We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Mighty Casey"

I've commented on it once before earlier this year (here), but it bears repeating that the Web contains a wealth of information beyond anything we can even imagine.  In my "other role," as a student of Thai church history, I maintain a bibliography of research material relevant to that subject (here); and it increasingly contains links to online sources—some of them quite surprising and even exciting (well, for me at least).  Just this morning, I have stumbled across another fascinating online resource, the National Recording Registry, which is maintained by the Library of Congress. While only relatively few of the recordings are available on the registry itself, those that are include a 1909 recording of "Casey at the Bat," which provides the listener with a delightful sound bite from a century ago.

It turns out that if you search ("google") for "Casey at the Bat," you come with a long list of websites containing all manner of things related to the poem including the Youtube video of another reading, this one  James Earl Jone's dramatic reading of the poem, below.  The point for today is only that Internet is an amazing tool.  Like any other it has its downside and changes the way we live in ways that are not so good as well as very good.  Some years ago, a friend remarked, "I don't use Internet.  It has all of that smut and pornography."  I wanted to ask her if she, then, also didn't read books and magazines—but didn't.

In any event, suppose you are a fifth grader who wants to do a report on "Casey at the Bat."  It could be a great report, limited only by one's skill at finding, filtering, combining, and learning from what is on the Web.  And that fifth grader can do all of this at home.  Amazing—at least to one who was born in a very different era.