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May 01, 2006


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Steve Sailer asks the hard questions that the mainstream media have been avoiding about the Duke case, and supplies some arresting facts and figures too. Steve also posts a lot of info about the unappetizing man behind the Spanish "Star-Spangled Banner." Quel surprise: He isn't Hispanic.

* The Sudoku craze shows no sign of abating. In Britain, sales of pencils are said to have risen 700% as a direct consequence of Sudoku's popularity.

* Although my gaydar isn't bad, my lesbian-dar is very weak. Still, I can't say that I was surprised to read this.

* Enough with denouncing the absurdities of modernist art: Where to find the good nonmodernist new stuff? Roger Kimball looks at what he considers to be one of the "Bright Spots" in the contemporary art scene.

* Shouting Thomas shows what an un-PC movieworld might look like. He also hosts a Big Apple Blog Fest, and moves ambitiously into videoblogging. Hmm: VideoEgg seems to work well as a video-hoster ...

* Federal-government pork this year totals $29 billion.

* Edward Feser takes a sympathetic/skeptical look at the thoughts of libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard.

* Is there a way to merge a book and a website? The latest author to take on this challenge is Robert Frenay, who is making his pop-science book "Pulse" available via RSS feed, and is filling the text-bits with relevant links. Sign up here.

* I love it when Mike Hill goes into storytelling mode. Recently Mike recalled the days he spent working in hotels. Hollywood? There's a movie in these adventures, if not a TV series. As usual, I'll settle for a 15% finder's fee.

* Anything but a tie-dyed leftist, Rick Darby thinks George Bush has a lot to answer for. Rick also links to a fascinating web-linkage graphic.

* I can think of worse ways to spend a work day. (NSFW)

* Neil has had it with being a loser.

* Let's ditch the sentimentality for a moment. Did earlier waves of immigration into America really work out that well? AFF wonders.

* Razib hasn't been able to get his mind off those unusual people, the Finns.

* Art history of the most earthy and essential kind. (NSFW)

* More necessary cultural history, this time of the underground sort: here, here, here.

* Literature be damned: It's romance fiction that continues to prosper, even in these raw and edgy times. The latest estimate is that romances account for 55% of all mass market paperback sales. Thanks to Dave Lull for pointing out this fun Missoula Independent visit with three romance authors.

* Those who enjoy gnawing on the "what's up with that?" question about modernism should enjoy Michael Mehaffy's essay on the topic. Mehaffy is a Christopher Alexander fan, and he has collaborated on writing with Nikos Salingaros.



posted by Michael at May 1, 2006


Thanks, Michael, for the plug.

I am, generally, happy with VideoEgg as a delivery system.

I am finding, however, that if I load more than two video bits to the page, I experience a considerably slower load time.

I'm trying to find a solution to this.

In the meantime, I'm experimenting with music video. Next project, a video of my new song: "Last Straight Man in New York City." (A rough version of this song is already up on my blog. I'll be recording it with a band soon.) iTunes recently gave me permission to put my songs up for sale on their site.

So much work to do!

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on May 1, 2006 5:43 PM

I think Paul Johnson made some remark about Courbet's flourishing side business as a pornographer. Kind of makes you wonder if "The Origin of the World" has other, less famous, brothers and sisters out there. Hey, it's never easy being a world-class artist, unless you're willing to work for Julius II!

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on May 1, 2006 7:52 PM

Schiele painted cheap porn scenes for some quick cash too.

Posted by: Agnostic on May 1, 2006 9:21 PM

If The Origin of the World were painted today, with a typical modern woman serving as the model, it would look different. Very different :(

Posted by: Peter on May 1, 2006 10:02 PM

Courbet is vulgar rubbish, of course, but he illustates my main gripe with conservatives - namely that if vulgar rubbish sticks around long enough, they call it a classic.

Posted by: Brian on May 1, 2006 11:40 PM

ST-- You're turning into a media magnate! I have a hunch that you're enjoying (or are gonna enjoy) the emcee role too.

FvB -- An artist's gotta pay the bills somehow, eh? Why doesn't someone write an art history book focusing on how artists paid the bills?

Agnostic -- Did he? I didn't know that, tks. I wonder what his porn looked like -- his mainstream stuff was pretty erotic, if creepy.

Peter -- Lots of razor-burn, for one thing, which I suspect Courbet-the-realist would have presented in gruesome detail ...

Brian -- Wait! I thought that *was* the definition of a classic! Fried sounds like a real dick, doesn't he?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 2, 2006 10:50 AM

Thanks for linking me back from the abyss, Michael. A TV show based on my life? Hmm. Let me know when the Ennui Channel comes to cable.

Posted by: Sluggo on May 2, 2006 11:05 AM

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