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« Raphael on Popper | Main | Do We Really Have a Market Dominant Majority? »

January 03, 2004


Dear Friedrich --

* Richard Dorment wonders how much sense it makes to think of Degas as an Impressionist, here.

* Alice Bachini decides that she likes the TV series "Friends" after all, here.

* I love reading the British design critic Rick Poynor, who blogs (all too seldom, grrr) at DesignObserver, here. Here's a recent Rick posting about a Dutch design team.

* There's probably no easier to way get familiar with the important concept of a market-dominant minority than by reading Amy Chua's article in the Wilson Quarterly here. Chua's book on the topic, "World on Fire," can be bought here. Steve Sailer comments here; Vinod, of Vinod's Blog (and from whom I lifted the Chua link), adds some more thoughts here.

* George Chauncey makes James McCourt's new book "Queer Street" here sound like an elegy for the closeted old days when some homosexuals developed extreme and virtuosic camp styles. Take that, "Queer Eye" Fab Five. Apparently I'm not the first person to think gays were funnier back when they were less easygoingly part of the mainstream -- an observation I'm not about to draw any political conclusions from, by the way.

* Michael Musto's end-of-the-year awards for "brilliance and horror in pop culture" are pretty funny, here. It's amazing that Musto, a Village Voice columnist who's older than you and I are, has managed to keep his energy up for this kind of silliness. But he has, and he's consistently amusing.

* My favorite edgy queer, the Toronto writer, filmmaker and all-around personality Bruce La Bruce, has a wayward but fun rant here about the tyranny of narrative in today's movies. Here he compares splatter movies with porn, and argues that porn -- which he likes and even makes -- should be kept underground. He riffs his way through some awards ceremonies here, dissing Leo DiCaprio's appearance at the Golden Globes with this memorable line: "Where's Sacheen Littlefeather when you need her?"

* Jim Burrows has devoted a website to the vital subject of cheesecake art -- no, not foodie photography, but pix of coyly sweet and sexy girls -- and he's done an awfully good and informative job, here.

* Jim Kalb's tone is unfailingly mild and modest, but he's also a ferociously smart reasoner whose writing always gives my sorry brain a good tuneup. Here and here are some especially sharp recent Jim postings.

* Aaron Haspel doesn't think too highly of college educations, here. Aaron also points out that Cinderella Bloggerfella (here) has decided to hang up his blogging spurs. I certainly can't improve on Aaron's tribute and eloquence seems to be failing me today anyway. But I do want to note how much I've enjoyed and appreciated CB's work, which has always been fascinating and eye-opening, as well as wittily presented. Reading his blog beat hell out of reading almost anything in the conventional press, IMHO.

* Have I raved yet about the webcast of the East Tennessee radio station WDVX? Yes? Well then, I'll just do it again: there's nonstop rootsy country and blues to be had here -- music that makes me feel awed, stirred, amused, and downright patriotic. For some reason my computer won't play the station's RealPlayer broadcast, so I listen in using Windows Media Player.

* George Hunka's explanation of why he's decided to focus most of his blogging energy on reflections about the theater is also a touching arts memoir, here. George links to this startling article by the music critic Norman Lebrecht, here, who predicts that 2004 will put an end to most classical-music recording.

* S.Y. Affolee's blunt-but-gentle, thoughtful tone is one of the quiet pleasures of blogdom. I found her account of a recent visit to a cat show, here, pretty irresistable.

* Kari (of Two Tin Cans) wonders why movies are so much longer now than they were in better days, here.

* David Sucher (here) has an enlightening wrangle with the the ever-vexing question: Zoning, good thing or bad thing?

* Will Duquette has put up a new issue of his book-review magazine, Ex Libris Reviews, here. Tons of interesting stuff -- what a group of good readers Will and his co-conspirators are. Will has turned up a Conan Doyle novel I'd never heard of; Craig Clarke recently enjoyed an Ed McBain novel I'm currently enjoying too; Deb English confesses that she's become a coffee junkie, then makes a convincing case for the work of Lois McMaster Bujold.

* On Dublog, here, Chris Waltrip turns up fresh and surprising visual finds. Talk about an open-minded (and open-eyed) approach to the visual arts!

* Another superb linker is Milt Rosenberg, here, whose specialties are news, culture and ideas. Look for his links to a piece about Leni Riefenstahl, to one about the neurobiology of memory, and to a page devoted to the music of the great Fats Waller. How does Milt manage to squeeze a job into what's obviously an exuberant and busy blogging life?

* One of the lessons age teaches you is what a big role boring-seeming developments like double-entry bookkeeping have played in the creation of civilization as we know it. Where's the revolutionary glamor in that? Well, live and learn -- and enjoy too, as it turns out: I've been having a remarkably civilized and interesting time following Leaderlog, here, a blog mostly about accounting written by "AGLeader."

* Gavin Shorto recalls the impression that reading Pauline Kael's review of "Bonnie and Clyde" made on him, here.

* Alexandra Ceely has re-posted her list of her favorite works of art, complete with links, here.



posted by Michael at January 3, 2004


Thanks for the send off! My ghost might be haunting the comment sections of the blogosphere for some time to come. Cheers!

Posted by: C.Bloggerfeller on January 4, 2004 1:01 PM

Ugh! Kari of Two Tin Cans is frigging right - movies are way too long these days and can someone puhleeze yank about 50% of the previews from the beginning of flicks? I'm already pissed off by the time the titles start rolling in the film.

My x-roommate/pop-punk musician, Soda, use to say that all great pop songs should be under 3 minutes long. Not only am I in full agreement about this (just check out the length of most of the Beatles music), but the majority of films should be under 120 minutes as well (unless you're David Lean). Make it short and sweet people, when did everyone loose sight of this???

Also - the Michael Musto Felix Awards were tres silly and how is it that he's still such a bitch? Love it!

Posted by: TurboKitty on January 4, 2004 1:50 PM

Re: Mr. Dorment's thoughts on Degas...

I very much doubt that Degas ever thought of himself (except in a sort of political sense) as an 'impressionist.' I seem to remember various quotes in which he aligned himself--as well as Manet--within the tradition of 'realism'--a movement that, in both literary and artistic circles, predated impressionism by almost twenty years. Certainly, Degas' depictions of social and sexual relations have obvious links to the works of Flaubert and the Goncourt brothers.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on January 4, 2004 6:59 PM

Musto was spot on with the freedom fries, that really is the sort of thing that in decades to come will make people look back at us and wonder "who were those fuckwits"? And that "saddest 'fun fact'" thing was... well, sad. "Party!" indeed.

I'm not entirely convinced by the song-length thing. There is indeed an awful lot of great sub-three minutes pop music out there (of which a decent amount is also sub-two minutes), but I still don't believe three minutes should be set as some sort of maximum. One of my favourite Beatles songs, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", runs nearly eight minutes. My favourite Pink Floyd track, "Echoes", runs 23 and a half.

Posted by: James Russell on January 5, 2004 1:35 AM

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