Ear Worms, Nostalgia and Nonsense or Why I Love the Internet

Ruth and I are digging out the basement under our home.  Every morning, as I work, I seem to be afflicted with a new and unpredictable ear worm, a melody from my past that plays over and over until I consciously choose another tune to drown it out.

As I said, these are unpredictable.  Most are stupid. Snatches of songs I should have forgotten.  The other morning it was a couple of lines my father used to sing as we rode in his car to church. “While the organ peeled potatoes and the choir rendered lard, someone lit the church on fire.  Holy smoke the preacher shouted as his wig flew in the air.  And his head resembled heaven for there was no parting there.”  This got me curious enough to Google the lines and come up with this:

Turns out dad had both the words and melody wrong, which isn’t surprising.  What impresses me about this song, recorded in 1928, is how many of the jokes are probably inaccessible to the youth of today.  Do millennials know what it means to render lard, or that songs also used to be rendered? I suddenly feel old.

But how wonderful that the Internet can give me this music and these words, which my long departed father would have been at a total loss to supply.  Just one more reason why I love the Internet.

The other day we were in a grocery store and I happened to see cream of tartar on a shelf.  What the heck is “cream of tartar”.  I knew it was a thing, and had something to do with cooking.  But beyond that, not a clue.  So out came the smart phone, up with Google again, and there it is. Tartaric acid, a by product of wine making, used to stabilize eggs when whipping them. I’m so happy to have lived long enough to have answers to every question in my pocket.

My Latest Project

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I attended a Sunday lecture by Don Gayton, a clean energy engineer, who talked about his distress over the state of the climate change discussions, how he had emerged from despair to develop a plan to solve the problem.

The next weekend we attended a workshop Don gave on his solution to the problem.  And that lead to this video, which is something Don needs to put into his website and help him promote his idea.

In some ways, this video feels like a cheat.  It required very little filming, and is almost entirely made from clips snatched off the Internet, all of which are justified under the doctrine of fair use.  (I hope)  On the other hand it felt like a very creative process and I had a lot of fun finding the images and putting it together.

Welcome to film making as practiced in 2016.  It’s a far cry from the movies and TV shows I used to direct, but in some ways it is even more gratifying.  It’s so delightful to be completely hands on, in control, to dance with the ideas as they came to me, and to enjoy the synergy of working with Don and his ideas.

I hope you enjoyed the video, and I hope you can get involved in promoting Don’s vision. He’s on to something.