Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Missing Links: Tuxedo Plays Through

Sorry to crowd so much pointless wordplay into the title, but perhaps now I can move on to more constructive thought. I tend to focus altogether too many high-beamed rays of mental concentration into these titles, and then too little into what follows. I hope to reverse this procedure. At least I hope to reverse the first part. Ideally, I suppose I would like to put no thought whatsoever into titles, a consummation predicated upon achieving a certain Zen-like serenity, or blankness. Much like that evidently achieved by those submitting Comments, who may have helpful hints. Having arrived at this pinnacle of consciousness, I suppose I would be just as happy putting little thought into the body of the text. Come to think on it, always a dangerous procedure, I would be just as happy putting any amount of thought into it, from zero to one hundred (centigrade.) Having achieved bliss, I would be just as happy, period.
Now that we have all of that creative accounting out of the way, I can put away my calculator, small polka-dotted hat, and lava-lamp electrical pen, and begin dispensing various links that I have been accumulating. Many of these links I actually stumble upon myself, which is unsurprising given the bumbling, if stylishly casual, manner in which I power-walk the InterNet. Others are discovered while tripping over intermediary blogs, but I usually don't recall how I got somewhere once I've arrived, which is very awkward in real life in the real world, but only mildly so here. So the intermediary blogs may go unmentioned until I stagger back into them at some future date (as opposed to some past date, where everything tends to be nailed down, pretty much, more's the pity.)
First, I would like to direct your (or someone's) attention to this wonderful piece on the great and imposing (though not particularly hail-fellow-well-met) Edmund Burke. For anyone who doesn't want to read him directly (see upper right screen under "optional"), this makes a fine primer. For those who have, it makes for a fine review. For those who just don't want to admit to belonging to either group, it's an excellent piece on its own terms. Burke was one of the first, and definitely the best, to put forth the overwhelming case that The French Revolution really, really sucked, any way you cared to look at the matter -- historically, politically, socially, philosophically. He was not one of your egghead Enlightenment cheerleaders for bad ideas, and is quite as sour in his own way as David Hume (whose political philosophy is little read nowadays, even less so than Burke's.) That the bad ideas they inveighed against are given as much if not more credence in the modern world is not because we were not cautioned thoroughly, and from the very start.
We turn now to lighter diversions. Followers of contemporary jazz will be delighted to learn that CryptoRadio plays tracks from recent releases by Cryptogramophone Records. Highly recommended for those of us who are just too hip for words. Squares and other naifs may find their light source temporarily blocked by those floating question marks which hover over scalps from time to time.
If, on the other hand, you've never felt entirely comfortable in beret, goatee, and shades, and ejaculating vegetarian sentiments such as "Dig that crazy beet," you might be more inclined to sit up straight and pay attention to Sviatoslav Richter, the greatest pianist of the twentieth century. (Okay, let's not all throw cream pies at once. David once told me that his greatest pet peeve was the increasing use of the word "arguably," and I'd rather not have to answer to him for any arguable use of the word here.) One can hear bits and pieces of some of the master's live performances HERE. And here's a fine obituary from 1998. If you wish to collect his recordings, you'll need to set aside about thirty-five years. This would not be a difficult obsession to acquire, which is why I'll be sticking to the dozen CDs I already have.
On yet another hand, I have lately been enjoying a blog called Topic Drift. It is rather odd. It is also peculiar. And engagingly eccentric. I mean these as terms of praise. I read an entry or two without any particular reaction, not even vestigial twitches from unfortunate circumstances in 1985. But I found myself going on to read the entirety of the archives, which is definitely indicative of something. Certainly I've never read anyone else's entire archives. She reminds me just a bit of Ivor Cutler, for reasons that will be discussed at length whenever I find myself in the sort of meeting where such things happen to be discussed. At that time I will pitch this at the hoop and see if anyone salutes. I look forward to it.
In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, and I mean this most sincerely, literary adventurers will want to peruse at leisure and to their everlasting credit if at their peril the Rafael Sabatini website. One of the worst mistakes I ever made (not really, but I'm surely not about to admit to most of the others here) was passing over a set of Sabatini's complete novels in a used bookstore somewhere in Maine a few decades ago. It was only thirty dollars, but I thought: Just more clutter. (Think of what happened with the complete Thackeray.) Besides, he was just a minor scribbler of popular romances, right? Right. Exactly right. Sigh.
I've got lots more links, but I've got other things to do -- though I may end up posting this, logging off, and then not doing them. Meanwhile, I'm running low on puns on the word "link," so I may just have to be blatant and overt (shudder) when titling my next collection.
UPDATE: The CryptoRadio link above has been changed so that it actually works.