Hi. Was that enough about movies for now?

Thanks for writing in, Cindy. You rule! You too, Bond. Knew we could smoke you out, so to speak.

So the big news is the shootings, I guess. It’s weird the ways we localize news. I get that 32 people killed on a college campus is bigger news that 32 people killed in Iraq, or 320. But what about the report on my local radio station about the 1 person killed in the shootings who was from Lincoln, Rhode Island? Was that bigger news than the hundreds of other people from Rhode Island who died that day? It’s almost like the way we make a big deal about celebrities who do things that nobody would care much about from a normal person. It’s not the fact that this person died, or was killed by some random person. It’s the fact that they died in a famous way that matters.

I don’t think I care about people from Lincoln, Rhode Island, any more than I care about people from Nebraska, Iraq, or Kenya. I don’t care if the United States is going down the tubes if that’s a good thing for the world. Does that mean my world is exceedingly wide, or exceedingly narrow? I suspect the latter. The reason to care about local things more than global is because the local things affect you more directly. But if you don’t have connections with the people around you, you don’t feel invested in them, and you don’t value their lives any more than the person from Iraq.

Maybe it’s a function of moving around too much. Or maybe it comes from living as an observer of life rather than as a participant, with nothing invested, nothing to lose. Or maybe it’s just the modern way of life, where everyone has a million very weak connections (via internet, TV, phone) rather than a few strong ones (via daily personal interactions).

Or if you don’t want to talk about this, perhaps Nate will give us the latest run-down of the new Tom Waits 3 CD set.