Ask Me Anything

Posted: July 29, 2013 in A Little Less Profound
Tags: , , , ,

By Susan ask

Recently, a fellow Airborne Toxic Event fan sent me a message about Mikel doing an AMA on Facebook at 11:00am. She suggested I could get my questions answered. It took me several hours to understand she wasn’t talking about the American Music Awards. Needless to say, I missed my opportunity. This did however leave me with the curiosity about what fans would ask if anything was on the table.

My informer sent me a message when Mikel answered one of her questions. There was a definite squee in her words even though she didn’t type it. Her question was thoughtful and evoked a well-thought response by Mr. Jollett. I read through some others and they too had some good questions burning in them. This encouraged me to dive into the rest to see what the world discovered about the lead singer. In the end there were 1,748 comments on the thread. It was a rambling mountain of hope, love, and admiration. Mikel answered 293* questions. How do I know the exact number? Because I read all of them and put them into ten categories. Here is the legend of things people asked Mikel Jollett.

Albums/Songs/Lyrics — 68

Fans are obsessed with knowing the why behind the art. They say it in different ways. Ask about different songs. Share what it means to them. In the end, they want to know if the meaning they pull out from the song is what he intended.

Literature/Writing Novels — 20

I shouldn’t be surprised people want to know about his thoughts on literature and writing. It’s the area I fall into. My questions around self-doubt stem from this topic. I was surprised with the requests about what they should read. I gotta be honest, I’m intimidated by people like Mikel because I view them as literary snobs. I never hear them admit they enjoyed 50 Shades or a good Harlequin for fun. It’s always something smart sounding with complicated themes. I’m not saying he’s wrong for his tastes, I’m only finding it funny how people flock to it. Don’t believe me? When you meet an Airborne fan ask them if they’ve read White Noise. And then ask them why.

Touring — 48

First, England seems pissed. They want a tour and they want it now. Several questions from the Brits were around “WHEN?” I can’t blame them. TATE is pretty awesome live. It does make the experience. Other touring questions were about why he did things at shows and if they were going to return to place X.

Random –26

They have no correlation. They are random.

Gushing/No real question – 15

Let me go ahead and tell you the answer if you want to write about how much you love the band and their music. It’s “thanks.” Save the space for questions people.

Wasted Questions — 8

This was another group just taking up valuable question real estate. Things like “Do you like my name?” “How are you feeling?” “Are you still answering questions?” and “Will there be Bombastic videos?” The last is my favorite because the answer was “There are four.” That answer could’ve been easily answered with a trip to their website.

Attempts at wit/jokes/originality — 28

This is an interesting category. I think it’s the one we all wish we could do. Successfully. We want that one question he’s never answered before so he can tell us “Great question. You’re special. Wanna be BFFs?” Oh wait, is this just me? What ends up happening is an awkward train wreck. Do you really want to know “pancakes or waffles”? Or “When are you going to sing Elizabeth to me again?” Or “Are you mad bro?” And “Do you love me?” Maybe these were burning questions. Spoiler alert — I didn’t see one response from them with hook up for beers.

What’s your favorite — 36

Ahhhh, the classic questions. It’s timeless in all Q&A settings. Fill in the blank at the end with something meaningful to the individual. Maybe even something where you can find out something you have in common. These are always fun.

Backstory – 36

Here’s another favorite of mine. I love backstory (for anyone by the way, not only Mikel). These are the questions which fall into learning about him as a person outside the lead singer life. They encompassed things like the origin of his name, hobbies, possibly running for office, childhood memories, when did you start playing, and how did you get over her. They are those interesting tidbits we wished we knew on a personal basis and not a small piece from a Q&A.

Marriage proposals/You’re so hot — 8

Really ladies? (And with the Supreme Court’s ruling on California’s Prop 8, really gentlemen?) Marry me? This kinda goes along with the olden days of “sign my tits” or throwing panties on the stage. Aren’t we a little bit better than that? He’s a person. A man. He goes home and annoys the shit out of his partner just like all our spouses do (me included too, Hubs).

Here’s how it breaks down:

Although I didn’t keep track, after Mikel responded to a question, about 99% of people commented on his response. Over 1,400 requests went unanswered. I didn’t go into those. (Please people, I wanted to quit after 100.) I’m going to guess they would probably still fall into these categories. Which means your answer is probably out there.

This experiment didn’t answer my question. Not because he hasn’t shared the information before, but because I realize I want the conversation experience. I want the ability to ask the follow up and hopefully drag out a real answer. No one’s getting that on Facebook. I don’t want it there, either. Because aren’t we looking for that original moment where we discover the meaning behind our favorite song while we find out something no one else knows in hopes it ends with a marriage proposal? (Or at least beers!)

*There is a margin for error. When I went back for quotes I read stuff I hadn’t seen before. I blame this on Facebook’s difficult process to read a thread and the lemon drop I enjoyed while reading.

susanSusan is a writer, baker and TATE fan extraordinaire who has been known upon occasion to immortalize the band members in cookie format. This post was originally published on her blog Breaking Books.

  1. Jen says:

    Love it!!!! You are awesome and I tip my hat to you for making a pie chart!!!!
    You rock sista 🙂 ❤


  2. […] There were those who crossed the line separating fan from fanatic: the woman who showed her son a photo of Springsteen every day of his young life and said, “Daddy,” and the other mom who forced her son to memorize the Springsteen canon, and then forced him to go on camera to prove it. It reinforced the importance of putting limits on our devotion: to respect our heroes as real people with real lives, to recognize that there are more important things in the world, and – for the love of God – to refrain from proposing marriage on Twitter. […]


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