Go read this recollection of a teenage girl in California, her little brother, and their first R.E.M. show in 1985.
Monthly Archives: July 2016
The insurgency began and you missed it.
Seminal R.E.M. album Lifes Rich Pageant, an evergreen work and perennial member of any official Heathen desert-island disk list, turns 30 years old today.
In the 80s, I kept the tape in the car, unless I needed inside. When I started replacing tapes with CDs, a bonus was that I could keep the CD in the house and the cassette in the car, so I had it everywhere. In the MP3 era, it’s always been on my phone for easy access anywhere. And, obviously, as I write this, it’s playing in my office using technology that was science fiction at its release three decades ago.
Here’s a great appreciation of the record, courtesy of the R.E.M. twitter feed, which contains other gems for the faithful.
My assumption is that both music and music videos are very, very different in Estonia.
Estonian rapper (yes) Tommy Cash brings us by far the weirdest, most freakish video I’ve ever seen, and I say that counting Peaches’ “Rub”.
Stay with it past 2:05 for sure.
(NSFW, btw. As is the Peaches video I mentioned but did not link.)
Today, in lazy local journalism…
By now we’ve all seen friends posting (old) news stories about famous people who have died as though it was recent news, right? Something along the lines of “I can’t believe Elvis died!”, followed by several other comments of disbelief before someone points out the obvious: that Mr Presley passed away 39 years ago.
Today, well, it’s not just Facebook; at the Chronicle:
Jesus, check a fucking FACT, why don’t you?
Prince, being awesome
The awesomeness of this is muted only a little by the near-certainty that someone on Reddit is fapping to it.
Serena Williams is Fed Up With Your Sexist Questions (at Glamour, of all places).
Microsoft: Still failing
I’m installing Project, after having installed Office. I got this error. How on earth is this even a thing that you let happen?
I mean, seriously. I’m a giant nerd with 25 years of experience, and I can barely parse what the hell they’re talking about. How exactly is a normal human supposed to respond to this?
Jesus X. Christ.
Six years ago, Colorado started giving out free long-acting birth control. You’ll never guess what happened next.
WALSENBURG, Colo. — Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them?
They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.
Turns out, to reduce both abortion and unwanted pregnancies, the best approach is unfettered access to birth control. How about that? Approaches like this don’t just make fiscal sense — obviously, it’s cheaper to provide low-income people with birth control than it is to cover an unplanned pregnancy and all that follows — but also empower women. It’s a giant win across the board.
Consequently, it should not surprise you that the Colorado GOP is opposed to this program and has fought to kill it or undermine it on completely specious grounds.
Given that the program has had an enormous effect on reducing abortion in Colorado, you’d think that anyone with a pro-life mindset would embrace it. Color me utterly shocked that this hasn’t happened! I mean, it’s almost like abortion isn’t the point for these people, isn’t it?
Ancestry.com is a spammer.
That’s what I’m forced to conclude after realizing, months after cancelling my subscription, that they were still emailing me.
I clicked the “manage email” link at the bottom of their latest message, even though I was pretty sure I’d already unsubscribed and turned all the emails off. There, I discovered this — note the part I’ve boxed in red:
Sure, I unchecked all those boxes weeks ago, but that wasn’t enough to stop the email. For that, you have to CALL.
Ancestry’s plan is to make it hard to get off their spam list; most people won’t bother with the phone, so Ancestry can disingenuously believe they still want to get their babble. It makes you wonder how many folks just gave up and set up filters in Gmail or whatever to automatically delete anything from their domain!
That’s shady as fuck. I cancelled my subscription with them when I realized I just didn’t have time to use it — and at $30 a month, I wasn’t going to just let it ride. I had intended to back, but now I really don’t think I want to do business with these people.
Dept. of Shit I Meant To Post Last Week
Dogs Raise Firework Threat Level to ‘Gray’:
The Department of Canine Security has raised the firework advisory level from “Gray” to “Gray” following credible evidence of human-made explosive devices used to celebrate something called “America.” There is a severe risk of deafening explosions, which have previously resulted in frightened puppies and fingerless masters. Wiener dogs should practice special caution, as the most commonly served food at “America” parties is Dachshund-shaped sandwiches.
So what exactly is this “America”? Masters seem to complain about it all year long and then, for some inexplicable reason, they celebrate it for a day by drinking countless cans of smelly, magical dizzy juice. Dogs have reported their masters guzzling this foul-tasting potion on other occasions such as “Christmas,” “Cinco de Mayo” and “I got fired today.”
The Department of Canine Security urges dogs to remain on high alert and employ the tactic of See Something, Say Something. Remember to bark upon spotting anything suspicious; e.g. firecrackers, sparklers, Roman candles, cats, squirrels, mail carriers, shadows, reflections, other dogs on TV, etc.
“When would that be?” “Oh, around 2011.”
Mark Hamill, on TV in the late 1970s.
In case you forgot: David Foster Wallace could write the HELL out of a review
This piece, from the New York Observer in 1997, completely obliterates John Updike’s Toward the End of Time.
Mailer, Updike, Roth — the Great Male Narcissists* who’ve dominated postwar realist fiction are now in their senescence, and it must seem to them no coincidence that the prospect of their own deaths appears backlit by the approaching millennium and on-line predictions of the death of the novel as we know it. When a solipsist dies, after all, everything goes with him. And no U.S. novelist has mapped the solipsist’s terrain better than John Updike, whose rise in the 60s and 70s established him as both chronicler and voice of probably the single most self-absorbed generation since Louis XIV.
And the conclusion:
Maybe the only thing the reader ends up appreciating about [protagonist] Ben Turnbull is that he’s such a broad caricature of an Updike protagonist that he helps us figure out what’s been so unpleasant and frustrating about this gifted author’s recent characters. It’s not that Turnbull is stupid — he can quote Kierkegaard and Pascal on angst and allude to the deaths of Schubert and Mozart and distinguish between a sinistrorse and a dextrorse Polygonum vine, etc. It’s that he persists in the bizarre adolescent idea that getting to have sex with whomever one wants whenever one wants is a cure for ontological despair. And so, it appears, does Mr. Updike — he makes it plain that he views the narrator’s impotence as catastrophic, as the ultimate symbol of death itself, and he clearly wants us to mourn it as much as Turnbull does. I’m not especially offended by this attitude; I mostly just don’t get it. Erect or flaccid, Ben Turnbull’s unhappiness is obvious right from the book’s first page. But it never once occurs to him that the reason he’s so unhappy is that he’s an asshole.
Among the many proofs available regarding the fundamental capriciousness of the universe is that we’re left with only three (ish) novels from Wallace, and something like an order of magnitude more books from Updike.
“He was basically a circus bear riding a unicycle.”
Peter Sagan may not be in yellow anymore, but he remains a rock star of cycling.
It’s the fucking rooster that kills me.
This is best possible cover of Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life”, and possibly the finest thing on the Internet to exist ever.