Once in a Lifetime

And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

“Most of the words in ‘Once in a Lifetime’ come from evangelists I recorded off the radio while taking notes and picking up phrases I thought were interesting directions. Maybe I’m fascinated with the middle class because it seems so different from my life, so distant from what I do. I can’t imagine living like that.” – David Byrne

So David Byrne sees middle America as some kind of a zoo, an alien land of obscure tribes that can’t be understood. Indeed, middle America with its white bread aspirations is a bizarre concept which may or may not actually exist, but looms large in the imaginations of creative coastal types as a symbol of everything dull and conformist that has to be escaped or destroyed, or at least mocked. Elitist? You betcha. Yet Byrne drolly captures the low-key existential angst that many, most, maybe every single one of us, lives. We spend our lives pursuing things and then wonder if they had been worth pursuing. Or we fold our metaphorical arms and spend our lives refusing to pursue what we think we’ve been told to pursue, and then wonder if we should have after all.


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