I found this article interesting, at least provocative (I’m a little tired of the Stop doing _____ trope, though). Most of us aren’t going to be in these situations, where our posts go viral and millions of people view the collateral damage of innocent bystanders. Still, it’s something to keep in mind, I think. There have always been strangers in our home movies and vacation slides, and sometimes these are fascinating cameos (a few years ago, I wrote a piece about some amateur filmmaking , taken at Disneyland in the late 1950s by a tourist, which was enshrined in the Library of Congress or Smithsonian or somewhere important. One of the Disneyland employees in the background was recognized by himself as a teenaged Steve Martin). Given this weird era, though, it’s good to spend a second or two wondering if a release form would be required in a professional but similar situation, and photograph accordingly.
Speaking of professional filmmaking, of a sort—I went down to the Seattle waterfront Sunday night for a farewell party for Arthur Allen, the writer/director of Winning Dad, who’s moving to Europe to be with his fiancé (who was denied a visa for reentry to the U.S., where he’d been living and had left to visit home; talk about collateral damage). Arthur seemed to be trying to spin this as a nod to expatriate artists, although love appears to be driving the train here, as it should.
It was good to see Arthur again, who was sentimental (maybe a little drunk, too, although maybe just sentimental) and seemed to be enjoying the evening. It was also good to see familiar faces from that summer of 2013, if a little sad to realize the chances are good this will be the last time. Never say never, etc., but reality bites.
It was a conversation with a couple of crew members, young guys in their early 30s, that prompted this:
It struck me as funny, that’s all. Those were Monday-morning searches, most of them having to do with a column I was writing, inspired by this conversation. I was speaking to one of them about his parents (their home served as the family home for the filming, so we got very familiar) and we were talking about his mom’s ongoing efforts to tame her garden, which is essentially a big lot that was covered with growth and she’s been slowly reclaiming (some of the camping scenes from the movie, in fact, were filmed in back of their house).
So I showed off my blackberry scars, and I mentioned Tom Robbins (whose Another Roadside Attraction was my introduction to the Pacific Northwest blackberry brambles), at the last minute thinking to ask them if they understood the reference. They did not, and so this inspired some musing about cultural amnesia.
I double-check most things these days, including word definitions (this is senescence, which seems to crop up a lot lately for some mysterious reason, the usage of which I understand and always doubt, so I check—Inigo Montoya is in my head). As I was googling the inside of my brain, trying to think of cultural moments that might have slipped off the radar, I thought of Beanie Babies and then wondered if Hasbro was still as big of a name as it was to me when I was a kid (yep). I didn’t use either of those, but I did toss in Escape (The Pina Colada Song).
And I did a rookie thing a few weeks ago and it makes me laugh—I bookmarked a Google search for baseball standings (instead of the eventual site), so I’ve left it alone and when I check it (sometimes more than once a day) it shows up as a search.
Another sign of the era, then. No one should be interested in my muddled thinking on a Monday morning, but if they are? Google’s got it. Maybe it’ll end up in the Smithsonian.