Viewing: Dreams - View All Posts
I'm a young man, proud to be a member of the prestigious Philosopher's Forum.
Our meeting place is a stately hall with white columns, not unlike a Roman temple, perched atop a steep hill.
The names of the great philosophers, our wise elders, are chiseled on the marble wall.
There's a grand salon where the elders speak and an archive where their lectures are recorded for posterity.
Our favorite days are when the elders visit to share their life experiences and ideas.
My friends and I gather in the grand salon, listen attentively and ask many questions.
Afterward we meet in the archive to read the great lectures of the past.
We passionately debate the nuances and meaning of every phrase.
It's now decades later.
I'm honored to have been invited to speak at the Forum, but when I arrive, it is not as I remember.
The columns are crumbling and the marble wall is covered in graffiti.
The names of the elders, long dead, are barely legible beneath the chaotic scrawl.
The grand salon has been carved up into dozens of tiny rooms.
There are too many speakers and everyone is shouting.
I struggle to communicate with a restless young audience.
They seem distracted and have no questions.
Afterward, I ask if I may visit the archive.
“Yeah, we don't really have that anymore,” I'm told.
“It's a Chipotle now.”
When I was young and asking the big questions, I learned most of what I still believe about loyalty, bravery and morality from the Silver Age superheroes in my comic book collection.
In later years I would travel internationally, study world religions, read classic works of philosophy and ethics, and even pay attention to my father's many lectures. I went to private school, public school, boarding school and the school of hard knocks. I'm an educated cat.
But to this day, when the world tests my mettle or challenges my sense of right and wrong, it's not Spinoza but my inner Green Lantern who shows up for the fight.
I've always been impressionable in this way.
For example, I'm pretty sure I have a goatee because of the way Spock looked in "Mirror, Mirror." I know I started wearing dashikis in high school because of a picture I saw of Elvin Jones in Downbeat. I sport a beret on stage because Dizzy did.
Today, while watching Highlander for the godzillionth time, I noticed something about Christopher Lambert's home. Like so many characters in films of the 1980s and '90s, The Highlander lived in a loft.
It now occurs to me that my interior design preferences and bone-deep love of warehouse loft spaces and mid-century modern furniture are not based on anywhere I've lived or anything I've seen or studied. They don't reflect some sophisticated notion about the aesthetic requirements of an artist's life. They aren't because I need space to rehearse and create.
Nope. I learned about loft living from the movies. Dig:
William Sanderson in Blade Runner (1982). Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (83). Lambert in Highlander (86). Barbara Hershey in Hannah and Her Sisters (86). Mickey Rourke in 9-1/2 Weeks (86). Tom Hanks in Big (88). Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally (89). Rosanna Arquette in New York Stories (89). Nancy Travis in So I Married An Axe Murderer (93). James Caan in Bottle Rocket (96). Ethan Hawke in Great Expectations (98). Julianne Moore in The Big Lebowski (98). Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (99). Christian Bale in American Psycho (00). Owen Wilson in Zoolander (01). Olivier Martinez in Unfaithful (02).
I want their cribs!
(Sure hope this flugelhorn thing works out.)
October 24, 2012
Sax Under A Streetlight: Crime Scenes | Jazz Noir With Dmitri Matheny
By Mariana Dale
As a teenager living in Tucson in the late 1970s, it was hard to nurture dreams of becoming a jazz musician...more
I've been following the story of Dutch engineer Jarmo Smeets, who claims to have cracked the code on how to fly like a bird.
Inventors since Leonardo have been trying to do this. We've been able to create wings for gliding at high altitude, but the engineering challenge has been that if you make the wings large enough to support the weight of a person, no human being is strong enough—or can flap his arms fast enough—to achieve lift-off.
Smeets says that his breakthrough is using the motion detector from a Nintendo Wii to power small rotors, so that only short, brisk movements of his arms are necessary to power the flapping of the wings. With a running start, he says, he and his wings can take flight.
His YouTube videos are impressive.
The science community, however, is skeptical about the videos. Apparently Smeets' alleged credentials don't check out, either.
As someone who has dreamed of flying nearly every night since childhood, I want so badly to believe that this is possible!