History House -- I love weird history stories. Y'know, the things they didn't teach you in school but really should have. Stuff like Freud's cocaine habit, the Children's Crusade, the CIA's experiments with LSD and tulipmania in 17th Century Holland. History House covers all this stuff and more in a delightfully irreverant fashion. The only downer is that it appears that it's no longer updated. Regardless, the archives will keep me busy for a while.
Monday, March 29, 2004
Saturday, March 27, 2004
From shock to schlock rocker -- The Globe and Mail's Sarah Hampson challenges Gene Simmons on his tiresome "I'm an asshole and proud of it" routine. About time too. Just the other day, a friend of mine remarked to me how Simmons is looking increasingly pitiful these days with his dyed hair and wrinkles.
Trashing Pop/American Idol is like shooting fish in a barrel but it's still great to hear Morrissey tell it like it is: "I think all the contestants should be put in a cage and sent to Thailand...They think all they have to do in order to be an idol is stand up there and sing an old Diana Ross song and suddenly they are a pop idol. I think there’s a bit more to it then that, really." (Also, The Darkness is "just not [his] bag")
Friday, March 26, 2004
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Again) -- I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tonight. Great film that really communicates the strength of love in a non-cheesy and powerful way that I've never seen done before. But is it just me or was Jim Carrey was channeling the spirit of Coronation Street's Roy Cropper for his character?
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
The Glory of Cary Grant and Other Girlish Delights -- I'm on a big screwball kick lately and since PBS Boston didn't air His Girl Friday last week like it was supposed to, I'll make do with some online writings on the subject. This article is a little heavy on the academic theory but what it's basically trying to say is this -- Cary Grant was hot. Now, that's my kind of thesis!
Bubblegum Machine has been keeping me entertained for the past few days. It's got 70 weeks worth of rare and kooky MP3s for the more discerning music junkie. There are lots of great forgotten bubblegum and novelty hits, along with sunshine pop, classic country and international artists. I was especially delighted to find songs by Luv, the Dutch Abba. However, if you only download one song, let it be Francoise Hardy's "La Maison Ou J'ai Grandi". Beautiful.
Friday, March 19, 2004
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
How to lose friends and irritate people (but still get a book deal)
Jayson Blair, the infamous former New York Times reporter who was fired for plagiarizing and fabricating most of his stories, is making the media rounds again. He's just released a book telling "his side of the story". I hate to give this guy any more attention but the question needs to be asked -- why, oh why is the press still talking to this bozo?
No one cares about Blair except for the media and neoconservatives, eager to point out the failures of the "liberal media elite". The general public couldn't care less. To them, it's just another journalist who lied. I think it's safe to say that public confidence in the news media is pretty low right now. The news media has become so dumbed down in recent decades that worthwhile reporting has become the rare exception, not the rule.
I find it worrisome that Blair continues to profit off the fact that he helped ruin the reputation of his newspaper and the journalism profession as a whole. I know that some say Blair was merely symptomatic of a larger sickness within the Times editorial staff. Fair enough. But the fact remains that Blair broke that crucial employee trust. He disgraced his profession. He was fired. He can moan all he wants about how he was suffering from intense depression but ultimately it was he who chose to fabricate the stories, not his editors.
The fact that this asshole got a book deal makes me sick. There are so many other deserving writers in the world who work hard to write original, accurate and worthwhile copy. Any young journalist would kill for the kind of job that Blair held at the Times. Blair broke all the rules and is rewarded for it. What is the public, or those entering the journalism profession, supposed to make of that? I wish the major media outlets would take a stand and boycott promotional coverage of Blair. But that's wishful thinking. He'll be on Larry King tonight, if you want to ask him for some advice.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
Disturbing moment of the day:
[the scene - me, on my computer, listening to Pet Shop Boys' "It's a Sin". My father is also in the room, folding the laundry.]
My Dad: Who's that?
Me: [reluctantly] The Pet Shop Boys.
Dad: Turn it up!
[I sit there awkwardly for the remaining 3 minutes of the song as my father hums and whistles along.]