I was listening to an interview with Jello Biafra recently. I can’t tell you which one because I don’t remember. It’s not a secret. The only secrets are those my left hemisphere is keeping from my right. In listening to Jello Biafra, I realized I want to be like him or sound like him just for one day. His quivering singing voice and his constant sarcasm just sound like someone who always feels strongly or passionately about something, even his own victimhood. I don’t need to share the reasons for his feelings, but wouldn’t it be nice to legitimately feel such passion and then, a day later, return to the boring mundane life?
I can barely imagine what it must be like to be him and sound like him. Would he sound so passionate ordering an organic salad? Would his voice drip with sarcasm as he counts out exact change? Does his voice quiver with barely-contained rage as he sings “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” in the shower with no one nearby? How deep does it go? Does he act with the same intensity he speaks/sings? Does he button his shirt with intensely anti-corporate movements? Does he have a disgusted sneer when he wipes his delicate parts with pulverized former trees?
I’m sure there’s a downside to the voice and passion. As passionately as he may feel, his statements of love must sound like he’s accusing his partner of being Ronald Reagan’s captive love pony. His request for extra hot sauce must leave servers wondering just what he really means. His frantic energy must leave triage nurses glancing nervously at the ER security guards when Biafra talks about his suddenly-bleeding hemorrhoids. If my own insecurities have, on infrequent occasions, left people nervous, what if I really were Jello Biafra?
Even glancing inside Biafra’s head would probably leave me squirming. I’m lucky, I suppose, in that I can’t hold a grudge, since the pre-release anger I feel is soon followed by shame/embarrassment at having ever given time to such feelings. Listening to him, it seems as if he not only holds grudges, but feeds them and trains them to perform in his own circuses (mention of the Tumor Circus may have inspired this Biafra line of thought). I’m sure my head would explode if I had his anger/intensity.
Still, in moments of boredom, I wonder what it’d be like to be Jello Biafra for a day. Maybe I could start with being John Lydon and just work my way up.