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Our Last 50 Referrers

« Religion, Anthropology, Belief, Etc. | Main | 300 Million -- Or More? »

October 25, 2006


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Hard to believe, I know, but child poverty is on the rise in LA county. Now why would that be? ... Digging deep to avoid the obvious, the LA Times blames the situation on the cost of housing.

* Did you read the one about the English schoolgirl who -- having asked to be taught in English -- wound up in jail?

* Eating out is the new eating in.

* Why can't food recipes be copyrighted? Tyler Cowen and commenters propose lots of possible reasons.

* So Yahmdallah sends this great idea for a compilation album to Rhino ...

* Squub hopes Axl Rose is listening.

* Steve Sailer (and correspondents) wonder if we're on the verge of running out of melodies.

* Raymond Pert wishes that Neil Diamond would do a gig in hipper-than-hip Eugene, Ore.

* It may be too late for cod.

* I enjoyed Jeet Heer's article about the uneasy but close relations between literature and smut.

* Rachel could have used a more adroit compliment.

* In 1995, an American artist, William Utermohlen, learned that he had Alzheimer's. He began making self-portraits and continued doing so until he completely lost his abilities a couple of years ago. The New York Times reports, and runs a sad and moving series of Utermohlen's pictures.

* Searchie writes that blogging saved her life.

* Journalistic conventions and understandings in other cultures can be different than what we're used to. Oh, by the way: Have I mentioned that if you hand me an envelope full of bills I'll write a nice blog posting about you?

* David Brooks thinks Andrew Sullivan's new book "The Conservative Soul" is important. So does this guy.

* Wow. Someone sure didn't enjoy Sofia Coppola's new movie ...

* Moira and David have been visiting the Four Corners. Scroll up and down their blog for many stunning photos of this spectacular area.

*The youthful mania for body art is forcing employers to rewrite dress codes.

* Daniel Libeskind's Denver Museum of Art features tons of his patented "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" spaces, many of which turn out to be ... well, let's say a little challenging to display art in.

* A mysterious someone has vowed to go without conventional TV for a year, blogging all the way.

* Have college Republicans become less thoughtful than they once were? Daniel McCarthy strongly suspects that they have. Daniel completes his thoughts and musings here.



posted by Michael at October 25, 2006


I don't know if the term "Hero of Art" has any meaning (probably not - it sounds downright Stalinist) but if it does, William Utermohlen is one.

Posted by: tschafer on October 26, 2006 8:59 AM

Amazing to look at, isn't it? Lordy, imagine losing your abilities in that way ... And being able to watch it happening. Whew. What some people live through ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 26, 2006 12:00 PM

From one of Sailer's commenters, the stupidest thing I've read all month:

It might be Bob Dylan's influence. Serious writers are suppose emphasize lyrics rather than melody.

The first implication, that Dylan's melodies were not generally good, is somewhat valid, I guess. "Like a Rolling Stone" is a good example of excellent lyrics but a minimum of melody. But then there are songs like "It Ain't Me, Babe" with great melodies.

But the main thrust of the comment, that songwriters today are inspired to emphasize lyrics, wow. The commenter must confuse the art of "lyrics" with the concept of "message" -- maybe that's how you get to the bizarro world where John Mayer and Michelle Branch and James Blunt actually care about lyrics enough to sacrifice other things to it. But no, sorry, there has been very little lyrical influence of Dylan, and almost all of the consistenly good lyricists are also good melodists.

Posted by: J. Goard on October 26, 2006 4:30 PM

It might sound coldhearted and simply nasty - I apologize, then, it's not how I feel - but it occured to me that many Abstract Impressionists could, in fact, be suffering from Alzheimer, rather than have been "paving new ways in Art", etc.


[tschafer: the title of "Hero", as I know you'd agree after some consideration, could only possibly be "of Socialist Labor". A someone with achievements in Art (which, after all, are supposed to serve proletarian needs) could at best to be awarded "Meritorious Art Worker Medal" (scroll down a bit, to the SFSR chapter)]

Posted by: Tat on October 26, 2006 5:13 PM

oopsie. Wrong link.

Here's the correct one.

Posted by: Tat on October 26, 2006 5:42 PM

I don't even know who "John Mayer and Michelle Branch and James Blunt" are ... Sigh: the years pass, my pop-culture knowledge gets feebler ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 26, 2006 6:08 PM

That Steve Sailer thing sorta makes my head hurt. Both the original article and the follow-up too readily skip past the bit where he says "this could just be the nine millionth example of a baby boomer complaining about the unsatisfactoriness of modern young people." Cuz when he gets to talking about how "Moon River" and "Mack the Knife" are great for singing in the shower, but "Sonny Came Home" and "Kiss from a Rose" aren't, I just can't imagine the problem is anything BUT his just not getting the music.

Posted by: i, squub on October 26, 2006 10:24 PM

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