“And all the instruments agree, the day of his death was a dark, cold day…”

A tough thing for an atheist to handle is death. I think about this often, most likely when it’s a celebrity I’ve never met–the arm’s length sorrow allows more room for thought than the full-blown kind.

What, then, is an atheist with zero supernatural leanings to make of this? One day after the death notice of visionary hip-hip artist, musician, activist, filmmaker, father and husband Adam “MCA” Yauch’ and I find myself doing the dishes.

Not great universal harmonics there (unless you ask my wife–but honestly, if they smell that bad why can’t she do them?). As usual, I clicked my iPod into the player and put every song on shuffle. I like doing this because it allows me to readdress songs I have dismissed upon first listen: I’m a captive audience, unless I mind dripping soapy water all over my device simply to hit “skip”.

So there I was, washing away, congratulating myself on hearing Al Green after LCD Soundsystem after Jenny Lewis when I hear this:

Again, nothing terribly unusual. I have the latest Beastie Boys album, along with some choice selections from their 90’s output. Still, I hadn’t over listened to this track like I had with “Here’s a Little Somthing’ For Ya” or “Too Many Rappers” or “Crazy Ass Shit”. And I remembered that I had liked this current track, “B-boys in the Cut”, thought it was a fine album closer after a rock-solid effort. But I’d forgotten the damn thing and, like Christmas for forgetful music fans, I got to enjoy a brand new track from the Beastie Boys!

The song ends and then my iPod (with the timing of a stand-up therapist) selects this:

I don’t have answer for this: I am loathe to call out any “divine” touch, but if this is the kind of help I can expect from an Apple device without Siri, then I don’t want my phone any smarter.

But If I have to take advice from either source, I choose Ad-Rock’s words: “You can sleep tonight, it’s OK\B-boys in the cut and we’re here to stay.”

Amen.

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