Desert Islands Discs
Well the concept of being stuck on a desert island with only my four selected items hopefully will never happen. No matter what I choose I’m on a loser. There is not a book, film, or piece of music that will cease to be boring after a period of time. That always seems to be one of the flaws of heaven/paradise/Valhalla – everything becomes jaded after a while – even ecstasy and euphoria could start to get on your nerves after a few billion years.
Never the less I’ll give my best shot.
My favourite book is John Fowles – The Magus. It tells the story of an Englishman on a Greek Island who gets drawn into a charade with a rich denizen of the island. I love the way it draws you into the intrigue so that you no longer know what the truth is. It plays with reality. I am sure that it would lose its impact when you know the outcome. Part of the magic of the book is trying to work out what is going on. However, Fowles is an expert writer and I could at least start analysing the plotting, structure and quality of the writing. That would be worthwhile. But I won’t take that with me I’ll take Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac. I think the idea of meditating on the nature of the universe and achieving Zen satori might be more suited to being on my own on a desert island.
A Piece of Music
Music is even harder. Limiting it to ten is hard enough but one piece? That’s impossible. I managed to reduce it down to three – Roy Harper’s The Lord’s Prayer, Bob Dylan’s It’s Alright Ma I’m Only Bleeding and Captain Beefheart’s Big Eyed Beans From Venus. If pushed I would settle for Roy Harper’s The Lord’s Prayer as it is such an incredible poem and piece of music that I could spend considerable time thinking and enjoying all the nuance and many meanings of the words and how they were melded to the music. I would enjoy teasing out all the polarities of those words and at least it is long enough for me to get my teeth into it. It has such enormous scope from man’s time as hunter gathers right up to the present time.
A Favourite Film
I suppose the film would have to be 2001 A Space Odyssey. I’ve seen it eleven times and always enjoy the detail and scope. It’s never been bettered. I like the beginning with the way the primitive ape-men were endowed with intelligence and I like the idea of how we can become so transcendental and become benevolent gods. I also think the whole business of AI was tackled so intelligently and so long ago. What is intelligence? Could a machine have real sentience? Would a highly intelligent machine think that mankind would merely be in the way and try to get rid of us?
The luxury is obvious. Either I would want a spaceship that could get me away from the whole craziness of mankind and its violent, destructive human ways, or a book producing machine with a computer input that would enable me to write, design and produce books to my heart’s content.
BTW – I’m assuming the island has a great ecosystem so there would be lots of animals for me to get to know. That would be fun.