Roger Green, strolling the streets of Albany, talking about the weather.
After 13 years, I think blogging is easy. There are 365 days. My birthday. My two sisters’ birthdays. My parents’ birthdays, the anniversary of their marriage, and the anniversaries of their deaths. 12 posts about The Daughter, always on the 26th of the month. Music throwback – another 52.
Various holidays – a dozen more. ABC Wednesday – 52 posts. Birthday people who turn 70 – 3 score and 10. There were 21, but some became music throwbacks, so let’s say 12 additional. That’s roughly 170 posts right there. All I need is another 185. Easy-peasy.
Blogging is hard. I have no skill, and frankly little interest, in the backside of the blog, how it works. So when it doesn’t work, for reasons mysterious and frustrating, makes me wanna holler, to quote Marvin Gaye. Dustbury has been gracious and helpful and gracious in this regard.
Blogging is convenient. When I’m on Facebook and having a conversation about a movie I’ve seen or an issue I care about, it’s easier to reply with a link to a blog post I’ve already written rather than answering on the fly.
Blogging is a community. I’ve discovered a bunch of other bloggers over the years. My friend Fred Hembeck, when he was blogging, had a sidebar. That’s how I was introduced to comic book fans such as Lefty Brown, Greg Burgas, and Eddie Mitchell; maybe SamauraiFrog, as well. I was reintroduced to my old buddy, former Swamp Thing artist, Steve Bissette, who had done work for FantaCo, the comic book shop/publisher I worked for in the 1980s.
Somehow I connected with other people I didn’t know, from Jaquandor at the other end of the Erie Canal, to AmeriNZ, on the other side of the globe. Mrs. Nesbitt started ABC Wednesday, and I got involved in that early on.
Blogging begets blogging. The same month my blog started, our work blog began. Because I was blogging here, I was invited to blog on the Times Union site, something I do rarely these days, for all sorts of reasons. Alan David Doane, a young FantaCo customer in the day, had invited me to blog on a couple of his comics-related blogs.
And blogging generates connections. People from my elementary school, old friends of the late FantaCo artist Raoul Vezina, fans of donuts, and many others.
The only movies I’ve seen with Gene Wilder are The Producers, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask, Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, and one of my favorite movies ever, Young Frankenstein, which he co-wrote. They were all released between 1967 and 1980. But he was always excellent then and in a couple of episodes of Will and Grace early this century. Gene Wilder on The Truth | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios, plus Evanier and Tom Straw remember.
“When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple’s database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.” My friend Steve Bissette wrote in response, quoting him with permission:
“I don’t use any of this crap for ‘my’ music, books, movies, anything. ‘My’ music—meaning, what I listen to—is on vinyl and CDs; ‘my’ books—meaning, what I read and my research materials—are in reach, on shelves, in my library; ‘my’ movies—meaning, what I watch—is on VHS, laser, DVD. It’s a home library, and I’ve lovingly curated it over decades. I know it’ll all go away, be dispersed, or consumed: home fire, flood, or if I’m lucky I’ll lose it all when I can no longer stay in ‘our’ home. It’s the way of the world, of things. That’s OK with me. “But I always considered this virtual/digital device world illusory, ephemeral, instant-access=instant-removal. Just how I’m hard-wired. “I read these kinds of news and opinion pieces as artifacts of those who buy into the illusion anything on a device is ‘theirs’ or ‘my’ anything. It all goes away, can be made to go away, in a heartbeat, while you’re sleeping, when you’re awake.”
I suppose Steve’s reaction may sound like that of an old fogey – he is two years younger than I – and maybe it is. And I totally relate to it.
I have music in the “cloud”, probably more than I know, from some Amazon purchases. Still, there’s is something more gratifying to me about the physical object. And hey, one builds muscle schlepping those CDs to work.
Also, there’s a bit of Zen meditation when I alphabetize the discs and put them away, often stopping to check something on the liner notes.
An online friend of mine was complaining that he couldn’t play any Prince music just after the musician died, because it was blocked by the Purple One’s lawyers. I shrugged, as I pulled out my 2-CD greatest hits.
Now, I see the practical side of digital music. If you’re moving to New Zealand, or something, the shipping of an extensive LP or CD collection could be prohibitive.
I have read books on Kindle. Actually, it makes sense when traveling, especially since the airlines have imposed increasingly draconian limits on the weight and size of one’s luggage. And, of course, I use electronic sources for my research.
Still, nothing compares with pulling a book off the shelf to browse, finding a factoid faster, and more reliably, than online. A shelf full of books is visually appealing, which stimulates the pleasure centers in my brain.
And I’ve been really irritated by some of those book publisher licenses to libraries that suggest that the repository can lend the item only two dozen times or so before it goes away. Fie! One could theoretically lend a book hundreds of times, and then sell it or at least give it away.
I have lost items – some were misplaced, stolen, destroyed in a basement flood. On an episode of JEOPARDY! several years ago, one contestant gleefully explained how freeing it was when he lost everything in a fire. Host Alex Trebek was quite confounded by this. But I guess I’m hard-wired like Steve is.