I used to blog “My Favorite Things…” all the time, but I ran out of new places to go for a while. Now there is Idaho! Boise in particular. Today, I can think of a few “favorite things” from Idaho, here goes and potatoes don’t count:
Artist: Matthew Barney. Filmmaker and artist, prominent in the avant-garde but much of his work is quite accessible if you don’t mind the near total absence of dialogue. Is the nine-hour Cremaster cycle his masterpiece? (I’ve only seen parts). According to the internet “Cremaster is a paired muscle of the pelvis and perineum that is fully developed only in the external genitalia of males. Being located between the internal and external layers of spermatic fascia, cremaster covers the testes and spermatic cord.” Many scenes from the movies have been turned into photos and artworks as well.
Composer: LaMonte Young. Is he the most underrated twentieth century avant-garde composer? The Well-Tuned Piano is one of my favorite works, though it is a tough slog for many, being about five hours in length, here is a YouTube version. He was even born in a log cabin in Idaho, and grew up LDS. His career blossomed in New York, but he attributed his interest in drone sounds to the Idaho wind and other sounds from his boyhood.
Other music: Built to Spill.
Author: Jerry Kramer, who grew up in Idaho and later played football for the Green Bay Packers. I loved Instant Replay as a kid. But is there a “real author” from Idaho? Is it better or worse to be a “real author”? Marilynne Robinson has never clicked with me.
Poet: Ezra Pound, born in Idaho. A fascist and anti-Semite, and not a true favorite of mine, but he was talented and it seems odd not to list him. Can I name a better poet from Idaho?
Explorer: Sacagewea. I hope she is cancel-proof.
Film, set in: My Own Private Idaho and Napoleon Dynamite might be the best known. But perhaps I will go with Smoke Signals, Superman II (the one with Gene Hackman), and Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. Superman II, if I had to say.
Here is more Matt Barney: