Recently, at Heathrow airport, I came across a man who I can only describe as looking like a 'guru', surrounded by a small group of people, all staring and listening to him. Even though I had no idea who he was or what he was saying, I felt immediately humbled in his presence, and somehow honoured to be nearby.
There's few people I've met, or even seen, who make me feel that way.
Maybe our generation just lacks respect.
One humbling man I met recently was a Greek Orthodox priest at an acquaintance's engagement party. We talked for a while about the priesthood, the breakdown of community and family values, religious traditions; baptism, last rites etc. And it was really pleasant. I didn't even feel that uneasy when we got on to the subject of hellfire and eternal damnation.
The point at which he started to lose me, was when he informed me that before the fall, Adam and Eve could walk through walls. I was pretty speechless. Apparently, like angels, they were celestial and fleshless, in a state of neither corruption nor incorruption.
Hmmmmmm. I didn't really feel qualified enough to respond.
But as I walked back to the buffet table, I realised that whatever my opinions were, I'd just met a member of a dying breed. Someone with faith in ideas bigger than either of us could really understand. And that left me pretty enamored...regardless of whether God had built walls in the garden of Eden for man and woman to walk through (or not).
I remember that back in '06 I was (un)lucky enough to be at the World Music Awards to witness Michael Jackson's last 'performance' on UK soil. It looked a little something like this.
Having been hyped in advance as the big comeback special, with rumours of a greatest hits set, one off collaborations, return to his dancing peak (etcetera etcetera), this was an incident SO far off the chart of sad and absurd, I simply didn't (and still don't) have a response.
It just left me blank and confused.
Maybe he had faith in ideas nobody could understand as well.
And I'm not just talking about 3T.
The only other thing I remember about that night was Chris Brown's run through the Thriller dance routine. Looking back, I'm surprised it wasn't 'Beat It'.
Bear with me...this blog was going somewhere other than that PUNCH line.
I'm sorry, that pun wasn't even intended. Although I guess if that were really true, it wouldn't be in caps lock.
There's nothing in the world I'm more excited about than 'Phrazes for the Young':
Outside of Heathrow gurus, orthodox priests and MJ himself, this is the man who silences me, each and every time.
I don't even have any idea what 'phrazes' are but I don't give a shit...even if you gave me the choice between one more series of the Crystal Maze and this record, my hands would still be tied. Tied to hope.
Seriously, if this album's not a 9/10, I don't even know what I'm going to do with my life.
I mean that.
"Take all your fears, pretend they're all true.
Take all your plans, pretend they fell through.
That's what it's like, that's what it's like...for most people in this world."
- Julian Casblancas, 2009