Jovanotti’s new album came out yesterday, due (2) days after I met and chatted with an amiable Italian couple touring the streets of Provincetown, MA. While shopping along the colorful street district, I overheard a snatch of Italian from a young couple (the cadence and pronunciation of spoken Italian is unmistakable. Plus the couple was discussing pleats with gusto–Italians are not known to be overly soft spoken). I whipped around and approached the couple rhetorically asking: “Parlate l’italiano?” To my immense pleasure, they did speak Italian and had no problem with overzealous American girls interrupting their window-shopping to speak-a da lahn-guage.
We chatted (chiacchieriamo) for dieci minuti about their home town (“Vai a Roma! Non Milano dov’e sono nata. Roma e meglio.”Go to Rome! Not Milan, where i was born. Rome is better.”). The woman told me she will study economics for cinque (5) more years than I will be dabbling in information science. Finally, the couple insisted I go to Rome (“Vai!”) My English-speaking family was perplexed, but friendly Matteo explained in inglese the gist of our conversation to my grinning but silent madre e papa. My parents still had no idea what the diavolo was going on (Madre Marilyn’s sophisticated knowledge of the Italian language includes:”I’m an Optimist!” Sono un ottomista! and Papa Gary knows some of Doctor Suess’s “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket” “C’e un Mostrino nel Taschino” from the many times I read out loud on long car trips).
If only I had known that Jovanotti’s album was coming out the next day! The couple and I could have bonded over talk of the boyish singer’s brilliant and catchy tunes, his friendship with Bono, and the star’s upcoming tour. He is an artist that is bridging language and cultural diversity in places that are resistant to difference (*ahem* Get the same sports schedule as the rest of the world U-S-of-A! *ahem* Call football “football” like the rest of the Western world. Ok, well Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan,say “soccer” but I digress). Jovanotti’s rap and melodic pieces showcase la lingua Italiana.
One of the most beautiful things about the Italian language is its versatility. It can go through the meat grinder of various mediums, cultures, genres, dialects, immigration botchings, and maintain its dignity. I cannot go through a revolving door with grace, poise, or flowy skirts. Spell check must become dynamic with the fluidity dialectic language that changes every generation. Jovanotti is one example of how manipulating the language makes it more beautiful with its manipulation.The Italian language pleads for new mouths to mold it; for it to be be danced with, sang, spoken. Dante’s language bemusedly invites new tongues to trip over unfamiliar syllables. Syllables that roughly rub shoulders like old rugby buddies, where the abrasion of words is a pleasure because each scratchy burlap consonant wedged by a nutella-smooth vowel communicates the strength, salt, and history of a fortissimo culture, are a joy to learn. I got acquainted with Italian through Jovanotti’s Fango, a poetic Italian ballad whose name means Mud; the first lines:
io lo so che non sono solo
anche quando sono solo/
io lo so che non sono solo.
e mi fondo con il cielo e con il fango.
I know that I’m not alone even when I’m alone. I laugh, I cry; I fuse with the mud and with the sky.
Critics say his new album is an introduction for Americans (and English-Speakers in general) who have not heard his dulcet decibels…(yet). The idea is to provide a “classic” overview of Jovanotti’s music to the American crowd.
Get ready for some excellent concerts! Here are the tracks I am most excited for from the album released yesterday (in no particular order–how un-librarian-like of me. In my defense, Dewey was rather arbitrary. The alphabet is rather arbitrary also. Just go with the miscellaneous flow of the album songs before I wax overly orderly):
1) Mezzogiorno (the acoustic version!) This song is mostly in Italian: there is that one chuckle worthy moment in the chorus when he sing-yells “Beyy Beh!!!” Accidenti Americani, infiltrating the Italian language with pop words such as Baby. Thanks Backstreet Boys (i ragazzi di backstreet, if you will).
2) Con la luce negli occhi (never heard!)
3) Sulla Frontiera (remix)
4) New York for Life (in english “baby!”)
5) Mi Fido di Te
7) La porta e aperta (acoustic)
8) Salvame (Spanish edition)
9) Piove (what a groovy catchy song! Listen for the thunder)
10) il piu grande spettacolo dopo il Big Bang
11) Scappa con me (remix)
12) Una storia d’amore (<3)
13) La linea d’ombra
and I would recommend watching “La Notte Dei Desideri.” He will wear a matador’s outfit and a lampshade and kiss his lovely wife at il fine.
May you meet Italian and love it. Remember to meet it with slow enjoyment and say “Piacere!” (Pleased to meetcha) to use your manners.
I will be going to the Philly concert, fingers crossed and Syracuse iSchool plans permitting. I should not worry, though, because I suspect my iSchool plans will dovetail beautifully with any of my bi-tri-quint-lingual endeavors.
I leave you with the InformationSpace blog from Syracuse University masters students studying in Florence (Firenze) http://infospace.ischool.syr.edu/2012/08/03/suischoolfirenze/…)
and my favorite piatta italiana: tiramisu 🙂
Jovanotti, Italian singer-songwriter, amico di Bono, eccentric rapper extraordinaire.
He is coming!
12 cities, 12 concerts, 12 gorgeous opportunities to see his slick italian rap, Pavarotti duets (see “seranata rap”), and ballads chock-full of that lilting language such as Fango. You don’t have to be Italian to don your lampshade hat and dance to la musica di Jovanotti.
The relationship between Philosophy and Library Studies is like that of the crocodile and Plover bird.
No, Hegel did not use catalogue cards as a toothbrush. And no, though Librarians’ sharp minds, wit, and pencils may rival reptilian teeth, the relationship has little to do with the dental care of bibliophiles.
Weinberg’s book reveals the symbiotic relationship between Dewey and Descartes. The librarian’s job of sorting information and spreading knowledge and Dame Philosophia’s systematic approach to fundamental questions makes for a perhaps unexpected but inevitable symbiotic relationship.
The overlap of philosophy and librarianship is like the game “6 Degrees of Wikipedia.”
Not familiar with this Wiki-surfer’s trick? It is also known as 5 clicks to Jesus. Let me enlighten you. To play 5 Clicks one begins with a topic as far removed from Jesus as possible. No matter if the topic is garden gnomes or Brewerton NY, one can navigate their way to the prophet in 5 or less spasms of the right index finger. I would bet you my life, a Wonka Golden Ticket, and the Shroud of Turin that Philosophy and Librarianship have a 5 Clicks relationship.
Where there is library smoke, there is philosophy fire. Where there is philosophy smoke, there is library fire. (That is not to say that setting libraries on fire is my new philosophy–Do not get me wrong. All I am saying is that Sartre would have lived longer had he not smoked like a chimney.) Librarianship requires an aerial view of fundamental questions about how we order our world. Philosophy literally means “love of wisdom” in Greek.
Take a look at the cornucopia of “Philosophy Of’s” (http://www.aletheia.fsnet.co.uk/) that exist in academia and in pop phil. For example, we’ve seen Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Football, Philosophy of Sexuality, Philosophy of Language. ecc. ecc.
I could go on…
The bottom line is that the field of Librarianship is changing… Librarianship is a philosophy. No more mere collections of books, librarianship today is a mission statement that comes with tools of the trade. (The symbiotic croc-and-bird metaphor may break down here a little, but not to worry. The two concepts remain distinct-enough entities, each with its own niche, history, and practical application)
As David Lankes defines and discusses in the proud language of the Atlas of New Librarianship and his newest guide Expect More, New Librarianship is a way of redefining libraries, and indeed, librarians. He insists, rightly, that people chit chatting in a closet are more a library than a room containing books. Librarianship should be seen as necessarily dialogue-based, social, and people/community-oriented rather than artifact preservation.
Before I delve into the overlaps of Librarianship and Philosophy discussed by Weinberg and through independent intuition, I want to add a cautionary word. On its face, it seems the claim that conversations are the backbone of learning. People talking together is the ultimate win-win situation.
Conversations, however, are a delicate thing. Thus, I want to take care to clarify what we mean by conversation. Putting ‘conversation’ on an untouchable pedestal without taking a close (and even *sharp intake of breath* philosophical) look at what we mean by ‘conversation’ is dangerous at worst and cavalier at best. I may be peculiar in my skeptical lens, but i stand by my own experience.
In my experience, truly meaningful conversation is a diamond in the rough, and occurs less than one might hope. People, myself included, often talk in every prepositional relationship except “with” each other. Ron talks at Hermoine. Justice Scalia talks over the judge. The Chinese talk around accusations of terrorizing Tibetan monks. Many instances of what looks like conversation turns out to be masquerading aggression, propagation of one’s own ideas and ideological agenda. I would accept a concept of conversation that acknowledges a safe space for ideas to be tossed around. Polite conversation often requires equivocation, agreement, and non-abrasion. Any exchange of words that requires the participants to play a role is a faux convo. Some hallway interactions might appear to be conversations. There were words, smiles, and hugs exchanged. Good! If there was a equality, respect, and a striving of each party to make an honest effort toward truth then a firework conversation it was indeed. But if we want progress to be made in education, librarianship, and conversation, we must be ready for disagreement, vulnerability, and allowing our genuine selves with all our quirky passions and views to surface. Conversations need be an effort to figure out the world, explore perspectives, and solve problems. Popular ideas do not determine right by mere virtue of their font size in the headlines of CNN –truth is not a matter of voting, but of rational intuition.
Hume said: “Truth springs from argument among friends.” See that? Argument implies a disagreement of ideas, a clash of perspective, but among friendsmeans a non-threatening environment. An ideal meeting of minds, i.e conversation, need not be lofty. Particle theory is fun to chat about. So is the Olympics. We can learn from both exchanges if the conversations, like the Buddhists might say, has good intention–the intention of honest, ego-free, respectful contribution.
Conversations should be practical calls to action, not an end point. Learning is active; talking is well and good but experience fuels, supplements, and, ideally, results from a good exchange of words. Sitting at the Bleu Monkey on Marshall street with the intention of listening, considering, chewing on California rolls and what my friend had to say, I realized that in the end we are truly social creatures. We should be careful to define ‘conversation’ and continue to learn to ‘get at’ the experience of people we talk with. The merit of Libraries lies in providing a safe site for new ideas, exploration of old ideas, a trampoline for social and/or political action.
There will be more in a future post on Weinberg’s Information Study/Philosophy overlaps. I promise! I got carried away in this post in preliminary deets. I will leave you with this: Philosophy are inquires into the “joint of nature,” in other words, how we carve up the world. Guess what. SO DOES LIBRARIANSHIP! Weinberg discusses Pluto’s demotion as a planet because of problems defining the criteria for qualification as a planet. We try to make sense of the world by creating categories and groups such as racial classifications, the periodic table, and color-coding our closets (note: i do not claim here to color-code my closet. Please suspend all judgements). A similar philosophical problem is called the “problem of the criterion.” It is a metaphysical issue about the difficulty of conceptual definition.
More talk of conceptual problems to come!
Fun [Almost]-Fact!: One final difference that has historically divided librarians and philosophers is language barrier. The traditional Greek tongue of Aristotle and Socrates has only rough translation into Geek, primary dialect of Knowledge Facilitators today,especially in the 134 B.D. (before Dewey) period.