I sound like a broken record, but I’m going to say it again. At least once a week, Bob Lefsetz writes something that really hits home for me. Yesterday’s post about the death of Denny Doherty (The Mama’s & The Papa’s) was a heartfelt look back at the Lefsetz’s life in the 1960s, but it was the last paragraph of the post that shows what a good writer Lefsetz is:
Freedom. Choice. These are two of the main tenets of the sixties philosophy. Life is about possibilities. Iâ€™m not telling you to drop out of college, or get a divorce. Education and commitment are important. But you mustnâ€™t sacrifice your inner spark. Youâ€™ve got to take chances. Youâ€™ve got to break the rules. Youâ€™ve got to listen to your heart, do more of what you WANT to do than what you SHOULD do. Thatâ€™s the road to happiness. And, if you ever become confused, unsure if youâ€™ve taken the right direction, fearful of the future, just put on some Mamas & the Papas music, it will inspire you, it will get you through. Hell, it helped birth an entire GENERATION of truth and joy seekers. And truth and joy are a whole hell of a lot more important to the core of man than the uptight bellicose practices of those in power today.
Lefsetz has an uncanny ability to take things that I can’t really identify with (’60s idealism, for instance) and make me understand it and feel it. In addition to that, he can take generational musings and apply them to life today. Now if I could only employ those things……often times I feel like I’m not taking chances and then I think I should. Then I realize I have a good job, a stable life, so what’s the pull? It’s a tug of war and I can only assume we all go through it. These two did.
Other authors have that rare ability to make you really experience life in another time. David McCullough did it with the Truman book. Vincent Bugliosi did it with Helter Skelter (still the scariest book I’ve ever read). It takes a special class of writer to be able to do something like that, and the fact that I can read Lefsetz almost every day is starting to feel like a true privilege.