Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
The other morning, it said in the newspaper that one of the major airline carriers was filling an airplane full of sacks of potatoes so that they could accurately improve the spottiness of their on-flight WIFI signal. The spuds were used because their make-up of carbon and water and the way that they absorb radio waves is as close to the make-up of humans as they were going to get and the ways that our bodies absorb radio waves is extremely similar as well. This should lead us to feel slightly less special that we thought we were prior to knowing this. Our presence can be replicated by piling a dozen sacks of potatoes into a seat. They'll even grow eyes and try to reproduce if you leave them on their own long enough.
It's Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers who make us think about our compositions, this morning, reinforcing an idea that we already were very familiar with: We're mostly one and the same. There are many tiny differences and minor alterations, but we're all mostly dealt the same physiological materials as everyone else, but everyone's use of them is extraordinarily different. The same thing can't be said about those bags of potatoes that can be used for our fill-ins when the job calls for it. They'll always become the same things, in the end, and they can never be illuminated.
Hertler, a songwriter from Lansing, Michigan, takes us into some theological thinking with some of his songs, suggesting that there's Jesus and Satan built into all of our double-helixes and they're ready, always ready to rassle. They're going to sidle up to you and bend your ear, here and there, and it's going to be an ongoing affair. There will be a sense that these are the problems that you'll always have and these two adversaries are going to play many rubber matches throughout your lifetime. There are the days when you feel like you've got it all down here, when heaven might be overrated and it's okay to pal around with the devil a bit more than you'd normally consider. "We give light to heaven and fire to hell," Hertler sings on another song and it's obvious that there's something that we're always going to be capable of splitting and divvying up. We'll always be able to give generously to the men both upstairs and downstairs. They wait with their hands out.