Tonino Tola is a 75-year-old farmer from Sardinia, Italy. He starts his day at dawn with a little coffee, some cheese and one or two glasses of wine from his small vineyard. By midmorning he has milked his cows and walked miles to reach his pastures.
"If you don't drink to avoid dying, if you don't eat to avoid dying, if you don't smoke to avoid dying, and if you see a beautiful woman and you don't go after her... then you may as well be buried alive!"
In these days of overocculated existence, relentless pursuit of digital perfection, and the elitist bad habits of the boomer generation that strangle the careers of our younger compadres while we try to hang on to that title as the Magic Bus Generation, it's nice to know some folks still get it. Living is live, it is messy, it is fun and it breaks your heart but without that, you can't know how good it is to have one.
Rock on, Tonino.
We watch too much TV, too many DVDs, and too many web sites with airbrushed perfect professionally posed pop tarts. To keep our attention, the images get brassier, the colors more colored, the music too loud and the emotions too cruel to contemplate. Working on the Dickens reading and giving it away as digital Christmas cards, I am being reminded of the joy of listening... just listening, as if the ear for so long the servant of 5.1 HDTV, becomes glad to be the main sense, to let the mind make up images in accordance with the dictates of the sound, the reading, the voice actors, the sound effects and Ludvig.
God bless Ludvig where ever he is. And thank you.
People say emotions are bad for business. Possibly. Do I really want to be in a business where that is true? I don't. Modern life in TechnoLand is too much like London in winter, and maybe that was Dickens' point. The relentless pursuit of any perfect moment, color, sound, love or just a cup of mocha is too much like sanding off my skin with coarse grain because I think beneath the blemishes of real life there is a better one. I don't think there is. There is this one. The difference is how much pain I create trying to perfect a world that already endures so much pain it has to paint it digitally and remake it into surround sound to escape. It is as Scrooge's fiance says to him as she irrevocably releases him, "You fear the world too much." and in her tears for what he once was, his heart dies.
So as the merchants go about taking Merry Christmas off the signs, making sure the ads are neutered of all special emotions and replaced with politically correct ones, while the hard Christian right has to face the facts that using Christ's name in the pursuit of power over others, to defend the unforgivable, that in doing that they caused the very pushback they say they are afraid of, that in their fears they found their demons and embraced them, I say listen to Dickens.
See the writing on the stone. It is a name.