I’d brought along Joanna’s bite-sized Sony Cyber-shot camera in hopes of getting some decent stills, but the light was too low (even from the third row) and, as a result, all of the photos were streaked by motion blurs. So, instead, I experimented with the video capture, and I’m really pleased with the results — especially with the sound.
I got the sense that this guy was accustomed to being the most knowledgeable (or at least the loudest) guy in the room, so I was content to let him talk until he ran out of steam, hoping all the while that Joanna would wander back in our direction or that a meteor would destroy the apartment complex across the street. Anything that would give us an excuse to change the subject.
Like a soloist, Baldwin introduces an idea, a phrase, then he explores it, explodes it, develops it until he finds something new, something more precise or melodic. Baldwin accomplishes in his story what Sonny accomplishes in that jazz club. And, really, isn’t this just the most beautiful “vanishing evocation” (as the narrator describes music) of what art is capable of doing?
And then one of my Mexican students reminded us of the 1968 Olympics that were held in Mexico City, where only ten days before the games opened 267 students were gunned down and more than 1,000 were wounded during a protest at the Plaza of Three Cultures. And then two of my South Korean students told us of their government’s secret decision to send troops to Vietnam despite the public’s protest against such a move. And then one of my Chinese students, a remarkable young woman who exudes joy like no one I’ve ever known, said, “Yes. The same in China. During the Cultural Revolution.”
Jack Neely, everyone’s favorite chronicler of life in Knoxville, has a nice piece in this week’s issue of the Metro Pulse about his recent efforts to sell some old books. It’s a great glimpse into the lives of book lovers and the dealers who support their habits, with nary a mention of Borders or Barnes and Nobles in sight.
The Metro Pulse features a short article this week about the need for a new and much larger library in downtown Knoxville. The unfolding of this project should prove interesting, as it will essentially ask city and county taxpayers how much they “value” the library. The elected decision-makers are already eyeing the $60 million facility recently completed in Nashville, which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.