Where the Wild Things Are

It’s funny how music and writing go hand in hand. Actually, I think all forms of art feed and feed into other art. Have you ever been listening to a song and started thinking about a story that goes with it?

Me, it happens all the time … in fact I think I have twelve stories I have written based on some song on the radio. But this morning it was a little different.  On the way to work, like most people, I jump through my presets avoiding the commercials.  I am as bad with it as someone channel surfing.  That is unless the DJ of my classic rock station is on my wavelength.

The sun has barely risen over the top of the horizon just enough to paint an orangey purple haze on everything. It’s chilly, enough that when I automatically put my sunglasses on, they fog up. For most people after a hundred-degree day it’s a relief but for me I am pulling out the hoodie I keep in the car. Because unlike most people who were famous kings or tragic heroines, I was a snake or lizard in another life and can’t stay warm enough.

The radio is playing some stupid commercial about mattresses and my fingers find the button conveniently located on my steering wheel to jump presets. I cycle through the presets but of course there are either more commercials or morning talk shows, which has me shaking my head.

Good music for me is like both coffee and alcohol for me. Not replacing either but the best part of both. Energy.  Pick me up, get me started for the day like coffee or mellow me out at the end of the day so I can let the stupidity of other drivers go unmolested like alcohol. So, I am stuck, literally, and figuratively, at a stop light with commercials playing. And to add injury to insult this big ram truck pulls up next to me and the driver is rocking out to Queen’s I want it all.

The light turns green, and he speeds away probably singing along with his air drum solo and my vicarious enjoyment has vanished. I immediately begin to scroll again through my presets, which isn’t as terrible as the last time through. But it’s not great either, only one station is actually playing music, so I leave it and wonder if I could catch up to the ram.

No, the ram and Queen are long gone, and I am stuck with something that was popular in the 90’ by a band I don’t even remember their name. I am thinking about cycling again but for some reason I decided to let it play out and see what the next song was. The tune was catchy, and the words grabbed me. I had probably heard the song a hundred times before and not really listened.

The words went this way

“I stretched my hand out to the sky, we danced with monsters through the night. Wooooohowooh. I’m never going to look back, Woah, never going to give it up, please don’t wake me now.”

There of course is more but I am going to save you from the tone-deaf blog version.

And immediately my mind went all the way back to fifth grade. I could see the pages of the book.

There have been times where a song has brought back a memory based on an emotion I was feeling when I listened to the song. But this was different, it was like a song summarizing the book. I was triggered of course and found myself humming along to the tune and really paying attention to the words.  When I got to work, I looked up the group, “the American Authors” and the song was “The best Day of My Life” It should have been named a retelling of “Where the wild things are.”

I read about Max for the first time when I was in fourth grade when my teacher read it to us as a class. And then again, I checked it out to read it for myself. I was one of those I hadn’t read it if it was read to me. Sometime my arrogance on stupid stuff baffles me.   So, there I am thinking about the book and the song, and I go and look up the book.

Did you know it was banned book?

WHY?!? Just why?

I mean I read some psychobabble about the fear it instills in children when their main caregiver sends them to bed without their dinner. And then then there was a paragraph about supernatural /magical beasts which has religious connotations.

I of course face palmed myself and could only think of one word HORSESHIT. Really. Is sending a child to bed with no dinner going to traumatize a child? Did they continue to read the book? Max had only been in his room for a couple of hours and his mother gave him dinner afterword.

I am sure I was sent to bed with no dinner sometime in my childhood and my parents were not the ones that let me get back up to eat later.  And I can’t even tell you one time it happened.  Max was being a spoiled brat and his mom thought some time apart would be good.  She put him in his room.

So they are banning the book because a parent actually parented.  If you are worried about the message that going to bed without a meal and then letting them back up in a couple of hours is going to traumatize them what about the message, you are sending the parent … If you punish the kid society is going to turn on you.  Wait, we are already there.

And then to the other point. Monsters being supernatural or magical.

Really?

So every monster under the bed or in the closet is a family dabbling in the black arts. Does Pixar know that they were advertising for Satan?  Max was a kid. His imagination created a place where he could be the monster he pretended to be. He even had his very own monster costume. And to be fair no moms were allowed there. Very childlike, he created a place in his imagination where he was in control and there were no rules, because he was king of the monsters. First, no kid wants rules. Hell, most adults still buck at rules. And on his island, there were no rules.

Second it wasn’t really his imagination, it was a dream. He was so mad at being put in his room he lay down and went to sleep. Dreams are just dreams. I don’t know about your but sometimes I have the weirdest dreams for example two days I dreamed my youngest son left my grandson in his car seat and small airport that was really a school that had animal exhibits in the rooms. My son is only fourteen.

So this entire ramble that became a rant… that I am trying to turn back into a normal post was about how one thing feeds another. I wonder if the writer of the song was influenced by the book or do, they even know that it existed?  Or the son Iron Man, when it was written did, they know about the comic books being created or just getting traction.

Let me know what you think.

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