My friends know that my interests are pretty multifarious — like Terence’s character, I tend to think that “I am human, and nothing of that which is human is alien to me.” Consequently, when my friends run across something a bit off the beaten path, they’ll often send it my way, and that gives us at least some of today’s content.
Just a few minutes ago, my friend, former bandmate, and frequent commenter Jerome “Joe” Scott posted an article on a fellow named Ed Stilley from Hogscald Hollow, AR. During a spiritual crisis, Stilley received divine instructions to build guitars and give them to poor children. He has followed these instructions for nearly 40 years now, and has made hundreds of very strange homebrew guitars. Most are made from found objects and scrap wood, and employ things like screen door hinge springs and saw blades as resonators. Almost always, they are decorated with the motto: “True Faith True Light Have Faith in God”. This outsider luthier is now 85, and his work has been chronicled in a new book. Thanks, Joe. (BTW, Joe now plays Celtic-style folk music. You can check his work out here.)
Bob Gusky was a neighbor of ours in Kentucky — I kidsat him and his sister on a few occasions, being a few years older than both of them. Bob notices a lot of the same things I do, and passes them my way on occasion. A current example is this article he sent me yesterday, looking at graffiti in medieval churches. The article notes that the graffiti (from mason’s marks to witch signs) provide interesting views of the large chunk of the population that was illiterate in the era, and may offer some insight into their lives and desires. Check it out.
I’ve been remarkably successful at shutting out the political world of late; the Mad Dog had to remind me yesterday that the GOP convention is this week, to be followed by the Dems. Still, when my old friend Sid Winek sent me this link to 60 years of presidential TV commercials, I knew there would be some fun stuff in there. And there is. Of interest to fans of rhetoric and observers of how candidates are packaged.
And as I’ve made my trip toward the political desert, I remain aware that the word idiot has its roots in the Greek idiotes, meaning a “private citizen”, by extension one unconcerned with the affairs of the polis. Shaw drew on that etymology in his “Apology” for Mrs. Warren’s Profession, when he referred to “hopelessly private person[s]”lacking interest in (presumably political) solutions to society’s ills. I’ll leave the reply to Neil Innes.
See you soon.