John Mayer – There is No Such Thing as the Real Person

May 20, 2007

As I promised, now it’s time for a discussion of John Mayer. Why? Because I have a captive audience and the will to abuse them! And because I think my particular thought process regarding this artist is of value to the greater collective.

What do I mean? Okay, first, full disclosure. My exposure [haha, that rhymed {shit, I just laughed at my own joke…}] to John Mayer mainly consists of his songs Your Body is a Wonderland, Gravity, and Waiting on [for?] the World to Change. I can’t honestly say I’ve listened to his entire discography. So when I made a preconceived judgement based on listening to Waiting, you might say I performed an error.

I hate[d?] the song Waiting. It embodies everything that I hate about humanity: passivity in the face of changing circumstances. I guess that’s why I’m a ‘progessive’ [or liberal, if you prefer that moniker]. I mean, evolution is king. And that means that we, all the peasants, have to figure out how to change. Or die. Tough choice. And Waiting seems to preach that we don’t have said choice. That my generation [at 28, I guess he is in my generation] should just smoke some dope and let the world continue down the pooper. Not very inspiring. Makes John look like a dope [wow, why don’t we ever refer to famous people by just their first name? It might just remind us that they’re after all HUMAN].

And damn if it turns out I erred. Mr. Mayer [though that name certainly does seem a little too formal for him] appeared in the TIME 100 this year. No small feat to be gracing the same pages as Steve Jobs [goooooo APPLE!]. While reading about him, I was lead to his blog. Let me repeat that, because it might just be the most important thing I write in this entire entry. You should follow this very long sentence to John Mayer’s blog. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

While perusing through his posts, I came across (NOT) WAITING ON THE WORLD TO CHANGE Parts I & II. I can say that my figurative jaw dropped. Because that was about the only thing I had ‘going’ against Mr. Mayer. I mean, I don’t really have anything against him. I love his songs. I love his style. And I love that he supports Apple [my God, you’d think they pay me by the plug…]. But that song just irked me in the wrong way. So, seeing those two posts, you can imagine I took a bit of a start. Could it be that the king of cool doesn’t really think that our generation should wait on the world to change? And it turns out he doesn’t.

His idea, ‘Light Green’ [oh, even on his blog, filling his writing with nuanced wording], would call for small changes that everyone can make to help save the environment [though he throws in global warming {which I’ll leave out because that’s still a contentious issue that doesn’t really add anything to the debate about treating the planet right}]. Get it… light… green… like… the color… and at the same time not quite as hardcore environmentally. Okay, I wouldn’t have thought of it. But now it seems pretty obvious.

Anyway, don’t stop there. Plenty of good stuff to come by. I really like Mayer’s [there I go again with the last name] sense of humor. In A Placeholder for Brilliance, he describes his brilliant idea, the book that will contain it, and all the interviews he will give explaining this monumental discovery to humanity. The only problem is that he hasn’t had the idea yet. :) Can you say amazing?

I have all these plans in place; I’m just working on just what in the hell my theory is. So please don’t bother me when I’m looking out into space, because you could be taking my mind off what just might save humanity as we know it.

I love that. I feel like that half the time. So apparently all I have to do to get people to stop bothering me when I’m ruminating is to become as talented as famous as John Mayer. Oh, wait. That might take some time.

And Mayer even gets quite personal. I guess that’s not too surprising considering his song lyrics. I just love The Next Transmission. He talks about getting ready for writing his next album. The pressure of any new artistic endeavor. Or any endeavor at all.

I live for that streetfight, though. The knock-down drag-out anything-goes battle between what you have in your hands and what you *think* you might possibly have in your mind but have no proof of. But when you win, man… look out. There’s nothing better.

Why go back at it so soon? Because I suck at everything else and I hate being reminded of it.

If you think we writers do what we do for anything else than patching up voids, you’re mistaken. It’s all void putty. Take away the guitars and the songs, and my life story becomes completely unremarkable. I’m not getting down on myself, I’m getting up on the gift… I’m not much without it, and I’m blessed to have it.


John Mayer is more human than I ever knew. He may date Jessica Simpson. He may drive an SUV. But every person deserves a second chance. :) And he clearly knows how to live the contradictions in his life. And I can respect that.

John Mayer’s just earned a new fan. And taught me a lesson along the way.

Besides, all the nihilistic, egoless NIN, APC, and Tool can always use a little tempering with the semi-hedonistic, semi-narcissitic, but always real John Mayer.



One Response to “John Mayer – There is No Such Thing as the Real Person”

  1. Ed A. said

    It’s interesting, isn’t it, when you realize that, for all their celebrity status, they can be just the same as you and me.

    I think blogging is leading a much greater number of people to realize that, and I think it has (at least in my eyes) partially dispelled some of the ‘glow’ of celebrity status (but then again, I never cared much for “celebs” anyway, so maybe it’s just me).

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