Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.

January 19, 2009

Really now? What happened to rain, Smokey Bear? I am fairly confident there are firefighters who prevent forest fires. I am not a firefighter. I’ve been lied to my whole life. I even met the bear once and he told me, before even introducing himself, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” I felt empowered, like I had a responsibility to my fellow living creatures to protect them. I also experienced a great amount of stress because most of the day I was busy at school, watching television, or listening to Hanson and was left with little time to scour the forests of Appalachia for fire hazards.


I felt as if I was being negligent towards my job, until I completely forgot about it when Biggie died. He was my favorite. Everyday after school, before our mother got home, my brother and I would watch MTV. Biggie would almost always be in the top 10 music videos, along with N’sync and the Backstreet Boys, but we braved through their songs just to get to Notorious B.I.G.  I loved the fact that Biggie and I shared a common interest, super nintendo. This was revealed to me in the infamous composition known as Juicy. 

I never really knew why it was called “Juicy”, or why he was shot, but I did know one thing, I was in kindergarten and I should not be listening to him. I didn’t really care though, as long as Antonio was doing it I knew it was cool. I would like to add that that was not a constant, I never approved of the spiky hair or the scarface posters. As time went on, I strayed away from hip hop, soccer, and eventually Super Nintendo. I was left with nothing of interest, so I made pretend I was smart and cared about everything in the world. This only later led me to being a middle school “gangster”/ nerd, and thankfully an eventual lover of all things reggae.

Middle school was a confusing time for me. I really didn’t know what to do, how to do it, or even to ask why we do anything. So in 6th grade, 50 cent reigned supreme. I also threw in a bit of Trick Daddy and eventually Kanye’s early stuff. This was a horrible time. A time before I knew the beauty of the sweet rhythms of Bob Marley & the Wailers. A time where I realized I had a mind, but didn’t know how to use it. Which explains a lot about my taste in music.

By eighth grade I totally gave up on music and was convinced that after puberty there is nothing to live for, so I did my homework and thought I would be an engineer. At some point I realized that I hadn’t the slightest idea how to do any sort of math and that being an engineer required that heavily, so I gave up that aspiration and went to high school.

My eighth grade class contained exactly eleven students. My freshman class had over two hundred. I didn’t really know what to do. The only exposure I had to a large school was on television, and they always talked about bullies but I didn’t really need to worry about those. I was one of five family members in the school, we were known for our ruthlessness when it came to raising hell. I was confused as to my roll in the scheme of things, I realized that my next year there would only be three of us left, and the year after that there would only be two of us. Who is to cause the trouble then? This is what I had to look forward to, and what I am living now. I don’t cause trouble in the sense that they did. They took swings at the head of the mighty Falcon while I nip at its ankles. They sped into the parking lot blasting rap, the stage I luckily already went through, now I speed in blasting David Bowie. 

At some point during my first year of education surrounded by only males, I rediscovered Bob Marley & The Wailers. I say rediscover because when I was young we listened to him in the car all of the time. For a year straight it was all I listened to. My sophomore year Antonio moved to Rochester, NY to attend RIT and got a job at a local night club that displays the finest of House DJ’s. He was initially turned off by the strange (not rap) music, but later took a liking to it and pushed it into my repertoire of music. 

They say ignorance is bliss, but I was miserable with myself. Oh, how I hated that music. “There are no instruments! Only computers!” The more I listened, the more I liked. From then on I’ve been piling on genre after genre to my cache of music. Since then I’ve taken a liking to everything from Pop Funk to Acid Folk. I no longer am blatantly ignorant toward everything, I am only critical of it. I also have stepped down from my position as head forest-firefighter, I felt that since I hadn’t worked a day in the last twelve years I should let some other kid have the job.

Now, I’ll listen to David Bowie. Adieu.


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