the best you can is good enough.


after twenty-five years of existence, i finally got to see radiohead last night. it all started when i browsed craigslist and found some girl named shanna who was looking for someone to go with. originally, i foolishly thought it meant that she was giving the ticket away for free, but then i realized my presumption was incorrect only the night before the actual show. still, at $60 for a general admission pit ticket, it was a good deal. i didn't have to feel like ticketmaster was screwing me, and my money wasn't going to any stupid corporation. i hope she spends the $60 on food or something relevant.

so, at this point in life, after spending a whole year at home doing nothing, all cautionary rules go out the window. i will meet craigslist strangers, and i will allow them to take me somewhere, anywhere, to do anything. and anyway, when would i get to see radiohead again? probably never, especially since i've rarely liked anything after ok computer. shanna picked me up after work, and she drove us to the white river ampitheatre in auburn. it was a long drive, and we hit traffic. we missed the opening band, the liars.

i bought a $7 plate of nasty nachos with beef, sour cream, and salsa. you're not really at an event until you get overcharged for something you really don't want, but are forced to get anyway because you are so damn hungry. i gobbled up my crappy nachos, while shanna took small bites from her fry bread. she threw the rest away. we looked at the merchandise afterward. all the radiohead shirts were supposedly made from recycled plastic bottles found in landfills. even if the shirts help the environment, i still wouldn't pay $40 for one. i couldn't help but remember how members of godspeed you black emperor! responded when asked to tour with radiohead a few years back. they flat out refused, then added: "radiohead are a bunch of hypocrites, and a bunch of liars."

i sense the frustration. you can't really be the biggest band in the world, and still expect to live out the anti-consumerist/eco-friendly lifestyle. at one point, right before playing "you and whose army?" thom yorke said, "the best thing i like about seattle...is what happened at the wto. a corrupt and malignant organization. and they still are. this goes out to all the people in seattle who were there during those days." better moments were seeing them perform "lucky," "climbing up the walls," "street spirit (fade out)," and "no surprises." yeah, i'm the prodigal radiohead fan. i was into other musical whores when they were putting out amnesiac and hail to the thief.

but i have a newfound respect for the material i neglected. at one point, i realized, while i gave up on this band, they were still having a damn good time and doing their own thing. they were putting out records other people - not me - were enjoying. johnny greenwood even stared straight out into the audience while playing a song, and i could swear he was thinking, look what i get to do. you're miserable. you have to get up at 6 in the morning to catch the bus while i play in the greatest fucking rock band there ever was.

and i have to admit, i was pretty miserable. not just because of the lack of material from the bends and ok, and not just because my back hurt from standing from so long. and it wasn't the assholes that charged to the front of the stage when they heard something recognizable like "idioteque " or "there there." i think i was just plain old sick of living in a world where i can't be appreciated for anything creative that i try to do. i watched the guitar techs tune the guitars before the show, fiddling with the effects pedals, and i could only think, how miserable this must be for them. here they are, musicians themselves, and they've got a whole fucking sold out stadium in front of them. and they can't do anything. they just tune the guitars and walk off stage. back to being ordinary, ignored, and forgotten.

the worst shit actually happened after the show. i figured it would take us about half an hour to get out of the parking lot, and back onto the freeway. no. not at all. it took us two and a half fucking hours just before we reached the freeway. the assholes who created the white river ampitheatre apparently gave no consideration at all to people trying to exit the place. it was as though they had decided to create a giant stadium that would host world-famous bands, but they thought no one would ever come. so, they decided not to create actual parking spaces (the whole parking lot is just a flat, rocky road), and not build any other roads that would serve as exits. one fucking road for 50,000 people. i got home at 3 a.m., then had to catch the morning bus to work four hours later. fuck you, auburn. fuck you, white river ampitheatre.

there was a radiohead shirt for sale for $40, and it contained a lyric from the song, "15 step." it read: you used to be alright/what happened to you?

i looked at the shirt for a long time.

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