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October 31, 2007

iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don’t feel cool when I go there. I’m tired of seeing John Mayer’s face pop up. I feel like I’m being hustled when I visit there, and I don’t think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc.

Trent Reznor and Saul Williams Discuss Their New Collaboration, Mourn OiNK — Vulture — Entertainment & Culture Blog — New York Magazine

October 22, 2007

how come you don't work 18 hours a day?

He’s wearing Gucci shoes and carrying The Wall Street Journal. She’s a looker. Neiman Marcus clothes. Vanity Fair under her arm. So I told them, ‘Tomorrow is Labor Day: the holiday to ‘honour the unions.’ The guy gives me the kind of look Noel Coward might have given a bug on his sleeve. ‘We despise unions.’ I fix him with my glittering eye, like the Ancient Mariner, and I ask, ‘How many hours do you work a day?’ He tells me eight. ‘How come you don’t work 18 hours a day, like your great-grandparents?’ He can’t answer that. ‘Because four men got hanged for you.’ I explain that I’m referring to the Haymarket Affair, the union dispute here in Chicago in May 1886. The bus is late. I have him pinned against the mailbox. Then I say, ‘How many days a week do you work?’ He says five.”

Terkel laughs, and takes a sip of water. “I say: ‘Five €— oh, really? How come you don’t work six and a half?’ He isn’t sure. ‘Because of the Memorial Day Massacre. These battles were fought, all for you.’ I tell him about that massacre of workers, in Chicago, in 1937. He’s never heard of these things before. She drops her Vanity Fair. I pick it up, being gallant. I am giving it to them now: the past.

Studs Terkel: The world’s greatest interviewer - Independent Online Edition > Profiles

White Noise Supremacists

Took me a long time to find it out, but those words are lethal, man, and you shouldn’t just go slinging them around for effect. If you’re black or Jewish or Latin or gay those little vernacular epithets are bullets that riddle your guts and then fester and burn there, like torture-flak hailing on you wherever you go.

A classic piece of rock criticism, Lester Bangs’ 1979 “White Noise Supremacists” takes punk to task for “acting like racism is real hip and cool.” To read the essay, download the PDF from Lester’s Legacy under “Lester reprints online.”

cmon cmon cmon cmon now touch me baby

People don’t understand that we’ve invented a new class of interface.

As Apple Gains PC Market Share, Jobs Talks of a Decade of Upgrades - New York Times

October 15, 2007

I think I'm turning German I really think so

The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us - New York Times:

Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo.

Fort Hunt’s Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII - Washington Post:

“During the many interrogations, I never laid hands on anyone,” said George Frenkel, 87, of Kensington. “We extracted information in a battle of the wits. I’m proud to say I never compromised my humanity.”

BLDGBLOG: Greater Los Angeles

BLDGBLOG: Greater Los Angeles

No matter what you do in L.A., your behavior is appropriate for the city. Los Angeles has no assumed correct mode of use. You can have fake breasts and drive a Ford Mustang — or you can grow a beard, weigh 300 pounds, and read Christian science fiction novels. Either way, you’re fine: that’s just how it works. You can watch Cops all day or you can be a porn star or you can be a Caltech physicist. You can listen to Carcass — or you can listen to Pat Robertson. Or both.

That’s how we dooz it.

October 12, 2007

In Rainbows album art

Flickr: The In Rainbows Album Art Competition Pool

October 5, 2007

David Brooks On the Road

This is a spiritual story, written by an American Catholic who loved the disillusioned sadness of life just as much as youthful exuberance.

What makes this book an American masterpiece is how beautifully Kerouac blends the two. To claim otherwise just perpetuates the 50-year misinterpretation of this American confession.

New York Times’ letters to the editor regarding an October 4 David Brooks column.

what "beat" means

I love that Kerouac and company picked up the notion of Beat from Herbert Huncke, a Times Square hustler and writer who had picked up the phrase from carnies, small-time crooks, and jazz musicians in Chicago and who used the word to describe the “beaten” condition of worn-out travelers for whom home was the road.

Paperback Writer: October in the Railroad Earth

pinhole photography

randomWalks: Justin Quinnell’s bath, as seen by his tongue

This picture is making the rounds again, and prints are for sale on Quinnell’s site as well. I might pick one up.

English 115F Worlds of Warcraft

English 115F: Worlds of Wordcraft Fall 2007

Are online games generating new interactive modes of narrative? How do multimedia environments transform the age-old patterns of quest romances that structure much game play? Is the line between virtual and real experience erased by the fusion of online communities, role playing, and escapist fictions? Can computer games be pedagogical tools, as some academics maintain, or are they only addictive, sedentary, and antisocial activities? These questions will animate our consideration of digital narrative forms.

You can audit this AWESOME course as a podcast through iTunesU.

October 4, 2007

we are all radioheads now?

I would not have expected such an institutionalized and conservative offering from the editor/owner of Arthur Magazine.

I love reading an interesting blog entry only to find it upstaged by an outstanding comment. Ah, civil discourse. The ARTHUR Blog > Nothing Left to Lose: What Happens When Music Becomes Worthless?