Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blog Reform Now!

I know that the world is pressing down upon us, or rather we are being pressed into the world, like shredded carrots into lime jello. But all I can think about is Carly Simon teasing us with quasi-revelations about who the true subject of her hit “You’re So Vain” was really all about. It’s not so much that I care. I didn’t care when the song was a hit a zillion years ago, and I don’t care now. But there is something sad about a woman my age and more revisiting the faux mysteries of youth in a shameless attempt to … what? Get people to buy the record again?

Anyway, some have recently speculated that the song was really about David Geffen, the gay record executive. Ms. Simon has denied it. That people find this interesting is interesting.

And what exactly did Billy Joe throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge? Get over it! It doesn’t matter. What matters is that the singer and Billy Joe were seen together, shortly before Billy Joe’s death. Or did he die? Did he REALLY die?

For Those Who Were Disappointed To Learn That John Wayne Wasn’t Really A Cowboy….
…in real life, bomb squads don’t work the way were they presented in THE HURT LOCKER. I know this because I have been Alerted By The Media, both MSM and other.

NYT Lawyer News
“A conservative advocacy organization in Washington, Keep America Safe, kicked up a storm last week when it released a video that questioned the loyalty of Justice Department lawyers who worked in the past on behalf of detained terrorism suspects.” The outfit is run by Liz Cheney, Dick’s daughter, who may be evil.

Then there’s this…
Viacom is suing Google and hence YouTube for posting “infringed” content.

YouTube has countered: "For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately 'roughed up' the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. ...

"Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.”

Michiko Kakutani in NYT
“It’s also a question, as Mr. Lanier, 49, astutely points out in his new book, YOU ARE NOT A GADGET, of how online collectivism, social networking and popular software designs are changing the way people think and process information, a question of what becomes of originality and imagination in a world that prizes ‘metaness’ and regards the mash-up as ‘more important than the sources who were mashed.’

“Mr. Lanier’s book, which makes an impassioned case for ‘a digital humanism,’ is only one of many recent volumes to take a hard but judicious look at some of the consequences of new technology and Web 2.0. Among them are several prescient books by Cass Sunstein, 55, which explore the effects of the Internet on public discourse; Farhad Manjoo’s TRUE ENOUGH, which examines how new technologies are promoting the cultural ascendancy of belief over fact; THE CULT OF THE AMATEUR, by Andrew Keen, which argues that Web 2.0 is creating a ‘digital forest of mediocrity’ and substituting ill-informed speculation for genuine expertise; and Nicholas Carr’s book THE SHALLOWS (coming in June), which suggests that increased Internet use is rewiring our brains, impairing our ability to think deeply and creatively even as it improves our ability to multitask.”

Let’s do a mash-up of these books, and put a dance mix on it!

Found somewhere…
“McNeill Pediatrics—a subsidiary of Ortho-McNeill Pharmaceuticals—launched what they called an ‘unbranded group’ called ‘ADHD Moms.’ ADHD Moms markets the trademarked name ‘Mom-bassadors’ to get mothers into the Facebook page.”

“Mom-bassadors” joins “Me O’Clock” at the top of my list of unfortunate neologisms.

Oh, and Femivores too.
Peggy Orenstein in NYT: “Femivorism is grounded in the very principles of self-sufficiency, autonomy and personal fulfillment that drove women into the work force in the first place. Given how conscious (not to say obsessive) everyone has become about the source of their food — who these days can’t wax poetic about compost? — it also confers instant legitimacy. Rather than embodying the limits of one movement, femivores expand those of another: feeding their families clean, flavorful food; reducing their carbon footprints; producing sustainably instead of consuming rampantly. What could be more vital, more gratifying, more morally defensible?”

These are women who have GARDENS. They are GARDENING. Why do we need to create quasi-ideological movements to justify actions that need no justification? Activities that our mothers and grandmothers did as a matter of course now requires some kind of socio-cultural context, it seems.

And “Femivore?” What does that even mean? You eat women?

Let’s mash it up and set it to a dance mix!

Cover of PEOPLE.
I was in line at Walgreen’s when I saw the cover of PEOPLE Magazine, with a picture of Susan Boyle with the caption, “Is Fame Hurting Her?”

What a paradoxical question! If the answer is “Yes,” then why is PEOPLE putting her on the cover, and increasing the hurt? If the answer is “No,” then what’s the point of asking in the first place?

Good news!
Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have created an invisibility cloak! So far it has only proved effective on an object one thousandth of a millimetre high. But can tanks be far behind?

…is out on DVD. Over two hundred shows! Over fifty disks!

I became briefly addicted to this show when it was stripped on USA. It was at once a throwback to the kind of shows I loved when I was a ten year old boy, and at the same time a surreal vision of modern life, especially in Texas, which seemed to be teeming with drug cults, Satanic cults, terrorist networks, slave traders, etc. Every other episode, it seems, either Walker or Trivette’s girlfriend was being kidnapped by somebody or other. Well, she wasn’t really Walker’s girlfriend. I think he was celibate.

Tea Party
Tea Partiers get upset when they are referred to as “teabaggers,” which they consider a sneering term coined by liberals, and a reference to a (perhaps) non-existent sexual practice. I’m afraid that the Tea Partiers coined this term themselves, during one of their first protests, urging people to mail tea bags to the Senate and Congress. It soon came to their attention, however, that teabagging also referred to a (perhaps) non-existent sexual practice, which quickly lead to their assertion that it’s a left wing plot to discredit them. Because that’s what we do these days. We create our own reality and then get angry at others for supposedly making us live in it.

Cut and paste it! Mash it up! There are no more spectators. We’re all just making goo in the hive.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merle Kessler wrote:
Did he REALLY die?

Judging by recent "multiverse" stories, such as "Lost", you don't REALLY die unless all alternative versions of yourself die. No doubt a version of himself is, even now, alive, and of normal size, living in the Bay Area!


2:07 PM  

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