Meet me in the crowd, people, people
Throw your love around, love me, love me
Take it into town, happy, happy
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing......REM, Shiny Happy People
Can it really be that long since Shiny Happy People hit the airwaves? Listening to this track today brought me right back with a whipsaw motion that almost snapped me in two.
It shouldn't seem odd that the Subculture would be unable to resist blogging about the death of this particular band although it is a little funny that some of my readers predicted it with Minority Report accurateness (Stephanie Reeves, I'm looking at you...)
Loves me some Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the like but we all knew REM was the key, the cornerstone. Controversial. Political. Independent. The real reason alternative rock grew into the life changing phenom that it did. Now they are breaking up. Cordially. Respectfully.
As much as I mourn this passing on of an era, (and no matter how old this is making me feel), I am really not that surprised. We GenXers worshiped at the altar of REM's independence. How fitting that at the end, they refused to allow even their biggest fans to dictate their future. I congratulate them for realizing they wanted something new. Other ways to express themselves musically. Or maybe just a well deserved rest.
I have to wonder if we are all capable of making the tough decision to quit when the time comes to do so. We are surrounded by messages about "getting our heads in the game" and "staying the course," and "up with people, you can do it!" In spite of all the platitudes and guilt trips, if we lose our passion for our home life or work life can we make the same graceful decision to exit stage left? Do we, in fact, have an obligation to do so?
Will your association know when it's time to quit? If your association comes to a cross-roads where they need to make a choice to merge with another for the betterment of their profession or industry, or cease operations because their landscape has changed so dramatically - will they have the courage to remake themselves or to purposefully leave the stage altogether? Will they change course and redirect resources when the opportunities present themselves? Or will they ignore all of the options they have to best protect their own legacy and their members and instead go down screaming and flailing into the long night of irrelevance? (Don't get me wrong, I am not Debbie Downer. I firmly believe in the future value of associations but not every single one of them is going to make it during the next 25 years and we are kidding ourselves if we think they will.)
How about yourself? Can you make the choice to move on in your relationships or careers, (no matter how fantastic they are or may have been), because it's time to remake yourself again? Life is messy. Life changes course. Life pulls you on and under and sometimes pushes you to heights you didn't know you were capable of.
Are we going to be shiny happy people...holding hands? And if so, for how long? Goodbye REM.
Embedding was disabled but here is the link to the video....