A fellow once joined a discussion board to post about a peculiar problem: he always wore out the elbows of his shirts first. I don’t know what he was doing (perhaps his sleeves were too short and he stressed them at the elbow whenever he bent his arms?), but his odd quandary helpfully reminds us that we each have a particular wear problem. For most of us, it’s the collars and cuffs of shirts, which certain dandies relish wearing as they thin away, and the seats, cuffs and crotches of trousers.
Dark suit, black shades, a cigarette, a Triumph sportscar, and the Eternal City in all of its baroque theatre. It has been sixty years since La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life) changed cinema forever; Italian director Federico Fellini’s fourth film, and the one which would propel him to international celebrity (meanwhile, making leading man Marcello Mastroianni an icon.)
We listened so often we memorized lyrics like the secret readers in Fahrenheit 451, at least the lyrics to the songs Stipe enunciated. Famously elusive, mumbled and indirect, many of his songs were like codes, with meanings no more than roundabout guesses. All that and more came back hearing that snatch of song, and reading Grace Elizabeth Hale’s incredible Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture. In it she not only clearly and thoroughly tells the fascinating story of the Athens scene around University of Georgia that gave rise to R.E.M. and so many other acts, she captures and conveys the liberation, joy and sweetness of youth.