To Do or Not To Do with Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash has built the image of the serious man, the Man in Black who stuck to his own principles and who questioned everything about life. His lyrics now stand the test of time and they prove even more that he was indeed a serious guy.

But there comes a time when one just laughs, when one just enjoys life in its purest form, and this without the aid of spirits and other substances. And then comes a time when you listen, for example, to Chicken in Black, in which Johnny Cash lets go and lets loose to all the irony he can muster.

His body has outlived his brain, as he says, and he is looking a way out – a brain transplant is the key. Who is Johnny Cash? Well, Johnny Cash is Johnny Cash no more.

Of course, the statement made by the song can be seen between the lines, especially when he reminds everybody that it isn’t necessarily him walking down the street. And this is a powerful idea: don’t mistake the private life of a star with his public one.

And then we find his to do lists, his notes to self in which he writes down a daily schedule. It is a schedule filled with normal things that every normal person does (or shouldn’t do): not smoke, not worry, see the mother, and even go to the bathroom. There is something that tells me that this note abounds in irony, even if I am not taking into account the final bullet of the list.

And that is because the final bullet is this: not write notes.

In my opinion, everybody needs to let off some steam, from time to time. But that doesn’t mean that everybody else should know it. Even more, I believe that the greatest comedic moments (whether they are on a stage or on a written paper) come not from a final hook, but from the underlying idea.

In the case of Johnny Cash I believe that this idea is clear: don’t make petty plans, because you might end up going to the Johnny Chicken Show.

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