Saturday, January 7, 2023
Thursday, January 5, 2023
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
I really enjoyed this. It is an exploration of the relationship between Art and Life, and as such is related to The Moon and Sixpence, Edward Scissorhands, and of course, A Bucket of Blood. To quote the immortal Maxwell H. Brock, “Life is and obscure hobo, bumming a ride on the omnibus of Art.” It felt so genuine when I read it, and as the author explained in the afterword, that’s because it was. Many people don’t know what it is to be owned, to be consumed by art, to feel that purity from another world coursing through you, using you, taking you over to make something happen that you could never do, but somehow happens through you. But clearly, Kevin Wilson knows what that means. I definitely want to check out his other books.
Sunday, December 11, 2022
I read the first half of this, and skimmed the second half. It came out in 1978, which of course was a very different time than now in terms of media. Back then, television really was a dominating force in culture, and the author makes a lot of good points about the unhealthy side of television.
To this day, as television has changed so much into an overfunded "pick what you like" streaming buffet, I still wonder at the power of film and video as media, and wonder at their future. Watching shows like "Ridiculousness" on MTV, which is all clips of people doing weird or dangerous things, a curated YouTube, I see how prescient that Ray Bradbury was describing similar shows in Fahrenheit 451.
The author concludes that it is unlikely that we will be able to eliminate television -- but he also reminds everyone that doing so would not be impossible -- we would just have to believe enough in the downsides of it to decide to regulate it. We face the same question today with social media, arguably a more deleterious force that television ever was -- since television's business model requires a certain amount of decorum, and for better and worse, it shies away from too much risk taking. Social media leans the opposite way -- anonymity leads to too much risk taking, and too much cruel communication. Media of all kinds is just the human race talking to itself -- I hope we can find ways to make that communication kind and helpful.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Eventually, he tells tales of attempting to escape, but unfortunately, when he does actually escape, he doesn't share details of how it actually happened, because he doesn't want to incriminate those who helped him. Maybe he tells that story in another of his works -- I wonder. Regardless, the thing that makes the book great is the frankness and the details. Reading it, it paints a clear picture of how barbaric life was just a few generations ago, and makes it hard to understand how slavery could have lasted so long.