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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bad Boys and Nice Guys

An intriguing interview with George Michael in the Guardian that includes his observations on his well-known reputation for sex, drugs, and rock and roll, so to speak:
"The handful of times a year it's bloody warm enough, I'll do it [go cruising]. I'll do it on a nice summer evening. Quite often there are campfires up there. It's a much nicer place to get some quick and honest sex than standing in a bar; E'd off your tits shouting at somebody and hoping they want the same thing as you do in bed. . . . "

Why does he like to cruise when he could get any man he wanted? He seems astonished by the question. "I do get anyone I want. But I like a bit of everything. I have friends up there, I have a laugh."

"There are things I need to resolve. . . .  it's great to know that at 46 I'm still very much a changing person. . . .  Most visible traces of self-loathing have gone. . . .  I'm surprised that I've survived my own dysfunction, really."
One thing you have to say about George:  at least he's honest.  Which is a lot more than I can say about a lot of men I've known.

And there is something to be said for living your life on your own terms, instead of being a perpetual slave to what other people think.  If you're not hurting someone else, well, it's your life to live, right?  And as long as you are willing to accept the consequences of what you do - then you're free to do whatever you want.  One of my mother's favorite sayings was, "Rules are made to be broken."  I guess that's where I get it from.

Although of course, a very wise man once said very much the same thing:  "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."  Which I take to mean, in essence, what my mother meant: 

It's good to follow the rules only so far as the rules are good for people; but following the rules is not the be-all and end-all of life.  If the rules squeeze the life out of you, or interfere unreasonably with people's right to the pursuit of happiness, well then, the rules should be ignored because they are bad rules.  That's not a license to cheat, steal, or kill, of course - just healthy, humane common sense.

So your Head Trucker, who is fiercely proud of his own independence and freedom, can appreciate and even admire George's brazenness to a certain extent.

Perhaps that's why it's the bad boys that everybody always wants, not the nice guys - and you fellas know what I'm talking about, don't you?  Perhaps at some subconscious level, people are drawn to that freedom, that self-confidence, that daring and courage to defy the rules - something not everyone possesses.  Despite what they may say, most people most of the time are pretty timid about coloring outside the lines.

Maybe the answer to this question I've debated in my mind over the years is that people are drawn to someone who has a certain quality, a reckless bravery, that they lack but wish they had.  Opposites attract, isn't that always the way?

Hell, even I can sense the slight tug of attraction there, the undertow in the vicinity of some bad boy types.  Although your Head Trucker has always had too much independence of his own and too much horse sense than to get seriously involved with someone who was seriously bad.  Middling bad has always been as much as I could stand.  Besides, I like peace and quiet when I come home at night, supper on the stove, light and warmth and security.  Not craziness.  Well, not too much, anyway.  We all get a little crazy now and then, don't we?  Grin.

I will tell you a funny story, and I mean funny-peculiar:  a while back I posted some pics in the Toolbox of a legendary porn star, the late Jon King, who was one of my favorites from way back.  While searching for pics, I came across a little bio of him, which included the fact that he once stole a Corvette, at the height of his porn fame, and spent a year in jail for that, something I'd never known.

And damned if the very next thought that popped into my groin head wasn't, Damn, he's hot.

Which is just simply and utterly stupidity.  I was really astonished at my own reaction.  And indeed, the next thought that followed that one by about half a second was, You dumb motherfucker, Jon, what a waste of your time and talent.  And the little bio noted that he never would talk much about his time in prison, which apparently was not any kind of fun at all.

But you know, lots of people never get to that second thought; and thereby hangs many a tale of woe for them and their admirers.  It's that thinking about, and weighing of, the consequences that separates the bad boys from the nice guys:  If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.  That good sense doesn't get you many dates; but at least you get to sleep in your own bed every night, which is no small blessing.

Back to George:  I'm like the interviewer, at first glance I'm truly astonished and puzzled that this breathtakingly handsome guy, world-famous rock star, filthy rich, idolized by millions, who can have any fucking man he wants just by nodding his head - why would he want to spend his free time cruising for anonymous sex in parks and toilets, and doing every kind of dope imaginable:  not a class act, but a lowlife one.  Not at all how your Head Trucker would envision living, if he had all that.  I'd still want to come home to supper on the stove, a faithful dog curled by the fire, and one good man in my bed.

But I guess that's just not what George wants, really, and who knows why; probably he doesn't really know, himself.  Well, it's not the kind of life that would ever satisfy me, but I can't judge him on all that.  Doesn't seem like he's hurting anyone but himself; and apparently, he's not hurting too bad at that, says his voice is better than ever, and he's working on a new album, moving his creativity into new, exciting directions.  Well, I hope all that works out well for him; if nothing else, he's certainly paid the price of publicity and criticism. 

And though he says it's all good now, he may well have other prices to pay down the road; I can tell you from what I see going on here in rural Texas, which is the meth lab capital of the nation, that the drug life is bad business in the long run, very bad for ordinary folks.  And a lot of people get hurt terribly by it: not only the users, but also their friends, relatives, spouses, and kids.  I think drugs really have ruined this country.  But some people seem to live a charmed life.

Truth is, I guess in the end, if we have any spirit to us at all, we all do what we want - and what we want is what we need, deep down inside somewhere.  Like the famous ending line of Some Like It Hot, which I just watched again last night:
Nobody's perfect.
Which reminds me of another great ending line:
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
That ain't me, baby.  Nor you either, I reckon.

Honk to Joe.My.God.


Marty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marty said...

Yes, I always liked George Michael, albeit less for his music than for his cheek, his brazen-ness, like for instance turning his arrest for cottaging in LA into a pop song ('Outside')! ... On another note, I'm thrilled to find out that I met another fan of one of my all-time fave films, 'Some Like It Hot'!!!

Stan said...

"Last Christmas" is one of my favorite tunes this time of year. I've always been a fan of George too. Since 1996, Michael has been a long term relationship with Kenny Goss. Goss opened the Goss Gallery in May 2005 in Dallas, which shows contemporary art, including those collected by the couple. They have homes in London and Dallas. I was wondering if they were still together?
There are reports of their relationship secretly ending in December 2008, though this has been denied by Michael.

Russ Manley said...

Yup GM is a helluva singer; I don't like everything he's recorded, but some are really great. Didn't know about Kenny's gallery in Dallas, that's interesting, maybe I'll get there one of these days to see for myself.

The Guardian interview indicates they are still together. And George is still screwing other guys every chance he gets. Guess Kenny don't mind about that.

David said...

Cowboys and Angels (1991) is one of my all time favorite songs.

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