Monday, July 4, 2011

Now What?

I'm about to be at a point where for the first time in over 20 years, I'll be wondering what to do with most of my free time.  Since the 80's a large part of my time outside of work has been dedicated to writing reviews for one publication or another, first, movie reviews for the Prince Georges' Post, then music reviews for OPtion Magazine, and since about 1990 Jazz CD reviews for Cadence Magazine.  The first two of those titles bit the dust long ago and Cadence is going away at the end of the year. More to the point I have just finished the major work on my last reviews for Cadence. In addition at the end of this month I will finally be paying off a large debt that has been hanging over me for some time, so I will soon have both more time and spending money on my hands.

Now I know there are a lot of practical things I could and should do when I get more cash but the fact is I'm an unrepentant music and movie geek and some money will be going towards those things though it's daunting to think of how much is out there.  The mainstream media keeps blithely saying that physical media like CDs, DVDs and books are dying out but despite their blather, all that stuff keeps coming out week after week and there is always something new arriving to attract people into various genres and niches like me. There are books on the work of comics artists like Bill Everett, Milt Gross, John Stanley, and Joe Simon & Jack Kirby, collections of Mickey Mouse and Popeye comic strips, and a 3-DVD set of the first 37 Tom & Jerry cartoons in chronological order all either out or about to come out. As for music the Jazz specialist label Mosaic alone has put out box sets on the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jimmy Lunceford, Sam Rivers and Charles Tolliver in recent months. None of this counts things that actually involve leaving the house like going to a movie. (I still intend to see The Tree Of Life while it's in theatres.)

The killer for me in all this is not money but time. I've seen fellow geeks in other blogs come to the realization that you cannot see/hear everything that is out there, especially with both the new and old material constantly being released and all the venues available now for listening or watching.  Even if you could devote 24 hours a day to this stuff you would never catch up. So I'm not going to worry about it. I am aware of all the more popular work out there I haven't seen and I may get around to experiencing it someday but I won't feel unfulfilled if I never do. I may watch Saving Private Ryan or Anchorman if the opportunity comes along but if Turner Classic is showing a Laurel and Hardy marathon or Celine And Julie Go Boating opposite it, I know what I'm doing.  As for music I am far more knowledgeable about Kurt Elling and Julie Tippetts than I ever will be about Lil' Wayne and Beyonce and I am fine with that.  From now on I will able to spend most of my free time on things I really enjoy and that will be an interesting change,

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