Oh, yes, let them begin the beguine, make them play,
‘Til the stars that were there before return above you,
‘Til you whisper to me once more, “Darling, I love you,”
And we suddenly know what heaven we’re in
When they begin the beguine.
Ah, technology is wonderful. Ever have one of those moments when a song keeps running through your head and you don’t know all the words? Well, I’m here to tell you that with the right technology, you needn’t have that problem ever again. Recently, my iMac G3 began showing its age and not doing some of the things I wish it could do. I spoke to my brother Bill, our family technology guy, because I knew Bill had given my Dad a new computer about a year before Dad’s passing. Bill explained that yes, he had Dad’s computer, but he also had an iMac G4 sitting around largely unused. Would I like it?
Is the Pope Catholic? Am I Catholic? On a recent visit, Bill bestowed this slightly used but still magnificent machine on me. I now have two computers, and sooner or later, I’m going to have to get my dining room table back, but that’s another story. Among the many goodies installed on this new behemoth are LimeWire, a file sharing application, and iTunes, Apple’s mp3 player. Partly because I heard it in the movie “The Rocketeer,” and partly because it makes me think of Dad, the tune “Begin the Beguine” had been running through my head. Armed with my new software, I went searching the internet, found the song and promptly fell in love with the music of Cole Porter. My success in finding that song led me to search out other music of Mom and Dad’s generation: Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and Hoagie Carmichael, to name a few.
When I was younger, I considered that sort of thing hopelessly dorky old fogey music. Now, however, as I am considerably closer to hopelessly dorky old fogeydom than I used to be, that stuff sounds pretty darn good–especially when compared to such abominations as gangsta rap and heavy metal. My middle initial is R. Perhaps it should stand for retro. It’s ironic, I suppose, that I’m using today’s latest computer technology to retrieve the best of yesterday’s music. It’s also interesting to note that iTunes has a feature called the Visualizer that generates random color patterns on the screen as the music plays. It’s fascinating to watch these multicolored, psychedelic, almost hallucinogenic images on the screen–something so ’60s–emerge while Ella Fitzgerald belts out “Anything Goes.” Like wow, man. Far out!
I’ve heard it said that the only websites these days that are actually generating profits are those dealing in pornography. How sad. God gives human beings the intelligence to create something like the internet–a means of sharing information, opinion, music, and art with people around the world in seconds–and so many people use it to send dirty pictures back and forth to each other.
Yet there is hope. There are plenty of people who deal in internet pornography, but there are also plenty more who are disgusted by it and want to do something about it. They put up good and decent websites and blogs full of interesting and entertaining stuff. The barbarians can’t come into the city if we don’t let them into the gate.