Today’s post betrays the depth of my neuroses for this site and its content. At about 11:30 p.m. Friday night, I came across this story (the link was posted on a board I visit; I wasn’t perusing Fox News dot com video’s of Kelly’s Court). Three and a half hours later, after having fallen into an interwebs Youtube death spiral of Real Life Super Heroes (RLSH), which included such places as here and here and here and here and here, I had recorded a Super Hero Anthem for the hero who was the focus of the Fox News video above, Phoenix Jones; Facebook friended him AND his wife, Purple Reign, of course; and started a SECOND Super Hero anthem. Apparently, having gone an entire year of rap news blogging without having written even a single Super Hero anthem, I felt like I owed you all two, I suppose. (There hadn’t really been any complaints as far as I know though. Ugggh, what was I thinking? I’m getting the sleepless shakes just thinking about it.) So at 3:00 a.m., needing to wake at 7:00 a.m. for my boy’s football game and for my daughters’ YMCA soccer game at 11:00 a.m., I was literally trying to fist punch my own face for my stupidity and abject exhaustion. Why was I awake? This was not normal. And, worse, my first draft of an anthem was borderline unlistenable.
But, maybe that’s why the RLSH characters stopped me so cold; I relate to their existential and breathtakingly absurd passion. (Wait, I think that’s either ironic or an oxymoron to claim to be able to relate to someone else’s existential experience.) I suppose what I mean to say is that I understand desperation for something no one else can admire or even hardly acknowledge.
That’s why the advent and proliferation of the modern documentary strikes such a chord with me. The best documentaries tend to be defined by a common element — an individual or group sold out to an idea or activity to the point of the unflappably absurd. (There are currently numerous on the phenomenon of the real life super heroes and other related sub genres.)
After reading of Phoenix Jones’ Arrest I suppose I was struck with the same sense of half pity, half derision others have been. It’s a fairly easy response. But, then I saw a man gripped by just a more pronounced manifestation of what we all crave: the chance to be something super.
We have modern heroes. First responders at 9/11. Nurses at New Orleans hospitals during Katrina. Our military abroad and at home. Moms and Dads.
But, for most of us, it feels like we’re just living another life. In another city. In another crowd. On another day. At another job. Or another lost job. We’re less than what we hoped as kids to be and can’t seem to recalibrate the dream to something more realistic now. In the words of fake Joaquin Phoenix, “What’s your f$#%ing bit??!” (Did you know he is the brother of River Phoenix?? Who knew?) What have you risked for greatness? Don’t laugh at someone else’s spectacular failure, when you’re just playing it safe. At least for a moment, if only in humiliation, they were spectacular.
So, I wanted to put that sentiment in song and write him something to ride into battle to. Plus, Phoenix Jones has a two-toned high top fade straight out of my junior year in highschool. Wears a bullet-proof, black and gold armored suit, sometimes accessorized with Fedora and cape. Fights MMA. Carries pepper spray. And, is from Seattle, the home of my current favorite emcee, Macklemore. And, he just seems like an all around nice dude. I had to write him a Rain City Superhero Movement Anthem. Had to. Of course, there was other important and more “real” news in the world. The free trade agreement and the franchising of Occupy Wall Street to cities across the globe. But, sometimes the most real thing we can be is something absurd. A friend recently reminded me that sincerity is the death of art.
So here it is, the World Premiere. It’s all for you. God bless Phoenix Jones.
Performed by ipoet. Music produced by pumpkinFoot (heeeeeee’s baaack).Super: The Rain City Anthem