Monday, March 04, 2013

Louis C. K. Live

I saw Louis C. K. live on Saturday night at City Center. It was a make-up show for one that was cancelled thanks to Hurricane Sandy, so there were no posters outside on the building, or any other publicity. Only ticket holders knew he was performing there.

It was a long show! He makes Margaret Cho look like a slacker - her show was about an hour long at Foxwoods last month. Louis C. K.'s show was almost two hours.

It was a good show of course, although he did some material in the first half-hour that I wasn't too happy with, with an animal cruelty theme. I wish he would stick with the topic he really does well at least for my taste - the wonders of modern technology. He did a bit about cell phones a few years back and he did some more on Saturday. He made some funny observations, like the fact that phone calls used to be a big mystery - you had no idea who was calling. And when you answered you said "hello." Nobody says that anymore, nor do they say, on hearing a phone ring - "I'll get it!" People have individual phones now and don't need to say that.

This got me thinking about the wondrousness of the Internet itself. You used to have to go to the library, and even then you weren't guaranteed to find your information right away. It was possible that they didn't have the book you wanted at that particular library and the librarian had to order it through the inter-library system. And that could take weeks of waiting.

The thing is, I always enjoyed going to libraries. Unless you were in a desperate rush, going to a library was always a very pleasurable experience - I'd rather spend time in a library than a bar any day. Even now when they have been rendered mostly obsolete.

Not completely obsolete - you can't get all the information you need for free online. I couldn't find an English translation of the plays of Catherine the Great online and had to go to the main branch of the New York City library and read them right there in the room - I couldn't borrow them and take them home. You weren't even allowed to make photocopies or record them in any other way - something I didn't realize until I had used my cell phone to take pictures of all the pages of the plays. I only saw the sign prohibiting it after I had taken the pictures. And I'd already taken the pictures, what else could I do but go home and transcribe the photos into a word processing document? Of course I was unemployed then, I wouldn't have the time to do it nowadays. I'd just buy the plays.

I could have bought copies of the plays via Amazon. Although it's damn pricey - the paperback version is $41.

In many cases you can buy books instantly if you have a device like a Kindle. Although it does annoy me that they don't also make books available as downloadable PDFs.

But the point is - wow - if I had known about all this stuff thirty years ago it would have blown my mind. Back then the closest thing we had to all the information in the world at your fingertips were encyclopedias and The People's Almanac. My ex-boyfriend John and I, before we got together, had each read the People's Almanac from cover to cover, except for skipping the bits about sports. We bonded over that.

LCK's earlier routine about modern technology.