Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Thoughts On Life

...and that reminds me, I need to take out ALL of our trash at the DR. We have hills of trash, and they're starting to form mountains, on which rests a light coating of dog-hair snow. We are growing LAND MASSES of garbage.

Which reminds me of Garbage Island. Which reminds me: buy more reusable bags. Humanity, we are horrible. More pictures of Garbage Island here.

Which reminds me of this post I wrote about rural Thailand, particularly this passage:

"Thailand in general has a waste management problem, and the Burmese school is in the slums, so there is trash everywhere, huge piles of it out back of all the huts. It's depressing. ...On the negative side, the Western culture of consummation of pre-packaged things--sodas and pre-wrapped sweets and things--has TRASHED the area, see the Waste Management problem, above."


That is not the point of this post at all. The point of this post is that for some reason I have "Oops, I Did It Again" stuck in my head, which I will not link to because no one should ever be forced to listen to that song, and for some reason I know ALL the words right now, I could sing the entire song a capella, and THAT started a train of thought that ended with: Garbage In, Garbage Out. I could meditate on the complete inanity of the lyrics of "Oops, I Did It Again", which are inane EVEN FOR A BUBBLEGUM POP SONG...

...OR, I could purposefully meditate on something a little more stimulating!

Which is how I got here:

"The sun, whose rays Are all ablaze With ever-living glory, Does not deny His majesty He scorns to tell a story! He don't exclaim, "I blush for shame, So kindly be indulgent." But, fierce and bold, In fiery gold, He glories all effulgent! I mean to rule the earth, As he the sky We really know our worth, The sun and I! I mean to rule the earth, As he the sky We really know our worth, The sun and I!

Observe his flame, That placid dame, The moon's Celestial Highness; There's not a trace Upon her face Of diffidence or shyness: She borrows light That, through the night, Mankind may all acclaim her! And, truth to tell, She lights up well, So I, for one, don't blame her! Ah, pray make no mistake, We are not shy; We're very wide awake, The moon and I! Ah, pray make no mistake, We are not shy; We're very wide awake, The moon and I!"

...what's funny is that the above kind of IS bubblegum pop, albeit from almost 130 years ago.  It's lyrics from one of the songs from the comic opera The Mikado, by Gilbert and Sullivan.

(Which reminds me: see Topsy-Turvy!) (Which reminds me: I've recently seen De-Lovely. Anyone else see this? Thoughts?*)

ANYWAY. I know this song because of the movie Brick, which is a fantastic movie that everyone should see immediately. (Entrepreneur hasn't ever seen it, which is especially wonderful because now I get to be there when he watches it for the first time.) (Unlike Jack of All Trades, which is altogether a different story.) (Pun intended.)

Where was I? Oh yes, Brick. Brick is a fantastic movie, as I was saying, and in it, at a party, a character recites part of "The Sun, Whose Rays Are All Ablaze". See clip:


Speaking of clips, may I just say that I love the internet? LOVE the internet? Because it provides space for people, in their spare time, and for no pay or recognition, just for the love of creation, to take hours and make things like this:

SO GOOD. So good. I dare you not to start laughing.

AND FINALLY. While looking for "The Sun, Whose Rays Are All Ablaze", I found this:

Bricklayer Love

I thought of killing myself because I am only a bricklayer
and you a woman who loves the man who runs a drug store.

I don't care like I used to; I lay bricks straighter than I
used to and I sing slower handling the trowel afternoons.

When the sun is in my eyes and the ladders are shaky and the
mortar boards go wrong, I think of you.

-Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg is probably my favorite poet, which is a statement I can make with confidence only because I'm not familiar with the work of very many poets, and Carl Sandburg is also the poet through whom I first even became INTERESTED in poetry. I pulled out a slim volume of his work at Elliot Bay Bookstore when I was in middle school; I remember it vividly. The smell of Elliot Bay Bookstore, the placement of the poetry section in the old location in Pioneer Square, the creaking of the floorboards, the fact that I read four poems from the book without stopping and bought it, and also a book of love poems and a book of William Shakespeare love sonnets, and I have no idea right now where any of those books are, given that they're in boxes, but I read the Carl Sandburg volume cover to cover and still REMEMBER the cover, although not the title. 
*mutter, mutter* I'm sorry, what was that? Oh, thanks, Internet, that was great. Here's the volume I fell in love with. 

To give credit where credit is due, I was looking for Carl Sandburg because we were studying Imagist Poetry in my summer literature** class, and the style spoke to me and fascinated me, mainly because it wasn't very long and I didn't have to slog through pages and pages of ABAB rhyming that wasn't even Shakespeare (which is what we were doing in my normal public school classes) and I couldn't see the point. 

As Pratchett says, way better than I do: (gods love you, Internet)

 "In theory it was, around now, Literature. Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book. ...It was a poem about daffodils. Apparently the poet had liked them very much. Susan was quite stoic about this. It was a free country. People could like daffodils if they wanted to. They just should not, in Susan’s very definite and precise opinion, be allowed to take up more than a page to say so."

...which reminds me of this quote, for my poor, beleaguered, Entrepreneur:

"She got on with her education. In her opinion, school kept on trying to interfere with it."

ANYWAY. Imagist Poetry and Poets, yes.  How I discovered Carl Sandburg, etc, although he's not technically an Imagist. I read Ezra Pound first, I think, and I liked him, too. And I believe that may be the end of this post for today.

(If you have time, DEFINITELY read that Imagist Poetry Wikipedia article. I didn't realize until I read it how much the style and movement affected, and generated, so many other styles and areas of interest that I like, including Sappho (I bought a book of her poetry not long after) and T.S. Eliot, who, to bring this full circle, was discussed during the Time On The Mountain yesterday, specifically The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock.)

(And if you have MORE time, definitely find a copy of The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock and read it.)

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