Thursday, September 18, 2008

Miscellaneous Notes #2 (Terrence Howard, etcetera)

In New York, I had heard some of Terrence Howard's new album, Shine Through It; and it was startling, as it didn't sound quite like anything else out--I could hear different traditions in it (European classical, folk, rock, soul, jazz) and suspected it was the kind of music some people would find repellent and others would love. Howard's mind and heart were obviously in the music; and that was confirmed by a New York Times interview. (I know that what often gets labeled "pretentious" is anything in which someone is trying to say something in which he really believes, something different in content and style.) I am more than willing to give Terrence Howard the benefit of the doubt as I have admired Howard's work in film: The Best Man, Angel's Eyes, Hart's War, Crash, Ray, and Iron Man; and I have read interviews with him over the years in which it was plain he was not interested in being anyone's stereotype: he is trying to be an individual and an artist. In Louisiana, I heard and saw Terrence Howard last night perform on the David Letterman television show, a program that might have been postponed, or rebroadcast, from an earlier day. I liked what I heard. It was unique, intense.

Television is more of a temptation in a small town, than elsewhere I think: the desire for news, for entertainment. (Television is a default form of culture.) I have not been a regular television viewer for more than a decade; and haven't watched much of it here in recent days (some news, and a little of a couple of legal dramas), but late yesterday I did go through the television guide to see if there were any films on that I might see (there were none).

When returning from my walk in St. Martinville on Tuesday, a "white" man in a white truck offered me a lift--and, after I said yes, and was going around to enter his truck he called out that he didn't have room in the front but I could get in the back. He added an apology. (I didn't see anything in the front making space sparse)...Glad for the ride, I hopped in--and later thanked him and wished him a good evening...He let me out and I continued my walk, and a second white man, a young white man (really, a boy) in a red truck stopped and offered me a ride another part of the way (I hopped in the back, without prompting); and he put on hip-hop music and started moving his shoulders to it; and, let off at my turn, I was appreciative for not having to walk the whole way...It was a beautiful day and a wonderful but long walk...

...It is easier to see age and time in others than in one's self, sometimes...(I have changed but I am not sure I have changed enough as a private person or social being.)...

Reporting of national news--whether by national networks or local stations--does not always make it clear how the news affects different regions. (This weeks coverage of Wall Street firms with financial trouble was evidence of that.) Regional news has a special value.