notes for week of 2007-09-29

Saw that Radiohead is offering a name-your-own-price downloads for its new album.  This might be a better model for Defiance, Ohio audio files since I see a problem with totally free-as-in-beer audio files as being perceived only for promotional purposes or not valued in the same way a physical record is.  I would love to plant the bug in listeners’ heads that while digital downloads lack some of the substance and features of records or discs (artwork, tangible object) the fluidity that they can be transported and shared ought to be viewed as an asset in the same way that artwork would.

I’ve been watching the Ken Burns documentary, The War on PBS pretty intently, and it’s so much to take in. Some of the most elequent, descriptive, and thoughtful comments quoted in the film were by a veteran named Eugene Sledge, from Mobile. It turns out that he published his diaries from his time fighting in the Pacific theatre. The book is called With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa.

While it is possible to recognize narratives of heroism and villany in the documentary, more than anything, it makes me think about how immense and terrible war is, that it is incredible to me that after the destruction of WWII, anyone would ever wage war again. It seems so unfathomable, the extent of the horror and destruction, but listening to the stories, memories, and carefully crafted explainations of those interviewed, so obviously worded from a mental dialog revisited over a lifetime, that even those immersed in the belly of the horrors could glean what seems like so much understanding of humanity’s darkest capabilities. Even with this understanding, though, there seemed to be a general sadness in how little this knowledge offered in terms of imagining or crafting a different course for humanity.