Barry Smith: Irrelativity | AspenTimes.com
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Barry Smith: Irrelativity

Barry Smith
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

Dear Bad Guru,

OK, over the past few years I’ve managed to give up alcohol and caffeine. I’ve stopped smoking pot and cigarettes. I don’t do any hard drugs. No more processed sugar. I threw out my TV. I’m meditating daily, doing yoga, going on week-long silent retreats. I’m eating an organic raw foods diet. I’m chanting. I don’t feel enlightened, though. I just feel bored. So very bored. Will that ever go away? Oh, and what about the deep desire for a beer and a pastrami sandwich with salt-and-vinegar potato chips? When does that stop?

Signed, Bored in Bethesda

Dear Bored,

Pastrami falls outside of the natural order of desire. Once you’ve tasted it, or even read about it, it is forever fixed in your consciousness, and no amount of mountaintop sitting will make this yearning go away. Sorry. There’s a pretty good tofu-strami that just came out, though. You know, pretty good. If you put enough mustard on it you can almost eat it without crying.

As for the boredom, well, there’s a fantastic collection of New Age crossword puzzle books currently available.

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

I think I’ve got it figured out – if you sound out each letter of the word “Guru,” you get “Gee, you are you.” Pretty heavy statement. “You are you” – you is the essence of who you are, etc. … But if you sound out the word “Bad,” you get “Be a dee.” So hidden within the very letters of your name, it seems, is the answer. I just have one question. What is a “dee?”

Signed, Phonetic in Phoenix

Dear Phone,

Consider the sound “Om.” It is a deeply resonant tone which creates connection with that which is beyond you. There are many powerful sounds like this. “Um,” “Yum” and “Woo” are just a few examples. “Dee” is one such sound. It denotes all that is wonderful, as evidenced that all words starting with the “dee” sound are things that are desirable. See? Like the word “desirable.” And delightful. And delicious. And delicatessen, although it starts with more of a “deh” sound, still counts, because it too is desirable, mostly because that’s where they keep the pastrami. So, if you strive to “be a dee” – that which is the starting point of all that is good – then you will fully realize that you are you.

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

Quick follow-up question, if I may. What about the word demon, and despicable, and decapitation, and devious? They all start with “dee.”

Signed, Phonetic in Phoenix, again

Dear Phone,

Oh yeah. Forgot about those. Best to not overthink this too much.

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

I consider myself a “New Age” person. I eat only organic foods, buy all my clothes from the lobby of my yoga studio, have the complete Dr. Wayne Dyer catalog, and when people are talking to me I stare directly into their eyes until they’re uncomfortable. I feel I’ve fully embraced the New Age lifestyle, except for one aspect – the music. Why does New Age music suck so bad? When was it determined that holding down one heavily reverbed note on a cheesy synthesizer for an entire album sounds “spiritual?” Why can’t there be awesome, rockin’ New Age music? Please help.

Signed, Too Sedate in Sedona

Dear Sed,

While it’s true that much so-called New Age musical offerings are as bland as tofu-strami, there are some kickin’ New Age tunes available. The New Age jam band phenomenon is really starting to take off, with The Grateful Death Is An Illusion being one of the major players. I can’t believe you’ve never heard of them. It’s so cool, it’s just three guys on harp, triangle, and rain stick. But they’re all multi-instrumentalists, so sometimes they switch off, sometimes even in the middle of a song! Lately they’ve been touring with a DJ, who drops some seriously thin beats. I just saw them at Red Rocks, and it was sweet. Imagine an entire stadium groovin’ to a jam with absolutely no bass! And the parking lot scene is awesome – I’ve been searching everywhere for crystal-scented incense, and I found some there.

I’ve got a sound board boot of that show if you want me to make you a tape.


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