Comic Book University
Plus some music for the weekend
Up at Minding the Campus today.
When I was 13 or so, I might have liked the opportunity to spend some time in school talking about The Fantastic Four, especially all of the appearances of Galactus.
I am eternally grateful that my teachers had the wisdom required to understand that schools are not for catering to the existing tastes of students but rather for introducing them to worlds they would not have found on their own.
What will today’s students think of us later for slavishly molding pedagogy to their desires rather than assuming authority and giving them more serious things with which to grapple?
When I was in about the 3rd or 4th grade, I used to dig through my parents’ record collection and listen to things on a little portable player we had. I hadn’t yet been fully overcome by the musical bug that severely infected me later in life, but there were things even then that just hit in a profound way.
For instance, I would play this 45 repeatedly, especially the intro, and the horn section and Starr’s vocal during the choruses had me jumping around like a little boy possessed.
I heard a cover version of this song in the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance (of which I watched every second). They used it perfectly—in the shot at the end of the 1996 NBA Finals, the final game of which was played on Father’s Day, three years after Jordan’s father was murdered, when MJ is on the floor sobbing.
Then, I went looking for the original, and found I liked it even more.
I hope to write (along with many other things that may or may not get written) something longer on Erik Satie, whose piano music has always meant a great deal to me.
I once embarrassed myself at a Christmas party at the home of my informal French dissertation adviser by arguing among much more knowledgeable fellow guests (several of whom were professional musicians) that Satie deserved a place among the most important composers in the history of French music. I would not try to defend that view now (and I half-think that I didn’t really believe it even back then—I was just even worse at that point in my life at admitting I was wrong and shutting my mouth than I am now), but I do still love him very, very much.
For now, here’s just this clever little piece, full of humorous musical commentary on other works and composers of the day, and accompanying text that is Satie defined.
Here also is a useful mini-lecture for background on ES and this piece, which is performed with the text displayed in English.
A biographical fact left out in the above link that I find too perfect not to include: After Satie’s death, a significant number of compositions he had believed lost were found behind his piano.