Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Stay close to me.

Dear Radio Dodo Listeners,

Here it is, two fine versions of one fine wine song:  One and Two.  It is your song of the day!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Independence from Dogma:

Dear July Fourth,

Did I eve tell you about the time an elderly French gentleman (with a tie, jacket, and cane- un flâneur véritable) met me in the door way of a Paris bistro?  Il sortait alors que j'entrais.  He was being aided down the stone step by a waiter in striped pants and a long white apron.  The staff knew him by name;  he might have been dining at that place for 60 years.  We made way for him to leave, and he asked me where we were from, in English, and I said "California," and he said "Oh!  America!  I love America!"  I think my expression must have been comme ça:  A puzzled Pourquoi?  He asked me didn't I love America?  I muttered that it was "all right," because I didn't think he meant what I might have by loving America.  He kept prodding me to to agree with him on the lovable-ness of America, and I kept deferring.  You can make your own list of what you don't like about America, but the biggest two items on my list are oppression and Capitalism.

But, what made me uncomfortable about being asked to join in a few harmless, neighborly, and kind words about my native country?  I ask you, how would you feel if asked to celebrate your country?  Would you think of the mistakes and cruelties?  Or, some other intangible, some kind of pride or idealism? 

Here is what I truly love about America:  roads, the great Native American West and South West, the rocks, the trees, the mountains, the gorges, rivers, beaches, milkshakes, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, doughnuts, bowling alleys, roller skating rinks.  I love the land and occasionally I love a few of the people, and I like some of its junk food.  But I don't love these phony ideologies, and even kind, well meaning, cultured French men from another era can't make me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

blue skies

Dear Tomorrow,

It was nice seeing you yesterday.  Here is your song for today. 


Dear Scribblers,

Of course, I was in love with this project at the mention of the name: Chalkroom.  What could that be, I wondered.  A room which can be marked and erased?  A dusty interior?  I spent several month wondering about it, savoring its possibilities, until I finally pushed the button. 

It's a treat to hear Laurie Anderson talk about anything, so don't worry, you will enjoy the film.  The idea of walking into the words of a story is a compelling and enigmatic notion.  It might be that I like the idea of the Chalkroom more than the reality of its virtual reality.  I will need to go and 'experience' it in person someday.  I wonder if virtual flight might be a little dizzying....

This channel is often tuned to Laurie Anderson; here at the Dodo we don't believe that you can have too much of a good thing.  More is more, so to speak, and here is a song for today by Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Every Day

Dear Readers,

Here is another place you can go:  Every Day for a While.  This photo of the eaves and roofline, plus trees and blue beyond seems just right to me as a place for a 'distracted thought.'  I know you will think so too!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Afternoon Delight

Dear Film Fans,

Here is a delightful film from the considerable backlog of good stuff we have here at the Dodo for your viewing pleasure.

In a related film, learn about injection-molding here, without which there would be no Lego bricks.

Friday, June 26, 2020

This lifestyle.

Elliott K. Perkins
 ceramic, 2019-2020

Dear Conflicted,

Raise your hand if you hate change, and are bored by sameness?  I was on the telephone a few days ago- an object I really revere, and you know that, because these pages have featured several pictures of telephones.  I like the cradled ear part, the phone part; and the guts, all filled with ringers and wires.  I love the dial, or the big square buttons.  I love the silly tangle-y corkscrew cord that connects the two.  I love the pocket under the cradle to put your hand into to carry the phone to another chair, or window.

And then there is the spatial facet of telephone conversation:  You are here, they are there.  I see the sky, the tree tops, the birds; you might see the sidewalk, someone walking a dog.  We might see the same things, a moon, a rocket plume, gathering storm clouds.

While on the telephone we got to talking about a song my DJ just played for me, and another song.  These songs are my project for today!  Because I have been thinking about what my job is, and for once, I think I know what it is: it is to use the space of my mind to make things in.  I can make thoughts, images, all kinds of insubstantial items, and then, if a good one comes along, I can make it manifest, like a construction paper flower, and then, I can give it to you.

Principally, I am concerned with these notions in contemplating these songs:  What are they about?  Are these songs two sides of the same coin, or are they the same side?  What does the refrain "you got it, you got it" mean in (Nothing but) Flowers?  What does the maniacal laughter at the end of Big Yellow Taxi mean?  Why do we hate change, we do we fear change?  Why do we yearn and long for the new and the novel, the yet to be seen?

Still wish you had a lawnmower?  Try another version.  Thinking about the Tree Museum?  Try this version.