But for now, the Wednesday song a day late. This is the Who doing "Baba O'Riley." Enjoy:
Labels: The Who
the ride with this blog is worth the fall
Labels: The Who
My mother says she can't listen to love songs anymore. Whatever men and women have to say about love is meaningless, she says, when she thinks about all that God has done for us.After lovingly detailing her nervous childhood -- nervous, in part, because the church's focus on the apocalypse combined with the Cold War to produce a fear of imminent nuking -- Carlene moves on to write about her time as a good girl in college. Here, she's in her dorm room on a Saturday night:
But when you go to a Goodwill and see all the Andy Williams records, and think "Who could have possibly owned these?" picture my mother...
At about twelve thirty, when I had just put the lights out, there was banging on the metal door. I sat up. Three boys burst in and turned the lights on. Polo shirts, swinging arms, shouts, the smell of alcohol. Anne came in behind them, telling them to please cut it out.Carlene is the kind of writer who works really hard to make the end result look effortless. She cares about how each sentence fits with the one before it and the one after it, a rare quality that makes for a rare book. From college, she ventures to New York, where she hopes to pay a lot more attention to those imperatives of Youth. She does, with not quite the results she was looking for. Meanwhile, her spiritual life continues to conflict with her secular side -- the side that worships Morrissey and Walker Percy. And Percy and other Catholic writers inspire her to convert, before she eventually loses her faith again.
"Hey," one of them said, pointing at me. "Get out of bed. It's Saturday night."
"Oh, how sweet," said another. "She's in her nightgown." There were no ruffles or lace, but yes, I was in a nightgown. For a moment I thought they really might jump into the bed with me, and I pulled the sheets up against my chest in an involuntary spasm of modesty. I hate you, I told myself. . . .
There would be no mercy for girls neatly tucked away in bed by midnight on Saturday calming themselves to sleep with a book -- a book about a virgin queen, no less. I got it. I was digging my own grave here. They had come upon a scene of flagrant disregard for the imperatives of Youth.
[Bauer] seems to lose her bearings at times, then find them again, then lose them once more. Her blessed center can’t seem to hold. What does hold, sentence by sentence and page by page, is Bauer’s sure grip on our sympathies. Her style is light but not trivial — the laughs she wrings from her moral dilemmas are shaded with melancholy longing.There are more glowing recommendations on the back of the book, the lovely cover of which was designed by Leanne Shapton.
Wrongly arrest a black men who happens to be a Harvard professor, release him without filing charges, and the national press corps asks the president to comment. Wrongly imprison for years on end a black man who happens to be working class and without celebrity, and the national press corps continues to utterly ignore a criminal justice system that routinely convicts innocent people.(By the way, has anyone thought to call it Gatesgate yet?)
I have seen Cronkite laugh like Father Christmas when he is told that he should run for President or Vice President or Senator. No one ever seems to mention a governorship or a seat in the House of Representatives. I have also noticed that nobody else laughs much at the joke, even when Cronkite explains it -- when he says that he is only a newsman, without any of the gifts and enthusiasms good leaders have. He intimated in a recent interview that he hadn't even aspired to be a big shot in television, that he would have been nearly as contented as he is today if he had remained what he was in the beginning -- a print journalist of no great fame. [...](Via Mark Athitakis)
What makes it hard for others to laugh along with him is that this is the land of opportunity, and no one here is supposed to fail to snatch any opportunity that is unlucky enough to be caught in the open. Walter Cronkite could have been President of this country, just as George Washington in his own day could have become King. All he had to do was to lose his temper in public, and to pick a side:
"This is Walter Cronkite, born in Joplin, Missouri, and raised in Texas, and you all know me, and I am fed to the teeth with all the stupidity and greed I see in Washington. I can no longer sit by idly" and so on.
If the New York Times puts its web content behind a payment wall, that will be the end of my lifelong relationship with the New York Times.And this:
...the New York Times was absolutely instrumental in the early popular discoveries of Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan. Can a newspaper with a cultural legacy like this continue to thrive behind a payment wall?I know, I know, I'm 35 going on 95, but this still makes me shake my head. In the comments to the post, Katharine Weber writes this, which I think is succinct and totally sensible (emphasis mine):
But Levi. Could you have reasonably refused to read the NYT twenty years ago if you had to buy it at a newsstand or pay for home delivery instead of just having free copies handed to you on the street or dropped in your driveway? . . . Much has changed, yes. But has the economic rule which used to be as certain as the laws of gravity, the rule of paying for things of value, really begun to vanish? How is this not a zero sum game?I'm still waiting for a substantive response to this line of thinking. There have been plenty of cultural developments that I love in the past 10 years: Netflix, iTunes, The Wire. One way or another, I pay for all of them.
What is the most scandalous thing you've done in your life as an artist?
There was this museum in Second Life, a replica of the Louvre. They were late paying their rent to their landlord, and I heard about this and went to the landlord and said, "If that space is available, I want to get in there." And he ripped it out from under them. He didn't even give them an extra hour to pay! That's where I ended up setting up my first gallery.
Wait, this was all on Second Life?
Yes. And this led to international exhibitions and thousands of dollars' worth of art sales.
On Second Life?
Yes. I set up a gallery on Second Life.
Several critics have already pointed out flaws in your argument, citing YouTube as an example of a mass sensation that is losing enormous sums of money.Three problems here: 1) What if advertising never fully migrates?; 2) Even if it does, unlike network TV, the web's audience is collectively massive and individually diffuse and harder to reach in any one place; and 3) Aren't there many, many examples of media that have advertising and still charge for content? If Anderson is basically saying that everything should be like CBS or the Village Voice, then I want off the island now. Another excerpt:
YouTube is owned by Google and today loses money. But Google has achieved something extraordinary, which is a network-television-size audience. The problem with YouTube is not that it costs too much to deliver that video but that we have not found a way to migrate television advertising as quickly as the television audience has migrated.
Why not just sell subscriptions, as in the HBO model, which proves that people are willing to pay for quality?"Consumers want free." To quote myself from childhood: "No duh." Of course consumers want free. I'm one of them. But I also think certain outlets are really, really dumb to give me free. A place the size of the New York Times has substantial costs that go into making its product. These costs have always been partly met through advertising. But the other part is charging people for the product.
The original concept of the information superhighway from the early ’90s was going to be exactly that. We’re now 15 years past that, and the marketplace has spoken. The marketplace wants free. Consumers want free, and if you decide to set up a subscription service, then your competitor will make a free one.
I wonder if all this is rooted in yuppie entitlement. What’s disturbing is that no one wants to pay for anything anymore, which is why we’re in the midst of an economic meltdown.I repeat, I haven't read Anderson's book. But it seems to me that this "innate understanding of the digital market" is nonsense. What they maybe understand is that they can get a lot of things for free online, but no one understands how to make free stuff...profitable. Facebook, YouTube, you name it -- have you heard any convincing way they can make (enough) money using their current model? That's why the Times is seriously considering a subscription model, and I hope it succeeds. Given how much I read the Times online (pretty much exclusively at this point), charging me for it is the only sensible thing to do. I would gladly pay. Either way, I'm pretty sure that the time will come when there's a choice: Pay for it or wave goodbye to it.
You do see a generation going online expecting things to be free, from their Facebook pages to their music downloads to their video games. I don’t think that’s driven by entitlement but by an innate understanding of the digital market.
[I]n 1986, Bon Jovi had performed primarily in New Jersey. [Jon Bon Jovi] learned to play guitar in 1975, at age 13. That means Jon had 11 years of face-rocking under his belt when Wanted Dead or Alive was written. That means he would have to average 90,909 faces rocked per year, or 1,748 faces per week. How likely is this? Let's take a look at his pre-Bon Jovi bands and recordings to determine.(Via The Browser)
If you’re looking for reading suggestions in bulk, you’re spoiled for choice. There are classics, like Clifton Fadiman’s Lifetime Reading Plan or Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon. And in recent years, a cottage industry has sprung up of books that recommend books — The Top Ten, Book Lust (and its follow-up, More Book Lust), The Modern Library, etc., etc.Please read the whole thing. I think you'll enjoy it.
Some of these efforts are quite good and owned by the authors of this feature — but a problem arises: Such guides are presumably meant to save readers time by pointing them in the right direction, but the guides themselves amount to several months or years of reading. The books they recommend add up to several lifetimes. What starts as an attempt to save hours ends as a commitment to more hours than you probably have.
That’s where we come in. Below is a list of ten books that will be pressed into your hands by ardent fans. Resist these people. Life may not be too short (I’m only in my mid-30s, and already pretty bored), but it’s not endless.
The idea of the United States losing a war seemed impossible when Mr. McNamara came to the Pentagon in January 1961 as the nation’s eighth defense secretary. He was 44 and had been named president of the Ford Motor Company only 10 weeks before. He later said, half-seriously, that he could barely tell a nuclear warhead from a station wagon when he arrived in Washington.Also included in the obit is a reminder that even gravely dangerous actions can be accompanied by some hilarity. When Nikita Khrushchev began sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, the Soviet leader described the action as deciding “to throw a hedgehog at Uncle Sam’s pants.”
“Mr. President, it’s absurd, I’m not qualified,” he remembered protesting when asked to serve. He said that Kennedy had replied, “Look, Bob, I don’t think there’s any school for presidents, either.”
Kennedy called him the smartest man he had ever met.