Monday, July 30, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
Last night, I went to the dress rehearsal of "This is the '60s," partly to see what this "living documentary" would turn out to be -- I can't attend the lone performance in Charlotte, tonight at 8 p.m. at Ovens Auditorium -- and partly to see if the songs would still make me think this was the greatest era in the history of rock.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
Andy Griffith died on July 3, admired by almost every one of his
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
The biggest war movie buff I know swore his favorite war film was "Yesterday's Enemy," a 1959 drama nominated for four BAFTAs (British Oscars), including best film, director (Val Guest) and actor (Stanley Baker). I just saw it, and he might have a point. And it's a strangely appropriate picture to think about on Independence Day.
Monday, July 2, 2012
I'm copping to an addiction that has cost me tens of thousands of dollars, sent me out at midnight in search of a fix in New York and demanded satisfaction literally every week of my adult life. As of July 1, I decided to give it up for 30 days for the first time since I was 17.
And I'm already starting to sweat.
I have gone cold turkey on books, compact discs and DVDs. That may not sound difficult to you. If so, you don't have 8,000 of these items stacked and packed around your house. You didn't have to install varnished planks of wood to turn bookshelves into layered double-shelves or buy 2,000 slimline CD cases to fit two discs into the width of one, because you ran out of wall space for freestanding racks.
But I did. I can't pass a library without wondering what remaindered books are being sold at 50 cents a pop. An interview at UNCC means a stop at The Last Word, a bookstore that could (almost) reasonably be defined as "on the way." A visit to my credit union summons an image of Bargain Books down Central Avenue. I troll all four used CD stores in town on a regular basis.
Now that's over for one month. No more responding to urgent sale e-mails from Arkiv Music, my favorite online classical site. No more bored drop-ins on Amazon to nab a long-forgotten book from childhood that just popped into my mind. No more purposeless ambles over to Barnes and Noble after lunch at Earth Fare. I'm not going to purchase, order or download anything for 31 days.
Why? I could say something about the way so many of Earth's resources are depleted to make these things, sometimes under unsavory labor conditions. (Though I try to avoid contributing to that problem by purchasing used items when I can.) But the main reason is that I have enough stuff.
Americans are the most acquisitive culture in Earth's history, and most of us are never satisfied with what we have: My own want list of unbought books, CDs and DVDs has 120 items on it now. I need to learn to be happy with the music and movies and literature I already own, especially when I have so doggone many.
The thrill of discovery has turned into obsession. And though it can have beneficial consequences -- I give all the items I don't keep to the public library or a college music library -- I need to curb my indulgence. I may come out of my self-imposed fast with a buying spree on August 1, but I hope to be a changed man instead.