EPISODE 214: How Do (Men) Get to Heaven?

There is this observable difference in the way most men and most women process romantic love affairs. Men tend — with exceptions — to live in the past and in past memories of love, especially as they grow older. Women tend — with exceptions — to desire to live in the present, with openness to the future, in the experience of romantic love.

The song that opens this cast, “How Do I Get To Heaven”, performed by Dave Mason, is a touching instance of the male processing. The lyric lurches, with no warning, from thoughts of impending death and immortal life, to memories of romantic love that “won’t fade away”. As I might put it, there is a Meister Eckhart vibe, as with several Burton Cummings compositions from the 1980s: You’ve got to go back, back to your past, in order to be ready to live in the present. Your past is an unavoidable point of engagement and negotiation if you wish to live in the now, let alone the future.

Do you understand?: I’m not dismissing the call to live in the present. But I am reflecting that such a call is impossible to heed without doing the necessary work of personal archaeology. That’s not usually fun. It never has been and never will. But no one can limbo around the past, “Over Under Sideways Down” (Yardbirds).

Here is the praeparatio ad mortem that is the purpose of life.

The cast concludes with a sketchy song concerning “no fault” divorce, which is also oddly memorable and catchy: “We Just Disagree”, performed by Dave Mason. I think it wonderful that Playboy Magazine voted “We Just Disagree” the worst song of 1977.