Sublime has changed my life.
Academia does not fully appreciate the most astute philosophers of our era. Plato, Aristotle and Parmenides' texts make great throw rugs, wall hangings and dashboard ornaments, but even cool Kant and witty Wittgenstein fail to adequately address my needs. Religion is cheap, but boring. So I have sent my philosophy major packing, have wrapped up my Torah one final time and have found a new school of thought of which to be a part. I am not abandoning the life of the mind; I'm just reorganizing it.
I am now, for most intents and purposes, a Sublimist.
I found Sublime late in life, or really, Sublime found me. I was in Israel for the year, searching for spiritual meaning and finding only drunken hook-ups, stale weed and grain alcohol double-shots unexplainably called "polish butterflies," when my friend Melanie discovered she had an extra copy of Sublime's 1996 hit, Sublime.
"I'll take it," I said. I had heard "Wrong Way" before. It's a catchy song.
Initially, I was merely a dabbler. I uploaded the CD onto my computer and integrated "Santeria" with Belle and Sebastian's "Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying," a song I had long felt prudent. Still, I was embarrassed. Sublime was so de classe.
One night, on the phone with my friend Avi, the hipsterest-hipster ever to emerge from the hallowed walls of my ZBT/SDT-esque high school, I admitted that I sort of liked Sublime.
"Don't worry," he said. "Sublime is underrated."
I felt vindicated, and less like Israel had destroyed every pore of disaffected-New Yorkness in my body. Then I got really drunk one night, tripped over a hookah, hooked up with one of my best friends in the country and began a slew of weeks that ended with me saying "I think we should be together-together," and him answering, after a three second pause, "You tell the taxi driver where we're going -- your Hebrew is better."
"This ain't no funky reggae party, $5 at the door," Brad Nowell sang to me. "It gets so real sometimes, who wrote my rhyme?" And it was true. I was stuck in a Eurotrashy techno party mix that was as far from funky reggae as possible, and getting worse hourly.
Sublime called out to me, and I answered. Walking down the streets' of Barcelona with friends, I listened to "Pawn Shop" and not their incessant chatter. I discovered that a deuce-deuce is a type of bag, a heina is "a cute little sweet hotty" and a ruca is "a bitchy skank ho." I learned Spanish so that I could sing along with "Caress Me Down."
I want to give back. I want to set up a memorial to Brad and Lou Dog. I want to found an "all Sublime all the time" a capella group called the Sublemons. I want to do a lot, but I have time for only so much, so I consider my appreciation of their music an adequate, if not a substantial, offering.
I am a Sublimist now, because, in the end, this is not a funky reggae party, $5 dollars at the door. It really does get so real sometimes. And, isn't the question really who the fuck is writing our rhyme?