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« Doodles & Their Uses | Main | DVD Journal: "Femme Fatale" »

May 24, 2003


Friedrich --

It may be impossible to keep up with all the good culturechat in blogland, but that isn't going to stop this Blowhard from trying.

  • Alexandra Ceely has given her art-history blog Out of Lascaux a fresh look, poured it into Movable Type, and parked it at a new address (here).

  • Felix Salmon (here) enjoyed an evening of Woody Allen one-act plays.

  • Mike Snider (here) asks why there isn't more erotic poetry written from the hetero-male point of view, and supplies his own lovely example of such.

  • Brian Micklethwait (here) buys a set of Dvorak's string quartets and wonders what will become of the classical-music CD business.

  • Felicity McCarthy (here), deep in the midst of a major move, decides to take charge of her dad's 80th birthday party.

  • Lynn Sislo watches "This Old House" and wonders why she doesn't have her own show on PBS (here).

  • Yahmdallah (here), on an inspired tear, discusses the "remastering" of CDs, Kurt Cobain's journals, people who take pop music 'way too seriously -- and reprints a "date from hell" story he originally wrote for Salon.

  • Forget the review in your local paper. Dick Ranko's posting on "The Matrix Reloaded" (here) is the one to read.

  • J.W. (here) is presenting his 25 favorite comic books.

  • "The Matrix Reloaded"? "Batboy"? That new Robert Flaherty DVD? Tim Hulsey (here) has brainy and helpful things to say about them all. At this pace, he's giving Yahmdallah a run for his money.

  • Over at the ever-hopping, Deb English loves an E.F. Benson "Lucia" novel (here). Will himself gets his first eyeglasses (here), and switches to Mac (here).

  • Scott Chaffin, a fan of suspense potboilers, reads a John Sandford thriller (here).

  • My find of the week is S.Y. Affolee, a young Asian-American woman (and self-described geek) who's studying bio at Dartmouth. She writes a me-blog and posts about this 'n' that, yet I was taken by her sharp mind and her voice, which is intimate yet reserved, direct yet discreet, solemn yet sly. Her blog's a charmer. If you want to taste-test, let me suggest this reflective posting here about what it's like to grow up being watched by older Asian ladies.

  • Charlie B has been doing some sharp thinking about the relations between modernism, pop, and the new cyberarts here (but the permalink doesn't work, so go to his blog and then do a search on the word "pussy").

  • Aaron Haspel fearlessly takes on the important topic of zoning laws, technology and architecture (here). Don't miss the comments.

  • Ian Hamet shows a lot of enthusiasm for two great ages of adventure fiction (here).

  • The amazing Colby Cosh -- what is he on, and where can I get some? -- takes a break from mad cow disease and Canadian politics to discuss Benvenuto Cellini and the Italian Renaissance more generally (here).

  • Over at Gene Expression, Razib describes the early migrations of our ancestors (here), while Jason Soon has a brilliant posting on Hayek, neural networks and free will (here). Warning to the faint of heart: Gene Expression will not be enjoyed by those who don't appreciate discussions of group differences. My attitude has always been, hey, the greater the variety, the better the party. But I may be a superficial and insensitive guy.

  • Evan Kirchhoff flies jetBlue (thumbs generally up), then makes some sense out of current proposals to tax email as a way of discouraging spam (here -- can't make the permalinks work, so you'll have to scroll down).

  • Alan Sullivan muses about Frank Herbert, "Dune," and the real-life House of Saud (here).

  • In two long postings, Chris Bertram wrestles with the ever-vexing question of markets and responsibility (here -- but the permalinks don't seem to work, so search on "markets" and "libertarianism"). Oops, those were politics-and-economics postings, not culture postings. Which violates my theme of the day. Oh, well: even so, I enjoyed Chris' postings, so I forgive him for not being a cultureblogger.

Have I mentioned that, since I joined the blogworld, my consumption of newspapers, magazines and books has gone way, way down?



posted by Michael at May 24, 2003


Interesting. As to paper, I was just thinking about the very subject this morning. Aside from the "New Yorker" (maybe I like the ads) I have not touched a daily paper or magazine in months.

Exceptions: There is what appears to be a very lightweight article, edited by Rem Koolhaas, in "Wired" this month. I intend to review it thoroughly but I am of the age where rigor and fairness demand a pen.

So I will go buy a copy of which is OK as I like the feel of Wired's paper, so it will not be a total waste.

Posted by: David on May 24, 2003 9:50 PM

Too true!

By the way, some lovely picks here. I found a couple of tasty new blogs (Affolee, reflections in D minor) here. Also, Colby Cosh's Cellini feuilleton (whom I rarely read, as I am not a political blogger fan) was an unexpected delight.

Posted by: Felicity on May 24, 2003 11:20 PM

Thanks for the mention! The broken links have been fixed (so if you re-visit the page be sure to refresh) -- unless you want to do a Google search on "pussy" anyway. But (and I hesitate to use the term) tit for tat, all of the links on this page seem to be dead (rather than broken) right now.

Posted by: charlie b. on May 25, 2003 6:16 AM

I still read the L.A. Times. Not for its editorial content, obviously, but because they've got a pretty good comics page, and it's much more pleasant reading the comics on paper over breakfast than it is on screen. If they were to get rid of their comics page, I'd cancel our subscription in a moment.

But then, I think newspaper comics are one of the two great art forms of the 20th century. (The other is animated cartoons, and specifically the Warner Brothers "Termite Terrace" era cartoons. Go Chuck Jones!)

Posted by: Will Duquette on May 25, 2003 9:32 AM

Dang! Thanks for pointing out that some of these links weren't working. I'm evidently a permalink moron. Sometimes they seem to work, and sometimes they don't, and never for reasons I can fathom. So when they don't, I just put a link to the blog generally up. Charlie, I tried yours and Blogger told me it wasn't working.

Am I doing something wrong? When I try to link directly to a specific posting, here's what I do with blog -- I click on the time the posting was put up. That'll give me a URL (if it doesn't tell me something's broken). I copy and paste that URL into the usual a href tag. Is that right? Am I missing something? Sometimes that seems to work. Sometimes it's flukey. I noticed, for instance, with the SYAffolee, that (despite the fact that I a href'd the specific posting) it's just taking you to the top of her blog. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to link directly to Evan's two postings. Yet a few of the other direct-links-to-postings seem to work fine, and I'm not aware of doing anything different with them than with the ones that don't seem to work. Blech, computers.

All hints and tips appreciated.

And anyway, here's hoping visitors get a kick out of these link-o-ramas. There's so much that's fun and smart and good out there -- so much more than in the commercial or traditional media. Does anyone else find that? What I generally read for (personality, ideas, perceptiveness, etc) seems more and more absent from what you'd buy at a newsstand, and more and more to be found in blogland. Bizarre -- you'd think the pros would realize that they aren't taking advantage of what a certain number of people at least enjoy consuming. Not that I'm complaining. Perfectly happy -- thrilled, really -- enjoying the chat and babble here in blogville. Much more what I'm looking for anyway.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 25, 2003 10:47 AM

Oh, and if anyone else notices bum links here, please let me know.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 25, 2003 10:47 AM

What blogs remind me of, Michael, are the small town newspaper columns that I find in some of the little local papers. My favorite one is written by an eightysomething woman about whatever is on her mind that week. The columns she wrote a few years back about going from typewriter to computer at the insistence of her beloved nephew are some of the funniest writing I've read.
Just a thought....

Posted by: Deb on May 25, 2003 10:56 AM

"'d think the pros would realize that they aren't taking advantage of what a certain number of people at least enjoy consuming."

I have been surprised that the big newspapers don't post on-line virtually every non-obscene/vulgar "Letter to the Editor" that they receive.

Kind of like "out-takes" in the movies...extra footage which is more than they can use.

Posted by: David Sucher on May 25, 2003 12:16 PM

Well, Yahmdallah had me with his date from hell story right up until the end. His "breezy promiseless exit.." that turned into "I'll call you..." which he didn't do? He's probably on her date from hell list, too. If you don't want to eat cat hair...take her out to dinner.

Posted by: annette on May 25, 2003 3:29 PM

Michael, no it's not you with the bad links most likely. It's almost certainly Blogger having a bad day (common). So, any blog hosted at or "blogger powered" and elsewhere is going to have that annoying symptom.

Until of course they get that bit of the software rewritten, and have more server capacity, both of which are supposed to happen "any day now", as they've been bought by google.

As a systems programmer and admin for many years, I'm not holding my breath :-)

Oh, and I absolutely LOVE the link roundups here, they are one of my favorite things on the entire web; nowhere else do I get broken out of my normal surfing patterns so pleasently than by clicking on a few of them! Thanks guys!

Posted by: David Mercer on May 27, 2003 2:21 PM


I agree with you. She probably does not remember me fondly, if at all. Not a proud moment, that.

If it helps at all, that was the only time I ever did that. (Though I did ask for a girl's number at a party once and didn't call her because she was too hot, too cool, and too smart for me. I was so outclassed I never worked up enough courage to give her a call. Think "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by the Police.) The other few times I wasn't interested, I met it head-on and borrowed from the female playbook and said I was interested "only as a friend". Though, in my experience, women don't take that one well, either.

Still, no excuses. Not calling is cruel and wrong. I've been on the other end of that, and it's agony.

Can we still be friends?

Posted by: Yahmdallah on May 27, 2003 4:27 PM

Hey David, Thanks for the info -- go, Google, and the sooner the better. Glad to hear you enjoy the roundups, too. They're a lot of work but a lot of fun. So much super stuff on the web, don't you find?

Yahmdallah -- I've got one word for you: Date-fu.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 27, 2003 5:19 PM

Yes, so much good stuff, and so much dreck!

And an endless array of informational pocket universes!

But I, like most folks I know, tend to get into habits of going to the same sites, and the same types of sites, over and over. It's far too easy online to get into an echo-chamber type headspace, which is why I value high quality sites outside of my normal haunts, especially ones with good pointers to pockets of the Net I would have never stumbled upon on my own.

Posted by: David Mercer on May 27, 2003 6:06 PM

I think we should give Yahmdallah a break. I admit my cat claws came out when I read his story, but then, he was probably young and he's gotten married since which means somewhere along the line he had to have come clean on a date. And he made that charming apology above.....

Posted by: Deb on May 27, 2003 6:38 PM

Sorry...was out of town for a day.

Yahmdallah---well, OK, if you only did it once.

Michael---I have absolutely no idea what "date-fu" means. Some other New York thing I'm not hip to?

Posted by: annette on May 29, 2003 6:44 AM

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