Also white. Proving this is the Best Winter in a long time - in the sense that it’s fierce, cold, harsh, and unapologetic - we’re getting, oh. ten inches overnight. It began in the afternoon, and as usual i thought “it’s really coming down in earnest.” I don’t know why the brain appends “in earnest.” Makes yo want to look for a town named Earnest, and see whether they have snow. Or “It’s really coming down out there,” as opposed to “in here.” You may quibble about “coming down,” thinking it’s unlikely to do anything else, but when the wind - what does the wind do? Right, all together now - kicks up, then it comes sideways. So I suppose “It’s really coming sideways out there in towns with many names, not just Earnest” is absolutely accurate but people would just stare if you said it.
Took out the trash and recycling and dragged the bins to the curb, or where I assume the curb might be. The bins wore four inches of snow, all of which slides off when you tip them, and falls right in the unprotected area ‘twixt glove and sleeve. Before I went out I told everyone I was tying a rope around my waist, but if they didn’t hear me in five minutes, coming looking for me, or check the skies for a flare. General nods and “uh huh” from the housemates.
I turned to look up the street:
There’s no one outside. No cars, no people; silence. It might seem empty to someone new to it all, but if you’re accustomed to this you sense something else. Possession.
End of the week; much work awaits on Friday. While doing some work for next week’s site i listened to a BBC radio drama I’d never expected to hear: a Martin Beck mystery. In the 80s I read the entire Beck series - Swedish police police procedurals that spawned not only many movies and TV shows, but are considered precursors to that overpraised Millennium triloy. Why? Because they included social issues, I guess - in the case of Beck’s novels, it was the underclass and Muslim immigrants. I found all of the books engrossing and came to love the characters and was exceedingly disappointment when the entire series ended with an endorsement of Marxism.
Which, if I remember, came from the friendly plump intellectual character. I mean, he literally had the last word, and the last word was Marx. It’s like coming to the end of the Marlowe books and finding Marlowe in a bar, finishing a scotch, stubbing out a cigarette, and saying “you know who really had the right idea? Hitler.”
But that’s not my point. Well, it was, obviously, one of them, and I meant it in Earnest, but I brought it up to note that the BBC not only did adaptations, kept the Swedish names and gave them all English accents - disconcerting, but you got the sense of the characters better - but that the BBC did it in the first place. I also ran across a series with the archaic title “The Women’s Hour.” No doubt once given over to household hints and Bowlly tunes, it was now a grim series of detective stories featuring a female DCI named CRAVEN. The first episode did not engage, but it wasn’t for me anyway. Point is, they did a detective serial. On the radio. In the 21st century.
I looked at NPR’s schedule, and let’s just say it’s rather light on drama. Question: would you listen to drama on the radio, or at least download drama for your iPod, or listen to it in a browser window?
I have little interest in radio documentary, for some reason. I listen to the BBC World Service for news and panels, and drove home today through the gathering snow listening to some haunting accounts of the situation in Ukraine - they lost the correspondent’s feed, but still had the background sound of people massed in the square singing nationalist anthems. It’s a London 1940 moment, and reminds you that there’s nothing as intimate as radio. It’s not TV with the pictures stripped away. It’s a medium all its own with a unique power. NPR gives us endless documentaries that prove the inexhaustibility of producers to find four people who will tell what it’s like to raise frogs in the desert, but it struck me today that it’s unforgivable that they don’t do drama.
Leaving aside the issue of state-funded media and the bias many detect in this BBC program or that, I’ll just say that I am constantly astounded by the quality of BBC offerings, and it’s a damned pity there’s nothing on American radio that matches the breadth and depth of what they do.
Oh: there was an American adaption of a Martin Beck novel. Who would you cast to play an introspective chain-smoking Swede prone to colds who didn’t like to carry a gun? Well, of course. Walter Matthau.
Again! The Lum & Abner Mad Organist Challenge!
Not to recap, but this helps: the trial is going poorly, so Lum advises Abner to plead insanity. A doctor comes by to judge Abner's sanity, finds Lum, talks with him - and is convinced he's the crazy one. Especially after Lum says his family, the Edwards, are connected to the British royal Edwards. You know, the King. Well:
The answer's a bit more complex than you may suspect.
New pieces of CBS Library music continue to trickle in, with some interesting revisions.
CND Cue #317 “Okay, Mr. Music Library Fellow, they’re stuck on an island in the lake and have to stay over night. Bet you don’t have anything for that.”
CND Cue #318 Dismay - then triumph!
CND Cue #319 Swirling mystery with inexplicable mocking horns
CND Cue #320 The heretofore mythical four-note ending!
CND Cue #321 I wouldn’t have snipped this one, except that it didn’t go where I expected. A lesson in how these things were recorded with different twists, or spiced together. Listen first . . .
CND Cue #189 From last December.
Now, the Mystery Organ Music.
When did this piece start to show up as a graduation tune? From 1905 on. But there's something else going on here.
It was also used as King Edward's Coronation Ode. So the organist knows a bit more than, perhaps, the audience.
Not the application of this product you might have previously thought.
Beauty hints c. 1945
Updates on the right - Patriotica ads, and a NEW COLUMN at the newspaper. Here. (Scroll down to the Columnists pane; when I did this it hadn't posted yet.) Have a grand weekend!