Mike & My Friendship
We seldom give enough to those who share things with us today. Who pass on important clues and infromation about the world to us. There are only a few friends like this. With friends like this, you only need a few. So, this piece is partly about one of those people who has shared so much with me over the years. Besides being about this wonderful friend, it is also about the piece he shared with me.
So much to share, and ways to share it these days. In the early days of media, just the broad mention of the thing you wanted to share like in the era of broadcast technology. But increasingly closer to sharing the same feeling, mood, music, images of these thoughts our modern AI, VR media culture. Film. Music. Words. Images. But more, sharing feelings that come with these various types of communication.
Usually, we find these magical links to new worlds by ourselves. But a rare few other times, these links are sent to us by a select few we listen to all the time. We would never have seen something in life if not for them. Outside a and above the present cultural and political events.
Many of these links – like the one above – are sent me by my dear friend Michael Larsen in San Francisco. Thanks Mike for sending the link to the above! Brought back a lot of memories and insight. You’ve always kept me “honest” in the variou associations this word has today. Michael always keep me honest in the various associations (interpretations?) of the word “honest.” Always sending me new things to look at: music, art, images, books to read, writings you’ve done over the years. A little longer thanks seem neessary Mike so bear with me. You’ve opened up ways of seeing the world outside the current back-and-forth of the political boxing match. Keeps me honest by continung tossing new ideas, takes, on the world at me. Most important, a good listerner, critic and old friend.
We became friends 20 years ago when I was living in the Sonoma wine country and Mike was co-founder of the oldest literary agency in San Francisco with his wife Elizabeth. I had just written a biography called Spirit Catcher on John Coltrane. Both Mike and I were/are intense jazz fans. Thus, began a 20-year-friendship. Wish I was out visiting Mike out in San Franciso at this time. The last time we saw each other was when I was visiting my sons in the Bay Area. At the Oakland Airport, they gave me a silver, super-charged convertible Mustang. It was a mistake on the rental company’s part and they let me have for the price of the car I originally rented.
So, I headed into the city and picked Mike up at his flat on Jones Street going to the top of Nob Hill. Mike lives on the sixth steepest street in San Francisco. I headed across the Bay Bridge to pick up Mike with the top down on the supercahrged Mustang. We drove out to the coast and then back through Golden Gate Park and stopped at our regular place, Amoeba Records in Haight Ashbury. It was known as being the world’s largest record store. Both of us could spend hours in the place. And did. And then, we followed our usual pattern as having lunch together. Maybe lunch at that middle eastern place Mike likes out on Geary and 25th. Then, if some jazz legend was in town playing at the Jazz Center, I Mike would tell me about it and we would ge tickets for my two boys and Mike and me. When I lived in Sonoma, Mike and I would go around the jazz clubs of North Beach in San Francisco.
Employment of Disney Symbolism to the Symbolism of Mask-Wearing
(Mike’s Links to me)
One can go to the Nerdist webiste and read the background on the above Disney piece. Or, can simply read a reprint of the article below. For this is what it really is in the end: the employment of the world’s greatest symbolism for the current symbolism of wearing a mask in public. Make no mistake that mask-wearing has become a political statement in many parts of America, two weeks before a vicious presidential election. Much more of a staetment in many ways than announcing something in public, like a red MAGA cap or posting a Biden/Harris yard-sign.
At the end of the article Walsh says “And even if it doesn’t convert anyone to the cause, its damn funny.”
But just then, what is “the cause” here? It would be naive to suggest masks do not come with increasing political baggage. In effect, masks have become symbols to some that the pandemic is largely a false narrative. For others, masks have become symbols the pandemic is real.
Yes, it might be damn funny in the end. But funny in the service of propaganda or public service? You be the judge. In the end, there is little funny about the pandemic. This is something all can agree on. And there is nothing funny for me in the end about the increidble onslaught of major archtypals images in my mind from the past. Snow White cast to play a modern undecided character based with the demands of culture to the popular narrative of wear a mask. Sangand danced to to by all the characters of a great Disney animated film.
The short little Disney film with an incredible singing and sound cast (see end credits for their name of the group) works a certain modern wizzardry for me of a particular generation in life. Not all generations. But I believe for my generation.
It is the images from Disney animated features over the years. Certainly, Disney has represented the grandest master of the revival of the Snow White symbolism into the modern world. Here, the “star” female of Disney brand or symbol recruited in the : the retelling of the Snow Whote story.
The chararters burst onto the screen employing much of the power of the grand Disney animated symbolism. With the power of Jungian archetypes. Certainly the Disney symbols were close to the archetype of the Baby Boom generation. Directed mostly at the target generation of Baby Boomers who were mostinfluences by the Disney symbols from their great animated films and characters they saw and experienced when growing up.
Here, the grand symbol pretty much tossed into our face immediately with the happily sung song to convice her to wear a mask. The teapot is wonderful in the part (even though it tosses out a few swear words). The chorus music, dance and backgrounds are flawlessly applied to the short piece. So well done, that one might think that somehow Walt is still alive, somewhere, conducting short little films like this.
A number of years ago, I wrote a piece titled “Friendly Persuasion” about the subtle techniques of modern advertising and communiation. Published in a Jungian online publication, it talked about how the method of control of culture and society today has shifted to ways to distract culture from the true controllers. Divide it into two parts and let these parts fight it out amongst themselves.
The brilliant symbolism of the above piece has a number of things happening at the same time, it seems to me. First there is the symbolism of the mobilization of an old symbol for millions of Americans. Not only a symbol but also a particular medium, media called animation. It brings back the grandest character from the grandest symbol master in history. And, asks us to be like her. Not yet conviced. But talked to by a cussing teapot backed by an amazing ensemple.
Anyway, I’ll let Michael finish up on this post below. I’ll give him the full floor and that the Nerdist website for posting background like the below on important YouTube pieces.
And, Mike, you did it again! The world sends me thousands of words and images each day. And you send me a few jangled letters of a link to the above. Not any explanation. No need for any explanation in this old communication enterprise. Thanks Mike.
* * *
Witty “Be Our Guest” Parody
Reminds People to Wear a Mask |By Michael Walsh – 10/19/20
At this point, it probably shouldn’t be shocking. But we’re still stunned—and always will be—that wearing a face mask during a global pandemic has become a political issue. There’s no anti “cover your mouth when you sneeze” movement for a reason. Yet here we are, over seven months into this nightmare, still looking for ways to convince others to do the bare minimum to keep themselves and others safe from COVID-19. It’s all so tiresome. But we just got a pickup from the newest attempt to get that life-saving message across. It uses one of Disney‘s best songs to serve up some hard truths. Beauty and the Beast‘s “Be Our Guest” has been transformed into the spot-on parody “Wear a Mask.”
* * *
YouTuber Noah Lindquist wrote and performed this spoof of Disney’s iconic track (which we first came across at Boing Boing). It’s an angry, but jovial, pro-face mask musical number. This isn’t exactly kid-friendly, though. The song has bleeped out swears and takes aim at a certain cable “news” station that has been peddling anti-mask propaganda. Also, this song has a piping hot dish of calling-out “Karen” BS.
* * *
Now, before anyone says, “But Lumière and the other servants aren’t even wearing masks in this video,” please remember they are candlesticks, teapots, and other various household objects. They don’t breathe air and they don’t have lungs. That’s why they don’t drown when they get washed in the sink. Unlike people, they aren’t a threat to anyone, even without a face mask. They would have to have COVID germs on them and then Belle or the Beast would have to rub them on their nose and mouth. Even the most anti-face mask people wouldn’t do that. Right? Right?
Actually, based on what we’ve learned in 2020, maybe they would. So since we clearly can’t convince people like that to be safe, please “wear a mask, wear a mask, is this really much to ask?” No, it isn’t.
And even if it doesn’t convert anyone to the cause, it’s damn funny.