Saturday, October 16, 2004

SLC blues . . .

Yesterday . . . all my troubles seemed so faaaaaaar awaaaay, now . . .ahem! Yesterday I journeyed as far as Salt Lake City in search of a viable video camera, and instead of renting, made a purchase. For $25 I acquired an ancient Magnavox VHS, and I'm hoping it lasts the weekend. It doesn't have a working battery, only runs on AC; so I also got an extension cord . . . but that's just the rank-and-file rigamarole. I had an epiphane! (Cue mind-boggled facial expression here.)

Just pacing to and fro between the Salt Lake Arts Center and Crossroads Plaza (there was a snafu in payment and I needed to snag some simoleans--(I wonder if that's the right spelling?)) I witnessed the vacuous cacophony, the seething synergy of the inner city. Frankly, having been to Houston and San Fran I know that SLC isn't the most bustling of towns, but in terms of Utah's center of civilization, the capitol city is IT. I felt that muddled melancholy that washes over me when I feel as if some cosmic calamity's afoot, just crossing the crosswalk and seeing people marching determinedly to lunch or a job and yet moving aimlessly. It reminded me of Thoreau's cautionary observation, "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." In the city, whether loud or timid their desperation is blanketed by daily business.

Though in the past I've worried a great deal about being a movie maker---especially when it comes to financial peril, I can only say that at the very least I would choose near-poverty rather than subject myself to a monotonous routine. Alexander Pope's peasant humbly declares, after having received the kindness of a king, if I remember right:
"An't please Your Honour," quoth the peasant,
"This same dessert is not so pleasant:
Give me again my hollow tree,
A crust of bread and Liberty."
(that's in The Sixth Satire of the Second Book of Horace, lines 218-21)

I dare not mock the effort of business persons, the cubicle worker, or the dutiful secretary; rather, I have to say that staring up at the skyscrapers I had more desire to film them than to crawl inside their confines and muck out a living as a faceless number, another passer-by in a corporate machine.

There. I said it. Now begins the mocking! :) (I know I'm a cheesehead, but I know you love it!)

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