Will “Johnny B. Goode” Save Planet Earth?

As we mourn Chuck Berry’s passing, it’s important to remember that without him, what we now know as rock n’ roll would have died in its infancy. Without him, the Beatles wouldn’t have become inspired, the Rolling Stones never would have met, and the Beach Boys would be minus a complete template into which they plugged “Surfin’ USA.” He’s the thread that connects them all. They (and probably a hundred other bands we never heard of) played his songs, learned his style, borrowed (stole) his licks, then passed those guitar riffs down to punk. There’s as much Chuck Berry in a Ramones song as there was in the British Invasion. His work courses through space, beyond our own solar system, aboard the Voyager space probe. If we’re lucky, as SNL suggested years ago, we may one day be viewed more kindly by some alien race for they having stumbled upon that now-archaic golden LP and its copy of “Johnny B. Goode.”

Based on the current state of the world – and particularly the United States – that single song might be all that saves us.

Here’s to a Surreal Start to Your Week


Time and space are funny things. I know this sounds like a Dr. Who quote, but stay with me.

For example, It never seems to take as long returning from a distant destination than it does getting there in the first place. Get head down in work you love and it almost seems you can accomplish superhuman feats of productivity with baffling speed. Then again, pause to check Facebook for 10 minutes and you might find you’ve frittered away an hour without realizing it. Colors and perspective inside buildings can make rooms seem far larger or smaller than they actually are. Continue reading → Here’s to a Surreal Start to Your Week

Your Midweek Dose of Perspective: We Are All Dust On a Mudball, And Still We Persevere

Saw this video time-lapse of images from the International Space Station today and just had to share, because nothing reminds you of both your own insignificance and the sheer awesomeness of creation like seeing your own planet and everything on it from a few hundred miles away.

Problems suddenly become very small. May yours be infinitesimally tiny as we head forth into the holidays.

A Little Midweek Perspective

Earth from Saturn

See that black thing up in the corner? That’s Saturn, with its rings evident toward the top of the frame. And that tiny dot with the arrow pointing to it? That’s Earth, as viewed from the Cassini space probe now heading out of our solar system.

On that tiny dot is you, everyone you’ve ever known and everyone who’s ever lived or died – the entirety of the human race and everything we’ve built, destroyed, learned and chosen to ignore.

About the same time this picture was taken (July 19), I was gazing back at Saturn with my son through a telescope in our suburban front yard. I felt incredibly small and insignificant. Seeing us as we look from space only magnified that feeling.

But that feeling of being a speck of dust floating in a sunbeam is liberating, too. On a cosmic scale, the things we worry about wouldn’t stir the breeze on an alien planet.

So, if you’re a bit peeved at your spouse or things didn’t go so well at work or you can’t get your head around that bit of writing you’re trying to hack out, remember this is what it looks like peering back at us from the edge of our little island of stability in this very dangerous universe. A universe that is much, much bigger than any of your problems.