Sunday, March 04, 2007


This is politics-free zone for March.

I've played this cliched game many times, .... -If you were marooned on a Island, what CAN'T I do without?-

So pretending for a second this Island has an interminable supply of AA batteries for my portable DVD-player, and that my MP3 player had nuclear cells so it could run for decades before loneliness kills me; here is my list of Movies, Albums and Books I can't do without,... I will limit the list to five of each.

- Shawshank Redemption. I've seen this film at least 10 times and I still get giddy when he comes out of that pipe onto the creek, and finally to freedom. I'm still waiting to see if they got that boat finished in Mexico.
- Lord of the Rings (any). I had never read a J.R. Tolkien book until after I saw the LOR trilogy films. I'm not a fantasy genre guy, but this author has me by the short and curlies. As to the films. the sheer scope and visual candy of any of these films leaves me stunned to this day. I know the majority is computer graphics but if I'm stranded in Gilligan's Isle for any length a time then I want movies that make me REALLY forget. Besides, watching Frodo walk up that volcanic mountain, will make me feel like I'm in St. Tropez.
- Brazil. Sort of a cult film in the mode of Eraserhead or Clockwork Orange, but its still one of the most bizarre movies I've seen. Robert DeNiro's part alone is worth the 2 hour volley.
- Delirious. This Eddie Murphy concert classic is not a movie per se, but it is on DVD dammit so it goes in the pile. Besides, I will miserable enough swatting away mosquitoes, .... Eddie's irreverent humor will make the swatting that more meaningful.
- Patton. I'm a huge George C. Scott fan. This Oscar winner is not deep in plot, just deep in symbolism and dualities for me. It reminds me of many things,... Nixon, WWII, Honor, .... the Moral question of warfare...., I can watch this every day and write a different post to it accordingly, it has influenced me that much.
- Kings's X (Gretchen goes to Nebraska). The Beatles meets Black Sabbath. To say this is my favorite band is a gross understatement. There is my daughter, and then there is King's X. If that band I was in a decade ago had a semblance of talent, and sounded anything like this, I would not be here
- Ruben Blades (Siembra). This is an ode to my Puerto Rican heritage (although he is Panamanian). He nails what is the classic salsa sound. Soft, alluring, powerful in music and melody, and recorded at a time (circa 1979) when there was no digital editing to clean up a bad performance. His voice is iconic.
- Sarah Brightman (any). There is no voice in this mother Terra than can paralyse me into inaction as much as this British Diva. From Pie Jesu of Andrew Lloyd Webber fame, to any of the new age pop diddies she is known for these days,... she is incapable of singing a bad note,...
- Peter Gabriel (So). An old album that has the unique gift of having every song being a great cut. From "Red Rain" to the duet with Kate Bush "Don't give up",... this is 80's production at it's best. And how many Albums can you say that about?...
- Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack). Its got nothing to do with Disco, but everything to do with the fact that I remember where I was when I first heard EVERY one of the cuts in that double-album masterpiece. I remember high school, the dances, the girlfriends, the pot, my father, the movies, american top 40, my family..., a lot of memories there. Maybe not the most significant piece of memorabilia, but I do own it in wax, and that alone makes it a makeshift freesbee in my Island paradise.
- Red Storm Rising. This cold war era yarn is the perfect techno-thriller for Tom Clancy addicts like me. Not as gee-whizzy as Clive Cussler, but the attention to detail and twists in plot are perfect..... for staying up all night.
- Cosmos. Carl Sagan wrote this book I don't know how many years ago, but it puts -in layman's terms- the wonders of the universe. And if I am going to be face up on the sand at night staring at the stars,... I might as well know what the hell I'm looking at....
- The joys of Puerto Rican cookery. Talk about gluttony. The only reason this book makes the list is because i am marooned and (maybe) I will never taste the meals made so lovingly by so many in my family. If my lips can't taste them,... at least my mind can,... as I read the recipes and chew on a coconut.
- The Iliad/Odyssey. I know, its 2 books, .... so shoot me if I'm cheating my own game. But you CAN'T read one without the other, .... and after chewing on a coconut, I need to think of Trojan woman serving me grapes and oxen,... (Besides, Homer has a sense of humor that appeals to my lack of decorum ...)
- Century, A collection of photographs (Phaedon) A massive tome of 20th century history photographs and commentary. You can say this is 30 books in one as each chapter takes you on an amazingly detailed journey of a particular era of this planet we love (or hate) so much. And maybe, after browsing through these thousand-plus pages of human endeavor,.... I may just thank my lucky stars I am stuck in some Island at some God-less longitude,...

Tom Hanks, eat your heart out...


Always On Watch Two said...

One movie I never grow tired of: Awakenings. Familiar with it?

As to CD's, I'd want Appalachian Spring. It would remind me of home!

Robert said...

I own everything ever written by Clancy. Beginning in about 1984, he has routinely turned out fantastic novels that keep me awake for hours. I have read Red Storm probably 12 times over the past 20 years.

Hunt for Red October used to be required reading at the naval Academy.

Brooke said...

Great list.

Looooove Peter Gabriel!

WayneDawg said...

It's so funny you mention the album Saturday Night Fever. I still get ribbed from some of my friends for having that CD. But, just like you said, it's not the disco but more the 'going back to a time of' dancing, girls, weed, girls, party's, girls, high school, girls......did I mention the girls! I loved 1974-79!


Obob said...

Shawshank ranks there with the Longest Yard (original) as a movie I can't go to bed until I watch it for the 500th time. Or the Lord of Rings series ranks ther also.
Red Sorm Rising is an all time favorite of Clancy's. I read Sun Tzu's Art of War annually t clear my brain. If you want a little Machivelli, find The 40 Rules of Power, based on the Prince. must read.

Obob said...

and to AOW, I love Copeland's Appalachian Spring, I play it in my classroom all the time

QuakerDave said...

Movies: Seven Samurai, Amelie, Gettysburg (the long version), Local Hero, V For Vendetta.

CD's: Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," definitely "So," Kate Bush's "The Senusal World," Johnny Cash's "Unearthed" (cheating here: it's a box set), "London Calling" by the Clash. And a good recording of Barber's "Adagio for Strings."

Books: Got to finally read One Hundred Years of Solitude, Don Quixote, East of Eden, and Emerson's collected essays, so I'll these with me.

QuakerDave said...

*take* these with me. Duh. People really should proofread their comments.