Alright, everyone. I’m doing a “random thoughts” post, and will continue to do so regularly, unless I run out of things to talk about. Let’s get this over with, and I’ll try to keep things amusing! ENGAGE!!!
- I forgot Community‘s triumphant return was in an earlier timeslot yesterday, and so I missed the new episode. Ever since the show started to get screwed by its network, I’ve been convincing myself that it will help the ratings in some infinitesimally small way if I tune in (even though it absolutely won’t). I just feel like I’m letting a good show slip away if I don’t contribute somehow, and yet, I don’t want to actually start watching it right in the middle of its run. So I guess I’d have to turn the episode on, and then mute the TV and try not to look at it. Anyway, I look forward to watching the series someday. Here’s to six seasons and a movie!
- A ridiculous, weird theory I came up with the other day: the original cast of SNL is the comedy equivalent of the literary Lost Generation, in that their nihilistic, sarcastic outlook had such promise and seemed to herald a new era, but then their lives and/or careers ended tragically or pathetically.
Here’s the person-by-person breakdown…
John Belushi = Ernest Hemingway
Chevy Chase = F. Scott Fitzgerald
Bill Murray = John Steinbeck
Dan Aykroyd = T.S. Eliot
Gilda Radner = Virginia Woolf
Jane Curtin = Gertrude Stein
That one black guy = That one black guy (okay, this part doesn’t match up so well)
Then, there are some obscure people in both groups that nobody’s And finally, Lorne Michaels = World War I (The terrible, tragic force that started it all! haha)
I then got off-topic and started comparing different SNL eras to vaguely defined sociopolitical periods, and got as far as Dana Carvey = Iran-Contra before I had the common sense to stop myself.
- I’ve been listening to (and immensely enjoying) a LOT of music from the 1970s lately. In the past few days alone, I’ve listened to some stuff from Aerosmith, Harry Nilsson, Joni Mitchell, Throbbing Gristle, The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart and Blondie. It was all pretty good! So far I’ve heard more masterpieces and modest classics than I had in my “Best albums of the 2000s” coverage (which is predictable, since the 70s were a lot better for music; not that the 2000s weren’t frequently great). Since this is disorganized and I can do whatever I want, I felt like pinpointing the creative peak of each major medium of the past century.
Film: tie – 1940s and 1970s
Music: tie – 1960s and 1970s
Video Games: 1990s, although the 2000s aren’t far behind
Literature: This is harder to measure in decades, although suffice it to say that the former half of the 20th century was a tad better than the latter half, at least in terms of the ideological revolution, social consciousness, and artful storytelling going on. The best stuff of the 50s-70s was more about deconstructing what was already there, and the 80s/90s were kind of a wasteland in comparison.
Theater: I have no idea. It seems pretty consistent over the years, and I know next to nothing about it.
- Actually, that brings me to my next point. I’ve been doing a lot of research on Rene Magritte lately, and damn, was that dude fascinating. Well, not in a personal sense. He was a respectably modest individual. But his painting was even cooler than you might realize (and you should think it’s cool, if you know what you’re talking about)! Instead of just being generically surrealist and whimsically absurd, the actual intention of his work (during his most famous period) was to subvert and deconstruct basically every assumption people had about art in general. In sensational terms, On the Threshold Of Liberty demonstrated that topics and subjects are an artificial construction in art, Elective Affinities illustrated that the viewer’s imagination and associations are an illusory and biased system, The Human Condition theorized that the viewer’s (and painting’s) perspective of art is arbitrary and fickle, and the incredibly famous The Treachery Of Images pretty much broke representational painting forever, proving that almost every stimulus outside of the mind itself is bullshit, to some extent. So basically, it said that nothing is objectively real. Working with other themes, Magritte laughed in the faces of geographical and spatial laws (The Mysteries Of the Horizon), gravity (Golconde), and time itself (Time Transfixed). Finally, The Portrait reduced surrealism to its most basic components, The Listening Room was just random and silly, and The Son Of Man sort of combined a lot of these elements into a grand, sweeping statement. Pretty interesting stuff!
- Unrelated observation: I own the entire studio catalogues (and would continue to buy new releases) of only seven bands. First would be the Beatles (no explanation needed), and then Radiohead, obviously. After that is Nirvana, who were one of the bands that got me into music, back when I was obsessively focused on only a few groups. Their discography was small, so that helped. Next are the New Pornographers, probably the greatest pop band since the Beatles (with an emphasis on POP – they are clearly not as revolutionary, emotionally resonant, or quite as diverse). The fifth band is the Pixies, another awesome band with a small catalogue. Finally, there’s Pavement, one more ‘small, condensed discography band’ whom I find interesting. (Oh yeah, and then Minor Threat, but that’s kind of like cheating since their entire career’s work was collected on one record which my friend gave me.) I’m probably forgetting some, but those are the ones I immediately thought of!
- I can’t wait to start reading novels again over Spring break! I left a bunch at home and will finally have access to some that I haven’t had time for until now: Survivor, Mother Night, and a couple others. 😀 If I have time between that, homework and a social life, I’d like to play Half-Life 2: Episode Two as well (and maybe replay Half-Life 2)!
Well, that’s it for this edition. 😛