Episode 340 - Tales of Hoffmann

Episode 304 · August 29th, 2022 · 23 mins 14 secs

About this Episode

What do our favorite songs, movies, and shows -- and even places -- say about us? Why do we like the media we do? What draws us to one form of art rather than another -- to one sort of setting rather than another? Why R.E.O. Speedwagon, for some strange reason, rather than Dylan? Why "Next Plane to London" rather than "A Day in the Life"?

Whatever the draw is, I think it has more to do with us than with the thing. Or rather, the object or medium that catalyzes one's deep feelings is less important than the feelings being catalyzed.

This cast starts with a reflection I first encountered through Mockingbird. It is from Frederick Buechner (R.i.P.). The cast then careens into George A. Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead -- to which I dragged poor Mary back in '73 when we were courting. (That particular date was almost as much a disaster as when my friend Lloyd and I dragged her to see Jean-Luc Godard's Wind from the East in 1970.) But George Romero's Damascus-Road experience in terms of his future direction in life and art turns out to have been... Tales of Hoffmann. I mean...

Then Jerry Garcia gets a hearing, with his Damascus-Road experience. Time and again, and I believe you can see it in your own life, the thing that moved you was accidental. You, however, and your vulnerability were not. Try to focus on the latter, not the former.

We close with an immortal and illustrative song by Jimmy Webb, as performed by Johnny Rivers. Please hear it through to the very last line. LUV U.