaking, rocks falling, corpses and soil and new life. She sees the world as things reacting to one another, disappearing and then appearing again.
Once she bites into the mouse she notices, perhaps, the strange phenomenon of her always remaining. Maybe she realizes that although she can witness the complete death she has caused, she will never know it when it comes to her own. She will simply not be there to see it. She, like the mouse, will be gone. Her realization of mortality has made her immortal. Then, a whole lot of impossible things happen:
Despite their bad teeth humans train wolves to protect them, take over the world, build a new world on top of the old one, create idols, make them real, and become friends with them.
Perhaps a snake saw what Eve was doing and killed her. Maybe the moment before she died stretched on forever for her since she could never witness her end, and she dreamed up the world we live in, including everything in my memoir, New Wave and the Art of Heroin Maintenance, as well as Jetlag, Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce, Johnny Marr and even Morrissey, and you, dear reader… Assuming that you are still reading, of course.
Where do we go from here? Michael Galileo suggested to me that we as intelligence may end up inside technology.
The way I see it, as we die and leap into impossibility faster and faster, as computers within computers, aps within aps in our heads, it might dawn on us that we can just let go and do the unimaginable, take a deep breath and finally die completely, getting right back in sync with the Universe… Though perhaps we would still occasionally visit life as we knew it, this time as pure entertainment. Like a movie.
Check back often, some reviews are coming up!
Jetlag is (in the order of the thumbnails below): Andy Rourke on bass, Rob Ritchie on guitar, Ole Koretsky on vocals, guitar, and samples, and Joe Hertenstein on drums. Visit Jetlag on Facebook!
New Wave Links of Awesomeness: