1. Decasia: The State of Decay. A film by Bill Morrison. Because I read this article by Herbert Muschamp in today’s NYT, I remembered reading about this film before, and now it’s out on DVD. Because it’s got a sticker on the front with a quote from Errol Morris saying “Haunting, Mysterious and Incredibly Beautiful. A definitive work of art” and I love Errol Morris and am a sucker for art as long as it doesn’t trigger any of my many objections. Even though Muschamp wrote:
Already a cult classic, the movie is a time capsule of the postmodern obsession with decrepitude. What a space saver! Just pop this disc in the player and you'll have all the putrefaction you could ask for. Watch the Master Narratives Crumble! Entropy Now! Pomo's Greatest Hits!2. The Four Complete Historic Ed Sullivan Shows Featuring The Beatles and Other Artists Including The Original Cast from "Oliver!", Cab Calloway, Cilla Black, Frank Gorshin, Soupy Sales, Gordon & Sheila MacRae, Tessie O'Shea, Myron Cohen, Mitzi Gaynor, Allen & Rossi, and many more ..." Because I love a historic mishmash that is likely to give me all sorts of weird mixed feelings of delight, anxiety, regret, nausea, horror, and general sublime awareness. Because tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the first of the four shows and the DVD empowers the consumer to mark the occasion. Because I want to rethink how I felt when I was thirteen and had to face the reality that not everyone was as much in love with The Four Seasons as I was. (Oh, how sadly they have fallen out of the culture! A search for "Four Seasons" in Amazon did not show them at all on the first page of a list that began with: The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World...Ever!, Sex and the City - The Complete First Four Seasons, Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long, and Montbell Ultralight #2 Sleeping Bag.)
3. The audio version of Yann Martel's "Life of Pi." Because years ago I learned how to solve my terrible insomnia problem by listening to spoken word. Audio books last years for me, because I can only hear a couple minutes a night. Because I think the elements of the story involving animals and floating in a lifeboat will harmonize well will sleeping and dreaming. Because I've listened to "A Short History of Nearly Everything" for the past year and some aspects of it are not harmonizing well with sleeping and dreaming (e.g., Yellowstone is a supervolcano due to erupt and destroy life as we know it, a large asteroid could suddenly kill us all something like a second after we became aware of it).
4. Sam Kashner's "When I Was Cool, My Life at the Jack Kerouac School." Because there's the adorable Sam Kashner on the cover wearing what William Burroughs called "suspenders of disbelief." Because I opened the book up at about twelve different places and read one sentence and every sentence passed my personal test of goodness (some combination of specific/surprising detail and an arrangement of words that charms me in some way ("I graduated 'in the Earth Horse Year,' whenever that was.")).