More than just Pretty Pursuasion

For all the repetitive reflection offered in response to the sad passing of Steve Jobs, I've been considering another transition. I'm not talking someone who died too young. I'm referring to a band that called it quits after maybe too long - R.E.M. hung it up last month after 31 years together. Plenty of music nerds dissected it, "The Daily Show" did what they do best with it, and maybe a few folks actually got it right. And by "right" I essentially mean that they somehow decided that a band like R.E.M. defies easy summation. And of that band's personalities, Michael Stipe certainly became the front man (no matter how he started out). I bring it up because I've been thinking about people who set out to do one job in particular and then end up striving (evolving?) to affect people's tastes. Steve Jobs certainly did that, maybe with more original intent than most. Just look at all the things he made us think are not only cool, that had been intended to seem essential. I'm willing to argue that Stipe somehow grew into someone with a voice and a determination to have a broader influence on society. I certainly listened to his political posturing, whether or not I always agreed with it. And as such, did what Stipe offered represent a political (or social) cause and effect? I'm not willing to go way out there and say "yes." But I'd still put him in the same category as a figure like Steve Jobs. OK, now stop laughing. Let that one gestate. Reply if you've got something worth sharing. And you're welcome, even if only for a bit of levity in the middle of a Monday afternoon.