Here are three recent snapshots, which I hope to describe in considerably less than three thousand words. I chose them from a recent set somewhat arbitrarily and only now am figuring if and how they are related. The first features the World Series trophy, that was on display last month in the lobby of War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, in honor of the Giants winning the 2010 fall classic, and a simulcast of “Turandot” to fans at the ballpark. The second picture is of the organist at the Packard Foundation’s Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto; he plays standards and “As Time Goes By” between shows. I slugged the third photo “AaronHomers” because I was watching baseball on tv when I captured the image. It promotes “The Simpsons”‘ Halloween special which airs tonight, making this entry somewhat timely. My tag references the baseball great Henry Aaron whose name is a homophone to Aron Ralston the man whose arm was pinned under a boulder famously, the basis of the movie “127 Hours” which “The Simpsons” are parodying. Not sure how it fits but Homer Simpson is actually a reference to Nathanael West’s “The Day of The Locust” about celebrity and modernity, and the rapacious nature of a crowd. I sent the trophy image to my cousin Ryan Moats who had attended in person the historic World Series Game 6 in which his beloved Cardinals baseball team staved off elimination, like Mr. Ralston. The Stanford Theatre will never show a James Franco movie in David Packard’s lifetime, but they did show Andy Griffith in Budd Schulberg’s “A Face in the Crowd” if that is an interesting comparison. Also, whenever I hear the music in there, in their Wurlitzer, I wonder how someone like John Medeski or Wayne Horvitz would fare giving the thing a soul workout — again, not likely to happen.
My title “Three thousand words worth” references the adage about the descriptive worth of a picture, plus, gratuitously, the romantic poet Wordsworth. All of these words– 515 and counting — are dedicated to my former The Dartmouth editor Jim Newton (a James Reston intern at The Times, the editorial page editor of Los Angeles Times) who I will see today at a soiree in Menlo Park in honor of his recently published biography of David Dwight Eisenhower.
- My voice proclaims
- How exquisitely the individual Mind
- (And the progressive powers perhaps no less
- Of the whole species) to the external World
- Is fitted:–and how exquisitely, too,
- Theme this but little heard of among Men,
- The external World is fitted to the Mind.
- edit to add: I searched “word salad” and then read the wikipedia entry on thought disorder. I presume my habit of trying to write about several topics at once is more a matter of style or a commentary on the nature of the media and internet than any organic change in my brain. I am also perhaps too into David Shields “Reality Hunger” (which is actually about appropriation) and Errol Morris “Fast Cheap and Out of Control” (which is about robotics, mole rats, topiary gardening and lion taming).