Neil Young performing in concert. (Photo courtesy of Man Alive!/Flickr Creative Commons)
Last Saturday Neil Young and Crazy Horse performed at Seattle’s Key Arena.
Young may be old enough for senior discounts, but the dude can rock.
Hunched over his guitar with his legs spread wide, his hair flew wildly and eyes stayed mostly closed. Periodically, he stomped his boot on the wah pedals at the base of his microphone while clawing at the strings as if willing everything louder. Over two hours and one encore later, I still could not get enough.
But I didn’t only have eyes for the rock star. I was particularly interested in the roadies.
Why the roadies?
It wasn’t their white lab coats or hard hats and reflective vests—though the theatricality was charming. Nope. I watched the roadies because they set the stage for rock stars to shine. This tied directly to a concept I had unveiled a week earlier to my MCDM students taking Leadership in the Digital Age: Establishing Authenticity Through Story.
Photo by Scott Macklin
Let’s get one thing straight; this is not a morbid piece of writing. These are the truest life facts we’ll all universally encounter and here they are: I’m going to die. You’re going to die. The strangers who cut you off on the freeway or held the door open for you at the grocery store will die too. Our pets, family, friends, loved ones and others once familiar but now forgotten faces will one day no longer physically be here on earth. While we’re all headed for the great beyond, how we get there isn’t always the same. Instantaneous or drawn out, at home or in a hospital, surrounded by loved ones or alone, we each have our preferred way of departing, but more often than not, we don’t always get what we want.
Questions about death were the centerpiece of conversations this quarter in the MCDM course, The Table of Truth: Re-imagining the Dinner Table as a Digital Media Storytelling Tool. With 80% of American healthcare dollars spent on the last two years of a person’s life, this is the most important conversation the United States is not having. Our main question for the quarter was simply, how do you want to die? Suddenly, a snap judgment answer, “At home, Notebook style,” got a little more complicated. Continue reading