I’m a computer guy, but I grew up in the days when, if you wanted to write something, you sat down in a chair, behind a table, and you took up a pencil, and you started filling in a blank sheet of paper with something that meant something.
The year was 1987 and Lincoln, Nebraska was still fresh off its Oscar-winning buzz for “Terms of Endearment” in 1984. The new high was a 14.5 hour, seven-nights-in-a-row, mega-miniseries called “Amerika” to be shot on location around the outskirts of Lincoln and aired on the ABC Television network.
How many of us live to be defined by our possessions? How many of us find value only in what we have achieved and won and coveted? I wrote about this nagging issue of human governance on November 22, 2006 — “Worthy of History: Only Expensive Things Survive” —
The perversion of the historical accuracy of how our ancestors lived, and how we currently live, is created by preserving only expensive possessions — tokens, icons, valuables – and in the purposeful construction of indestructible architectural monuments used by the privileged few.
History is skewed by this preservation technique because it only pretends to tell future generations how people actually lived. When we visit museums we are only seeing what the powerful majority of the culture of that time deemed important enough to save and pass down.
We only get to know what they thought was worth saving and inevitably those things are the expensive, the pretty, the unique and the tokens of the wealthy. Even pioneer and Native American museum dioramas are idealized with hardy items and the most beautiful things. The ordinary is forsaken for the power of the inherent value in the preservation of the perceived best.
When I was on my recent Red Squares walking tour of Jersey City, I happened upon some street construction that gave me a chance for an aesthetic and professional mulligan: Exposed cobblestones on their way to disappearing again for three decades!
I whipped out my new iPhone 5S and awkwardly began taking photographs to make up for a previously lost opportunity articulated here in a comments stream from two months ago:
I did not take photos of the cobblestones! Gah! I was always mesmerized by them and felt such sadness that the beauty would soon be covered up. I’ll have to look for another street in the area to document! …
Our cobblestones were like square granite bricks and they were put in the street end down — creating a long-lasting, and deep stone that would never wear away. …
I only know the cobblestones here are so massive because I tried to dig one out to keep! I couldn’t do it. Too massive. Too heavy. Too deeply seated in 1600 soil! …
They just covered up the old cobblestones again. They’ll be hidden for the next 30 years until they re-pave it all again.
Here we go! Caught, in situ, exposed cobblestones half-dead under hot, new, asphalt — and a burning morning sun — but now also half-alive for forever and a half-life, exposed, and memorialized here in this article!
Time to go what we had come to Vienna for — one of music’s “superstars” and a once in a lifetime chance to see Robbie Williams perform live on his Take the Crown Tour. It was time to be entertained by the best in the business.
Time to go and see one of the stars my romantic heart had grown up with and with whom I had developed a connection. Robbie had owned a little piece of my heart from the Take That days and at times he sung the words I needed to hear with the voice of an Angel.
Our tickets cost 118 Euros for seats in the stadium –rather than the pit — cheap in comparison to the UK concerts which were our other main option.
International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labour movement. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries. All around Europe people are celebrating with a day off or a “bank holiday.”