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Friday, July 10, 2009

O, Stephen Thompson, my son, my son, why do you celebrate grief?

Three days ago, Stephen posted at "It's Time to Party: Summer Songs" at National Public Radio "Party of One: Misery Alienates Company." Stephen addresses lonely people, "All you and your poor, pockmarked soul really need is a soundtrack -- five songs to ensure that you and your stuffed animals will have a night to remember." And he provides a commentary on each of the songs, opening with one he introduces as "a bruisingly sad look at a relationship torn asunder by tragic circumstances."

It's actually a pretty funny essay, so I laughed my way through it but then the "Related NPR Stories" at the end provided a double-take. Each consists of an opening mini-essay followed by the songs with commentaries. And here's the thing: The titles of a year and a half's run of these are as follows: "So Your Tiny Black Heart Is Broken" (Feb 12, 2008), "Weeping at the Wheel: Crushingly Sad Songs" (Aug 13, 2008), and "Songs for a Drab and Unfulfilling Existence" (Oct 9, 2008). Man! And each and every posting is written by Stephen.

But there is a cure. It's just that you'll have to look for it. For example, he came up with an essay on finding the perfect CD mix for a wedding. He's done more than one devoted to great Christmas CDs (springing to my mind this July day; have you finished your holiday shopping for 2009 yet?).

So no problem. But if, on the other hand, you'd like to wallow in grief, he's got the music for you.


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