While the Charlie Sheen Train Wreck Express was careening through pop culture several weeks ago, turning the phrase “winning” into first an Internet meme and shortly thereafter a cliche, the rock band R.E.M. was releasing its latest album, Collapse Into Now. One of the songs from that album — “Every Day Is Yours To Win” — has been in steady rotation on my playlist ever since the album came out in early March. Why? It has everything to do with the tune’s attitude toward winning.
“Every Day Is Yours To Win” is the antithesis of Charlie Sheen. The song is thoughtful, hopeful and encouraging. It speaks to the soul and to all of us who struggle, day in and day out, with the joys and failures of life to, as English instructor John Keating (Robin Williams’ character from Dead Poets Society) put it, carpe diem — to seize the day.
If you haven’t heard the song yet, take a listen as you watch the accompanying video, just released on Monday. The video is an interesting concept as it is composed entirely of clips from homemade videos found on YouTube.
In the video below, R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe and one of the video’s producers, Jim McKay, discuss the making of the video. At about the 1:30 mark, McKay describes the song as “a very personal song that people could apply to their lives,” and explains that that is what drove his vision for the film.
What impresses me most about the video is that it celebrates the ordinary humans who are using technology to reach out. They’re not trying to become celebrities. And, unlike Sheen, they are not exploiting their celebrity status to gain even more exposure. Yet, thanks to R.E.M. and the directors of this video, all of them have a little more exposure to the world than they might have.
And that, in my view, is a true win.