Dancing over the Mundane of the Everyday

H.L. Mencken, the American journalist, satirist and cultural critic circa the start of the 20th century said of music lovers…

“Of all forms of the uplift, perhaps the most futile is that which addresses itself to educating the proletariat in music.  The theory behind it is that a fast for music is an elevating passion, and that if the great masses of the plain people could only be inoculated with it they would cease to herd into the moving picture parlors, or to listen to demagogues, or to beat their wives and children.   The defect in this theory lies in the fact that such a taste, granting it to be elevating – which, point to professional musicians, I certainly deny – simply cannot be implanted.  Either it is born in a man or it not born in him.  If it is, then he will get gratification for it at whatever cost – he will hear music if Hell freezes over.   But if it isn’t, then no amount of education will ever change him – he will remain indifferent until the last sad scene on the gallows.” ~ H.L. Mencken

One of our writers here has said that in his 60+ years of living, not only has he observed what Mr. Mencken writes about regarding music lovers and their quest to impart even a sliver of their passion for great music to others to be a Herculean task rarely accomplished; but has also found that attempting to present the truth, or at least an avenue to explore it to the proletariat (of which we here at the Asylum are all members) to be just as Herculean of ventures.  Either you are born with the desire to seek the truth no matter where it might lead you or you’ll have little of it.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground.fall

Every so often, a poor, unsuspecting soul, finding the mundane of the everyday not quite right, will slip through and “wake up” from the modern era induced coma they were in and proceed down many a rabbit hole in hopes of finding even a peel of a carrot of truth.  If they’re a very brave soul, they’ll keep with it – sometimes losing friends and even becoming estranged to family members in the process. Seeking the truth is a lonely road.

And along the journey, the lonely soul will occasionally stumble upon something that provides solace, finding that indeed, there are others who are awake and searching as well.  It even sometimes comes along in a humorous way, from unexpected venues, as in the following clip the from the movie Idiocracy:

(For those unfamiliar with the film, a brief synopsis from Wikipedia follows: The film tells the story of two people who take part in a top-secret military human hibernation experiment, only to awaken 500 years later in a dystopian society where advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism have run rampant, and is devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.)

Clip from Idiocracy

One is awarded with a temporary feeling that all is not lost – there are others out there who “get it”.  It spurs one on to burrow down more rabbit holes.  This, in turn, leads to further days and nights of “investigation”.  New comfort zones of belief are acquired.

The search is renewed as long as the feeling that all is not quite right with the mundane of the everyday lingers.  And as our quest for truth is a life long endeavor and can be exhausting, there has to be times we get away from it all and dive back into real life…family, friends, good food and music.

And we can’t think of a more pleasurable film that depicts all of that than the 1996 movie Big Night. 

It may inspire you to create your own “Big Night”.


BIG NIGHT (1996) – I Secondi

Wonderful scene from the movie (unedited).  The song used in the movie is Claudio Villa’s  “Tic Ti, Tic Ta”.

And another clip of scenes from the movie….

BIG NIGHT (1996)


“Cento di questi giorni”!   (May you have a hundred of these days)

Photo credit – unsplash.com/@carlheyerdahl

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