I have Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" stuck in my head. It's one of those timeless songs, although I delight at the idea that our cultural memory (if not cultural appreciation) has grown so much in this digital age. In one sense, it's disappointing that the songs have spun down and been frozen, no longer cycled through generation on generation of musicians and their fresh interpretations. At the same time, we now have access to libraries of information of all kinds that extend beyond our birth, broader than words, an end to transience. Those born after the music video, and soon after the internet opened its doors to everyone are active and full members of society. This is beautiful. I wonder what the effect of this condition will be in the long run -- if for hundreds of years, we'll still be able to reach, with increasing richness, back to today and before.
Related, my friend Dmitriy made a trip (back) to various parts of the former Soviet Union, and put together his thoughts and 80 photographs of the Chernobyl area which he visited. Chernobyl is, to me, a reminder of two currents in the human spirit -- our willingness to flirt with danger, hoping to come out ahead, as well as our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the common good. The first is evoked by the fact that the disaster occurred, as well as nuclear power in general, and the second by those who sacrificed themselves to protect humanity.
I wonder what the effect of professional sports is on the American populance -- if it had not taken off, would more people follow international politics? Read books? To what extent is a demand for entertainment for generic entertainment versus for something specific, and is the term entertainment more about what's being done/watched or the purpose of the watching? This is one of those questions that's more enlightening to consider than to answer. I confess to wishing an end to professional sports though -- participation and watching friends in amateur sports sounds great, but the same thing on a national level is destructive, I think, to local culture in the same way that generic nation-wide radio and television in its various forms is. It would be interesting to mandate, for any area with decent population, that 40% of all broadcast content on TV and radio must be local, and no more than 5% of the total may be owned by a single person or corporation. This would be primarily fit within a petit bourgeois-focused state.
This strikes me as ridiculous. A Rebecca Cook raised a fuss because a store didn't lay down the red carpet for her (a non-customer seeking a place to nurse her baby). What a putz. It's one thing to ask, but another thing to demand and raise a stink. Another issue of stupidity: heavy research going into finding new ways for infertile people to have children.
Stuff like this also gets me pretty angry. I regret that the ex-Cubans now in Florida, or to be more precise, those involved in American politics, don't instead lie at the bottom of the Gulf. I .. admittedly have met a few ethnic Cubans and my-age Poles who are apolitical (or even political and still reasonable despite being on the other side of the fence), and I get along fine with them. The vast majority of both groups I've met though are people who are not only politically reprehensible but also personally so, in a celebration of inequality, privilege, and (often) corruption.
I am unsure if A Scanner Darkly never made it to Pittsburgh, made it while I wasn't looking, or is going to come at some point in the future. Sigh.
Sarah Silverman's "Jesus is Magic" is really funny and offensive. Renting it is highly recommendable :)