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Thursday, April 14, 2005


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One of my favorite moments in the history of "The Simpsons" is the following exchange:

Lisa: Cheer up, Dad. Did you know the Chinese use the same word for "crisis" as they do for "opportunity"?

Homer: Yes! Crisitunity!

Well, I've found myself with a bit of a telecommutitunity. Due to a series of developments at work, I've been able to engineer it so that I can telecommute starting today. I was actually going to wait to start until after we move in eight days, but I realized that I could take some of the strain off my dear wife by starting in sooner.

Will working from home help me in building my radio empire? In the words of the police officer in the Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs is being held captive by Rocky and Mugsy, "It might, rabbit, it might." I'm not saying that I would take time away from my regular job while I was being paid in order to work on scripts, but I'm not exactly not saying that either. And Federal law does mandate two breaks a day.

I think that not having to commute uphill both ways will help in that I will have more free time and will be less frazzled day-in and day-out. Commuting in Atlanta has become the thing of legend, and I figure that I'm legendary enough without having fight my way from one side of the city to the other twice a day.

I think I'm going to have my proposal ready for XM Satellite radio by the time we move. The new apartment feels propitious. And I'm ready to move on to the next adventure. Having my office at home is the first step.


Anonymous said...

Man oh man, am I jealous! I also thought it was great that you took the virtual high road and made no mention of the fact that you'll likely be composing in scanty and/or non-professional apparel. We would prefer to picture you at work in a silk smoking jacket with ascot.

Ascot Tannitch

Len said...

Yes, yes, the silk smoking jacket with ascot, jodphurs and pith helmet, they'll all be in the rotation. And fez and burnoose, of course.

Bumm Breaumel

Robert G. Margolis said...

Well, well, well: how our little Len has grown--things have gone from "next in the series" to a "series of developments"!

That Bugs Bunny cartoon you refer to is a classic with many a classic line; in addition to the one you quote, there's also "You heard the Boss, Mugsy, let me have it..." I give that quote here in particular because someone and their "developments" have indeed let you have it.

So your commuting sentence has been commuted to house arrest with time off for good behavior. You're really going to like commuting from your bed to your clothes to one room or another in your home. I telecommute to my current place of unemployment every day and the opportunity to do so has noticeably improved my unproductivity. I'm doing so much nothing for nothing I can barely keep up with the clothes and costume changes required. My advice: go slow, at first, and remember you're on the radio; no one can see what you're wearing anyway.

Len said...

Well, Robert, you'll notice that I never mentioned pants in my earlier post. And that Bugs cartoon is in my top five, maybe top three. Not quite the bullfight, but close.

Robert G. Margolis said...

Of course you didn't mention pants, Len. You are a gentleman, who smokes his jackets (mesquite, I'm guessing) who ties himself to his work chair with an ascot, and who would never, ever mention pants in polite Blog company.

I'm waiting for Greil Marcus to authoritatively rank Bugs Bunny episodes, so that I'll know what I think too, but until then, and whatever makes the 'top', it will surely include the mad scientist episode in which Bugs, while giving the monster who is pursuing him at manicure, says: "My stars, you monsters lead such interestinglives."

Len said...

I believe the segment in which Bugs gives the monster a manicure and sets its hair with dynamite begins with Bugs saying, "So, anyway...."

I also believe that the three we've mentioned, as well as "The Rabbit of Seville," were all directed by Chuck Jones. Funny and humane. Great combination.

These cartoons are part of a secular body of knowledge that I like to call, "The Sources of All Wisdom." They are all pop culture artifacts that transcend pop culture and become works of art, such as "Citizen Kane," "The Wizard of Oz," "A Hard Days Night," the first five or six seasons of "The Simpsons," and any number of Warner Brothers cartoons from the '30s, '40s, and '50s. Oh, yeah, and "Casablanca."

These are artifacts that changed my consciousness, changed my way of perceiving the world, and lines and moments from them course through my interaction with everyday life. Just last night, I quoted Captain Renault: "I'd like to think you killed a man. It's the romantic in me."

There's really nothing quite like a good movie. Not these days, anyway.

Robert G. Margolis said...

"There really is nothing quite like"--up to there I completely concur. But, see, for me, these days, any day, and every day, there really are quite a few things like a good movie. One "like", for example: many Bob Dylan songs are quite like a good movie these days, because they are imagined and constructed intentionally quite like some of those movies that don't belong to these days. That's just one example in my repetoire and I'd cite a few more, if I weren't so lazy, even when comes to making my own point. But I am (lazy, that is).

You've well observed and stated something I've long known and experienced to. And the examples you give, Bugs Bunny, those movies, the however many seasons of "The Simpsons" (before, I guess, the writers and whatever was in the water they were drinkin' changed), and so on.

These are, for us, our culture, in many respects--and this where my mind re-arranges a the furniture to say basically the same thing you've said only with different words, these are, for us, the equivalent of traditional (so-called 'folk') tales in other cultures (including our own once upon a time). They're "popular" in the best sense; that is, they are a part of a universal culture of imagination, meaning, and entertainment, of storytelling (about what is essential and universal in life).

And you're exactly right: they are directly in touch with, they do immediately derive from a source of Wisdom, which is why they elude the definitions and categories of "secular" or "sacred", though they can be perceived as both at once, or partisans of one or the other perception can claim them for themselves. The Source of Wisdom itself, well, that's not even created; it's non-dual, beyond and before and after all category, definition, and conception of any kind. The humblest,simplest tales and means of storytelling, jokes, and the like, which are primordial as well as universal, have always been among the first (and most profound) expressions or vehicles of that Wisdom.

Len said...

There are so many members of this club that it would take someone of astonishing energy or neurosis to catalogue them all. And everybody's list is different, which is part of the wonder and part of the way to get to know someone.

When it comes to movies, I didn't even begin to start my list, a list that begins with Chaplin and Keaton and goes through to something that hasn't been made yet. And I skipped over the first seven Marx Brothers pictures!

And music! You're so right. It starts sometime in the misty mist of the past and includes Bach and Mozart and "that crowd" (in Tom Lehrer's phrase) and the incomparable Louis and Bix and the Duke and Benny right up through Mr ZimmerDylman and beyond. And The Beatles, for me, of course. And Paul Simon. When I listen to his song, "The River," and hear the lyrics, "Hard times, I'm used to them./ The speeding planet burns, I used to that./ My life's so common it disappears," tears well up in my eyes.

Pop Art, interestingly, doesn't move me at all, but don't get me started on Rembrandt and van Gogh and Renoir.

Of course, you're right. This is a conversation that's older than Homer (the Greek, not Simpson) and one that will continue in unexpected places in the future. I find it interesting that people will, with some regularity, kill in honor of their religion, but never, to my knowledge, has a group of people decided to kill in honor of their favorite artist or movement.

Here's to that which transcends the pairs of opposites! Cheers!

Len said...

Oh, yeah. And The Firesign Theatre, who have given me so much, from "Please state your question, please," on Bozos to "Corn cousins forking in the wheat fields" on Boom Dot Bust.

Anonymous said...

While no deaths were involved, I think I did once shove a kid who loudly and persistently presssed the point that Paul Revere and the Raiders were better than The Kinks.

Stan Dardeeduction

Len said...

Stan, I may have been that kid. However, I was a callow youth who was blinded by the sight of grown men wearing silly uniforms. And you have to admit, "Cherokee People" was a pretty significant little ditty.

I. Leica Bluecoat

Anonymous said...

In hindsight, the Raiders were darned good and everytime I hear "Kicks," I snack crow. Now I must be off to my secret conclave.

Hyman Daway

Anonymous said...

I hyperventilated to the first Ten Years After album while wearing a motorcycle helmet and spinning around in a chair.

-Dizzy Gilltipsy