03 May 2006

the tommy dorsey orchestra ft. frank sinatra & the pied pipers - "let's get away from it all" (from the popular frank sinatra, vol. 2, available for purchase here.)

my parents are going to atlantic city for the weekend. my sister, just back from an extensive cruise, is already planning her next jaunt. my nephew, if he gets the part in the commercial he's up for, will be going to china. me? i find the $42 i just spent to fill my gas tank prohibitive. (edit : not to mention the $200 it'll cost to have my computer fixed. edit edit : $200 & it's still not working!)

cost aside, in "self-reliance," emerson speaks out against my traveling :
i have no churlish objection to the circumnavigation of the globe, for the purposes of art, of study, and benevolence, so that the man is first domesticated, or does not go abroad with the hope of finding somewhat greater than he knows. he who travels to be amused, or to get somewhat which he does not carry, travels away from himself, and grows old even in youth among old things. in thebes, in oalmyra, his will and mind have become old and dilapidated as they. he carries ruins to ruins.

travelling is a fool's paradise. our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. at home i dream that at naples, at rome, i can be intoxicated with beauty, and lose my sadness. i pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that i fled from. i seek the vatican, and the palaces. i affect to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but i am not intoxicated. my giant goes with me wherever i go.
stendhal, too, in de l'amour, doesn't think it's such a hot idea :
if travel isolates it is no cure, and indeed nothing is more tenderly reminiscent of the beloved than changes of scene. it is in brilliant paris salons, among the reputedly most charming women, that i have felt the greatest love for my own poor mistress, solitary and sad in her little lodging in the depths of romagna.

an exile in a splendid salon, i used to watch the magnificent clock for the exact moment when she would be leaving her lodging on foot, even in the rain, to visit her friend. in seeking to forget her i discovered that changes of scene provided memories, less vivid but far more sublime than those evoked in places where we had once met.
but frank & the pied pipers really make a strong argument. it is, literally & figuratively, a trip, to another time & place, a time when : frank sinatra got second billing; the band played for eighty seconds before a voice interrupted it; a song went on for twice that length before sinatra could interject; recorded ten months before pearl harbor, escapism was still an option and europe working out its own internal squabbles a possibility. "let's get away from it all" is a charming picture postcard from an irretrievable time; it makes me want to break out my aaa guidebook (do they still print that?) and see all of the 48, another nod to the time period, as i'd planned on doing two years ago, when oil was less dear, before my car nixed the idea. oh, and the give & take between sinatra & the girl over his procuring a "muchacha" never fails to crack me up.

a compromise, then : i'll rent a foreign film this weekend.

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