Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Those Little Addictions
I can hear the voice of Robert Palmer in my head, "Might as well face it, you're addicted..."
I'm hoping my readers can relate to what I'll be talking about here; surely I'm not the only one who suffers from such an affliction occasionally. You know how it is: Every now and then you have a pretty intense erotic/romantic "encounter" with a person, or a character, or a celebrity figure, so intense that you can't help but focus for awhile on that person. Inordinately much. It's not to the stalker level of course, just to the level that you feel a bit weird about it.
The internet is a blessing and a curse when it comes to these little addictions. Back in the old days, when I fixated on somebody I could only slake my thirst to know more about them by making a trip to the library and digging into old magazines and microfilm. That was just too darn inconvenient to do every day. But now you can treasure-hunt for tidbits on the web in the comfort of your home, making it possible to feed (and therefore encourage) your mini-obsession so much more easily.
You know what I mean, right? You start with Google, or maybe Google Images comes first. You might uncover a fan site about the person--jackpot! Otherwise you'll undoubtedly unearth some photos, articles, interviews, etc. After exhausting those resources you may try using Limewire or some similar source to look for audio or video materials. Or you'll check Amazon for related books you could buy, or eBay for deals on autographed photos or packets of old clippings. You may even try out some of the blog search engines, hoping to find other people fixated on the same person/character. Or maybe you'll check fan fiction sites to see if anyone is writing stories about your idol.
Depending upon how famous this individual is, you could be finding treasures for weeks, or run out of material in less than a day. But even if it's the latter, if you've got it bad enough you'll keep thinking perhaps something new has cropped up, or a different search engine will be able to find something you missed, or something very cool related to the person will be up on eBay for purchase.
The more you keep looking, the weirder you feel about doing it. But here's what keeps you motivated to try: Every now and then you will find something that's just really awesome. Maybe a particularly excellent photo. Or an interview that includes a really meaningful quote. Or some commentary from another fan that just nails exactly how you feel.
Or a new song.
So, here's my particular problem. Regular Erotica with Soul readers know about my recent bout of regard for Les Stroud, also known as "Survivorman" on the Discovery Channel show of that name. I love the show and have all kinds of admiration for what Les is able to do, combining his survival skills with some excellent filmmaking ability. To top that off, I found out Les is also a musician.
So hang on, this gets even worse. I corresponded with Les's office to order a copy of his music CD and sent them a link to my blog tribute to the man. His extremely kind assistant Wendy shared the tribute with Les and in response, he said he'd be sending me a surprise. Now I've found it never pays to count on promises from celebrities, as they are very busy people. So when my package arrived from Canada, I tried to keep my hopes from getting up. I opened the envelope and found that Les had sent me the new Survivorman Season 1 on DVD, as well as his documentary "Snowshoes and Solitude" on VHS. Not to be materialistic about this, but the retail value of these gifts with shipping was $72 U.S. My point is, these were very nice presents, and just about the nicest things he could have sent a person obsessed with Survivorman.
So now I'm dealing with a guy who really sends me, is a musician, and is incredibly nice and generous. He's not making it easy for me. And to top it all off, I listened to the CD and it instantly became one of my favorites ever. Just so happens I really like Les's voice, how he plays acoustic guitar and harmonica, and his style of folksy/bluesy music writing. His expertise is supposed to be wilderness survival and filmmaking. Then he goes and sings like an angel on top of it. Blorg.
So, here's me last night, frustrated as heck that the man has only one CD out (there's another coming soon, thank God). And like the obsessed weirdo that Les Stroud has made me--okay, it's not really his fault--I'm convinced the Internet has not yet coughed up all its material on the subject. I am haunted by this thought as I work on writing my latest story, till finally I can't stand it anymore and start Googling.
And I found a new song! A new song, in its entirety in high quality streaming audio! And in the process, find out Les also plays fabulous electric guitar (saints preserve us) and can write incredible rock music. The Lord be praised! This song is just as good as my favorites on the CD. What a happy night.
But woe for me, I have now been encouraged in my maniacal cyber-treasure-hunting. This cannot bode well for my hopes of behaving more sanely.
What are you gonna do though? This guy just brings me so much joy, it's hard to corral your mind into playing the latest Top 40 hits in your head when you also have the option of letting Les Stroud's "Clouds" run in there in all its inspiring glory. I think it's making me a nicer, more positive person. I feel like kissing my husband more, cuddling my cat, donating to charity, forgiving co-workers for screwing up, etc. Is this a bad thing?
Call me crazy, call me obsessed, but a girl could do worse than a little addiction to a nice celebrity, I guess.