Sunday, March 30, 2008

I bid you welcome...


Did everyone read the interview with Mick Jagger in today's Parade? It was COOL.

You know that old question, "Beatles or Stones?" While I loved the Beatles, it was always the Stones for me. They were just edgier, and "Sympathy for the Devil" remains one of my all-time favorite songs. It still gives me chills.

It was a great interview with Mick. A couple of things struck me:

On Music and Memory

"It reminds you of a moment. Music does that to people. It doesn’t have to be that old either. It can be something that happened two weeks ago. You hear a song in a certain situation, and that music has that ability, like a smell almost has that ability to take you to a certain place."

That is so true! We were talking about that at work the other day, how when you hear a certain song, or smell a certain aroma, it can trigger an utterly vivid flashback to a different time and place.

On His Physique

"It’s not quite nil [his body fat]; it’s under the percentage it’s supposed to be, whatever that is. But I have to eat an awful lot. People say, 'You’re not eating,' and I eat so much. I say, 'I just ate twice as much as you did. I watched you.'"

Look at this guy--still skinny as a rail, at 65 years old. His energy level is phenomenal. Shane and I saw them back in...I guess it would have been '91 or so...and even at 50-something, we were amazed at his energy, running around the stage like the crazy man he is.

It made me think of how cool it would be to hang out with Mick. (I heard a story once, and I don't know if it's true or not, but supposedly some girl got to go backstage, and when she met Mick, she was so excited she peed her pants. Isn't that awful?! I'd like to think I have better control of my bladder than that.) This in turn made me think of that other old question, about who you'd invite to your dinner party. I know it's as old as dirt, but it's still fun to think about once in a while. For the purposes of this entry, I'm going to make it 6 people, living or dead, so with me and Ken, we'd have a nice smallish gathering of 8. So here's Beth's Dinner Party list, which changes continuously:


I would want to try to assemble a group that would get along well--isn't that part of a hostess's job?--and would find many interesting topics of discussion. While I would also be curious about the pathologies of people like Hitler or Vlad Tepes (AKA Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula), the goal would be to have a pleasant evening with many enjoyable discussions. Hitler and Vlad would definitely bring the party down.

We'll start off with Mick Jagger. His longevity as a performer has made a believer out of those who mistakenly assumed that he was nothing more than a stupid rock singer. Many years ago, I watched an interview with Mick by Tom Snyder, and I was struck by Jagger's intelligence and humor. While I'm sure he'd have plenty of interesting stories about the wild days of the sixties and life on the road, I'd be more interested in hearing about his current interests. Is he into art? Politics? Is he excited about the new James Bond movie? 


Jesus Christ is an almost universal choice for this question, but I would have some different questions for him. I wouldn't ask, "What did you mean when you said..." or "Was that part real or allegorical?" I'dwant toknow his take on what people do in his name, the current crop of "prosperity evangelists," and whether or not people have understood his message. I suspect I'd be in for an earful.

Given the current excitement in the political world, I'd have to choose Barack Obama. While I wouldn't want to dwell on politics--no major campaigning at my dinner party!--I'd like to hear about his time in Indonesia, and growing up in Hawaii. If we could speak frankly, and since we're all among friends I believe we could, I'd like to hear his thoughts on having a black father and a white mother. It sounds like he wasn't a deprived child, but that had to be a struggle to deal with at times.

In the same political vein, I'd like to invite Condoleezza Rice. Not only is she a brilliant woman, I'm sure she'd have many fascinating anecdotes about working in the White House and about her travels around the world. She got her Master's at Notre Dame, so we could talk Notre Dame football. After dinner, she might be kind enough to treat us all to a piano concert.

I'd love to have Stephen King be one of our guests. He's got such a warped sense of humor, and it would be fun to talk about all the great sci fi books and horror movies that everyone loves. I bet we could have a 15-minute discussion about "Psycho" alone!


Finally, I'd invite Tiger Woods. He is one of the greatest athletes of all time, and I'd love to get some insight into his competitive streak. What exactly is it that drives him? Since I'm very much a beginner when it comes to golf, maybe he could give me a few tips and advice for someone just starting out.

I think it would be quite an intriguing bunch. There are so many others that I think would make wonderful dining companions, and this is a list that changes frequently, depending on my mood, my whims, and what I'm currently reading about. I know it's silly, but it's fun to think about, and it's even more fun to think about some of the conversation.

Mick: Jesus, would you pass the salt, mate? Thank you.

Jesus: You're welcome. You know, I totally get where you were coming from with "Sympathy for the Devil." Too many holier-than-thou types thought it was a glorification of Lucifer--he was an okay guy until his ambition got the better of him, by the way--but I know it was pointing out his evil side. What a shame that some just don't bother to really listen to the lyrics. Great percussion on that song, too.

Steve: Yeah, I've gotten a lot of the same crap about my novels. Don't those people [rolls his eyes to much laughter at the table] get that it's the classic struggle between Good and Evil? And in my books, Good always wins.

Tiger: Yeah, me too. [much laughter]

Beth: You da man, Tiger!

Jesus: Actually, I'm the man. [laughter]

Beth: Excuse me, does anyone need more wine?

Jesus: I've got you covered! [laughter]

Barack: Seriously, though, how did you deal with the persecution? It had to be hard growing up in that atmosphere. Condi knows what I'm talking about. She's seen it first hand.

Condi: Unfortunately, yes. I'll never forget that night the bomb went off. It was terrible, and just like that, I'd lost a friend to terrorism.

Jesus: Well, just like Rage Against The Machine says, "Killing in the name of..." In this case, killing due to ignorance, small-mindedness, and bigotry. Many of you here have experienced that, as have I, and I abhor that kind of behavior, as does my Dad.

Ken: But what can we do about it?

Tiger: Work hard to be the best, and totally kick their asses. [laughter]

Mick: I get you, Tiger. I've worked hard to be in the business this long.

Jesus: While there's nothing wrong with kicking ass when the occasion calls for it--oy, I've been there! Remember that day in the temple?! [laughter]

Beth: Yeah, from what I've read, Jesus, you were there to kick ass and chew bubblegum...and you were all out of bubblegum! [laughter]

Beth: <SNORT> Oops, sorry!

Ken: Well said, Honey. [laughter]

Condi: <SNORT> [more laughter]

Steve: If everyone is done snorting, I'd really like to hear what Jesus has to say about that. What CAN we do about it?

Barack: do we get people past the hatred and get them to work towards a common goal?

Jesus: I wish I had easy answers for you. You've been given the tools: intelligence coupled with compassion. You've been given free will. How you use those tools is entirely up to you. I'll be honest with you all...We haven't been pleased lately with what We've been seeing. Dad and HG and I still have faith in you, though.

Condi: How can you, with what you see going on around the world?

Jesus: Sometimes it isn't easy. Everyone here understands that it's not US doing these things, right?

[murmurs of agreement from all]

Jesus: Good. Because it seriously pisses Us off when We hear, "How can God let this happen? Oh poor us, O vengeful God!" Give me a break. Getting back to the free will thing, it is YOU who do it to yourselves. Natural disasters? The key word there is "natural." We would never do such a thing to you...We love you. Don't you get that? Things like Katrina happened because you've messed with the environment so much you destroyed the natural barriers. Things like the aftermath of Katrina happened because of incompetency, on many levels. C'mon. You're smarter than that. You can do better.

Ken: So what's the answer?

Jesus: Probably the best thing I can tell you is to remember that whole "do unto others" thing. If you think about it, you'll see the simplicity of it. Like I said, We still have faith in you. But sometimes it doesn't seem like you have faith in Us. You have the world at your feet. Don't screw it up.



cayasm said...

I loved this, I usually ask this question at dinner parties, you can get some unusual answers.
My guests would be:

Sammy Davis Jr -A great raconteour and entertainer he would sing Bojangles

Marlon Brando- My fave actor of all time, he reinact the dialogue from the car scene with Rod Steiger On the Waterfront -my fave film
Bette Davis-Mother godamm herself, we would also show Now Voyager
Margaret Thatcher-Britains first Lady Prime Minister she's a fantastic orator
Agatha Christie- Just love her books and have them all she could tell how she came by her plots
Mae west -for Good old fashoined glamour and ribald humour
Fred Astair- We could dance cheek to cheek

We would be in an English Manor house complete with Butler, where the food would be prepared by Gordon Ramsey and the Champagne would flow as would the music and chatter.

Great post


luvrte66 said...

Yasmin, I LOVE your list! Funny that you included Sammy Davis, Jr., because another I'd love to include is Dean Martin. But like I said, it changes often!

I also love that you enjoyed the spirit of it...thinking about an English manor, with dinner served by a butler....

Fun to think about!


buckoclown said...

Wonderful entry, and fun too :o)
I know that as we enter our second half, we will have opportunities to mingle with some interesting people and have some great dialogue.  How many days???

mpnaz58 said...

OMG, Beth...between laughing my a$$ off, and actually getting a lump in my throat...that was ingenious!!  Have you read Dinner With A Perfect Stranger:  An Invitation Worth Considering?  Quick, easy read, but thought provoking.  I think you are ahead of your time!
xoxo ~myra

mairiegelling said...

Whoever thought free will would make the world a better place. If we could stop acting like spoilt brats maybe? But blaming God is alway an easy way out. Good job he's big enough to take it.


stratmanj5 said...

FREAKIN' AWESOME!!  Bwahahahahahaha!  I LOVED the dinner conversation!  You rule Q!

queeniemart said...

you are such a GOOD writer. This would be a cool thing to do in journals picked some interesting people. One of my favorite songs of ALL time is "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and i agree with Mr. Jagger about the music. Music is SO important to me and i have dozens of songs that bring back memories to me the instant i hear them.
Hugs, lisa