Wednesday, July 19, 2023

#200 / Simon Sings


I guess I won't say that The New Yorker is an absolutely "indispensable" magazine, but I do think it's pretty good. Week in and week out, the magazine publishes a lot of important articles (and some excellent fiction, too). Plus, I like the cartoons!
Yesterday's blog posting commented on a New Yorker article on libertarianism. Today, let me report on another article from the same edition of the magazine. That article is titled, "Pleasant Sorrows: The Mysticism Of Paul Simon." It reviews Paul Simon's most recent album, "Seven Psalms." 
If you'd like to watch a five-minute video that has Simon explaining where this album came from, click the YouTube link below. Otherwise (or additionally), see if The New Yorker will let you read what music journalist Amanda Petrusich has to say about Simon, in her "Pleasant Sorrows" article.

Simon is confronting his mortality, and I liked the following verse, cited in The New Yorker review: 
I, I have my reasons to doubt
A white light eases the pain 
Two billion heartbeats and out 
Or does it all begin again?
Thinking about our mortality - that "Memento Mori" exercise - is generally a pretty good thing to do, and it seems to me that both Bob Dylan and Paul Simon are doing that - both of them born in the same year, by the way: 1941.
I was born in 1943, and I have been doing my own Memento Mori thinking. My personal musical connections with Memento Mori are mostly based in Bob Dylan, but whatever your musical tastes, sampling Dylan and Simon on that Memento Mori topic is time well spent. 
And sampling The New Yorker? That's good, too!

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