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Higher Eclectica– Past, Present and Always

August 16, 2008

Okay! I’m guilty already… . David Brooks’s theory on the pseud psyndrome sadly accommodates my own failure to keep pace in the one-upsmanship of the day. My problem is I couldn’t care less about whether my iphone will do what yours will do, how many friendsters I have, and in which online communities I ought to be developing my profile.

No techno-media-philic gadgetized reality for me; nope, and I don’t think it’s just sour grapes, although I can’t be sure… if I had an unlimited budget, would I in fact drop out of the social and into the electronic? … and that is how I see it– this phenomenon of living life while constantly being tethered to cell and texting; it’s a life-is-elsewhere life. For example, last night, the very minute Mike Gordon (Phish bassist) thanked us after his final encore on the Burlington waterfront, virtually everyone around us got on their cell phones. Not that they hadn’t been checking them periodically throughout, and many phoning in the concert as it was in progress. So interesting though, the impulse to call someone immediately, and SO VERY DIFFERENT than a concert result from back in the day! Can you imagine phoning in Jethro Tull? The Allman Brothers? Jimi Hendrix? Bob Marley? Well, yes you can, because we’ve come so far.

And you snatch your rattling last breaths
with deep-sea-diver sounds,
and the flowers bloom like
madness in the spring.

My prefered “pseudo-intellectuality” puts me with those throwbacks who make their reverie in havens of obscure cultural involvements, somewhere between what Brooks describes as the Great Age of Snobbery, and the Age of Higher Eclectica. To illustrate, there’s nothing I relish more than telling someone about my latest favorite author, Haldor Laxness, an Icelandic Nobel winner that no one has heard of; or OOIOO a favorite music group that is deliciously and exotically my own. Even as far back as high school, I used to like to drop WBCN into the conversation, back when BCN was truly an underground station, and only a select few of us were tuning in. We’ve got the Radiator here in Burlington, but it’s not so underground really. (define underground?)

MY top ten movie list has no major Hollywood productions on it. My garden features rare, new hybrid and heirloom vegetables, as opposed to the tried and true but everyday varieties of things. Would I rather die than admit that my taste is anywhere close to common? Is there such a thing as being a snob “in the best sense”?

What we are talking about when we talk about what we are talking about…

Our present day pseud painted by David Brooks rings true, as we search for the right ring tone. To be part of the present day intellectual affectation, we are supposed aspire to something like the condition of the Verizon Guy who is always asking if he can be heard, through new and ever more various and multi-colored avenues… . But the poor guy never really has anything to say! (smile)

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