Category Archives: Random

No Jekyll; Just Hyde

The man watched the superstar. He saw him, really saw him. He saw him in all his glory and disgrace; saw the genius with which he shone, but also the mania, the neuroses, the madness typical of Men Who Have Whole Worlds in Their Heads.

And the man saw himself mirrored in the superstar, and wept. Despaired.

Because he identified with all the defects, but none of the virtues.

A dirty lamp, begging for a hand of polish; but inside, no genie; only oil.

Star Therapy

Here’s a reminder that I set up on my calendar: every 4th Sunday of the month, go outside after nightfall, and look at the stars for fifteen minutes.

Regardless of life going well, or going poorly, the stars are always there. There are many beautiful and inspiring things in the world, but few are as accessible as the starry sky.

And today… (Well, technically, yesterday, because I was late in posting. Sorry.) We’ve seen something new: the first photograph ever of a black hole.

What other wonders might be hidden up above? It’s interesting to think about it. Our ancestors couldn’t have dreamt about the things that we would know about the universe today. 

But they looked up at the same stars.

Apart by generations, by ages, or merely by seas and mountains; still, we all live under the same sky.

Analog

Yesterday was a happy day: my uncle brought me my broken record player. He had fixed it.

Of course, I was happy to be able to listen to my vinyl records again. I do not have a very large collection (they are expensive!) But there is something magical about this experience of having a box that makes music from a plate and a needle. A trio of observations:

  1. Much more than in the case of a CD or DVD, there’s the feeling that this is a piece of craft, an artistic object that you hold in your hands. The size of the cardboard envelope, with photographic or painted art; the very weight and texture of the vinyl plate; to remove it from the protective envelope. What a difference between this, and taking a metal disk out of a flimsy plastic box; or worse – tapping a button in the Spotify app.
  2. The selection is important. You have to think: what do I feel like listening? After all, you can’t change your mind with a simple gesture on the screen, or by pressing a couple of keys on the keyboard. No; changing your mind means repeating the ritual again, twice: once to put away the previous record, and again to retrieve the new one.
  3. And, as someone who works at the computer and who runs the serious risk of spending a full day sitting, with no more than brief interludes to make lunch or to go to the bathroom… It’s a good thing that the music stops and makes me get up every 20 to 30 minutes!

Convenience is fantastic, and I really enjoy having my songs on my cell phone, being able to take them anywhere and listen to them whenever I want.

But we can’t pretend that nothing is lost in this digital world. Convenience has a price, and it’s not always in cash.

Photo Credit: artnoose Flickr via Compfight cc