Jim Morrison wrote “Strange Days,” the song, for The Doors’ album of the same name, in 1967. The album was considered an artistic triumph but a commercial failure. The cover depicts circus performers (acrobats, a juggling mime, a strongman, a trumpet player, and two dwarves) in a quiet NYC residential mews.
Most carnivals were out on summer tours so it was a struggle for the album’s cover photographer, Joel Brodsky, to find professional circus performers. The acrobats were the only ones he could find; the dwarf, Lester Janus, and his younger brother Stanley were hired from an acting firm; the juggler was Brodsky’s own assistant; the trumpet player was a taxi driver; and the strongman was a doorman at a nightclub.
Strange days have found us
Strange days have tracked us down . . .
Strange days have found us
And through their strange hours
We linger alone
As we run from the day
To a strange night of stone
My sleep these days isn’t terribly comfortable. I dream constantly, but the dreams are confusing, jumbled, elusive. I wake early—I’ve always awakened many times during the night—but now for some reason, by 6 a.m. or so, I no longer go back to sleep. I’m finished. It’s not like I’m driven from my bed with lots of happy energy, ready to tackle the day. It’s just that I’m done. I’m finished. This is something I have never done in fifty-three years, at least not with any regularity.
I get up, turn the TV for some companionship, and fire up the Internet. The news is decidedly odd.
The TV folks (local and national) can’t stop talking about Caylee Anthony, the young Orlando child who disappeared last June, presumably killed by her mother Casey. To call it a media circus is to make a mockery of circuses. Yesterday, more bones were found near the child’s home, so every news report pounces on each minute action of every individual involved in the case and analyzes it to death. (Pun regrettable, but intended.)
The ’Net is buzzing with the news that a New Jersey couple, who have decorated their bodies, their home, and their car with swastikas, have named their three children Adolf Hitler Campbell, Joycelynn Aryan Nation Campbell, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell. (They actually meant to name the last one “Heinrich Himmler,” but they misremembered the name as “Hans Hinler.” Thank goodness for illiteracy.) These parents are incensed because their local Shop Rite wouldn’t write “Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler” on the boy’s birthday cake.
The story doesn’t end there. They finally got the cake inscribed the way they wanted. At their local Wal-Mart bakery. (I wonder if there were swastikas in the frosting?)
Email to a friend has been bouncing intermittently. Apparently ice storms play havoc with mail servers, though I get miffed when the messages from her ISP keep accusing me of being a spammer. Just now I find that my Facebook account is unavailable due to site maintenance. “It should be available again within a few hours,” they write. “We apologize for the inconvenience.” A few hours?? Really, Facebook? And my laptop spacebar isn’t cooperating. I’m having to keep pounding it with my thumb to keepallmywordsfromrunningtogether. What’s next, a full computer crash? (Before you ask, yes, everything is backed up.)
All in all, this feels like a very Twin Peakish morning. I’m going to go make myself a damn fine cup of coffee while you all watch this:
Remember: The owls are not what they seem.