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Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Lists &c.

Looking over my profile page today got me thinking about favorite books & movies. I really can't come up with  definitive list for either of these. There are hundreds I've read or watched & hundreds, no thousands more I want to read & watch. Next month or next year I'll find some next interest or fascination; something I may not have even heard of today. Any lists I try to compile will always be incomplete,  tomorrow I will most likely remember a book I've loved but momentarily forgotten; all  Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories along with the Thames Holmes movies starring the late Jeremy Brett and I will always love a couple of children's books from my youth. Every page, every flicker of the screen hold such potential if not actuality. Almost moment by moment one's perspective can be altered.
  For the past year of so I've been in the midst of a "reading frenzy" What philosophy I can make sense of, the Bible (Roman Catholic & St. James), ancient Greek writings & Greek mythology and most rabidly of all books on Homosexual history & persecution.( I should probably compile a listing to post at some future date.)
   I never was what we used to call a "cause queen",  my low profile and my ambivalence toward the aggressive tactics of Queer Nation & Act Up (a long time ago!) limited my options for activism. Over the past year and a half I've had, as I mentioned in an earlier post, a reawakening of sorts. Along with that awakening I've developed an insatiable thirst for knowledge of the long road we've traveled. I inhale these books, they are like a drug!
  This varied reading has forced me to abandon some old ideas, affirmed some others and presented some very different viewpoints & ways of thinking to me. As I read my list of wanted books gets ever longer & longer. I have great regret & not a little shame that I didn't arouse myself sooner, oh when I think back over my fears, my trepidation; I've been a fool, truly. I had glimpses here and there yet I never reached out for more. I remember being awed by the film Koyaanisqatsi when my first "lover" showed it to me in my teens; there was a whole "crazy life" & world out there. I touched it here & there but never grabbed it.
  Now I do grab life, an intellectual one, an intellectual dare-devil I. I feel a rush that must be similar in some way to the rush felt by these worldly adventurers, the mountain climbers, the parachutists, the tri-athletes; those who risk life & limb. My risks are very different & usually not life-threatening yet they nonetheless are risky in there way. These books & movies are my mental mountain ranges as well as the little humps of dirt we used to jump our bicycles over for fun.
  How can one catalogue & quantify such variety? How can one nail down, with certainty, the right bibliographic roads & maps? I read one book & absorb the outlook of the author only to find new interpretations, new facts even  in the next two books on the same subject. Knowledge is a shape-shifting hydra. The only understanding, the only answer is more always more 'til that last breath escapes!  

                                                                           A.S. Merrimac   

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