Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Well! "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M. just popped up on the old iPod, and I had one of those Proustian memories that everybody is always having all the time. The year was 1996! Probably. And a very high-ranking official (the president, in fact) of the Turner Entertainment Group, where I was employed at the time, left his job, whether willingly or not, I don't recall. But he had the entire workforce gathered in the courtyard, where he announced his departure. Then he turned and walked away as "Everybody Hurts" suddenly began blasting out of giant speakers. Well, he must have requested that, right? And we all just stood around looking at each other in awkward silence, like, "Wow! That's dramatic!" Such were the thoughts that our silence conveyed. None of us knew what to think. This guy was so high up that most of us had never even met him. But he strode out of our lives as his chosen ballad of universal pain washed over us. I still don't know what to think.