But the books! The books, everywhere! Yes, they “furnish a room,” and there are certain ones I really do intend to re-read someday, when I’m older and know I’ll experience them differently (everyone should be required to read Huck Finn at 9, 21, 40 and then 60). But how many will I really remember, will I quote day to day in my head, will affect me as much as when I first heard Satie’s “Gnossienses: No. 1 - Lent”, or saw Tuco assembling his supergun in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (a metaphor I’ve re-used for so many doubtful moments in my life), or read Cormac McCarthy’s description of the massed Apache near the beginning of Blood Meridien (“death hilarious”) or when I first saw this fucking commercial for cheap cookies?
Patton Oswalt posted a long piece on his website today about a bit from his first standup album that centers on an old commercial for Stella d’Oro Breakfast Treats. He ended up finding the ad online, and he uses it as a launching point for ruminations on memory and how its tied to our obsession with hoarding physical media.It’s an interesting read, especially now that we’re living in an age in which pretty much any song, movie, book or, yes, commercial can be accessed within a few seconds.