Darren McGavin and Don Knotts, and I got the news of both on the same damn day. The icons of my childhood are perishing all about me.
Have I done anything in the last few days worth reporting? Not really. Lots of reading, though not as much as I would have liked. Tuesday night, we watched Hal Hartley's Amateur (1994), which I'd never seen before and liked a great deal. Last night, we watched Vincente Minnelli's Lust for Life (1956), which is a favourite of mine, but which I'd never seen on DVD, and now it has me wanting to see Robert Altman's Vincent and Theo (1990) again. And we've seen a great deal of the Olympics. I was pulling hard for Irina Slutskaya, but was still very pleased to see the gold go to Shizuka Arakawa. Yesterday, I dug out some old video that was shot in September 1999 at the water works tunnel in Birmingham for an aborted Tales of Pain and Wonder documentary. And that was very strange, watching the me of seven years ago (even though it hardly seems like seven years). That was the month before Spooky came to stay with me for the first time. Anyway, then we dug out another, older tape, a NYC public access TV interview I did in May 1998, the night that faustfatale and I had our joint book-release party at Mother. docbrite was there, as well, perhaps the only time that the three of us have ever been in NYC at the same time. That was even weirder, the me of almost eight years ago looking back at me. There's some older video around here somewhere, a bunch of Death's Little Sister stuff from '96-'97, and one very old tape of me lip-syncing Kate Bush which dates back to '93 or '94. I don't think I have the nerve for that just yet. I should have all this crap dumped onto DVD and let Bill Schafer give it away with some subpress book or another. That would be a scream. Or something.
And yesterday the Earth's human population hit 6.5 billion, which is three and one half times the size it was at the beginning of the 20th Century and at least a third again what it was when I was in junior high in the mid '70s and first began to think about such things. Someone's bound to say that's just fine and dandy, the more the merrier, bring 'em on and never mind a planet's carrying capacity or biological diversity. Me, I just don't find Homo sapiens sapiens quite that goddamn wonderful. Wouldn't a billion be just fine? Just one billion? I'd gladly trade 5.5 billion humans for a few more tigers (<5,000 remaining in the wild), elephants (approx. 40,000), polar bears (approx. 22,000), or northern right whales (<400). Or how about trading a measly 1 billion humans for 1 billion acres of rain forest and another 1 billion for a billion acres of wetlands? That sounds fairer than fair. But I'm sure that's just me, and, having given up my status as human some time ago, I'm probably not technically allowed a voice in such matters, anyway. You might as well let dolphins and tuna and dodos vote! 6.5 billion human beings. Jesus. I think I'm going to go try and calculate just how much solid waste 6.5 billion human beings shit out in a single day...
Perhaps I'll post the results later.