Another shall-evolve-over-many-drafts post. Loads of those to come.
How do you know the things you know? Do you remember when you first came across the things that you take for granted now? I don’t mean people, or pets. I mean websites like 9gag or digg or even Facebook. I mean your favourite authors, the ones that weren’t the first ones you’d read. I mean your favourite bands, once you’d outgrown your teenage choices. Do you remember?
How do I know of Monty Python?
Let’s see. I knew about Python because the Wikipedia page for John Cleese mentioned it. I looked up John Cleese because I’d seen (and subsequently fallen in love with) Fawlty Towers and wanted more. I was able to watch Fawlty Towers because it aired on BBC Entertainment, which channel we only got because we had Tata Sky. We had Tata Sky because… So many reasons. Father wanted Star Cricket. Sister and I wanted to record shit and then skip the commercials. Mother wanted some Bhakti channel.
If it hadn’t been for all these reasons, I wouldn’t know of Monty Python in quite the same way as I do now. I’m sure I would have come across it sometime or other. But never in this way.
I think it’s vital to know how we know the things we know. Makes one rather appreciative of all the little things that, in the end, make us us.
More examples when I can think of them.
Draft #2 begins here. Do I need to keep announcing this? I dunno.
How do I know of the Pruitt Igoe housing project in St. Louis?
I pick this example because it turns out this has a long trail of reasons. I only discovered this because of a conversation I recently had. I shall talk about Pruitt Igoe itself in another post. Maybe. Or you could google it. Or you could go here. Ditto for Monty Python, which I only now realised I didn’t even pause to elaborate upon.
I know about Pruitt Igoe because I watched the wonderful movie/documentary/work-of-art Koyaanisqatsi and saw the buildings of the project tumble to the haunting music of Philip Glass. I watched the movie for that music. I fell in love with the music during the Dr. Manhattan scenes in the movie Watchmen. I had heard about, and was subsequently fascinated by, Watchmen because of a blog post by Brandon Sanderson, talking about how amazing the graphic novel was, and how he couldn’t wait to watch the movie. I was only following his blog because he had just been announced to be the author that would finish The Wheel Of Time after Robert Jordan’s tragic death. I knew he died because I was rapidly reading my way through the 11 already-published books in the series, and was waiting for the 12th when the news broke out. I only ever started reading it because I was very very bored one Christmas morning and so asked father to buy me the first book. It only stayed in my mind because while at the bookstore previously, I picked up the sixth book in the series because it was titled “The Lord Of Chaos”, very similar to “The Lord Of The Rings” that I happened to be reading at the time. Why was I reading that? I must confess that I can’t remember. Anything I offer now will be pure conjecture. Let’s just say I was reading it because it was famous. Root. Quite a ride, don’t you think?
I just listened to this podcast and its theme is fairly similar to that of this post. A journalist tracks down the inspiration for authors’ stories.
How do I know of melodium?
Roman Mars, of 99% invisible, tweeted that we should listen to him and buy all of his music on bandcamp. I know of 99% invisible only because I happened to come across his kickstarter video. I was on kickstarter mostly because I backed Zach Braff’s movie, Wish I Was Here. (I had heard of it before, from random tech websites in the past. I read those websites as a part of my daily routine. I have that routine because I’m bored otherwise. Root.) I had heard of the movie’s kickstarter because Zach tweeted it. (I’m on twitter partially because I thought I needed an account just to have an account, but mostly because I follow mathematicians and other people who usually tweet nice links to stuff to read. Because bored. Root.) I follow Zach because of Scrubs. I know of Scrubs because I randomly came across season 8 (?) of it on Star World, at home, in Hyderabad, class 11. TV. Root? Let’s call it a root. TV because TV because bored.
This was #4. This is draft #3.
Draft #1 was Monty Python.
Draft #2 was Pruitt Igoe.
Draft #3 was melodium.