When you read these three adjectives, I want you to notice where your mind goes. Who do you think of? What do you think of? How do you feel? How many feelings do you feel?
These are three of my favorite adjectives. I like to think people describe me in this way, and I try, to some degree, to infuse them into the Wildflowers & Charolais brand.
"Bold," "beautiful," and "crazy" have been on my mind a lot lately.
They've been on my mind specifically since Eddie Van Halen passed in October. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings, as so so many people did.
The iconic band Van Halen formed 20 years before I was even born, but as a kid, I was totally oblivious to that. Mom listened to her music, and I naturally thought “Hot for Teacher” was a Billboard Top 100 in like 2002. When my sister and I were angry with her, throwing a temper tantrum as small humans do, she would sometimes tell us, "Don't go away mad." And mad, of course, we turned back at her, shocked at her audacity. But then she'd finish, "Just go away." I also remember this silver LG flip phone she had, you know one of those where you had to push the "5" button three times to type an "L." Her ringtone was Slash's unmistakable carnival-like intro to "Sweet Child O' Mine."
I remember seeing pictures of these rock stars. The hair, the make up, the aggression, and above all, the talent. They were like gods to my little brain. Even now, I think to myself, "No way they could be human."
I mean, it took me years to accept that Eddie Van Halen had a first name. He was always just this untouchable, more-than-human human with a badass last name. All of those rock stars are.
There’s something more to it, though, that I’ve been contemplating, and I didn't know how to put it into words until I watched this documentary about Ozzy Osbourne that aired a few months back. The commentary was about how reckless and freaking insane Ozzy is. Snorting ants and biting the head off a bat... it's nuts. He is nuts. But I love him.
Everybody loves him.
Why on earth, though, do we love someone who almost got rabies and licked pee off the ground by the pool?
It's because we see that reckless craziness and boldness as freedom.
We love rock and roll because we equate it with freedom. We look at the hair, sweat, riffs, cocaine, biting the head off a bat, lighting your leather pants on fire, and jumping off of massive amps as the ultimate middle finger to the Man. It’s freedom, unbridled self-expression, and a challenge to the status quo.
That’s why we love it. They challenge what's normal. They do things none of us would ever think to do because it's "different" or scary. It's insane.
I'm drawing comparisons to rock and roll, because that's what I'm most in touch with, but we see it instances everywhere.
We see it, and we want it. The "it" is not always the literal thing. In fact, I'd argue it's almost never that. Consider when Harry Styles wore a dress on the cover of Vogue in December. Half the world was pissed and half was in awe. While the emotions were different, they underlying reaction was ultimately the same:
The people that were appalled were frightened by a different world.
The people that were in awe respected and admired the freedom and liberation.
Did everyone that was in love with this cover specifically want to go around in a dress? Maybe. Probably for some. But I think it has more to do with the idea that he's doing what he wants, and it's contradictory to the norm. He's getting so much blowback, but he's doing it anyway. He's doing it.
We want to be that brave, and that free. We all do, but I think so many of us see it as untouchable, just something to lust after and say “ugh that's so badass,” We see someone that speaks for us and does the shit we want to do for us, and their boldness is what makes us respect them. It's almost like it becomes enough to see them do it.
And this is where I get to the point of this blog post.
This is where I encourage people to think about this.
Think about the bold.
Think about the beautiful.
Think about the crazy.
We look at someone like Eddie or Ozzy or Axl or Slash or Tommy Lee and say “man that’s cool. What a cool dude.” For you it's probably someone else, so visualize that bold, beautiful, crazy, free person you look to so fondly.
And ask yourself, honestly:
Why can’t YOU be that cool dude?
Like seriously, what is holding all of us back from being a damn rock star?
This year, as we say goodbye to the shitshow that was 2020 and move into 2021, I want to take this reflection with me. I encourage you to do the same.
Scrutinize our world, yell at who really deserves a good f*ck you, give grace to those who need it, and embrace the power of rock and roll. Be bold, be beautiful, be crazy.
Don’t let go of that rebel spirit.
Rock on and blessed be,