I have digital cable and cable internet now! Prior to this Friday I had no cable TV and a 56k internet connection. Now I have more channels than I even know about, and a properly speedy web connection. Ordinarily such a rapid shift would cause me to get the infotainment bends, as the oppressive weight of 20th century technology was so quickly ripped away. But I’ve been taking it easy, watching only VH1 Classic and only sporadically checking my email. And playing drums a lot. VH1 Classic is amazing, though. Their definition of “classic” is apparently very loose: the latest Beastie Boys track is classic? Obscure metal videos by Tangier and Enuff Z’nuff are classic? Perhaps “classic” refers to the formula, like Classic Coke, whereby the channel does what a music video channel used to do: play music videos, new and old, popular and unpopular. Itls magnificent. The danger is that I’ll waste an hour sitting in front of the TV waiting for a good video to appear. Just like I did in the 80’s. If they bring back “Yo! MTV Raps,” I’m doomed.
Friday night Jessica and I went to see The Aviator, which was really quite good. I managed to forget that Leonardo DiCaprio still looks like a 12 year old, which is a credit to his skills as an actor. Cate Blanchett rocked the Kate Hepburn impression. I think it’s much harder to play a real person than to invent one, because if you invent one, there aren’t millions of people out there who’ll know that you got it wrong. And much props to the soundtrack for re-introducing me to Django Reinhardt’s “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” I’d forgotten how much I love that song.
UPDATE: I’ve just discovered that VH1 Classic does, in fact, have a “Yo! MTV Raps” hour block. So far, of the stuff I’ve never seen before: Del tha Funkee Homosapien’s “Mistadobalina” and Dana Dane’s “Tales From the Dana Side” featuring Kwame and Kid n’ Play. This is as close as I’ll get to time travel. One observation about hip-hop: in the old school videos, the rhymes were all about being the best MC. Today it’s about having the most money.