Thursday, June 10, 2004

ray charles is dead (and so is regan)

In addition to stealing wireless internet from my neighbors, my new apartment comes fully equipped with mystically free basic cable. The caveat is that we only get fox, upn, pax, and every strange public-access channel known to man. The horse-racing channel. Korean TV. My favorite of the low-rent networks, however, is C-Span. For the past 48 hours, they have been showing Regan's funeral. This is simply footage of people walking in front of a casket, continuously, with a break every two hours for the changing of the guard (which itself moves at a comic 2001-esque pace.) Watching this 15-minute, 3-salute ceremony was humorous, because C-Span chose to leave the sound on. There is no spoken command, music or even audible footstep in the entire ordeal. The ceremony takes place in a gigantic cavern of a room, in which every cough and cellphone ring is hystericaly amplified and echoed. A small child made the same high-pitched noise every 15 seconds for two minutes, with a wonderful counterpoint of aborted cellphone rings as the harmony. This is news in real-time, people. It's restful. It's dry comedy. It's also reassuring that, despite the faster and faster editing in film and television, there is still the boredom of real life somewhere on the tube.

There. I tied that one up. I actually found Regan's death and the subsequent hubbub to be thrilling, mostly because I was born on the day of his attempted assassination. This links me cosmically to a person I hate abjectly, which adds a theatrical quality to my life. I only wish it could have been someone else.

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