The Salt of the Earth

The news on a Saturday morning was about the blizzard hitting Washington and other cities in the East. I wondered if the mayor of Washington really knew how to speak effectively. I watched the CBS This Morning chef segment. Michael Schlow’s signature dishes included tuna tartare with avocado, green onion pico, and crispy rice, cavatellli with broccoli rabe, prosciutto crumble and parmigiana, double-cut pork chop with hot cherry peppers, sausage, potatoes, and onions, chocolate tart, and negroni. I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs from January 21, 1978 were “Stayin’ Alive,” “Come Sail Away,” “We Are the Champions,” “Hey Deanie,” “Slip Slidin’ Away,” “Short People,” “You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim),” “Here You Come Again,” “How Deep is Your Love,” and “Baby Come Back.” I went to work. We listened to some Michael Jackson songs. My Super Bowl Sunday plans started to take shape. I left, and as I waited for a bus, one of my former students jogged past and yelled out to me about how I taught him math. I went to my ATM and saw that the Popeye’s Chicken next door had just closed. I did some grocery shopping before I watched a Star Trek episode and then the Blu-ray disc of “The Salt of the Earth,” a documentary on the life and work of photographer Sebastião Salgado. This was a good movie to see in high definition because of the detail of the photos. I had to think about the complaints about the lack of diversity in the acting Oscar nominations as I watched this movie. When people talk about that lack of diversity, are they ever considering South Americans? Salgado went from studying economics to dropping it all to take photographs around the world. He left his son behind as he went off on these long trips. One of the sequences from this film that I will remember was Ethiopia. The people were skin and bone and looked like they were suffering through every second of their existence. The image of the bulldozers coming in to cover the bodies was quite horrifying. Salgado showed us trees that would grow and live for 400 or 500 years. He talked about regenerating the forests. There is a feeling of eternity in some of this film. It made think back to Wim Wenders’ film “Wings of Desire” from the 1980s. This film did not convince me that a photographer could be a good subject for a film. Not even Antonioni was able to do that. We are looking at his observations more than we are thinking about him. I don’t think that I would want my life’s accomplishment to be a lot of photographs and negatives in this age of people constantly taking photos with their phones. What is Brazil like? I would like someone to tell me. I saw a bit of Alfred Hitchcock Presents but began to feel very sleepy. Some of these episodes seem pretty interesting. One radio report I heard suggested that people in Cleveland watch too much television. I read a tweet from Stephen Vogt that said that he was on his way to FanFest. I could use a new A’s cap. Some of the people who died on January 24 include Winston Churchill (1965), Larry Fine (1975), Gordon McRae (1986), Thurgood Marshall (1993), and James Farentino (2012). Today is a birthday for Nastassja Kinski (55), Michio Kaku (69), Neil Diamond (75), and Aaron Neville (75). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for January 24, Elvis Presley recorded “Teddy Bear” in 1957. In 1969, Jethro Tull played their first U.S. concert in New York City, opening for Led Zeppelin. Also in 1969, James Shepherd was found shot to death. Today is Ray Stevens’ 77th birthday.

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