I like the moment when a whole new category of things is discovered to appreciate.
For example: nobody used to care about popular music. If you asked an intellectual in 1820 about music he would talk about classical music. It would never occur to him to listen to the music farmers sang in the fields. Then Alan Lomax and people like that went into the fields with recording equipment and they discovered (for them) popular music.
The same thing happened with film and with commercial art. A whole category of human experience was dragged up from beneath the ocean of inattention and opened and revealed a chest of pearls and emeralds.
But the really valuable thing was not the pearls and emeralds in the chest (the songs of Charley Patton, the movies of Dwaine Esper) — it was the act of dredging itself and the hope that it proclaimed.
I am thinking of the next discovery. By definition I can’t think of it because if i could really think of it and you could really understand it, then it would not be submerged that deeply.
And yet. And yet!
Here are the next things I hope some day will be appreciated, culled from the world, reviewed, ranked, criticized and loved, as we now learn to love television programs and rock and roll music:
1. Nagging. There could be a time when the nagging of the unfamous is collected and appreciated as movies and blues songs are today.
2. Squirming. Even the physically undeveloped have their personal way of squirming through a tight space.
3.Inarticulate discussions of family fights.
4.Special feelings of ease and disease in the limbs.
5.Angry corporate memos and doublespeak of all kinds
When I curate a web page of the greatest acts of forgetting, from an uncle forgetting his nephews birthday in Rio D’Janeiro, to a bureaucrat in Thailand’s forgetting “just why am I doing this again” I will wake up with a start, because I will include in it my own acts of forgetting.
Because if it is to be anything other than voyeurism the appreciation of the unknown other is and must be a path to the reclaiming of the unknown me.