As one who grew up with the original Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory movie with Gene Wilder, Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s timeless poem Ode holds a special place in my heart. Gene Wilder recites the first two lines of the poem in his typical thoughtful tones.
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
-Arthur O' Shaughnessy
For anyone unable to endure the many hours of standing in the often mile-long lines waiting to visit the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel in Rome, well- here’s your chance. The Vatican has created a beautiful Flash site that allows the viewer to scroll, roll and zoom their way all around the interior of this incredible work of art (actually, calling it “art” is one of the most vast of understatements). Pour yourself a nice glass of chianti, sit down and follow this link.
Very recently enjoying another visit to Bermuda, I again found myself looking up.
Well, when you’ve got it, use it. The Bermudians have certainly taken proper advantage of their most dominant natural resource. The mid-Atlantic British territory is established atop an archipelago of limestone that serves as solid ground on which to build and build with. Without fresh ground water to drink (what there is, is brackish and not suitable for drinking), settlers were forced to be creative with what nature had given them. The need for drinking water, combined with the need to protect oneself from hurricanes, inspired the brilliant designs of the Bermudian roofs, of which the first was built nearly 400 years ago (and still stands today).
Having been to Tokyo quite a few times over the years, I’ve never made it for some reason to the Shibuya location of Japanese denim brand, R by 45rpm. When in New York though, I never seem to miss stopping by their shop on Mercer St. in Soho. Yes, the denim collection, wovens, knits and accessories are always worth an extended visit, but even the shop itself is well worth my time. I would be hard-pressed to find another brand that so completely understands how to bring a consistent aesthetic and experience to their product and selling-environment as well as R by 45rpm (on a par would be Ralph Lauren and Apple).
Sometimes, the smallest of items need to be made the most alluring. Shopper’s attention is pulled in so many directions. The sights and sounds and thousands of offerings fill a person’s horizon. That little extra effort put into packaging is often all that’s needed to tip the scales.
All I needed to see were the words “American” & “Vintage” in the same sentence and my attention was drawn. Never mind that I was not just the only man in the room, but the only non-retirement aged person in the room as well. Yeah, well, vintage textiles and a mutual admiration for masterful craftsmanship have a way of pulling birds of a feather together (textile geeks).
When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. And Primus definitely has it. They’ve been around since the mid 1980s and remain consistently solid musically and as heavily experimental and progressive as ever. I typically enjoy three solid meals a day of all-things-music (with extra helpings of rock) and consider myself reasonably well-versed but I wasn’t expecting to be so thoroughly impressed as I was at a recent Primus concert at Roseland Ballroom in New York City. I had always been aware of them, but never paid close enough attention to their style and technical mastery. Absolutely amazing is the best way to describe their performance.
Think Different. Just the words give me a lump in my throat. Not just for the concern over the health of Mr. Jobs, but rather for the inspiration that his company has given me for so many years. I’m not talking about the more recent innovations and products, such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I’m speaking of the Macintosh computer. During the lean years, when the rest of the world was touting Windows as the only choice a “sane” person would make, the rest of us had the Mac. And it served us well.
Please excuse the mammoth size of the above stamps. I didn’t want anyone to miss the beautiful detail of the art or to miss the impact of this special day. I was born after man first propelled himself beyond the gravitational pull of Earth, into orbit, and finally landing and walking on the moon. Nonetheless, the excitement I have watching NASA send rockets and shuttles roaring into space has never ceased.