Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Through the Wire

I'm a big music fan; it's vital to my mental wellness, my creativity.  I've been a music reviewer for a large website.  My tastes are varied - my favourite playlist may switch from Paul Robeson to Frank Sinatra to Die Antwoord and then Stompin' Tom.  Tori and Bowie are my heroes and I flew (Holly knows that flying is not something I embrace eagerly) to Montreal a few years ago for a Tori Amos concert.  I'm still kicking myself that I didn't join my friend, John, on a trip to see Bowie in Moncton so many years ago.

It's hard to believe it's been about ten years since I was first introduced to the music of Kanye West.  I saw a story on him and the terrible car accident he was in which led to the hit, Through the Wire.  I hadn't heard of him before that, so I bought the song, eagerly looking forward to that moment when you "discover" something great, a musician that makes you go wow.

I cued the song in iTunes after it downloaded and pumped up the volume and I still remember my reaction.

Hmm.  Okay.  Well, that was whiney.

I didn't play it much more after that and I missed the 99 cents I'd shelled out.

Kanye drifted out of any remaining consciousness, but I'd hear more about his passion and his Taylor Swift interrupting rants and would continue to give him a chance - yup, more iTunes purchases followed by more meh.  I saw him on the Commons in Halifax in 2006 in the rain.  Hey, his jaw was wired for that first experience, he deserved another chance, right?

Hell no.

There are times in your life when you need to stop giving chances and face the reality that the situation isn't going to improve.  That's what is happening living in Saint John - and I'm not alone.

This Sunday past, a young man in a wheelchair took a trip to the North End McDonalds for some treats for he and his family.  Leaving the franchise's Main Street location he overturned his wheelchair in an intersection and had to drag himself and his means of transportation off the road before the light changed, his food spilled all over the street.

What's awesome is that two ladies got out of their car to offer assistance and to make certain he was okay to get home.  It seems they may have even looked after the ruined food.  I learned about this in a heartfelt Kijiji post Cody placed to thank the women.

I do hope these two Samaritans know just how huge it was that they made a horrible situation better.

CBC picked up the story and in a subsequent interview I learned Cody and his family returned to Saint John after living in a city in Ontario where they actually realized the streets and sidewalks do not have to be like this - other cities manage to keep their citizens safe.  In fact they are questioning the ability to remain here and experience any quality of life.

Well, I learned via many experiences, including Kanye West, that there comes a time to cut your losses and move on.  I wish I could say there was hope that the conditions in this city will improve, but I don't see it.

I have learned that my experiences with Saint John have been echoed over and over by others spanning many years.

I hope and wish I will be proven incorrect, but I'm doubtful.  The constant automotive and pedestrian conditions back me up.  That doesn't mean I'll ever stop trying to make the most of any situation I'm in though.

Now, let me leave you with some lines from Kanye, so that you can compare the differences in character between he and Cody, the 20 year old that has gone through 74 surgeries with his condition and still remained as positive and grateful as he has:

When the doctor told me I had a um.. I was going to have a plate on my chin,
I said dawg don't you realize I'll never make it on the plane now,
It's bad enough I got all this jewelry on,
Can't be serious man.