ChainsawFor the record, (spun at a steady 45 rpm with a broken needle), Have Chainsaw Will Travel and the writer thereof, fully encourages and endorses most any and all lifestyle choices. Unless of course said choices involve a van and the best candy. In other words as long as your lifestyle doesn’t cramp anyone else’s lifestyle feel free to fly your freak flag and be true to the you that is truly you.

However, a studious and questionable eyebrow will be raised should one claim a lifestyle that is temporarily trending. Because it’s really hard to believe that when everybody’s doing something that you, too, are doing it based on any type of self-conceived concept. Sure follow the herd, go with the crowd if that’s what you like. Just don’t act like it’s something more than what it is — a lifestyle sculpted by popular demand.

Cases in point…

April 1992: “(Jump jump) The Mac Dad’ll make ya (Jump jump) The Daddy Mac’ll make ya (Jump jump) Kris-Kross’ll make ya (Jump jump)” Lyrics excerpted from “Jump” performed by pre-teen hip hop duo Kris-Kross circa March 1992. In the passenger’s seat of my 1982 El Camino rides the personification of a stereotypical angry African-American teenager… being held captive inside the body of a 20-something white guy with a mullet. He is dressed in the current Kris-Kross fashion — all his clothes are on backwards. As his cassette single (remember those?) concludes, he ejects and flips the tape, glancing angrily at me. “You got a problem with the way I look? This is who I am man so just deal with it!” No bub… no problem. Just pondering how quick you’d be able to undo you bass-ackward button flies if you gotta poop.

Presently the only “jumping” Mr. … no…Reverend “Kris-Kross 4-eva” is doing in behind a pulpit.

February 1995: Late one Saturday afternoon as the grunge era was winding down. Found myself and a friend lounging in the back of my 1975 GMC Sprint (GMC’s version of an El Camino ­­— see a pattern here?) in the mall parking lot. Dressed in his full-on Kurt Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994 R.I.P.) attire, greasy long hair and all, my friend stood by the truck’s tailgate. He wore a solemn, angry look on his face as he nonchalantly watched passersby pass by. When a group of grungers walked passed he scoffed, cursing under his breath. “Look at these posers… they’re so f***ing fake! When this is over we’ll see who the real grunge are… it’s us!” Yeah… okay bub. I’ve been wearing the same stuff for years and you’ve only looked this way since… oh nevermind… but the “real grunge?” What the Hellman’s Mayonnaise does that even mean? Currently rest assured it doesn’t smell like teen spirit in Dr. “Grunge’s” Optometry office.

September 2006: Whilst warming myself against the autumn chill, inside my regular bar, I find the tables turned. Suddenly and without warning I am berated by a… witch??? She looks like grunge/goth/metal thrown in a blender and set on ‘Deranged,’ wearing a long, unfitting black dress, hinged with black lace and hair that may have never seen a brush. Scowling, she damn near sticks her finger up my nose as she points out, “You’re fake… you’re not real!” then storms off. A fake what? Not real??? I honestly worry about that all the time. But could she be one of the most real people I’ve ever meet? Someone who truly walks to the beat of their own drum? And I’m a poser? A fake… whatever she’s supposed to be?

Nope… sadly I’m informed that was just her Death Metal dress-up alter ego on the weekends.

In each of these situations we could easily correlate between musical genres and lifestyle choices but that’s too obvious. And it’s not always about the music. All forms of media as well as day to day life itself offer up a plethora of potential trends to follow.

Truth be told, there’s nothing wrong with hoping on the trendsetters’ bandwagon and going along for the ride. But should you adopt and proclaim each “next new thing” as your own lifestyle? Believing that this “new thing” is who you always were and forever more will be? Or should you realize it’s only temporary until the next?

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused! See ya.