Saturday, August 18, 2007

Maybe You Don't Know Jordan Knight, But I Do

As much as I slam Big Media for its endless tyranny of pop culture force-feeding, it has further developed a mastery within my repertoire of emotional survival: learning to learn from everything.

Even as a cautious consumer, I am still a consumer. As much as I hate pop culture, it is still part of my culture. I love movies, and equipped with an embarrassingly sharp memory of all things unimportant, I quote like 14 year old boys in the locker room. "These are the ABCs of me, baby!" ('Rod Tidwell,' aka Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Jerry Maguire)

I learn from everything. It's a great skill to acquire. It assures you that nothing is wasted. Nothing is wasted - from the stalkarrazi covering Paris and Lindsey to 'the Hoff' on America's Got Talent.

I (used to) love Jordan Knight, the ex, ex, ex, ex, ex, ex, ex, ex, ex, ex, ex (times 76) billboard chart champion singer from the New Kids on the Block. And though I am fully equipped - right now at 7:30 am on a Saturday morning - to argue why the New Kids were a necessary part of the late 80s, it is more about one action of Jordan Knight that I want to think about this morning.

Whether or not you crooned I'll Be Loving You Forever or Valentine Girl doesn't matter, any person born prior to 1983 will remember the undeniable success and the multi-million dollar run of five young men from Dorchester, Massachusetts. The New Kids reached unprecedented stardom and wealth back then, making their mark at the Grammy's and in the 80s history books.

As all great rollercoasters undoubtedly roll slow and eventually halt, so the New Kids. Washed Up, Has Been, Where Are They Now terms slide down their professional resumes with less credibility than Drew Carry. But Jordan Knight wasn't done.

He tried to make it on his own and, to be honest, even I wasn't really captivated by any of his efforts. But what stood out to me is his re-entry process. In trying to get back into his love of music, he faced some serious internal fears about public acceptance. He had stage fright, for crying out loud. But not just ANY fright, big fright. Intense fright. What weighed it so heavily was the previous astounding success he experienced and the yielding dip in self-confidence with trying to emerge on his own.

Jordan Knight began performing with a hat, in disguise. In small unknown places of the world, he tried to sing again and eventually overcame his personalized fears of the public and regained a sense of self.

Now, it's not like I paid the $15 dollars at the Massillon Lincoln Theater to see this guy perform last year. I remember reading about his journey back to do what he most loved: music. And conquering a private fear that most would not understand is a more awesome feat than My Favorite Girl reaching the Top Ten.

Climbing back into the ring (Rocky series term), or getting YOURSELF in position to pursue your dream somersaults you to front and center your fears of failure. Or as Nelson Mandela has taught, People are more afraid of the brightness of their lights than the fear of failure. Meaning, the actuality of ourselves is more daunting than any project. The brilliance that lays inside of us is trapped by the cloaks we keep them under. We will never be fully human, fully feminist, fully happy, or simply full without confronting our Fear. Most people willfully choose not to pursue this.

How tragic yet understandable.

Blogging anonymously is my with-hat performance. This is my corner of the world where I get to experiement and battle my fears of Saying. There is a line somewhere in Les Miserables that says something to the extent of All I have is this corner of a bench. It's a corner of a bench, but it's mine.

I own my bench and I share it with no one.

No stage lights, no background singers, no flashy dollars, just me, a dream, and 'Sudy' as my hat.

1 comment:

Hey there,
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