17 02 2010

OK, fellow Facebookers, prepare to laugh, and be chagrined:


Here’s my own fav from this fine collection:



13 02 2010

These days I spend a good deal of time trying to imagine how it feels to be young. It ain’t easy! Dear fellow baby boomers, do you remember how back when we were in our teens the 1920s seemed impossibly distant? Well, that’s how long ago I graduated from college!

Of course, the distancing effect on us then was especially severe because we could only “see” the ’20s in unclear and SILENT black and white movies, which normally moved abnormally fast when projected because of the slower standard film feed speed that prevailed in the ’20s.

An indication that the 1960s are far more present for the young than the ’20s were for us is the continued influence of my fav 1960s band The Velvet Underground, whose famous “banana” album of the same name came out in 1968. Recently I heard someone  on the radio say of the Velvets that their albums only sold a few thousand copies, but everyone who heard them went out and started a band.

Truly, when I first heard them in 1969 they were unique!  They may still be.

Here’s my fav song by them:


And, of course, they also gave us THIS (!):


The Velvets and Bob Dylan — my heros forevever!


4 02 2010

Here’s just about the best blog I’ve found:


Why do I think it’s so great?

1. It’s so full of visually gorgeous photos that looking at it never gets boring.

2. This gentleman, Jon Jost, has done interesting stuff, and describes it well.

3. He has a considerable experience of Italy, a country of great beauty which, it turns out, has a worm in its lovely apple.

3. He’s a fine writer, who can say a lot in a few words.

4. The subjects he speaks about are not arcane. Many are of interest to anyone, but he brings new insights to them that you may never have considered before at all.

Scroll down the blog and note especially:

a. his graph of job losses in all recessions since WWII;

b. a post about Italy’s oddity in general, and the agony of making a movie there in particular;

c. the post entitled “Autumnal Meander”, which is about an experience I’m having now—and one that I GUARANTEE you’ll have too–if you’re lucky.

Getting A Bit Too Close to Home:

His blog for his daughter’s, here, is just as lovely:


Mr. Jost’s blog shows that he’s a terrific photographer. There are letters in the daughter’s blog that reveal that he’s lived many places around the world, and been pursued by attractive women. To me there’s nothing harder to hear of than this particular combination of experiences in another man.

On top of all that, I assume from this  blog material that my  fav blogger has, or once had, enough money to have afforded this peripatetic lifestyle. How can I describe the agony of envy I feel for such a life, so full of beauty both enjoyed in the world and created as art?

Suppose, dear reader, that when you were a poor young redneck you’d come to believe that you had the potential to become a great writer, and in addition you genuinely loved literature for its own sake and more than anything else in the world—and then suppose further that,  through a combination of poverty and your own timidity, what actually happened to you was that your whole life passed without your ever publishing anything?

Thwarted love of beauty. Thwarted creativity.  And no time left to fix either of them.

Now I know what Satchel Page meant when he said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”