So, Patrick Swayze. The fact that man dies of cancer may indeed by tragic, but it is perhaps more tragic that this death is like to grab front pages across the world, while buried on page A26 lies unread news about issues that should be of real concern to us. The death of celebrities is painted more often as the death of an ideal rather than the death of a person, and it is shameful that we should have our ideals about issues such as social justice or environmental stewardship so tightly wrapped up in people who often unqualified to address these same issues. Perhaps this is the result of culture that has become acutely delocalized and can no longer fix its gaze and attach its ideals to community leaders, but rather to a large and grandoise body of jet-setting celebrities upon, whom we can collectively imprint our values.
Here I turn to sarcasm, to ridicule. Certainly we are worthy of healthy amounts of it. So please, when I crack a joke about Patrick Swayze over the next week, don't look at me like I'm some kind of monster - after all, why should a man who lived most of his life as a wealthy playboy capture our gaze when there are far more needy people still living that require our attention? I'm just holding up the mirror so we can see how stupid we look.
The goods: Encounters at the End of the World, DJ Shadow - Endtroducing..., Madvillain - Madvillainy, Deep Wound - Deep Wound 7", Siege - Drop Dead, Liars - They Were Wrong So We Drowned, Charles Bukowski - Ham on Rye, John Coltrane - Coltrane, Fugazi - In on the Killtaker, Sun Ra - The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra Vol. 1