Monday, May 7, 2012

Suburbs of Our Discontent

After our dinner party on Friday night, I got on my computer and found out that Adam Yauch (aka MCA) of The Beastie Boys had died. This set the tone for the rest of the weekend: bittersweet nostalgia. Punctuating the everyday stuff of parental weekends (soccer tryouts! birthday party! Starbucks!) were memories of listening to the "hot new album" by the Beasties at Record World in Georgetown, where I worked my senior year in high school. This led to memories of going to see the Beasties in concert later that year, and hanging out with Mr. Yauch after the concert. This, my friends, was a high school girl's dream come true. But now, I'm fusing past and present and, well, the WAY past in John Donne's defiantly awesome sonnet "Death Be Not Proud":

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

 In other words: Screw you, untimely Death. Adam is alive and well in eulogies and tributes and in many hearts. In this newfangled age of social media, Donne's message ("Death, you one lame mofo") has just that much more ka-pow.

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